Pricing cont’d – Amber Allure


Next up is Amber Allure. I’ve had a long-standing grudge against Amber Allure due to the huge margins and small text with seemingly high prices. So really when I started this pricing guide, Amber Allure was always in my sights. Not to mention the discounts on the site but not on e-tailers. So I know they’re playing a little shifty with their pricing but are my frustrations justified or just perception? To start with, if you google “amber allure” nothing comes up. Ok, yet another frustration but let’s attempt to move on to the site itself.


Now one thing I have to say for AA is that they are extremely clear on their word counts. They explain that they don’t list page count but word count, which works perfectly for me.

    • Amber Brief:                    2,500 – 4,999 Words        $1.50 / Discounted $1.00
    • Amber Kiss:                     5,000 – 10,000 Words      $3.00 / Discounted $2.25
    • Extended Amber Kiss:      11,000 – 17,000 Words     $4.00 / Discounted $3.00
    • Novella:                          18,000 – 29,000 Words     $5.00 / Discounted $3.75
    • Extended Novella:            30,000 – 40,000 Words     $6.00 / Discounted $4.50
    • Novel:                             41,000 – 70,000 Words     $7.00 / Discounted $5.25
    • Extended Novel:               71,000+ Words                $8.00 / Discounted $6.00

Thank you AA! There are 364 titles under the Amber Allure imprint which includes at least a dozen or more paperback collections and ménage books. AA doesn’t exist at FW or ARe, but instead is uploaded under the parent umbrella of Amber Quill.


Doing an exhaustive check of their listed word counts and prices with both FW and ARe, I feel confident that AA is listing accurate counts. AA tends to round down, which is fine, as FW and ARe both come very close to the stated word counts. So for once, there is no a big discrepancy between the publisher and other outlets! This actually makes life SO much easier when everything is not only consistent but clear. This made me so happy, my grudge almost lifted.


So what does this mean?


No links for you!

I use the links to show the discrepancies which always exist but somehow AA has shown such close consistency there’s no need. The word counts are extremely consistent and the price listed for FW/ARe matches the AA site exactly for every single book. Shocking!



Pricing for AA is more difficult though. For starters, everything offered on the AA publisher site is discounted by 25%. However the price at e-tailers such as ARe or FW is the full price. For example:


11k Extended Amber Kiss for $4.00, discounted to $3.00 on AA is $4 on ARe and FW.


So clearly you’re not getting the best price to shop at e-tailers as this trend follows with ALL the categories listed. So let’s break down what that means for the price per word.


The lowest book I found was 3400 words and the highest was 80,000 words.

Of the 364 titles listed, the overwhelming majority are Extended Amber Kiss or Novella. There are only a handful of Novels and Extended Novels. 

If you’re buying from the AA site which includes a base 25% discount, this is the price per word. There is a huge spike in cost in their Amber Kiss category ($2.25 for 5k words).



What if you buy from ARe/FW? As you’d expect, the trend is the same, just more expensive.



Now how does it stack up with other publishers? Well this is a little messy.



Well this is a little messy.

So looking at short stories with other publishers, Amber Allure is some of the most expensive. However, if you buy from their site (thick red line), it’s considerably more affordable.



As for longer length, novella and up, Amber still tends to be one of the most expensive publishers. Without the discount from Amber, the publisher is now the leading MOST expensive. Only Noble eclipses AA – even DSP and Loose Id are cheaper!

However with the discount, AA comes middle of the road to cheapest at the high end.


So what does all of this mean?


Well it means that AA is incredibly consistent, which is very good to know. They keep a consistent pricing and word count strategy that transfers over to retailers as well. Unfortunately it also means that depending where you shop, AA can be the most expensive or one of the cheapest publishers.


To get your money’s worth from AA you HAVE to shop at their website. If you don’t, you’re likely to pay up to $2 MORE for the same book which means you’re definitely not getting your money’s worth.


If you shop at the AA website, Amber Allure is pretty competitive price wise among publishers, though they tend to specialize in 10k to 30k word stories. They have considerably fewer 40k+ stories than other publishers.


Bottom Line


Don’t shop at retailers. Shop at the publisher. I can’t stress this enough.

The rest of the series can be found HERE!


7 thoughts on “Pricing cont’d – Amber Allure

  1. You know I’d always suspected that AA was more expensive, but had absolutely no idea about the difference in price between buying from them and buying direct from a seller. Holy crap. Bet your arse that I’ll be buying from them in the future.

    • It doesn’t seem shifty to me at all that AA offers a discounted price on their website — they seem totally transparent about it, in fact.
      I think it’s a brilliant move. Third party vendors keep 40-65% of the cover price of an ebook. And Fictionwise is the worse. They discount the ebook and then keep 65% of the discounted price, and give the publisher the minuscule leftovers to split with the author who, if she’s lucky, then gets a few cents out of the deal.
      With AA’s model, readers have a choice. Shop for convenient 1-stop shopping at a third party vendor and pay an extra buck or two for that convenience, or shop directly at AA and not give 40-65% to a middleman.

      • I would say that a good majority of readers aren’t aware of the economics involved of 3rd party vendors and %s. That’s a total guess. I know that as a new reader to ebooks, way back when, I mostly shopped at 3rd party vendors for one stop shopping. I did, and do, treat ARe as my local Borders and get all the books I need.
        I think the shiftiness, for me, comes in that you now have to shop around for good prices. I stopped purchasing Amber titles through 3rd parties when I thought they were too expensive. I didn’t realize the discount on their site – because I rarely visited it. I used to mostly go to ARe and see what was new from all publishers.
        Shifty? Depends on the viewpoint. In ebooks, the consumer has to be savvy to get their money’s worth because depending where you buy, you could significantly more or less.
        I’m not against Amber’s pricing model at all. Realizing the discount and the more $ to the author, it’s a win for everyone. I just don’t think the average consumer is going to know that’s the exact reason. Perhaps I’m wrong.

        • Just adding my thoughts to this issue…
          I’m only now, mainly through Kassa’s analysis, becoming aware of the issues of reselling books through 3rd party vendors in terms of mark ups.
          Re: shiftiness – I was completely unaware of the discount AA offered if you bought directly from them. I’m not sure I think the issue is one of transparency, but rather my total lack of awareness and possibly a broader lack of information/promo about the pricing model.
          As this will definitely influence the way that I, as a reader, will buy my books in the future I’m bloody glad – thrilled in fact – that someone/Kassa has actually taken the time to investigate and tell me about it!

          • I’m also thrilled that Kassa’s analyses are causing readers to think about the distribution of book costs and royalties. I don’t know that I agree with many current models — but what’s cool is that we’re living in a day and age where someone who doesn’t agree with the models can try and break out of them.
            I think the word “shifty” itself implied to me that AA was doing something sneaky or underhanded, or that they were hiding something. That’s why I stressed the transparency.
            In the terms of service of third party vendors (or at least two of the ones I’ve read lately) they state that you cannot make the list price of your ebook higher at the 3rd party site than it is on other sites. The discount idea is a brilliant way around that. Maybe the owner of a 3rd party site would disagree, though, and find the discounted ebooks “shifty.”
            Who’s to say one can’t offer a special discount on one’s on site, though? I guess if the third party vendor got miffed enough they might drop the publisher for terms of service violation.
            I struggle with ebook pricing all the time and try to hit the median price point for every word count.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s