This week, in the quest to get my books free on Amazon, I wrote to them asking if they could speed up the process. For anyone curious about the behind-the-scenes process, here are the letters. This will be updated as (/if) I get more responses. (Also, if you still want to help me by telling Amazon about a lower price, PLEASE do! (Here’s how)
The letters, mine and Amazon’s:
Original Letter 3/22/13
Hi there, Kindle help!
I’ve had books in the Kindle store since late 2011. Despite these books being free on Smashwords, not one of them has gone free on Amazon. I am particularly concerned about my latest book here, being the one that I am currently focused on marketing: www.amazon.com/Skyland-One-Abominations-ebook/dp/B00AQQE324
Competitive pricing is extremely important to small-time authors trying to get their work out. And as long as Amazon’s price is anything higher than Smashwords, I can’t direct readers here. That means missing out on reviews, recommendations, and downloads from many Amazon customers.
This sucks. Can Amazon do anything to speed up its price matching magic?
My books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Aelius-Blythe/e/B0095JGJJ8
My books on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AeliusBlythe
Amazon’s response 3/22/13 (say what you want about Amazon, but they do reply FAST!)
Thank you for your information on pricing. From time to time, we may match free promotions on other sales channels, but we retain discretion over our retail prices.
In the future, you can let us know about lower prices through our website by clicking the link to “Tell us about a lower price” under the “Product Details” section for your title. Please be sure to specify all of the websites which are selling the book at a lower price.
Thanks for using Amazon KDP.
My response 3/23/13
Hi Kindle people, thanks for the fast response!
See, what worries me is that for over a year I have been doing exactly that – clicking the “Tell us about a lower price”. I have also had some readers do that as well. (Incidentally, some people have reported that they get an error message when they do this…)
I get that Amazon has the final say over the price – that’s a fair tradeoff for the amazing and free services you provide. It’s just somewhat frustrating that, after reporting lower prices and seeing no result, it seems like the books that do go free are a completely random selection…..
Not sure if that last one will get a response, since I didn’t actually ask anything. Will update if I do… EDIT: Oh wait, never mind! They did respond…..
Amazon Response 3/24/13
Thanks for your comments about the “Tell us about a lower price” not being effective. We’ll consider your input as we plan further improvements.
Please know that we may match free promotions on other sales channels, but we retain discretion over our retail prices.
However I’ve checked for your book and I’m not able to find your book quoted for a lower price anywhere. So if you could please write back to us with the link of that website where your book is available for a lower price than what it is set in Amazon, we may proceed further.
Thanks for using Amazon KDP!