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Old 02-25-2013, 05:45 PM   #46
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You have no idea how easy it is to hit that 20,000 number. That is only 666.67 books per day. On the site I run, it's not unusual for a single free book to get over 100 downloads, and I usually post either 9 or 18 per day (depending on if I do one post or two on a given day).

Plus, if that person clicks through to get 1 free book from my site, and in the "Also bought" ads sees another free book, the affiliate will get knocked for 2 free books on that transaction.

I am a very very very small site, and I'll be over that limit, easily.
Then I would submit that you have a deeply flawed, unsustainable business model, dependent on the charity of those with conderable incentive to not be charitable.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:49 PM   #47
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This suggests amazon is losing money on free books. Amazon is the one who CREATED the free ebook market with the KDP Select free promotion days.

Sorry, but this argument that people make to claim this policy change makes sense is really not valid.
Note that in the part you quoted, I said that Amazon was going to rightly get handed their ass over this.

I just questioned how many affiliates this would affect, and the wisdom of a business model that depends so heavily on the charity of non-charitable partners.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:50 PM   #48
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There are things Amazon could do to eliminate the issue. Such as, for example, just expiring someones tracking cookie/session if they buy a free book. I think all the book bloggers would be satisfied with that. We'd lose a little income, but not the entire amount (and Amazon would see more clearly that free sales referrals are not making up the bulk of our earnings; I'm not sure, though, that that is the case for the mega-freebie-feed/email sites).
I would love this solution personally, and I suggested it on the affiliate forums. Make the "free book" set cookies either session based or with a much lower expiration time (i.e. 4 hours). It is rather easy to implement technically. Probably far easier than the development of the reporting tools they are making.

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There are places now using/selling "post-generation" scripts, that can automate thousands of posts a day, to fill up feeds or emails, pointing at the free books (plus the sites many of use are familiar with).
Yeah, I can think of a few sites like this, exercising no editorial control. I get why amazon would want to shut them down. In my experience, readers prefer sites that exert some editorial control, rather than listing quantity without regard for quality.

I'm reworking my own site now, and will rarely if ever link to any free promotion books from now on. I'm really sorry for the authors, who signed upf or select because of the free promo days and are now going to have an even harder time getting the number of free downloads necessary to get them noticed on Amazon's own rankings, which is what helps them get sales past the promo dates.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:51 PM   #49
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Note that in the part you quoted, I said that Amazon was going to rightly get handed their ass over this.

I just questioned how many affiliates this would affect, and the wisdom of a business model that depends so heavily on the charity of non-charitable partners.
It's not charity, it is a business arrangement.

An arrangement of exactly the kind of way of sending them traffic and getting paid that Amazon has historically ENCOURAGED their affiliates to engage in.

There was no charity involved. And most of us didn't JUST promote free, but also high quality bargain books.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:59 PM   #50
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Amazon has stated that this interpretation is wrong. That the criteria are how they will determine if you will get paid or not under the rule. They have stated it clearly, and unequivocally.
Link, please.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:05 PM   #51
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It's not charity, it is a business arrangement.
It's a very one sided business arrangement.

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An arrangement of exactly the kind of way of sending them traffic and getting paid that Amazon has historically ENCOURAGED their affiliates to engage in.
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Yes, and now that their business model has matured, they want to alter it (and the affiliates have agreed, in a formal contract, that Amazon has that right). Slimy? Sure. That's why I don't do business with Amazon on ebooks. But surprising? Not in the least. That's how business works. You open a new market, making basically nothing to build it up to a certain point of maturity, then you start cutting costs, and raise profits.
There was no charity involved. And most of us didn't JUST promote free, but also high quality bargain books.
Either this is going to affect a large number of affiliates, or it's not. If it's not, then it's not going to affect a large number of affialtes. If it is, then there are a large number of affiliates who are responsible for 20,000+ free downloads per month and that represents over 80% of the total traffic from them. Each. Bandwidth isn't free, not the way Amazon does it, and not in that kind of quantity. There are signficant costs. And at a certain point, it is charity on their part.

If you don't like it, stop promoting free books. If enough affiliates do that, their KDP program will suffer, as people stop paying for it because a major benefit is no longer worth the expense. All other parts of their busienss that benefit from free books will suffer as well.

(Not that this policy will remain as it stands, assuming the press coverage has been accurate. Amazon has proven, again and again, that they do listen to online outrage, and back down from particularly bad reactions. What I expect, assuming it's not part of the policy arlread, just unreported, is that the stuff that Amazon expressing promotes as free, like the KDP stuff, won't count against the limit.)
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:25 PM   #52
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It's a very one sided business arrangement.
Since amazon promoted this type of arrangement to their affiliates as a means of monetizing their affiliate accounts, it is obviously one that they approve of, and continue to approve of.

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It's a very one sided business arrangement.
Either this is going to affect a large number of affiliates, or it's not. If it's not, then it's not going to affect a large number of affialtes. If it is, then there are a large number of affiliates who are responsible for 20,000+ free downloads per month and that represents over 80% of the total traffic from them. Each. Bandwidth isn't free, not the way Amazon does it, and not in that kind of quantity. There are signficant costs. And at a certain point, it is charity on their part.
I doubt it will affect a large number of affiliates. I think it WILL affect a large number of kindle focused affiliates.

Bandwidth isn't free.....speaking as someone who buys about 500GB a month of bandwidth from Amazon, which it is safe to assume they make a profit on, I can speak to the "cost" of bandwidth.

Amazon charges me roughly 10c per gigabyte. A gigabyte is about equivalent to anywhere from 2000 to 3000 books on average.

So for the traffic to send those books, if I was being charged for them, 20,000 books would be, at most, around 10GB, which would have cost me $1 to buy that bandwidth from Amazon.

Sorry, but I don't buy that this has ANYTHING at all to do with the cost of sending those books. The vast majority of kindles out are not 3G, but even for 3g traffic, the most they would pay is about a penny each, as I can buy retail side traffic by the MG for 2c/MB at very low quantity points. So I still don't buy that, I think if it was 3G traffic Amazon was concerned about, there were easier ways to go about limiting that.




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Link, please.
Emails from Amazon customer service seeking clarifications. Everyone who has done so has gotten a consistent reply, we've been sharing info on the affiliate forums.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:22 PM   #53
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Since amazon promoted this type of arrangement to their affiliates as a means of monetizing their affiliate accounts, it is obviously one that they approve of, and continue to approve of.
If they continued to approve of it, why are they making changes to it?
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:25 PM   #54
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If they continued to approve of it, why are they making changes to it?
They obviously continue to approve of it, since they mention indirect purchases on their site, and they still pay people for 24 hours after someone clicks to a free mp3, free amazon prime video, and other similar types of common, non-sales transaction, item linking.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:21 PM   #55
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Emails from Amazon customer service seeking clarifications. Everyone who has done so has gotten a consistent reply, we've been sharing info on the affiliate forums.
Not all responses from Amazon's CS have been consistent. Some are now reporting all three conditions are tied in somehow.

Amazon's legal department needs to step in and state definitively what are the changes and how they are to be defined.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:23 PM   #56
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Sorry, but I don't see how this affects me at all. It simply isn't my fight
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:54 AM   #57
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Not all responses from Amazon's CS have been consistent. Some are now reporting all three conditions are tied in somehow.

Amazon's legal department needs to step in and state definitively what are the changes and how they are to be defined.
There are not 3 conditions, and the thread you mention is people grasping at straws to convince themselves they don't have to adapt. The elusive "if" they keep bringing was in a single email, and didn't refer in any way to a the elusive "third condition" these dreamers are hoping will allow them to not change their program.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:41 AM   #58
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There are not 3 conditions, and the thread you mention is people grasping at straws to convince themselves they don't have to adapt. The elusive "if" they keep bringing was in a single email, and didn't refer in any way to a the elusive "third condition" these dreamers are hoping will allow them to not change their program.
It's not just the "if" I'm referring but the "and" listed in the T&C.

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Starting March 1, 2013, Associates who we determine are promoting primarily free Kindle eBooks and meet both conditions below for a given month will not be eligible for any advertising fees for that month within the Amazon Associates Program. This change will not affect advertising fees earned prior to March 1, 2013.

At least 80% of all Kindle eBooks ordered and downloaded during Sessions attributed to your Special Links are free Kindle eBooks
20,000 or more free Kindle eBooks are ordered and downloaded during Sessions attributed to your Special Links
It is a poorly worded statement that along with CS email inconsistencies (received even by a MR member) that caused confusion. My initial thought was the same as yours that the 2 conditions determined what is a free ebook promoting website. But others read more into it hoping perhaps an arts & craft affiliate wouldn't get penalized by the actions of others who are out of their control.

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Old 02-26-2013, 07:56 AM   #59
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Note that in the part you quoted, I said that Amazon was going to rightly get handed their ass over this.
Why do you think that? Amazon are under absolutely no obligation to have an affiliate programme at all. If they do have one, then clearly it has to be under terms that benefit them. They aren't a charity.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:09 PM   #60
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They obviously continue to approve of it, since they mention indirect purchases on their site, and they still pay people for 24 hours after someone clicks to a free mp3, free amazon prime video, and other similar types of common, non-sales transaction, item linking.
They're not chaning to make it worse for them.
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