Big changes at Amazon. Tomorrow marks the beginning of the new 70% royalty rate structure at Amazon. The DTP dashboard has been totally revamped and the option to opt in to the new contract is now available. Expect a lot of disruption over the next month as people struggle to figure things. First impressions of the new dashboard and reports - meh. Doesn't look great, slightly confusing and has no monthly grand total as of yet so will take some getting used to. I'm not really interested in weekly sales but I'm sure we'll settle in with it eventually.
The new structure has been in beta mode for some writers. Reports had been coming that were panicking a lot of authors. Rumours were trickling in that pricing discounts on other sites could make Kindle books ineligible for the new royalty rate and worse, that the books would be removed altogether. This has already happened to some people so many are at panic stations and I'm pretty certain lots of books have been pulled from Smashwords. Or at least attempted to - the site seems to be down right now.
There seems to be some automatic trigger regarding pricing disparity but from responses people are claiming to have received from Amazon, it will all be worked out in the end. I personally can't see Amazon locking in writers in that way - it would mean we all have to stop distributing to other ebook stores in case they happened to discount our books. It would be silly of Amazon to try this so I'm hoping it isn't the case.
So far, all the changes have done is cause disruption and chaos - and it hasn't officially started yet. Here's hoping it settles down soon. I'm not raising prices on anything I have on Kindle so it doesn't really affect me as yet. Except when all products are unavailable to buy, that is! I hope people give both Amazon and Smashwords a chance to work everything out. I'd hate to see Smashwords disrupted because of Amazon's actions.