Grinning Cracks has only been available for a couple of days. It’s priced cheaply enough to move but at a cost that still earns me a little coffee money. The ebook is a full buck less expensive than the print copy. So why are Amazon resellers already claiming to have used copies that they’ll sell you for twenty dollars? People, this is a 300% markup. DO NOT FALL FOR THAT. (That behavior makes me commit the egregious formatting sin of all caps, italics, and bold all together, so you know I mean business.)
Here’s the thing. I’m less annoyed than I am confused. Yes, I pulled my earlier chapbooks out of print so they would be limited editions. Does that mean this used market thinks there’s a chance they’ll have a collector’s item? That’d be nice. Except that Grinning Cracks compiles my earlier chapbooks, adds more new and republished pieces, and is a non-limited edition work that I don’t foresee putting out of print anytime soon. (With that said, grab your copy today anyway!/shameless plug) Kidding aside, this post is less about plugging the book than asking, legitimately, what this reseller is thinking.
I have signed zero copies of this yet. So that’s not justifying the markup. The work is still available less expensively from Amazon and brick and mortal special orders. This isn’t piracy of the ebook, either, this is the print edition. So what gives? I’m not finding much in the way of clarification through my Google Fu, so perhaps others who use small presses and self-publish the occasional work can enlighten me.
Ultimately, I just want to alert those who buy my work to do so at the least expensive price, and ideally straight from the legitimate outlets authorized to sell it. If I actually thought these resellers were at least buying an initial copy or two, at least I’d know I got some royalties out of the deal, but at the rate they’re charging I doubt they’re bothering to do so until they get a customer not paying attention and accidentally clicking the “used” link. And if it’s an actual scam of some sort, please don’t fall for it.
Safest direct route for ordering, if you’re scared of this weirdness, is to get the paper copy here and the ebook copy here. These are the least circuitous ways to buy without fear of resellers popping up.