Am I allowed to have a moan about Amazon?

I don’t like doing it – Amazon is quite a chunk of my bread and butter after all. But if an author wants to get a book price-matched to FREE for a special promotion they change it on their dashboards for the required time, and on Smashwords, Google Play, iBooks, and Kobo all is well.

With Amazon, we have to go begging. We get rather grudging messages back saying they’ll consider it. And a couple of days later, another to say that they’ve done it but reserve the right not to. They 'retain discretion over determining their retail prices'. OK, it's their company, but here’s the last reply I got on November 16 -



So I have to believe they’ve made it free, because even though an author can’t necessarily see it from another country (in my case New Zealand), The Zon has spoken, and all should be good.

Once again, it’s not. A friend in Australia has just sent me this:

Hi Kris! I bought The Boat Builder’s Bed - it wasn’t free on either Amazon USA or Amazon Aus but a bargain at AUD1.37. And she sent me a screen shot as evidence.

I don’t like disappointing readers. If I’m offering them a free book, it should be free in all the English-speaking countries. I’ve put some work into making it that way for them. And I’ve spent plenty of money telling them so. The Freebooksy site costs $100 US for this small space.

Almost more importantly, Freebooksy makes it plain that if the book is not the price it’s advertised at then they can pull the ad and refuse to let me advertise with them again. I don’t blame them!

And of course I have no chance of showing up on Amazon's FREE romance list if they haven't actually made the book free. Authors back themselves by making a book free sometimes so people will take a chance on them, read the free book, enjoy it, and buy some of their others. A lot fewer people will find it today if it's not on that list.

So come on Amazon. I’ve made my official complaint direct to you, but a public blog just might get the message through more forcefully. This is not the first time it’s happened, and I’d love for it not to happen again. If we want to give our readers a treat we should be able to.