Originally Posted by taustin
While I agree that this is a pretty stupid response to what may or may not actually be a problem, I gotta wonder: how many web site actually have 20 thousand free books downloaded through them per month? How many affiliates is this actually going to affect?
This sounds like a lot, I'm sure.
But some authors are reporting over 10K free books from a KDP promotion (it takes about that many to affect their rankings).
For any blogger with a large following, they hit this easily. For a smaller blogger, it works out to more than 667 books/day (in a 30-day month). So, if they mention a half-dozen free books and more than 100 of their followers buy those books, they'll go over for the month. If they mention 20 books, it takes fewer who click on them all (and some people do, but most are more particular).
Even for a fairly low-level book blogger, this can happen every month. Unless they then sell >4,000 books (20% of the 20K total), they sacrifice all income for the month (including books directly recommended and sold).
The biggest issue affiliates have is this: Let's say that I have 5,000 readers and I only recommend books that are not free (or other things - movies, televisions, food, whatever). If I refer over 200 people a day (not a bad rate, for some categories) and those people, on their own, decide to go buy 3 or 4 free kindle books that day - then that affiliate is in danger of exceeding the threshold. Amazon has stated that they will not look at actual referral traffic (despite the wording of the change in the OA that they've published) in making their death sentence decision for that month - if your totals are over, then they back out your payments for the month.