I’ve blogged in the past about how using services such as Draft2Digital enables you to access a wide variety of other ebook distribution services, like Kobo, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble etc.
But they also have another use when it comes to managing your books on Amazon: making books permafree.
Permafree is when you make a book free – permanently. Normally, Amazon prefers authors to offer free eBooks via their Kindle Unlimited programme – but to do so means signing up to Kindle’s exclusivity programme.
(Amazon want customers to sign up to Amazon Prime, which gives them the free ebook perk – they’d rather authors didn’t offer their books for free to everyone.)
However, there is a business decision for doing so. It’s common, especially with fiction writers who produce a series, to offer their first novel for free, in the hope that it encourages readers to go on and buy the rest of the books in the series. Readers are more likely to try something new if it doesn’t cost them anything.
But when we upload our books to the Amazon Kindle platform, we have to set a price of at least £0.99. We can’t set a free price. (Unless we enrol into the exclusive Kindle Unlimited – and even then, Amazon wants us to set a price to charge those readers who aren’t signed up to Amazon Prime. There are options to offer your book for free for a limited number of days, but that’s a promotional tool, not a permanent feature.)
So, if you want your ebook to be permafree on Amazon you can start by uploading it to the other ebook channels via Draft2Digital.
When you upload it to Amazon you’ll have to set a price. You can’t move on and publish, without doing so. (I suggest simply setting it at £0.99.)
It’ll take 24 hours or so for your new ebook to start showing on Amazon and the other ebook stores. Once your book shows up on one of the other stores (such as Kobo, or Apple Books), then you can go back to Amazon, and take the following steps:
- find your ebook listing.
- scroll down the page to the Product Details, which tells readers about the format, file size, number of pages, etc.
- Underneath this is a question and link that says:
- Would You like to tells us about a lower price?
- Click on this, and a small pop up window will appear. (You’ll need to be logged into your Amazon account to do this.)
- Select the Website option – then cut and paste the link from the other store (eg, Kobo, Apple Books), complete the rest of the questions and submit it.
This will be reviewed by Amazon staff, so it may take 24 to 72 hours. In theory, Amazon can decide not to price match, and your eBook could remain on sale at the price you set it at. Usually though, Amazon do agree to price match and they’ll change the price to free.
Of course, although it’s called permafree it’s not something cast in stone forever, and it doesn’t stop you from changing the price in the future, should you later change your mind. (But I wouldn’t advise you to change your mind more than once!)
So that’s how to make your ebook permafree on Amazon … with a little help from Draft2Digital.
Incidentally, if you fancy a free eBook, There’s More To Writing Than Writing is a collection of articles previously published in a variety of writing magazines and can be downloaded from free from these outlets.