Apologies if this is a duplicate, I could not find any recent threads on the subject and this is "News" (IMHO) since it involves a pretty significant change in Amazon's TOS.
My jaw hit the floor when I read that Amazon has officially changed its policy to not pay Affiliates their commissions if their site users download too many free books:
Article at the Digital Reader
Read the text direct from Amazon
Note the terms -- you have to hit both
-- but this is NOT just "if more than 80% & 20,000 books are downloaded directly through your affiliate link."
This is if people click through an affiliate link, even to a paid book, and if those thresholds are hit while the affiliate link is active (according to comments on Digital Reader, this is a 24-hour cookie), then your affiliate commissions will not be paid. (This is assessed on a monthly basis, so one person can't do this to you, but based on total percentage of sales and downloads.)
So theoretically, someone could click on a paid book link and buy it, then buy dozens of other items, too, all getting commissions, but if they (and your other site users) go on a "free book bender" (and face it, we all do that once in a while) so that you hit the 80% + >20,000 free books limits, your site loses its commissions for the month even if you didn't link to any free books
What the frell are they thinking?!?!?
How do you think this will affect ebook promotion sites like EReaderIQ, Pixel of Ink, book bloggers, etc. Most of them rely on affiliate commissions to stay active...this could cut them off at the knees.
And how will this affect authors who have been using the KDP Select "free days" to build publicity?
Personally, I think this is a HUGE mistake for Amazon if it follows through on this.
While it seems that Amazon thinks they can just impose this on the many, many sites that have been steering tons of traffic to them, I wonder if any of these sites will drop Amazon and switch to other "hassle free" affiliate sites like Kobo (5% commission) and Smashwords (minimum 11% commission).
Much as Amazon dominates the ebook market, the free ebook sites and promotions have played a HUGE part in establishing their market domination -- if ebook sites drop Amazon and go somewhere else, it could make things very interesting for them.