Everyone likes free.
Free books bring readers into your world, and introduces them to your writing at no risk. Sure, they may have to sign-up for my newsletter—depending where they have heard of it, but that’s marketing.
The first place I published my free sample eBook was on KOBO (now Rakutan-Kobo). It was pretty easy and it allowed you to set your price to free—no questions asked.
Then I did the same for Amazon/KDP. Not as easy and the lowest you could set your price was $0.99. I did some research and found many self-publishing sites that recommend you set your Amazon prize to “Perma-free”. I thought that this was a good idea to be able to get the book into the Top 10 of certain categories (that took another line of research).
I searched: Perma-free, permafree, and permanently free on the KDP site with no luck. So, back to the other publishing sites to discover that all you have to do is notify Amazon of a lower price elsewhere and they will match it.
Done. (Wait for it.)
Nope. After several months, I just happened to notice that the book was back at $0.99. Long story short:
It’s happened four times, and each time I email I get the same cut and paste message: I’m sorry that you have been facing this issue. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We need a little time to look into the problem with technical team.
The last time I received this message: Thank you for your information on pricing. From time match prices elsewhere online, including free promotions. Unfortunately we’re not able to accommodate your request since competitors have your book over the $0,99 as shown on the picture below:
What was the picture? My full volume. At its full price. Not the sample book…
There are lots of free books on Amazon. I wonder if they have the same problem. At least it gives me something to write about.
Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.