It was a happy accident that Bob Moore: No Hero is now free on Kindle. For those that have ever tried to upload a book to Kindle, you know that there isn’t an option for listing it for free. Initially, I resisted putting it up on Kindle and Amazon because I didn’t want to charge for it. But after a few emails from listeners and fans, I decided to go ahead and put it up for the cheapest possible price of 99 cents. A buck isn’t much so anyone that might have bought it shouldn’t feel too bad I hope. I’m only seeing about 33 cents so any ill will should really go toward Amazon in my opinion. But I digress. The question is why can’t you put your book up for free and how can you get around it? Read on to find out.Well, I can’t say I have a good answer for that first question. Amazon, in their infinite wisdom, has decided that Indie or Self-Published authors (I know there is a difference but the terms have become interchangeable no matter how much you hate it) can not list their books for free. Large publishers can, however, just not you or me. My guess is that it is some sort of filtering mechanism. They don’t want their store flooded with free books that are really still in draft form. Honestly, I don’t see how this will work as there are plenty of authors charging for books that really aren’t ready for public consumption. But again, I digress.
If Amazon thinks that writers will look at their work and say, “Oh, I don’t mind giving this away, but I can’t ask someone to pay for it,” they are kidding themselves. All you have to do is wait for the next author blow-up over a “bad” (not glowing) review to get insight into the ego and self-delusion of the some of the writers out there. It discouraged me because I felt bad listing a book that was free everywhere else for pay. It didn’t seem fair. And it wasn’t. It seemed that, eventually, Amazon agreed with me.
Check out the Product Information section from Bob Moore: No Hero. Notice the bottom right? “Tell us about a lower price?” It seems that someone used that button (it wasn’t me though it should have been) as I received an email from Amazon telling me:
We wanted to let you know that we have matched a free promotion on another sales channel for the following ASIN(s):
Please allow up to 24 hours for the price change to reflect on the Kindle store.
Now, whoever reported me might have thought they were hurting me but I was like, “Damn, why didn’t I think of that?” I wish I knew who did it so I could thank them (if you are reading this, thanks). So, it seems to me that if you want to list your book for free on Amazon, all you need to do is post it and then immediately report a lower price elsewhere (provided you have it posted elsewhere for free). With research, I discovered that it seems to work best if you use Barnes & Nobles as the source. Frankly, I don’t see the problem with this action as it is Amazon’s stupid policy that is at fault. They provide the workaround, you’re just taking advantage of it.