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?
Well I live In ca and I’ve always been charged tax from amazon and some ebay I only lucked out when I got a free cell from a 3rd party but they stopped selling att phones and at penny’s with a coupon bit I’m use to it I call it the sun shine tax the price we pay for nice weather
Yazmin Cruz says
@tracy I’m also in California and only started paying tax on Amazon purchases last year (when they changed their policy). I find it odd that you’ve “always” paid tax when shopping Amazon. Could it have been some other type of fee?
Lisa Whitehead Ritchey says
Yazmin, I learned long ago that there are many, many free e-books listed in each category for Kindle books. Far too many for anyone to list in a blog post. I simply open a category I am interested in and sort the books by price, lowest first and go for it. I have many, many, many, many,many,many, many books, and think I paid for maybe 2. They are there for the taking, so I do! lol This new rule stinks, but won’t change us getting them. Not if we really want them.
BTW, You are a referral in 2 of my upcoming books. Gotta get the word out! Thanks for the posts, information, and tips. They reeeeeeeeally help.
Yazmin Cruz says
@Lisa You’re right. There are far too many free eBooks to share in one post, but some sites are dedicated to just that. For those who don’t have time to look for free eBooks, these sites and freebies posts are a great resource — and time saver! I compile freebies for the site so I’m always in the know of what’s out there — because it’s my job. So I won’t miss out on the free eBooks. The ones missing out will be everyday folks who live busy lives. Sure you can head to each section on Amazon and search for them yourself, but who has time? Plus, Amazon changes their offering constantly so you may miss out on something good.
I use the Overdrive app which provides free ebooks through local libraries. Check if your local library is connected.
Bargain Babe says
@Barbara My local library has Overdrive and 3M. I’ve been meaning to download both so I can use my NOOK again.