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Author Resources > Can Someone Tell Amazon Please? (Part Two)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited May 31, 2012 07:05PM) (new)

Can someone tell Amazon that my short stories: Fairy Tales for Freya are now going free on Barnes and Noble (and Smashwords)?

Here's the amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/Fairy-Tales-for...


And here it is at Barnes and Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fairy...

Thanks :) Gina.


message 2: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) Done! :-D


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks, Barb!:):)


message 4: by Tricia (new)

Tricia Kristufek | 181 comments Done! :)


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks, Tricia! :):)


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh look, I think I just got rapped on the knuckles by Amazon! Thought I'd post this, it seems they may have hardened their stance on free books:

"Hello,

During a review of your catalog, we found that one or more of your titles contain content that is freely available on the web. Copyright is important to us – we want to make sure that no author or other copyright holder has their work claimed and sold by anyone else.

Fairy Tales for Freya (ASIN:B00695YEB6)

If, in fact, you are the sole owner of the publishing rights for the books listed above, please provide the URLs for all websites where you have previously published this or any other Kindle content. Please respond within five business days with the requested URLs so we can verify you have the sole publishing rights, or the books will be removed from sale in the Kindle Store. If the books are in the public domain, please confirm this and include the information you used to make this determination.

If you have already unpublished the books listed above, please reply with that information. We ask that you unpublish any other book that closely matches content that is freely available on the web for which you do not hold the sole publishing rights, or which is not in the public domain. If we discover any other titles you have submitted fail to comply with these conditions or do not meet our Content Guidelines in any other way, your account may be terminated."

So I changed the pricing on smashwords quick smart, then replied "Yes, Sir, Mr Amazon. No Sir, Mr Amazon, three bags full Sir..." Whilst tugging my forelock of course.


message 7: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) I got that same e-mail for Jessamine today. I replied with all the links where it's been free for over a year.
Did you put a price on it again?
I'm sure I'll get another email for the BoI-Prequels at this point, but as I gave them all the links to Smashwords and my blog, I hope they simply check those and leave the two titles free...


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

So it's a blitz.
Yes, I did put a price on, very quickly. Then I sent the smashwords link, with it's new price to amazon. (Look, see me grovel, be nice to the poor writer). It's still free on B&N but that will be updated soon. I don't see how it hurts Amazon though. If my fairy tales could go free, more people would sample my work and that would mean more possible sales of my paid work. Oh well.


message 9: by Ian (new)

Ian Loome (lhthomson) | 38 comments Georgina wrote: "So it's a blitz.
Yes, I did put a price on, very quickly. Then I sent the smashwords link, with it's new price to amazon. (Look, see me grovel, be nice to the poor writer). It's still free on B&N..."


Aren't you the sole publishers? The warning is responding to free content that isn't sole publisher, by my read, not all content.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

It is, but it's also addressing the free bit (they also word things in a very odd way) :

"We ask that you unpublish any other book that closely matches content that is freely available on the web.."

So I said, yes, the work is mine, but no, I've fixed it so its no longer free elsewhere.


message 11: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) I'll let you know what they tell me (if they write again) about my links to wherever else it's free. It's their policy to match prices... and the title is NOT free on any other Amazon, so why do they bother? Did they have problems with stolen free content on the .com?


message 12: by Experiment BL626 (new)

Experiment BL626 I wonder if this is Amazon's passive-aggressive way of trying to make your books exclusively purchasable on their store.


message 13: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) Because not enough authors fell into the KDP Select trap? ;-)


message 14: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 9 comments Experiment BL626 wrote: "I wonder if this is Amazon's passive-aggressive way of trying to make your books exclusively purchasable on their store."

They told me it was impossible to post a newly released kindle book for free.

Supposedly they match the price when it is free somewhere else.

Now they apparently say it cant be free elsewhere to be free on amazon? The only way for it to be free on amazon is kindle select which prohibits you from allowing your book to be available anywhere else.

If that is true then maybe the next step is they promote your book for a price or are they already doing that?


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Amazon don't promote me in any way. I'm lucky if anyone accidently stumbles across my work. My kdp dashboard is so heavily plastered with buttons to click to enroll in the Select program, that it's hard to move around without bumping into them.

I think you are spot on, Experiment, they want the work exclusively. And the letter is very passive/aggressive in it's wording. I think Barb is right too, it's to do with the flop of kdp select.

They definitely turned a blind eye to the free books (while at the same time matching their price) in the past. My Taint short story went free on amazon from Dec until I unpublished it last week. I had stopped bothering to check the downloads there were so many. If I'd had that on Select, I would have only had the option of a few days free. Plus I would have missed out on the downloads from all the smashword avenues.

I'm a nobody. No one's looking for my books. No one knows of me. Without the option of having some free samples of my work available, what reader is going to purchase my work? And how are they going to find me in the first place? End of the day I just shrug my shoulders and go back to writing, but I don't see how Amazon becoming anal is going to help anyone in the long run. And I must admit, their email rankled. The bitch in me immediately thought: withdraw from Amazon and offer my novel on my website? I ditched the idea, but I really don't like receiving harsh emails. Nor do I like authority figures much, something in me always wants to fight them. :)

Robert wrote: "If that is true then maybe the next step is they promote your book for a price or are they already doing that?"

I suppose the price is exclusivity. Select is supposed to help with the whole promotion bit. But nobody that I know of has been particularly impressed with what Select has done for them.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

"Hello,

Thank you for your cooperation in providing the requested information. The following book(s) will continue to be available in the Kindle Store.

Fairy Tales for Freya (ASIN:B00695YEB6)"


message 17: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) They haven't replied to me yet! Maybe because I told them it's free on a blog and everywhere else? Checking my dashboard now... still "Live" at the moment... maybe they're checking the links...


message 18: by Experiment BL626 (new)

Experiment BL626 @Georgina
Aaaw. When I get to your book, I'll try to review it. (No promise, though.) I do make it a point to read a book written by my friend once a month.

So KDP Select is a flop?


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

It certainly looks like no more free books through amazon. :(


message 20: by Experiment BL626 (new)

Experiment BL626 Robert wrote: "If that is true then maybe the next step is they promote your book for a price or are they already doing that?"

Perhaps. I do know they're opening up ad spots on their Kindle with Special Offers(TM). But that's more for the big guys than the little people.

Honestly, I don't think it's a good investment to buy ads on Amazon if they do offer such a service to authors. IMO, the best marketing are those that are free: blog hops, twitter, reviews, etc.


message 21: by Experiment BL626 (new)

Experiment BL626 Georgina wrote: "It certainly looks like no more free books through amazon. :("

Maybe the free books aren't openly as advertised as before. I'm still coming across free Kindle books every week courtesy of free-books focused blogs that I subscribe to.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you, Experiment. :) I think kdp is a flop. Everyone I know who has gone with it, ends up wanting out. It's not just the venues lost through smashwords distribution, but also the inflexibility of select. Kdp don't allow a writer to have any free titles. The free days aren't enough. Others may disagree through. I opted not to go select.

If I don't count free downloads, my biggest sales have been from sony and smashwords. Amazon is huge, things get lost in there.


message 23: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 05, 2012 12:03AM) (new)

Experiment BL626 wrote: "Georgina wrote: "It certainly looks like no more free books through amazon. :("

Maybe the free books aren't openly as advertised as before. I'm still coming across free Kindle books every week cou..."


But if Amazon is tracking down the authors, and sending them these emails, forcing them to remove their books that are free elsewhere or put a price on them, the only free ebooks on amazon will be those with kdp select.


message 24: by Katy (new)

Katy (katyas-69) | 603 comments I can't see how Amazon can force people to put a price on their book elsewhere if they are also saying they will match prices - it seems really outrageous. Are they really telling authors they have to remove their books from free distribution elsewhere if they want them to remain on Amazon, so as to avoid having the books show up as free?


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Which is obviously what they are after.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Katy wrote: "I can't see how Amazon can force people to put a price on their book elsewhere if they are also saying they will match prices - it seems really outrageous. Are they really telling authors they hav..."

Yes. Although the wording in their email was slippery. I gave them one link to confirm the book was mine: smashwords. I put the price back on it before I sent the link of course. They sent a return email saying thanks for complying and that it would continue to be available on the kindle store.

"We ask that you unpublish any other book that closely matches content that is freely available on the web for which you do not hold the sole publishing rights, or which is not in the public domain."<<
So this sentence makes it sound as if it's about copyright, but threaded into it, is the reference to it being free elsewhere. The kdp publishing rights reads in a similar way. They don't spell things out in B&W terms.

Now the matching price thing is interesting too. At smashwords (and therefore B&N etc) you can either make it free, or put a price on it, starting at 99 cents. No smaller amount is possible. So amazon must know that no one can offer an amount less than 99 cents, unless it's free. Amazon don't allow free books. So they can say they won't match the price by making it free, because that breaks their contract terms.

So effectively writers can't have work that is free on offer sites, on amazon.

If this were about copyright not free books, they would have sent me the same email about Sorrow's Child. But Barb and I have both received the knuckle rapping because of our free books.

"If we discover any other titles you have submitted fail to comply with these conditions or do not meet our Content Guidelines in any other way, your account may be terminated." << That sounds like a threat and it seems to extend beyond the individual book to the writer's account with kdp.


message 27: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) And they still haven't replied to my e-mail. I'm considering to unpublish Jessamine from Amazon altogether, along with the other free e-book...


message 28: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) Gina, here's what Mark Coker has to say about the e-mail:
"May 29, 2012 - 3. Amazon is sending out automated emails to authors who have books listed elsewhere for free. They're trying to root out PLR and plagiarized books, so this is a good development. Ironically, they emailed me and asked me to prove that I'm the author of the Smashwords Style Guide and The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success. I emailed them links to the books at Smashwords, and they were satisfied. You can do the same if you receive such an email."
No need to put the price back, just tell them you own the copyright and wherever else it's free! :-D


message 29: by L'Poni (new)

L'Poni (lponi) | 17 comments Georgina wrote: "Oh look, I think I just got rapped on the knuckles by Amazon! Thought I'd post this, it seems they may have hardened their stance on free books:

"Hello,

During a review of your catalog, we found..."


I got that same message a few weeks ago. I had to go into the Copyright Office website and show them the link to my copyrighted stories. It makes me a bit fearful of Amazon. I might end up taking down my stories from there altogether (with the exception of Dragons and Cicadas).


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

So I can make my fairy tales free again? :) How come they haven't sent me an email about Sorrow's Child? Why is it the free ones they are worried about? Not sure, I still think they are trying to remove free books, they just aren't going about it in a black and white way. They do have a clause in the terms and conditions that states that the book cannot be offered for free elsewhere. But again, it's slippery.

I'd like to change the price back to free but I'm not sure if I should...Right I will! I just saw Mark Coker's books on amazon for free. So I've changed mine back!

As B&N haven't had the chance to alter the price, it's still free there, can I ask if we can repeat the telling Amazon process:



Fairy Tales for Freya

The link at amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Fairy-Tales-for...
The link at Barnes and Nobel: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fairy...

Thanks, Barb for posting that email. I don't know why but I'm not getting the emails from smashwords. Will check in today and see if my settings are wrong.

Nipaporn, it wasn't a nicely worded email was it? Not a simple, "Is this your work?" I still find the wording confusing. I felt the same as you when I received it, but despite the fact that my work gets lost in the vastness of amazon, I don't know if I could afford not to go with them too. Also I'm doing a paperback with createspace, so I can't afford to have issues with amazon.

It will be interesting to see what happens next...


message 31: by L'Poni (new)

L'Poni (lponi) | 17 comments Georgina wrote: "So I can make my fairy tales free again? :) How come they haven't sent me an email about Sorrow's Child? Why is it the free ones they are worried about? Not sure, I still think they are trying to r..."

The email scared the mess out of me. I didn't want them to suspend my account because they owe me money and their notification system is crucial to the livelihood of my Subscription Book. I sent them an email with my book's link on Wattpad but that wasn't enough for them. It actually makes me fearful to update my book again.


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes, it's worded in a threatening way, which is why I quickly upped my price. I don't want a suspended account either.

But we are their customers, and their suppliers! The letter could have been written in plain English and in a much more pleasant way, thus avoiding confusion and distress. :(


message 33: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) Mark Coker posted on the Site Updates on Smashwords, he didn't send an e-mail. Don't panic - Amazon has found too many stolen books and is now checking your copyright. Just tell them you're the copyright holder and they'll leave you alone.
They haven't replied to me, but my account is still active. And I just sent them the links of where that story is free. Obviously some people abused of KDP to post books with Wikipedia excerpts and stolen content, and Amazon is trying to cleaning up.
Again, it's a letter to many, it's not personalized - don't take it personally! :-)


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Good. Have made my stories free again. :):)


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Yep, I take it all back, I don't think Amazon's being uptight about free books at all. FTFF has now gone free and I've received no further emails about it. Just thought I'd mention it.


message 36: by Elizabeth (last edited Jun 21, 2012 05:18PM) (new)

Elizabeth Lang | 22 comments I'm always amazed that no one seems to have read any of Amazon's policies regarding books. You really really should. Though I wouldn't recommend it if you don't want to end up hating Amazon as much as I do.

They like to act like they own your books and can order you around like lackeys.

They're a friggin onlline bookstore for godsakes! They're not publishers. They've given no input to add value to your books nor have they had anything to do with the writing or publishing of your book.

Who the hell do they think they are? Seems like they want to act like they own the ability to offer books for free, something which should belong to the author or the publisher.

In their policies, you are not allowed to offer your book for less than on Amazon on any other sales channel, regardless of whether it is another online bookstore, brick-and-mortar or if you personally sell it somewhere else. That is right in their policies in black and white. So be careful people. They may not be enforcing this policy yet, but just you wait...they will get around to it.


message 37: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Lang | 22 comments Georgina wrote: "Yes, it's worded in a threatening way, which is why I quickly upped my price. I don't want a suspended account either.

But we are their customers, and their suppliers! The letter could have been ..."


Actually you are the supplier, they're nothing but the middle man between you and the purchasers.


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes, I think you are spot on about Amazon, their policies and attitude. You are right too, that it is in their policy that you are not allowed to offer your books free elsewhere (I have read it). But the wording is slippery. That's why I reacted as I did when I received their email. I wasn't sure WHAT they were saying. Was it about copyright or free books?

I'm not sure that they are confident that they can go all 1984 on us, and dictate how and where we choose to publish our work, or what price we decide to put on it elsewhere. (Unless people opt in for Select, which I didn't).


message 39: by Elizabeth (last edited Jun 21, 2012 05:34PM) (new)

Elizabeth Lang | 22 comments Georgina wrote: "Yes, I think you are spot on about Amazon, their policies and attitude. You are right too, that it is in their policy that you are not allowed to offer your books free elsewhere (I have read it). B..."

Once the think they can get away with it and that you don't have any choice, believe me, they will. And that will happen if people continue to agree to give them exclusive control over their books through KSP.

Just ask publishers, or even all the States where Amazon refuses to collect sales tax. Not only that, Amazon threatens to pull the associate programs for those States who insist on putting in legislature to close the loophole which was only meant to protect SMALL businesses.


message 40: by Darren (last edited Jun 21, 2012 05:48PM) (new)

Darren Burton (sherlock77) | 4 comments I received an email from them yesterday concerning the price of one of my books. It's not free. I increased the price by $1 at Amazon and all other retail sites through Smashwords, but because Amazon update the price much quicker, I got a warning email telling me I have to lower the price so it matches that on other retail sites or the book would be removed. Repeat violations would end up in my account being terminated.

I emailed them straight back explaining that the price increase was across the board, but would take longer to update with other retailers. In the end I dropped the Amazon price back $1 until it updates everywhere else.

They replied, thanking me for my cooperation and that all is good.

I have a few freebies on Amazon, which they've price matched from other retailers. They've never complained about those.


message 41: by Elizabeth (last edited Jun 21, 2012 06:26PM) (new)

Elizabeth Lang | 22 comments Darren wrote: "I have a few freebies on Amazon, which they've price matched from other retailers. They've never complained about those."

You mean you've offered it free on other sites and they've made it free on Amazon too?

Of course offering it for free on Amazon just helps then, especially if it's part of KSP where you're forced to give them exclusivity for the 'privilege' of giving away your book for nothing.


message 42: by Darren (last edited Jun 21, 2012 06:16PM) (new)

Darren Burton (sherlock77) | 4 comments Yeah, they've price matched from other retailers where I've had it free. It's generally taken a few weeks for them to do it, though.

I never went in for the KDP Select program. I refuse to give any retailer exclusivity. I don't believe in it in any form of sales. Amazon should be offering up a big chunk of cash for authors if they want to have their books exclusively.


message 43: by Elizabeth (last edited Jun 21, 2012 06:52PM) (new)

Elizabeth Lang | 22 comments Darren wrote: "I never went in for the KDP Select program. I refuse to give any retailer exclusivity. I don't believe in it in any form of sales. Amazon should be offering up a big chunk of cash for authors if they want to have their books exclusively. "

Same here. I refuse to sell my hard work cheaply. Exclusivity used to be worth something, but Amazon is taking it hostage by dangling this cool marketing tool of offering your book for free, as if selling something as a loss leader was a strategy they own or they invented. It's not. It's a strategy that belongs to all of us, to everyone who has a product to sell. But they have the gall to use it in order to get our exclusivity for next to nothing and thereby helping them dominate the other retailers.


message 44: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 726 comments my book should be available on Amazon Kindle anyday now(i shall make an official announcement when it is) but was told it may be the same price as my paperback version..wouldnt it be up to Amazon to decide the price or even me? PA tryna stand firm but come on now..the less the better sales right?


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