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Old 04-28-2011, 09:12 PM   #1
David Marseilles
Leap & a net will appear.
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Posts: 629
Karma: 4935632
Join Date: Dec 2009
Device: Nexus⁴ & Kindle⁴
Harmonizing Kindle Direct and Smashwords

Challenge #1: Amazon has a minimum list price of $0.99 for indies.
Challenge #2: Amazon will match or remove (with no apparent consistency) if you list the same book free elsewhere.

I'm planning to self-publish part 1 of my first novel around June. I've been planning through the various stages of releasing the 3 parts of the novel and thinking about how to embrace Amazon's system while still managing to market my book with the resources that I have. Like many aspiring self-publishers, free books are an important element in my marketing plan. At the same time, however, I can hardly ignore Amazon's audience.

Question #1: Does Amazon detect 100% off coupons (assume that at least some are publicly posted) from smashwords and match accordingly, or might they only be watching list prices? I realize this might not be a question answerable with any certainty, but I appreciate any experiences you might have.

Scenario 1: Assuming Amazon would notice coupons and take action according to their policies, I plan to delay listing at Amazon during a timed marketing blitz for each release, and then list with Amazon months after each Smashwords release and cease issuing coupons thereafter.

As a downside to the first scenario, I'd have to cut off the free book portion of the marketing at an arbitrary point, and might miss my moment to gain some traction.

Scenario 2: Release individual parts 1-3 on Smashwords, and then release the compilation on Amazon once it is completed around December. My hope being that I could continue to coupon each individual part on Smashwords forever without breaching Amazon's pricing terms for the compilation. Titles of the parts would be Subtitle: Book X of Main Title, while the title of the Amazon compilation would Main Title + The Complete Series (or hopefully a compilation indicator with a little more pizazz ).

As a downside to this second scenario, I would be losing exposure on Amazon in the intervening period and potentially running into readers during marketing that might have read me from Amazon but weren't willing to create a smashwords account to get the freebie.

Question #2: Looking at the above 2 scenarios, do you have any advice or cautions?

I realize delistings by Amazon would not be permanent, but I hesitate to send any messages to potential Amazon readers that I'm an amateur, and I fear my book alternately appearing and disappearing might highlight fact. While it's true that I'm an amateur, not everything that's true should be advertised. So if I can, I'd like to avoid making avoidable mistakes.

Thank you in advance for any comments. I've been benefiting from great mobileread advice even before joining, and the community is always helpful.
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