Tuesday Tirade: Yet Another Aggravation Courtesy of Amazon.

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 three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Movin’ On Up: The Amazon Staircase

I’ve said it before – marketing is harder than writing. For indie authors it can be a full time job. Resaeching the best platforms to use, deciding where advertising money is best spent, and promoting your creations without being too pushy, or as one Goodreads group calls it “bookwhacking”

I recently updated my free poetry book on Amazon, changed my keywords using Publisher Rocket, and was finally able to make it perma-free. I posted the free status on a few platforms and after a day or so I noticed this:

#1, #4, and #5 is something I never thought I would see! It only took ~75 downloads to reach that ranking. Now, fingers crossed, some of those readers will become buyers – I think the conversion is 5-10% – and they’ll tell two friends, who will tell two friends… Free Kindle version: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083Y6DPLY

Get ready for National Poetry Month and support indie authors!

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More Free Fiascos: Perma-free on Amazon

Yeah. I used the cat again…

Have you ever tried to make your book perma-free on Amazon? I finally did a few weeks ago…or thought I did. Well, it was free. Then about a week later I just happened to be checking my pages (hint: good idea), and noticed that it was back to $0.99.

So I email them, and it gets corrected…or so I thought. Well, it was free – for a while.

So I email them again (today), and it gets corrected. I guess the note: “We retain discretion over determining our retail prices.” means: “We can change it back at anytime without telling you, so that all the readers you told about your free book are now annoyed with you. Have a nice day.”

Want the Kindle Version? Get it while it’s free. It does have a few funnies that are not in the full book:

When will the price get reset again?

  • One day- 20:1
  • One week – 10:1
  • One month- 5:1
  • Never? 100000000:1