I recently made a post on facebook about how I have over 3000 books between my Kindle and my Nook and how I’ve paid for about 4 of them. Less if you count my Swagbucks giftcards that I’ve used on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Between Librivox, One Hundred Free Books, Hundred Zeros, EBook Spice, and Book Bub, I can get 20 or so books in one day and not lay out a dime for any of them. I have discovered so many cool authors and series I’ve gotten into because of these promotions and I would LOVE to do the same for my books.
However (isn’t there always a ‘however?’) the only easy way to get your book free on Amazon is the KDP select program, which offers the book free to Prime members ONLY and ONLY if you stop selling the book anywhere but Amazon. A decent enough promotion I suppose but what about people who can’t afford to or won’t sign up for Amazon Prime? The books I’m getting from the above sites are regular, plain ole free to download and KEEP. When I looked into making that happen for my books, the only way to go about that seems to be:
- Publish on Smashwords (or another site) for free
- Notify Amazon and B&N of a lower price so they’re forced to price match
- Wait till they do so
- Wait till they change it back when you’re done with the promotion which could take forever
Not to sound lazy but that is way to freaking convoluted to me. I think both Amazon and B&N should make it so you can price your book at any level so you can do a promotion like “in celebration of book 2, here’s book 1 free for a week” or something like that. It gives authors a chance at major exposure because it’s on multiple platforms for free; and people LOVE free.
I know people have fabulous success with KDP Select but there has to be an easier way than to cut off other sales channels or try and game the system. I can understand the sites wanting to make their money but I don’t see Amazon exactly hurting for profits and ya know what? I’d like to make some money, too. As giant book selling sites, they could easily say “There’s a 2 week limit if you set your price at $0.00.” I couldn’t blame them. But at least give us a shot. I would like to do a decent promotion without risking having my account suspended at either site for ‘cheating.’
So, give it a shot, Amazon and B&N! It certainly wouldn’t cost you money since people are setting their prices at free anyway.