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Amazon's new policies on freebies


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Showing 1-25 of 58 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 1, 2013 10:07:14 AM PST
drsw says:
I saw today when visiting ereaderiq.com that they are 'no longer allowed' to list all of Amazon's free books. I see references on the free book thread here on the Kindle forum to policy changes but the changes were not explained. Does anyone have information about the changes?

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 10:21:17 AM PST
KAragon says:
http://www.amazon.com/forum/kindle/ref=cm_cd_et_md_pl?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx1D7SY3BVSESG&cdMsgID=Mx2Y4YVHI19IFUA&cdMsgNo=4&cdPage=1&cdSort=oldest&cdThread=Tx3FUOFW19PDOPX#Mx2Y4YVHI19IFUA

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 10:32:04 AM PST
They're still ALLOWED. They just won't be paid to do so in the same way as they used to be.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 10:55:41 AM PST
BethW says:
What Folina said plus if they have people getting too many free books then they will not be paid for the not free links also. This is why sites like ereaderiq are limiting how many free books they advertise.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 11:44:32 AM PST
Bufo Calvin says:
Just to clarify this:

Amazon says that an affiliate will not be eligible for advertising fees in a month in which:

===

"At least 80% of all Kindle eBooks ordered and downloaded during Sessions attributed to your Special Links are free Kindle eBooks

AND

20,000 or more free Kindle eBooks are ordered and downloaded during Sessions attributed to your Special Links"

https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/help/t58

That information is publicly available.

That's not going to affect a lot of people (Amazon estimates less than 1% of Affiliates). 20,000 downloads in a month is a lot, for one thing.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 12:08:12 PM PST
LB says:
It affects sites such as Books on the Knob which posts both freebies and paid Kindle books. Since I "buy" far more free ebooks from her site than paid ones, I've decided to unsubscribe for a while so as not to harm her profits. The owner of the site said that since far more free ebooks were attributed to her site than paid ones at the current time, she'd completely lose profits from advertising fees.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 1:26:55 PM PST
djpayn says:
I got this in an email from ereader iq - thought it was interesting. ---- "I wish there were a good way, but at the moment, there is not. I will be cutting most of my freebie services effective March 1st. I will leave a listing of popular and highly rated titles available, but, if the short list I provide keeps me above the 4:1 ratio, I may have to cut that as well. I think it will take some tinkering around on my end to stay within the threshold Amazon needs. Currently, we are at a ratio of 60:1 free to paid. We need to get that down to 4:1...March will be an interesting month for us all." ---- 60:1 to 4:1 is a HUGE difference to adjust to.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 6:27:31 PM PST
Mary McManus says:
Definitely I would not order a free book through ereaderiq so as not to harm her ratio. And conversely I do take care to click through them for anything on my lists. They provide SUCH a valuable service. I no longer fixate on particular books once I have listen them on ereaderiq, just enjoy what I have on my TBR list and wait for prices to drop.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 7:41:48 PM PST
Bufo Calvin says:
No question, it does affect some of the most popular sites.

Subscribing to an e-mail from someone won't hurt them, though, so there is no reason not to do that.

If you click through one of the free books on their sites and then buy a physical object, that Session ends (it ends when you buy something non-digital, for one thing), so you could then get the free e-book...but of course, getting the free e-book doesn't help them in terms of advertising fees at that point either.

I think it's great that people who use those websites are concerned about the people who run them. :) There will undoubtedly be some adjustments made due to this policy, although I do think it will tend to be by the most popular sites.

Posted on Mar 2, 2013 2:46:35 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Mar 2, 2013 3:41:10 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2013 2:51:56 AM PST
~nospin says:
Bufo
That is interesting. One of the perplexing things about all this is that people have said the cookies last for 24 hours.

Posted on Mar 2, 2013 3:18:58 AM PST
Joyce says:
I don't have any first hand knowledge about the 24 hours thing but I saw the 24 hours things mentioned on booksfromtheknob (who I would assume would know about cookie duration). I think I'm just going to not download any free books for a while because I don't feel like clearing cookies and switching browsers.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2013 3:42:49 AM PST
~nospin says:
Clicking on books noted on this forum will not have an effect on the sites, FYI

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2013 7:11:50 AM PST
Bufo Calvin says:
Hmm...I usually use names in the reply (to make it easier for the poster to find again in a search), but I don't want to mess with a legally registered trademark. :)

Yes, that's correct. What matters in part is the "special link", and people are not allowed to use those in the forums.

Here's the definition of a session from the publicly available information:

"A "Session" begins when a customer clicks through a Special Link on your site to the Amazon Site and ends upon the first to occur of the following: (x) 24 hours (except in the case of Special Links to the myhabit.com site, in which case 30 days) elapses from that click; (y) the customer places an order for a Product that is not a Digital Product; or (z) the customer follows a Special Link to the Amazon Site that is not your Special Link."

So, it is 24 hours if the person does not buy a physical item or follow someone else's special link during that period.

This is the basic flow, as I understand it:

You click on a special link at Site A. Site A gets credit for your "purchases" (which would include free downloads) for the next 24 hours, unless: you buy something non-digital (in which case the session ends), or you get to Amazon by clicking on a special link at Site B.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2013 7:46:50 AM PST
~nospin says:
So if someone follows from a free book page, tgat site gets charged if the customer gets the book and grabs the free app of the day.

Likewise, they would get credit if the person buys an MP3.

Or are they making some sort of distinction about digital purchases.

Posted on Mar 2, 2013 8:52:21 AM PST
djpayn says:
I am following the links for freebies I like to amazon, adding them to my wish list, then deleting my cookies and closing my entire browser down. Then I log into amazon.com and go get the freebies. I am going back to the affiliate sites to link through to the books i want to purchase for the day so they get credit for them. ALOT more work than before, but I am trying to help them any way I can because they provided me with SO MUCH for so long, I feel its the least I can do.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2013 9:10:04 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 2, 2013 9:10:31 AM PST
Bufo, so it's the use of a 'special link' that adds a book 'purchase' (whether free or paid) to a site's account? If I don't click on the link to that book from that site, it's not opening a session, is it?

For example, I can skim freebies and if I find a title I want, I could just open a new tab for Amazon (without clicking on anything on the site I'm at) and type in the book title and purchase it, without it being 'charged against' that site's monthly total - is that correct?

I can't say I'm happy about this, either, though I do see Amazon's point - sort of. I wish someone would write up a search code that would bring up all the freebies from (whenever) the way ereaderIQ used to offer them, and make that available here. Then each individual could just run that search themselves to locate the freebies on Amazon - nice and neat, and only the new ones - without impacting the freebie/price drops sites. I know there are searches that the individual can do anyway, but I think the ones that the sites had coded weeded out a lot of the carp that a more general search would pull up.

Posted on Mar 2, 2013 9:16:42 AM PST
This is an excellent suggestion:

*****
I wish someone would write up a search code that would bring up all the freebies from (whenever) the way ereaderIQ used to offer them, and make that available here. Then each individual could just run that search themselves to locate the freebies on Amazon - nice and neat, and only the new ones - without impacting the freebie/price drops sites. I know there are searches that the individual can do anyway, but I think the ones that the sites had coded weeded out a lot of the crap that a more general search would pull up.
*****

Adding some data points. I run a Kindle Reviews and Free Kindle Books site. I checked for the 26th (haven't since then) and my site's ratio was 98.5% free kindle books. So the 80% ratio amazon suggested is really really hard to match. I had a 60:1 ratio and enough free book downloads to hit the limit in 2 to 3 days.

We're splitting off the free kindle books site and continuing. If you use our free kindle books site then you don't have to worry about cookies or anything. Since there's no way we can meet the requirements to get paid.

We don't want to stop curating books for kindle owners just because of some new rules. Please take a look.

- switch11 @ kebooks.com

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2013 9:41:04 AM PST
BethW says:
Is this correct Bufo according to your understanding- If I use a non free link to an ebook from on outside site but while purchasing the original book also pick up (or within 24hr) 5 free books then it would count against that site?

Posted on Mar 2, 2013 12:00:11 PM PST
L. Ludwig says:
I had just found ereaderiq within the last few months. I hate to admit that I didn't know how the sites were affected by purchases vs. free books. I am disappointed that ereaderiq will not be able to provide their great extensive list of free books due to their high free vs paid ratio.
My complaint with Amazon is this:
When I first got my kindle I maybe spent $5 a year on books--relying mostly on library stuff, which up until recently I had use my sony ereader for. Since I found ereaderiq, I got many free books which were first in series.....but have then bought the rest of series (over $150 since Nov 2012)...and I doubt ereaderiq got credit for them since I didn't purchase them through their site.

I will probably go back to spending nothing, since it is very hard to look for free books within Amazon's site...as I don't have the time or patience. I feel that the ones who will truly suffer are new and/or selfpublished authors...since offering FREE books is one way to attract new readers....without sites like ereaderiq I know I wouldn't have found 99% of the books/authors I did.

I hope Amazon is looking at comments and readjusts their policies----it would be a shame that the sites will cease to function/exist due to it.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2013 3:54:34 PM PST
Jazzy_Jeff says:
There are other sites still available. But if you don't want new books that is your choice.

Posted on Mar 2, 2013 4:45:15 PM PST
Bufo Calvin says:
For those of you having trouble finding the free books:

http://www.amazon.com/s/?rh=n:154606011,p_36:0-0

If you prefer just the ones without public domain titles, I think this will work:

http://www.amazon.com/s/?rh=n:154606011,p_36:0-0,p_15=&hidden-keywords=-domain

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2013 7:31:36 PM PST
L. Ludwig says:
Am new to the whole thing and I would think that the ratio would apply to any of the other sites...do you know of one that is not affected by it? Thanks

Posted on Mar 3, 2013 12:01:44 AM PST
I'm not sure I fully understand the links/sessions, but I do appreciate the sites I use, and would like to ensure that they benefit from my usage.

I visit ereaderiq almost daily, authoralerts a couple of times a week, and a few other sites occasionally. I read the discounted thread here, and also emails from publishers, etc. I also do lots of aimless browsing on Amazon. I buy lots of ebooks, with the occasional freebie. I also buy a fair number of non-digital items.

So I guess I could do the following (it sounds a bit complicated, but I'm retired, and finding and collecting ebooks is a hobby ;) --

Do all my research for the day, using whatever ads, links, articles, threads, browsing, whatever, and make a list of everything I want to get -- free/not free, digital/non-digital.

Go back to ereaderiq, follow any link to Amazon (thus starting a session), and buy some of the not-free ebooks I've decided on.

Go back to authoralerts, follow any link to Amazon (starting a new session), and buy the rest of the not-free ebooks I've decided on.

Order something not digital (ending open session).

Get any free books I want.

Would that work?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2013 1:10:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 3, 2013 1:13:45 AM PST
L. Ludwig

I know what you mean. The first free books I got on my Kindle were Naomi Novik's and Robin Hobb's. Since then I've bought 7-10 of their books each. Ones I'd never have bought.

You should check out my site at www.kebooks.com. We do curation and have 50 to 80 free kindle books every day. Sorted by Genre.

*****

I hope Amazon readjusts its policies too - sites like ereaderiq provide valuable services and they helped Amazon dominate in the ebook competition (by mkaing it easier to find books at Amazon versus anywhere else). It's strange that Amazon thinks now it doesn't need all these services these websites were providing, not to mention the encouragement of people to read.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  25
Total posts:  58
Initial post:  Mar 1, 2013
Latest post:  Mar 4, 2013

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