March 13, 2021
math and physics play
Advanced Classical Optics, amazon print on demand, Basic Statistical Mechanics, class notes, condensed matter physics, continuum mechanics, Geometric Algebra for Electrical Engineers, graduate Quantum Mechanics, hardcover, kindle direct publishing, paperback, physics, Quantum Field theory I, Quantum Mechanics II, relativistic electrodynamics
Amazon’s kindle direct publishing invited me to their hardcover trial program, and I’ve now made hardcover versions available of most of my interesting physics notes compilations:
Instead of making hardover versions of my classical mechanics, antenna theory, and electromagnetic theory notes, I have unpublished the paperback versions. These are low quality notes, and I don’t want more people to waste money on them (some have.) The free PDFs of all those notes are still available.
My geometric algebra book is also available in both paperback and hardcover (black and white). I’ve unpublished the color version, as it has a much higher print cost, and I thought it was too confusing to have all the permutations of black-and-white/color and paperback/hardcover.
I was invited to Kindle Direct Publishing‘s hardcover beta program, and have made my geometric algebra book available in black and white hardcover.
As always, the PDF, leanpub edition, and latex sources are also available.
I thought that it was too confusing to have color and black-and-white editions of the book (color has a significantly higher printing cost), so I have unpublished the color editions of the book (softcover, and hardcover). There is one copy of the color edition left, and once that is sold, it will show as out of print.
I’ve received my copy of my bound Antenna Theory notes today:
I wanted a copy for myself, but don’t expect that anybody else would buy this particular notes compilation. The course was taught from slides, and it was almost impossible to take good notes, so these aren’t much good without also having the (excellent) course text (Balanis.)
The two possible reasons to buy or download this notes compilation would be:
- to peruse the solved problems, or
- for the geometric algebra and tensor formalism exploration that followed from wondering how to deal with the magnetic sources that are used in this subject.
These notes are available for free in PDF form. Should somebody other than me want to purchase their own copy on paper, it can be found on amazon for $8.50 USD. I’ve set the price as close to amazon’s absolute minimum required price of $8.28, while also rounding up to a tidy multiple of $0.25
I find it curious that amazon requires a higher price (and royalty) just by virtue of enabling expanded distribution. Since I wanted to buy my copy locally in the Canadian amazon marketplace (amazon.ca) to utilize my local prime shipping subscription, I had to set the price higher for all markets, including the US market (amazon.com). Because shipping from the US to Canada is so high, it is cheaper for me to buy an aftermarket version using prime shipping from Canada, than to utilize kindle-direct-publishing’s option of buying an author draft (which would only be cost effective if I lived in the USA.)
EDIT: I misunderstood what Expanded Distribution (ED) meant. This is to sell to markets that are outside of the 6 or so official amazon marketplaces (USA, Canada, UK, Germany, …, Japan). I’ll probably take this book off of ED and lower the price instead.
As of this week (end of May 2020), I raised the price of the black and white version of my Geometric Algebra book slightly (from $12 to $14.50 USD). I say slightly, despite the 17% price increase, because the price is still pretty low from an absolute value perspective, as the markup I’d added to the minimum price was fairly small. This price increase was an experiment in response to a reseller (SuperBookDeals) buying copies at $12 and then reselling them at higher prices. For some reason amazon lists the higher price reseller copies before their own kindle-direct-publishing version, so a buyer had to go out of their way to find the lowest priced version.
I wouldn’t care if resellers undercut my list price, and then got a preferential listing from amazon. The fact that this reseller doesn’t play this game with the color version of the book, which has a much higher printing cost (I haven’t changed my price for that, and am still selling it for $40 USD), suggests to me that I’d set the price too low for the black and white version.
If you are interested in a copy of the book, but don’t like the new higher price, please note that the (color) PDF version is still available for free.
I may drop the price back to the original $12 later, but for now I’m going to charge $14.50, and am curious to see how the pricing game plays out.
Note that a temporary side effect of me having changed the price is that SuperBookDeals appears to have dropped their price of one of their listings below $12 (my original price) to clear out their stock. Amazon also appears to be offering a couple copies at the old $12 price, which now lists as a sale price.
My book, “Geometric Algebra for Electrical Engineers” is available as a free PDF here on my website, but also available in color ($40) and black-and-white ($12) formats on amazon. Both versions are basically offered close to cost, should the reader be like me, preferring a print copy that can be marked up. In fact, I made it available initially just so that I could get a cheap bound copy for my own use that I could mark up myself.
I noticed today that amazon now hides the cheapest version of my book, and seems shows the price of a reseller first. For example, if you click the link to the $12 black-and-white version, it now appears that the book is selling for $13.01
but if you click on “Other Sellers”, the kindle-direct (print on demand) version that amazon offers itself hides further down in the list of sellers. The version that I’m selling directly through amazon.com is third on the list, despite it being the cheapest:
I guess that I’ve priced the black-and-white version of the book so low, that there are resellers that are willing to try to make some profit selling their own copies. Do they depend on amazon giving them preferential listing order to make those sales? I wonder how many of the people who have bought my book have ended up accidentally paying a higher price, using one of these resellers?
It does not appear that any resellers have played this game with the color version of the book, which has a higher price point. I’m curious now to look at the sales stats for the two variations of the book to see how many of each version are selling (hardly any in either case, as the subject matter is too esoteric, but it was actually enough over the whole year that I did include the revenue on my income taxes.)