Free Kindle eBooks...But Not Me?

Water, water everywhere…but none for me? Everywhere I Google, there are countless places that will only promote free Kindle eBooks. Apparently, these promoters have some kind of exclusive deal with Kindle. My problem is when I posted my eBook with Kindle, it WOULD NOT allow me to price below $0.99. When I emailed Kindle, they told me:

“Due to operational costs, it isn’t possible to set the price as $0.00 through KDP, hence perma free isn’t an option. I’m sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. From time to time, we may match prices elsewhere online, including free promotions. It appears that you are referring to the books which we have price matched with other websites…”

This reply doesn’t make sense. It seems others have posted for free, but not always perma-free. At least, I am fairly certain the many eBooks promoted for free are not perma-free. And, I can’t imagine the free eBooks being promoted are “price matched”, or something.

I was hoping the SDopers can elaborate or clarify Amazon’s position. Perhaps free eBooks are only through the Kindle exclusivity agreement (i.e., an author can only post with Kindle)? Since we know it can be done (as evidenced by the countless promoters), how can I sell my eBook for FREE on Amazon? And, is perma-free my only option with Amazon?

Don’t go exclusive with Amazon to start – go wide (that is, uploading to other retailers, such as CreateSpace, iTunes, B&N, etc., as well as Amazon). Then, as they correctly told you, you need to let them know (if you scroll down on your book’s Amazon page, there’ll be a link that says something to the effect of “Find this at a lower price? Let us know” that you should use. It may take a while (after a few days you can ask a friend to do the same, or you can just try a second time) but they’ll lower to $0.00 eventually.

Of course, if you’re wide, you won’t have Kindle exclusivity, not if you want it to go for free (such as in Kindle Unlimited). If you want to try that route, you’d have to take the book down from the other sites (or change to just selling a print edition with those stores, but of course that means reformatting your ms. properly for paperback and/or hardcover).

When you’re in KDP, you can sell for $$ and they give you something like a week of free days you can use for special promotions. And there are all sorts of price points to play with to see what the sweet spot is for whatever your genre is / length of book / quality of content. See what the other books in your category are going for.

For more detailed info, I recommend, a fantastic repository of info and advice from experienced indie publishers/self-published authors/hybrids (authors who are both traditionally published as well as indie).