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I have tried to publish a book permanently free on Amazon but I couldn't. I have seen many books on Kindle that seems to be permanently free. How do I publish a book on Kindle and keep it free forever?

If anyone knows how to set a book to free without subscribing to Kindle Select program it is also something I would like to know how to do and maybe it is linked to this question answer.

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Amazon does still do the price matching, and that is the only way to get your book listed as free on their site. The advantage of Smashwords is in distributing to Apple and Sony. If you go to your e-book's details page on Amazon, you will see a link that says "tell us about a lower price". You can click that link and provide them a link to the product page for your free book at one of the other sites, and eventually they will match it. Again, this seems to be more effective with Apple and Sony. The process may take a week or two, so if you can get others to click that link and share the news, it will help speed things up.

If you want to make your book free for a limited time or on a specific date, I would definitely NOT recommend this approach. There is no way to control how quickly or when Amazon will respond, so you won't be able to determine the specific date(s). Also, if you think you may want to raise the price back up after a while, I would not recommend doing this. I have one title that I published under a pseudonym that has been free for months, in spite of the fact that I have raised the price on all other sites and tried repeatedly to get Amazon to raise the price.

13

You can have it permanently published for free at Smashwords. Amazon used to do price matching, and this used to be the way to publish your book for free at Amazon.

I am not sure if Amazon is still following this method, and no method could realistically be permanent in Amazon's ever changing business model. You will still need to check periodically.

If your goal is to stay on the "Kindle free list", you will need to check periodically. If your goal is to always have a place someone can get your book for free, Smashwords may be the better vehicle. Also Project Gutenberg has opened a new Self-Publishing Portal, which may be worth looking into.

  • Does it mean that my book cannot be on KDP Select program? – Alexandre Marcondes Jan 2 '14 at 13:09
  • 1
    @AlexandreR.L.eMarcondes According to kdp.amazon.com/select that looks like it would be true, but as I understand it KDP allows loan of a book to some people on Amazon for a specific time. The question is about making a book permanetly free for all Amazon clients. – James Jenkins Jan 2 '14 at 13:41
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Amazon does not allow "permanently free" Kindle books. They want to make money. :D You may have seen what you think are permanently-free Kindle books, and though they were probably only running a free promotion via Kindle Select, who am I to say there aren't a few flukes out there? Perhaps you did — I have seen stranger things on Amazon.

But regardless, the point remains: you and I cannot.

This is why there are so many $0.99 books. And it's not a bad deal. Most people have no problem forking out a dollar, even on the risk of a bad book. In fact, many people don't even think twice about making a string of 99¢ purchases. Embrace it. You might even end up earning enough to pay for your subscription to Netflix.

1

I agree with the main answer -- and in fact I have done it to make one of my books for free permanently.

I just want to add that the Big 6 probably have separate side agreements with Amazon to allow a certain number of titles to be free. For example, lots of Harlequin novels and first volume of a sci fi series are free. I'm sure the bigger publishers didn't need to try the price-matching technique mentioned above.

That's why by the way a lot of the free titles tend to be by the bigger publishers and that a lot of the "Free ebook announcements sites/blogs" are secretly promotional vehicles run by the independent publicists of the major publishers.

Another thing. Using price match to free to force your Amazon title to be free might not last forever. There's been a lot of pushback in the market as a whole for example on erotica titles, and also ebooks which are less than 20 pages can bring a frustrating experience for Amazon customers. I wouldn't be surprised if Amazon eventually adopts stricter rules about price matching to free.

  • Do you have any sources to back-up these speculations? – James Jenkins Jan 28 '14 at 11:47
  • These are private deals with Amazon I wouldn't have any access to. But it's obvious that's what's happening. My belief that many of the free ebook sites are secretly promotional vehicles for the Big 6 is that these sites rarely have contact info, rarely provide news or reviews and don't have forms for individuals to submit their own free ebooks announcements. (This varies from site to site of course). Many site are just aggregators, but never seem to find the free indie titles. That accounts for my suspicion. – idiotprogrammer Mar 19 '14 at 17:31
  • Let me say that this seemed to be the case in late 2012; after Amazon made new rules on affiliates with regard to free ebooks (in early 2013, I think), the situation may have changed. As a reader, I almost never find "interesting" titles on these freebie sites -- although there are tons of decent freebies listed on Amazon Top Free lists. – idiotprogrammer Mar 19 '14 at 17:35

protected by Community Aug 8 '14 at 17:36

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