To Prime or Not to Prime? Amazon that is…

It depends on where you live.

That’s the short answer. Amazon Prime is offered in many countries around the world and the benefits range, greatly.

I thought I could get the same benefits as the Americans,  minus the TV streaming. That’s not the case in Canada, but I’ll get to those details later. First my ethical struggle.

My Ethical Struggle

I read a lot of books. It is an expensive, but wonderful addiction. The thought of being able to borrow some of them is tempting.

But I also write books. I am happy to be part of the lending program through Amazon. People who have Prime in the US and some other countries can borrow my books for free. What I like about the program is that it gets my work out to a larger audience. People who might not buy my book, will borrow it and read it.

My pocketbook isn’t so happy though. When a person borrows one of my books and reads it, I make pennies, which are calculated with fancy formulas based on the pages they read and the income of a financial fund. When readers buy one of my books I make 70% of the sale (note: my books are cheap – i.e., all priced under $2.99 USD).

My goal is to grow readers, but I have to admit having coffee money makes me smile.

So my initial quandary was do I “Prime” and give my fellow authors less money for their work, or do I continue to pay the full price. One could rationalize that I would read more with Prime, but I don’t think I could read any more than I already do.

My Research

I decided to look closer at Amazon Prime. The first thing I learned was that I couldn’t be a part of the US plan. The second thing I learned was that Canada’s prime is significantly different.

“Amazon offers Prime services in a number of global markets. According to an Amazon representative, the company currently offers Amazon Prime (renamed Amazon Premium in several markets) in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, and Austria… Although fast shipping, free photo storage, and early access to sales remain the same in each country, the specifics can vary dramatically.” (Neil Underleider, What Amazon Prime is Like Around the World).

Here are my notes:

US Prime ($99. USD)

  • video streaming
  • ad-free music streaming
  • free book rentals
  • shippping and photo deals

Canada ($79. Cdn)

  • no video streaming
  • no book rentals
  • shipping and photo deals

Japan ($32. USD)

  • video streaming
  • free book rentals
  • customized shipping (different from other countries)

Germany ($54. USD +)

  • video streaming
  • free book rentals (for an additional cost)
  • customized shipping (different from other countries)

France ($54. USD)

  • no video streaming
  • I’m not sure about book rentals
  • customized shipping (different from other countries)

Italy and Spain ($22. USD)

  • no video streaming
  • I’m not sure about book rentals
  • shipping and photo deals

UK ($115. USD – and yes they are not happy about the price)

  • video streaming
  • book rentals
  • same-day delivery in major cities

My Decision

If I were to get video streaming and free, book rentals then I would hop on the Amazon ship, despite my ethical concerns. As it stands the Prime offer is not worth the cost for me. I do order paperbacks, but I always make my orders large enough that I don’t pay shipping. The Amazon Prime program in Canada offers me little.


shutterstock_104723360 (1)What do you think?


 

References: Neil Underleider, What Amazon Prime is Like Around the World and Amazon sites.

Photo Credits: Feature photo of earth from Pixabay, Question mark from Shutterstock, Ad created on Canva


Wishing you a happy July.

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