Amazon Will Stop Free Books

Amazon Will Stop Free Books

The latest rumour to come from Amazon is that Amazon will stop free books from going anywhere. And with good reason. Free books don’t make money for anyone and Amazon want to make money. So should the author. Books take time to write, cost money to edit and publish and even greater time to market. Why would you give that away for Free?

Reader perception alert: Free = Worthless

Amazon Will Stop Free Books Fox Emerson

The Background

Due to the ease in which an author can publish a book, it has inspired literally millions of people to write a book. This flooding of the market has made it nearly impossible for any one author to make money. Suddenly, book websites started pushing Free books and authors began to provide them with their books for free. Now most of those books are being pushed out for Free.


Oversupply is the biggest reason why so many books are being promoted as free. You see, in order to get high rankings, there’s a strategy which a lot of authors are following. Make the book Free, promote it as much as you can through promotional websites, then watch the book go to the top of the rankings as a free download. Then put your prices up and supposedly Amazon will continue to promote you because you just made it into the top # of your chosen categories. Hey presto, you think you’re going to make money.


I repeat, nobody makes money from giving books away for Free. With the above strategy, you will highly likely – depending on the success of the strategy in getting your books onto certain websites – give your book away for free to hundreds of people who will happily read your book for Free. When you then go and put a charge on those books, your book sales plummet and fizzle and eventually die.

Gaming the System

Amazon don’t allow you to sell books on their website for Free. And with good reason. Because, Free books don’t make them any money. So what’s currently happening, is authors are going to the competition and listing their books for Free. Then Amazon finds out and has to price match. The problem? You’re gaming the system. Think Amazon are going to let you give your book away for Free then promote you? Think again. Amazon Will Stop Free Books sooner than you think and penalise all those who are doing it.

Amazon Makes Changes

What’s made Amazon incredibly successful is that they continually innovate the industry they compete in. With books, they popularised digital downloads and made them cheap enough to make it worthwhile. This did two things, it crippled the traditional publishing industry and it made Amazon a lot of money and gained them an entire generation of new readers. Once the writers started gaming the system – by creating fake reviews – Amazon took the necessary steps and changed that by tracking IP addresses and physical addresses. Millions of reviews for authors disappeared overnight and now you know which reviews were fake. Then authors began to change the ToC (Table of Contents) to the back of the book to make game the KENP (Kindle Enrolled Program). Bad move. Again, Amazon took steps and changed it so the ToC must be at the front of the book. Now, they are going to change things so that Free downloads no longer ranks you. Bye Bye Free Books. I told you, Amazon Will Stop Free Books.

Goodbye Book Websites Promoting Free Books

Did you know that most websites which offer you books, won’t accept a book unless the author is giving it away for Free? Nearly every single website is pushing Free and 99c books. And they want to see BIG discounts before they promote your book. If your book is $4.99, they expect you to drop it considerably so their readers will see a DEAL. One of these very well known websites, slugs the author nearly a thousand dollars so they can give the book away for Free. They keep their readers happy, they make money through paid advertising and also through the affiliate referral to Amazon and the author and Amazon make NOTHING. Yet, there’s a looooong queue of authors waiting to jump on this sucker wagon.

I don’t blame Amazon for getting fed up. As an author of 3 books, I refuse to give them away for Free and I want Amazon to back me up on that. It seems like they will.

Free Means Worthless

How is Free perceived in today’s world anyway? It is being perceived as worthless, there’s no value on it, it’s being given away because it has little or no value. Want your book to be associated with those known values? Then stop making your book Free. Not even for a second. The general perception of Free is Worthless.

The Future of Book Sales

Book sales will continue to grow in the digital space over the next few years as we become more concerned about killing more trees and going ‘Green’ and because a portable digital library makes better sense. Good authors will continue to stand out as the traditional publishing industry dies out completely by self-marketing themselves or using PR and marketing services.

We’re in a period of change, books have gone from being almost impossible to get published to a 3 year old can and does publish a book. This means there’s now billions of books flooding the market. No Free books means there will be greater emphasis on reviews and marketing and sales.

If you’re a reader, consider this: Free books aren’t generally good books. Most of the time, you’ll wish you hadn’t wasted the time. Also consider going Green and not supporting the slave trade.

If you’re an author, don’t give your book away for Free. Be patient, writing is a business, not a get rich quick scheme. Be good at what you do, spend the time and money writing a masterpiece that is worth every penny. Then be patient and wait for those sales to come through. It might take an hour or it might take 10 years. It might never happen. But giving your book away for Free is not the answer.

Either way, Amazon will stop free books soon and better the industry.

Pssst…I need your help

Fox Emerson costs money to run, and most people think I earn a million dollars because I have several books. Spoiler Alert: I don’t earn enough to cover running costs.
You could help by simply downloading ANY of my books on Amazon or Smashwords. There’s a free one, a cheap one and the most expensive one is US$2.99
Also, if you like my blogs, maybe you could take a few seconds to let me know?

Are you a reader? You might like my work. Or maybe someone you know might like my work? Forward it on. Share a book or a post on your social media. Every tiny bit helps and it means I can keep writing free content.

Fox Emerson Books


1 Comment

  1. Philly April 11, 2016 08:52 at 8:52 am

    Completely agree about the free books thing. The ones I read are total crap. These days I wont even read a free book id much rather pay for one so you make a good point


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