We love to score free eBooks and we know you do too. After all, one of our most popular posts is how to score free eBooks for your Kindle. So when I recently learned that Amazon was penalizing those who share its free eBooks on their sites, I was baffled. Why, oh why, would you do that, Amazon?!
According to the New York Daily News, Amazon is going after affiliates who share free eBooks by making them ineligible to receive advertising fees during the month they send more than 20,000 referrals to the site.
So how does Amazon’s new restriction on free eBooks affect you?
It’s now going to be more difficult to find free eBooks. Many sites and newsletters that aggregate Amazon’s free eBooks rely heavily on affiliate links to make money and keep their businesses running. When that income dries up, who knows if they’ll be able to continue. I want to make it clear that BargainBabe.com does not use referral links to promote the free Amazon eBooks I link to in our daily posts — so that’s NOT the issue here.
I’m lamenting this change as an avid consumer of free eBooks and as a habitual Amazon user. The new restriction is just the latest change that had left a bad taste in my mouth. Last week, the New York Times revealed Amazon was raising its book prices. At the beginning of the year, Julia wrote about Amazon Prime changing for the worse. And last year, Amazon added sales tax in California.
Essentially, Amazon wants its affiliates to keep patrons away from free eBooks. Those who oppose the move and continue sharing free eBooks will loose their affiliate income. But the sites sharing free eBooks are not the only ones losing money. As unfair as this new restriction may seem, Amazon is trying to keep its business profitable.
According to NPR’s Planet Money, Amazon loses money on every Kindle sold. Plus, the NYDN reports studies have found that the average eBook owner downloads 100 free eBooks for every paid eBook. Wow! Really?
How many free eBooks do you have versus paid eBooks?
I’m going to continue posting free eBooks and downloading them without guilt or worry. I’ve always considered freebies to be free advertising for companies as the goods — in this case free eBooks — are meant to attract new shoppers. When I click over to Amazon to download eBooks, I tend to stick around and browse, which inevitably leads to spending money. Amazon may very well be losing money on every Kindle sold, but I’m sure they are making up that money some other way. My impulse shopping contributes to their bottom line.
What do you think about Amazon’s new restriction regarding free eBooks?