Taming Amazon discussion

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Making your eBook Perma-free on Amazon

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message 1: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (Jimsgotweb) | 231 comments Mod
If you’re using KDP Select, you can determine when you want to have your book go free. If you’re not, it’s a little more difficult, but it can be done.

My suggestion is to use http://SmashWords.com. They offer a free service to list your book on their site and many others. If you follow the steps in their free guide, “Smashwords Style Guide,” you’ll be able to have your book listed on their “Premium” program and distribute it to major retailers like Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and more. Unlike Amazon, they allow you the option to have the book listed as free.

Here’s the key, once it’s been listed as free at the major sites and Amazon finds out about it, they will price-match it. Sometimes they find out about it without your help, but to be safe, you can let them know. The last line of the “Product Details,” asks, “Would you like to tell us about a lower price?” Yes, I would! Click on the link, choose “Website,” and type in the link to your free book on Barnes & Noble. It wouldn’t hurt to have a couple of your friends do this also.

Taming Amazon member, J. Bennett, suggested that we have a way for the group members to help authors that are trying to get Amazon to price-match a book. So, I'm waiting for the information for her book, or she might post it here herself.

If anyone wants to add their links to this topic, notify me, or add the information to a new post. Please, don't use this as a way to promote your book. Just give the links to Amazon and B&N.

Thanks,
Jim


message 2: by J. (new)

J. Bennett (JBennett_GWBW) | 47 comments Thanks so much Jim. Yes! I would like help from this community if you could spare me just a minute of your time. I am trying to set the first short story in my funny vampire series perma-free on Amazon. I used Jim's method of pricing it free on Smashwords, which made it free on Barnes & Noble. All you have to do is submit the Barnes & Noble link on the story's Amazon page where it says "tell us about a lower price?" You can find this link by scrolling down the product page to the Product Details section (it's at the very end of this section). Just click the link, paste in the B&N link and say that price and shipping is $0.00. Here are the two links. Thank you so much for your help! I'll include an update here if/when the story turns free, and I'd be happy to submit a price update to Amazon on behalf of any other author trying to set a title perma-free.

Barnes & Noble Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/emplo...

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Employment-Inte...


message 3: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (Jimsgotweb) | 231 comments Mod
Hi J, I've sent the message to Amazon and had my wife and son do the same with their accounts.

One thing I noticed, the links work fine, but you have to actually go to the B&N link and copy it from the browser window to get the complete link.
Maybe this link would copy and paste better:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/employment-interview-with-a-vampire-j-bennett/1109247577?ean=2940033084906

Good luck!
Jim


message 4: by J. (new)

J. Bennett (JBennett_GWBW) | 47 comments Hi All, here's my updated. As of this morning, my short story, "Employment Interview With A Vampire" is FREE on Amazon. The change just happened (I've been checking it every day). I am very excited and grateful for anyone who helped. I've been trying to set the story for free for over two months with no success. One suggestion Jim made was to reach out to the KDP customer service department, which I did. I was surprised to get a positive response from them. Here is the message I received:

"Hello,

I'm sorry for the inconvenience you've had.

Thank you for your information on pricing. From time to time, we may match free promotions on other sales channels, but we retain discretion over our retail prices. I've passed this information on to the concerned team. You can expect a change in the price in a few business days.

Thanks for using Amazon KDP."


message 5: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (Jimsgotweb) | 231 comments Mod
Great! I'm glad you were successful with getting your book perma-free. I have one of my books as free and promote it regularly with the websites and facebook groups that offer that service.

You should make sure to have a link at the end of your free book that goes to your other books, maybe even an excerpt forone of them. That's what I'm working on now.

Good luck!


message 6: by J. (new)

J. Bennett (JBennett_GWBW) | 47 comments Yes, Jim, I have all those things. At the end of my story, I ask for a review if the reader enjoyed it, list all my other works (with links), and provide links to my blog, facebook page and website. I then include a bio and a sample of the next story in the series. I do this for all of my books. Although, one to-do item on my list is to go back and add a little more personality to my bio and review request.


message 7: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 24, 2014 09:39AM) (new)

I only have my book on amazon and was wondering what people think of smashwords? I've never used it myself.


message 8: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (last edited Mar 24, 2014 03:18PM) (new)

Jim Liston (Jimsgotweb) | 231 comments Mod
Smashwords is a great way to get your eBook into different retailers like Barnes & Noble and you can make your book available to public libraries through them. I haven't seen a lot of sales from my book there, but they are working on a lot of different ways to change that. Plus, unlike Amazon, you have complete control of your book's price.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks Jim :)


message 10: by J. (new)

J. Bennett (JBennett_GWBW) | 47 comments D.M., my experience is very similar to Jim's. When I first started publishing, I would upload my novel to each publisher (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc..) separately. Over time I realized that I made the majority of my sales through Amazon. Now, when I publish a new book, I publish only to Amazon and Smashwords. I don't get a lot of sales through Smashwords, but it uploads my books to all the other smaller retailers. It's also the way I was able to set my story for free permanently on Amazon. This capability alone makes Smashwords worth it in my opinion. It takes a long time to get through their formatting guide, but once you do it a few times, it gets easier and swifter.


message 11: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (Jimsgotweb) | 231 comments Mod
Take a look at the free Smashwords Style Guide by Mark Coker:
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52


message 12: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (Jimsgotweb) | 231 comments Mod
Hi Allen,
I've submitted the B&N link to Amazon. Be sure to notify customer service from your KDP dashboard. They were quick to respond when I notified them about a cheaper price on my book.
Jim


message 13: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (Jimsgotweb) | 231 comments Mod
Great, I'll check it out, thanks!


message 14: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (Jimsgotweb) | 231 comments Mod
Allen, I just wanted to tell you that I downloaded The Reprisal and I loved it! I'm writing a review on Amazon now and will also post it here on Goodreads. I wanted to let you know that the link to Amazon from your Goodreads page for The Reprisal isn't working, you might want to have one of the Goodreads librarians look at that. Amazon gives this message: "Your search "2940045753654" did not match any products."

"Trophy Target" is on my list to read soon!


message 15: by J. (new)

J. Bennett (JBennett_GWBW) | 47 comments Allen, I was going to help, but I see that you were already successful in getting the short story set for free. I guess the other thing I can do to help is download the story and give it a read. I hope the perma-free brings you more readers.


message 16: by Amber (new)

Amber Foxx (AmberFoxx) | 44 comments J. wrote: "D.M., my experience is very similar to Jim's. When I first started publishing, I would upload my novel to each publisher (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc..) separately. Over time I realized that ..."

I use Draft2Digital instead of Smashwords. It's the same idea but without a complicated style guide. They do all the conversion, get my books to all the other sales channels that are not Kindle, and they also do Create Space. Once I get a short story written, edited, get cover art--do you all put cover art on your free short stories?--I'll list it free on B&N, Kobo and iTunes through D2D. I'm on the first of draft of the story now. Will add links to web site and review request, all the stuff that's been suggested. I didn't download the free story mentioned in spite of the great title due my personal bias against vampires, but I wish it great success in selling Allen's other books.


message 17: by J. (new)

J. Bennett (JBennett_GWBW) | 47 comments Amber, yes, I add cover art to all of my short stories, even the free one. It is still a product. My free short story is the first in a series of short stories and (hopefully) acts as a gateway into the series. I consider it all the more important to make sure this particular story is as professional as possible. I found a graphic designer on Elance who was willing to create simple, fun short story covers for a reasonable cost. Hope that helps.


message 18: by Amber (new)

Amber Foxx (AmberFoxx) | 44 comments I'll probably use the same cover designer who branded my series, so the look and theme is the same. Thanks.


message 19: by P.G. (new)

P.G. Fogarty (pgfogarty) | 3 comments Thanks for the tips here, Jim. I'm new to the group, and found this thread via Google.

My book is free on Nook via Smashwords. I wanted to make my eBook perma-free for Kindle, so I contacted KDP support and they sent me:

'Thank you for your information on pricing. From time to time, we may match free promotions on other sales channels, but we retain discretion over our retail prices.

In the future, you can let us know about lower prices through our website by clicking the link to "Tell us about a lower price" under the "Product Details" section for your title.'

I didn't know what way to read that reply. And the odd thing now is that although my book still is priced regularly, it is being listed in the free eBook rankings for amazon. Has any one else had this happen? Maybe they are slow to update the price to free; I'm really not sure.

I was hoping that someone might be able to notify Amazon that the book is free on Nook. Just in case they do not update it. It would be greatly appreciated.


Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/nagam...

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nagamaru-The-Cu...

Many Thanks!


message 20: by Tom (new)

Tom (Tom_Shutt) | 8 comments P.G., I just checked out the link to your book on Amazon to let them know about its status on Nook. It looks like the good people at KDP have already updated the price, though, so your eBook is now free!


message 21: by P.G. (new)

P.G. Fogarty (pgfogarty) | 3 comments Thomas wrote: "P.G., I just checked out the link to your book on Amazon to let them know about its status on Nook. It looks like the good people at KDP have already updated the price, though, so your eBook is now..."

Hi Thomas. Thank you very much for that. For some reason it still shows full price for me. May I ask if you're in the U.S. or elsewhere?


message 22: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (Jimsgotweb) | 231 comments Mod
I'm in the US and it is listed as free.


message 23: by P.G. (new)

P.G. Fogarty (pgfogarty) | 3 comments Thanks Jim! I'm in Europe; looks like I'll need to go through the same process again with the KDP support team on amazon.co.uk site etc. But as long as it's free in US that's a good start :)


message 24: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (Jimsgotweb) | 231 comments Mod
Yes, it's been my experience that they are completely separate.


message 25: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Allan (NancyAllan) | 4 comments Has anyone successfully re-priced their book after offering it free through Amazon's price match? I would like to promote my novel by offering it for FREE for 4 weeks, but I need to be able to return the price to $3.99 afterward. Is this a viable option or do you get stuck in the FREE zone?


message 26: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (Jimsgotweb) | 231 comments Mod
Yes, I've done this several times. Once Amazon takes you off the price-match, you can charge whatever you like.


message 27: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Allan (NancyAllan) | 4 comments Jim wrote: "Yes, I've done this several times. Once Amazon takes you off the price-match, you can charge whatever you like."

Thanks, Jim. Do you need to send Amazon a request to take your book off price match or do you edit pricing on your kdp select page and re-publish?


message 28: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (Jimsgotweb) | 231 comments Mod
You'll need to have your book removed from price matching first. You can try notifying Amazon through the product details page, but my experience has been that you have to contact them directly through customer service.


message 29: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Allan (NancyAllan) | 4 comments Jim wrote: "You'll need to have your book removed from price matching first. You can try notifying Amazon through the product details page, but my experience has been that you have to contact them directly thr..."

Appreciate your help. Thanks, Jim.


message 30: by Amber (new)

Amber Foxx (AmberFoxx) | 44 comments I'm about to finally do this. My short story prequel for my series is now free on Kobo
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/eboo...
and will soon be up for free on other sites.( I submitted it to Kobo, B&N and iTunes through Draft2Digital). Do I need to give it a price on Amazon first when I upload it, and then go back and price match, or can I do it with the initial upload?


message 31: by Amber (new)

Amber Foxx (AmberFoxx) | 44 comments Answered it myself. They insisted on no less than $2.99 to start with. I will have to go make it free tomorrow. I'd never charge that much for a twenty-page short story! But I was able to add it to Goodreads as soon as I had the Kobo ISBN and make it free here.


message 32: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (Jimsgotweb) | 231 comments Mod
Great. Let us know if you need help letting Amazon knowing about it being free on B&N.


message 33: by Amber (new)

Amber Foxx (AmberFoxx) | 44 comments They made it free in less than 24 hours.


message 34: by J.E.B. (new)

J.E.B. Spredemann (JSpredemann) | 3 comments I would GREATLY appreciate it if y'all would give Amazon a heads-up on my FREE book!

Here's the link for B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/danik...

Here's the link for Amazon:http: //www.amazon.com/Danikas-Journey-Amish-...

Thank you so much!

Blessings,

Jenn


message 35: by Gwen (new)

Gwen (gwenellery) | 19 comments I've told Amazon about the free B&N price, Jenn. Best of luck. :-)


message 36: by J.E.B. (new)

J.E.B. Spredemann (JSpredemann) | 3 comments Thanks, Gwen!


message 37: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (Jimsgotweb) | 231 comments Mod
I told them about your book being free. Good luck!


message 38: by Amber (new)

Amber Foxx (AmberFoxx) | 44 comments I didn't even have to have others mention it for mine. I told Amazon I'd had a reader complain that it was free everywhere else, and I mentioned that it was prequel to my series and they'd get more sales of my series if the short story prequel was free. Tamed Amazon faster than I could have imagined.


message 39: by J.E.B. (new)

J.E.B. Spredemann (JSpredemann) | 3 comments Jim wrote: "I told them about your book being free. Good luck!"

Thank you, Jim! Thanks for the tip, Amber. :)


message 40: by Gwen (new)

Gwen (gwenellery) | 19 comments Good to know, Amber. That Amazon lion needs all the taming it can get!


message 41: by Jai (new)

Jai Ellis (JaiEllis) | 17 comments Hi everyone. I am trying to make the first installment of one of my series permafree so if anyone is willing to report lower prices, I would really appreciate it. I am going to post all of the links below. It is free on all of the sites except Amazon. Also, does anyone know how to make books free on Barnes and Noble?
Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Money-Over-Erry...

iBooks:https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/mone...

Smashwords:http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/...

GooglePlay:https://play.google.com/store/books/d...

Kobo:http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/eboo...

Thank you all in advance!


message 42: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (last edited Jul 03, 2014 06:08AM) (new)

Jim Liston (Jimsgotweb) | 231 comments Mod
If you distributed your book through SmashWords, you can make it free on B&N through the SmashWords dashboard. Amazon will only price-match if it is free on B&N.
Jim


message 43: by Jai (last edited Jul 03, 2014 08:27AM) (new)

Jai Ellis (JaiEllis) | 17 comments Hey Jim. My book is already on BN. I had it there before SW. How do I go about getting it. Also, before I added the book to SW I took it down from sale on BN. Do I need to delete it all together from their (BN)site?
added to BN through SW?
When on SW, this is what it says under BN "2014-06-30 revision shipped on 2014-07-02."
Although it says shipped, the ebook version isn't on BN.com


message 44: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (last edited Jul 03, 2014 07:54PM) (new)

Jim Liston (Jimsgotweb) | 231 comments Mod
SW has great customer service. Tell them you want to change your book to free on B&N and ask them to do it for you.
Let us know what happens.


message 45: by Jai (new)

Jai Ellis (JaiEllis) | 17 comments Will do and I will keep you posted. Thank you so much Jim


message 46: by Gwen (new)

Gwen (gwenellery) | 19 comments Done!


message 47: by Gwen (new)

Gwen (gwenellery) | 19 comments Jai wrote: "Hi everyone. I am trying to make the first installment of one of my series permafree so if anyone is willing to report lower prices, I would really appreciate it. I am going to post all of the link..."

Done!


message 48: by Jai (new)

Jai Ellis (JaiEllis) | 17 comments Hey Guys. My book is now free on BN. Here is the link.
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/money...


message 49: by Jai (new)

Jai Ellis (JaiEllis) | 17 comments Thank You Gwen! I will be popping in here to see if anyone else needs help.


message 50: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (Jimsgotweb) | 231 comments Mod
I've told Amazon about your free book on B&N.
Good luck!


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