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Old 06-06-2012, 01:04 PM   #1
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How do I price match for distributing a free ebook at Amazon?

I published a free ebook at Smashwords distributed under a Creative Commons license. I have opted out of the Amazon channel because I would like to publish it myself there via KDP. I plan to initially set it to the lowest price (0.99$) and then price match it. Can the author price match a book at Amazon via the "tell us about a lower price" link? Do I have to ask someone else to do it?

Does Amazon allow the distribution of a Creative Commons licensed ebook? Can I use this license while the book is priced at 0.99$ and waiting for the price match?
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:43 PM   #2
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Don't know about the CC, but you need to get a friend to report the lower price for you, they're not that daft. Also they only make it free in the country your friend lives in, not everywhere, so you will need a few friends. Last time I did it, it stayed free for about 3 weeks, then went back up to full price. Free isn't so much of a big draw on Amazon now as it used to be though. Free stuff overload.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:53 PM   #3
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Free isn't so much of a big draw on Amazon now as it used to be though. Free stuff overload.
In my case, giving the book away for free is actually not a marketing or promotion strategy. I published the book to Smashwords to learn about the process, and possibly make mistakes with limited consequences, before committing to a book for sale and actual buyers. The main reason why the book is free is that its shortness wouldn't probably justify even the lowest 0.99$ price.

Thanks for the feedback. From what I read I seemed to understand that price matching was an established process.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:55 PM   #4
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It is, my book has been priced match for free for well over a year now. You just need to get a few friends to file your price match, and I think it has to be with a major competitor like B&N.
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:37 PM   #5
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iTunes is probably the best bet for pricematching. Anecdotally, I've noticed books that pop up free there usually become free at Amazon within several weeks or less, whether they're self-pub via Smashwords, or distributed by larger imprints.
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:31 PM   #6
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I have also noticed that Amazon doesn't seem to match Smashwords, but when the book makes it to B&N, then they will match it. I've had two books that have been free for a few years now via that means.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:37 PM   #7
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To speed up the process of price matching, a good thing is to post your links in the "Make it Free" thread in kindleboards:

http://www.kindleboards.com/index.ph...tml#msg1903103

The only triggers (ie price matching competitors) that amazon will respond to are B&N or ITunes. Amazon will not price match for smashwords, Kobo or other ebook retailers.

Hope this helps. Any other sites/links that anybody knows about where it is possible to price-match? I get the feeling these days you need a lot of people reporting your book to make it free. I found this group at goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...price-matching
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:42 PM   #8
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Ah, glad this popped up, cause I had the same question. So it sound like the Amazon book would/will only be free for a few weeks and there is no method of distributing free for long-term on Amazon. Is that correct?
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
Ah, glad this popped up, cause I had the same question. So it sound like the Amazon book would/will only be free for a few weeks and there is no method of distributing free for long-term on Amazon. Is that correct?

No that is not correct. My book has been free going on 2 years now. From what I can tell so long as it is free in stores like B&N it will remain free on Amazon.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
No that is not correct. My book has been free going on 2 years now. From what I can tell so long as it is free in stores like B&N it will remain free on Amazon.
Ah good, that's what I'm looking for. What is the simplest best means for getting to that? Publish on B&N at $0 or Smashwords? I have a book I'm putting together that I want to freely distribute, including on my website but currently am only set up to publish on Amazon.

Last edited by kennyc; 10-12-2012 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:06 PM   #11
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Ah good, that's what I'm looking for. What is the simplest best means for getting to that? Publish on B&N at $0 or Smashwords? I have a book I'm putting together that I want to freely distribute, including on my website but currently am only set up to publish on Amazon.

There is some debate on what actually works, all I can tell you is how I did it and what worked for me. Amazon has some mysterious ranking and pricing strategies!

First I listed on Amazon at the 99 cent price point.


Second I listed on Smashwords for free, and used them to list in every major ebook store as free. Apple, B&N and Kobo are all competitors to Amazo, with B&N being their most major. If you do it today, you can go direct into B&N and Kobo, but I do not know if they let you list for free or not, you might have to go through Smashwords. If you go through Smash, know that you are looking at a 1-2 month turn around before you can move on to the next step.

Then you get people whose name is not tied to the book to use the "I found this product cheaper" link to complain about the price verse B&N. Get as many people as you can do that.

Magically one day you book is free. How long will it stay? Some report days, weeks, and like I said I am in to two years now. (May 2010 to present.) IN THEORY it should stay free as long as the competition has it free, but results vary.

Good luck.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:27 PM   #12
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Thanks Vincent!
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:46 AM   #13
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So for the moment, I've chosen to ignore it.

Will just upload my book to Amazon and set the price to the minimum and then maybe pursue the 'price match' thing later.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:27 AM   #14
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In my case, giving the book away for free is actually not a marketing or promotion strategy. I published the book to Smashwords to learn about the process, and possibly make mistakes with limited consequences, before committing to a book for sale and actual buyers. The main reason why the book is free is that its shortness wouldn't probably justify even the lowest 0.99$ price.

Thanks for the feedback. From what I read I seemed to understand that price matching was an established process.
Don't sell yourself short. See what the market thinks.

I had published a short work on Amazon a couple years ago with the same thought. I was going to put it out for free, but found I couldn't.
Turns out it's been selling pretty well ever since.

Give it a couple months with some promotion and see how it does. You can always turn to the 'desperate-to-give-it-away' tact later.
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