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Amazon advice for authors - Using permafree eBooks to promote yourself

Amazon advice for authors - Using permafree eBooks to promote yourself


Thought of listing your eBook for free through Amazon's KDP platform but were not sure how?

To clarify, I know that by opting your eBook into Amazon's KDP Select programme you are able to run a free eBook promotion for no longer that 5 consecutive days every 90-day cycle. However what happens after your 5 day KDP allowance is used up? Your eBook will revert to the original list price of no less than $0.99


Why would an author want to give his eBook away on Amazon?

  • Free eBooks are an ideal marketing tool for new authors, incentivising readers to try the eBook from the author they have never heard of.

  • Free eBooks are a great way to bring a reader into your sales funnel and up sell them at a later stage once you have earned their trust.

  • Written a series of eBooks? By giving the first eBook in a trilogy away for free you are giving readers a great reason to give the series a try.


The problem? Amazon wont let an author using using the KDP platform sell their eBook for less than $0.99


So why punt the value of making your eBook free if it is not possible?

Authors who don't mind rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty can get around Amazon's pricing framework. Using Amazon's Price check algorithm to your benefit, let's show you how.


Amazon's Price Check Algorithm

To ensure that readers always get the best deal, the Amazon's "spiders" crawl the web and if a cheaper copy of your eBook is found, your eBook price will automatically be reduced accordingly to match the lower price. This algorithm will only reduce the eBook price and never work in reverse, increasing the price.



You may have heard of the term Permafree being bandied around writers circles.
Permafree refers to using the Amazon Price Check algorithm to your advantage as a self-published author.

By releasing your eBook on another publishing platform such as Smashwords, Barnes and Noble (NookPress) or Kobo (Writing Life)as a free download, and then pointing Amazon directly to the free eBook you ensure that the price check feature will reduce your eBook to match the free version published live on the other platoform.

One important point about making your title permafree on Amazon KDP.

You have very little control over exactly when Amazon will acknowledge your request to price-check, this could take as long as 7 days before the free eBook reflects within Amazon. So be careful when using this publishing tactic for specific events or promotions and always give yourself enough time when planning a free eBook.


A last note for authors who are happy with listing their title at the $0.99 price, but who see a higher price listed when viewing your eBook online as a reader would. Remember that certain readers buying your eBook from countries outside of the US, UK and mainstream Europe will fall victim to the Amazon Whispernet Surcharge as well as possibly having sales tax added to the list price.


Have you used Permafree to your advantage on Amazon? Please share your story with us via the comments below.





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