You may wonder why I’m excited to announce this, since I have been giving away the eBook via a DropBox link and on Smashwords since I first published it, and my intention has always been to give it away free. As I explained in my November post, “Options for Distributing a FREE eBook: Amazon, Apple, Smashwords and More,” Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) does NOT permit authors to offer eBooks as free downloads without time limits. Under current terms, KDP publishers must enroll their eBook in Amazon’s “KDP Select” program to offer their eBook free. In KDP Select, however, authors can only offer an eBook as a FREE download for up to five consecutive days, every 90 days. In addition, KDP Select ebooks can ONLY be listed on Amazon, they can’t be offered for sale or download anywhere else. That’s a limit I didn’t want to accept as an author.
To get my “Hopscotch Challenges” eBook listed as a FREE download on Amazon, I followed the advice of the September 2011 video, “How to Make Your Ebook Free at Amazon / Barnes & Noble.” The recommended strategy was to offer the eBook for sale in KDP for 99¢ and for free on other websites like Smashwords, and hope that Amazon’s eBook pricing monitors would eventually price match. I’m VERY glad this worked!
I didn’t receive an email from KDP notifying me of this change, I just noticed it this evening online, but it must have happened since January 1. My KDP dashboard sales report for this month shows “Hopscotch Challenges” was sold once, and downloaded 64 times free in the “Free Units-Price Match” category.
I still hope to get “Hopscotch Challenges” listed in the Apple iBookstore for free. I spent numerous hours (as detailed in that November post) trying to publish it myself to the iBookstore and publish it there via Smashwords, but to no avail. At some point this spring I’ll revisit this and try again. The October 2013 GigaOm article, “Ebooks gone global: Report suggests less resistance, more legal sales and importance of Apple,” highlights why it’s critical for eBook authors like yours truly to make titles available on the iBookstore.
Please let all the educators you know who have iPads and are interested in STEM learning know that “Hopscotch Challenges: Learn to Code on an iPad!” is available for FREE on Amazon! Let a deluge of free downloads from the Amazon cloud begin! 🙂
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