October 18, 2019, 10:00:55 AM

Author Topic: Amazon Changing Free Books to 99c  (Read 892 times)

Offline NedMarcus

Amazon Changing Free Books to 99c
« on: July 11, 2019, 06:11:00 AM »
Has anyone else had problems with Amazon changing the prices of permafree books to 99c?

My permafree story is free on the UK store, but 99c on the US one. I've asked for it to be changed back, but no luck so far.

Offline Lu Kudzoza

Re: Amazon Changing Free Books to 99c
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2019, 04:35:45 PM »
Ned, you can go to a site like Writer Sanctum or kboards (Writer's Cafe) and ask other authors to report your book as being free on other sites (google, apple, etc). That usually gets the book turned back to free on Amazon fairly quickly.

Offline Ray McCarthy

Re: Amazon Changing Free Books to 99c
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2019, 10:04:58 PM »
Amazon only offers free at THEIR discretion on ANY marketplace. Smashwords is the place to have a free book (redistributes to Apple, Kobo, Barns&Noble etc). However should it be free or included?
Also you can generate discount codes for Smashwords itself.
My research suggests a downloaded free book (other than one searched for on Gutenberg etc) is less likely to be read than a bought one.

Offline NedMarcus

Re: Amazon Changing Free Books to 99c
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2019, 04:19:49 PM »
My research suggests a downloaded free book (other than one searched for on Gutenberg etc) is less likely to be read than a bought one.

I think it's certain. But, it can still be useful.

Not so sure about Smashwords. All respect to Mark Coker for his work setting it up, but it's become dated. I go direct where I can (Kobo, Amazon, Google Play) and use D2D for the rest.

Offline itsmevichet

Re: Amazon Changing Free Books to 99c
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2019, 03:29:35 PM »
I published wide using Draft2Digital, but refrained from putting my short Crux Skullcrusher and the Definitely Evil Sword on Amazon because of the $0.99 minimum, thinking it'd be pointless to have my work available free in every other market, but a dollar on Amazon.

But, after thinking about it, I saw no downside to listing on Amazon - basically I'd let the consumer make the choice. I listed on Amazon, and weirdly some folks started purchasing my short even though it was available for free on my website and other channels.

After a while, Amazon price matched my short such that it's now free for download, and since then, my visibility on Amazon has really picked up. I've been in the top 20 free short sci-fi and fantasy reads for the last week.

I say as long as putting your work on Amazon isn't keeping you from putting it up elsewhere, there's no downside thus far - especially for anything you're trying to release as a freebie.
Vichet Ou
Author of the Cruxverse
Composer of Email Signatures
Writer of Too Many Lines
Beater of Dead Horses

Offline NedMarcus

Re: Amazon Changing Free Books to 99c
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2019, 04:15:30 AM »
I've been in the top 20 free short sci-fi and fantasy reads for the last week.

I've had similar results with my permafree novelette usually being somewhere in the Amazon top 100. But I was surprised that I've had much better results on Kobo. Not for paid books, but for the permafree.

Offline Ray McCarthy

Re: Amazon Changing Free Books to 99c
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2019, 05:34:19 PM »
All respect to Mark Coker for his work setting it up, but it's become dated. I go direct where I can (Kobo, Amazon, Google Play)
How are Kobo, Amazon or Google Play "direct"? They B&N (Nook) or Apple are no more direct than Smashwords.

There of course titles that are only on one retail platform but that's a separate issue. Smashwords even distribute to B&N, Apple, Kobo, Libraries and others. Everyone EXCEPT Google and Amazon.

So Publishers & Authors of eBooks only need Amazon & Smashwords to cover almost everyone as the % non-pirate books on Google Books via Google Play is tiny. Google also are toxic as you can't properly set a price and they decide where in a book to preview, rather than a % at the start. They also encourage piracy and assume many works are out  of copyright that are not. Their book scanning project is contentious. Their attitude to Privacy is worse than Facebook.

Offline NedMarcus

Re: Amazon Changing Free Books to 99c
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2019, 05:08:19 AM »
All respect to Mark Coker for his work setting it up, but it's become dated. I go direct where I can (Kobo, Amazon, Google Play)
How are Kobo, Amazon or Google Play "direct"? They B&N (Nook) or Apple are no more direct than Smashwords.

I'm not sure I completely understand this. What I mean is that I upload my books directly on these platforms. They provide the data, and they pay me directly for sales.

With B&N and Apple, I'm unable to do this, therefore I use D2D. As with all aggregators, they take a cut (about 10%) but are quite a good company.

I agree that Google's attitude to privacy is terrible.

Offline Ray McCarthy

Re: Amazon Changing Free Books to 99c
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2019, 07:04:59 PM »

I'm not sure I completely understand this. What I mean is that I upload my books directly on these platforms. They provide the data, and they pay me directly for sales.

With B&N and Apple, I'm unable to do this, therefore I use D2D. As with all aggregators, they take a cut (about 10%) but are quite a good company.

I agree that Google's attitude to privacy is terrible.
Silly me, I thought you were talking about buying books!
I've had sales at Apple, Kobo, B&N and others via Smashwords and despite over all Amazon having about 90% of eBook sales, about 1/3rd of my sales are direct sales at Smashwords. Certainly the single biggest sales for me are at the Amazon USA marketplace. I'd be mad to give Amazon exclusivity.