Amazon doesn’t make it easy to make your book free on their platform, but it is possible with a little effort! First, you need to identify what you want. Do you want your book to be free permanently or temporarily?
As a bonus incentive to get books enrolled in KDP Select, Amazon offers their publisher the chance to run either 5 free days or 5 countdown deal days per 90 day cycle. If your book is in KDP Select, you can (and should) take advantage of the free days. You cannot make your book free temporarily on Amazon if you’re not enrolled in KDP Select.
To use your free days, head to your KDP Bookshelf, find the book you want to make free, and click the “promote and advertise” button.
It’ll take you to that book’s promotion manager. In the “Run a price promotion” box, check the “Free Book Promotion” checkbox and then click the “Create a new Free Book Promotion” button.
You’ll then be able to select the dates you want your promotion to happen on.
Tip: If you plan on running these promotions regularly, it’s best to setup some kind of reminder system that can alert you every 90 days. Booksprout has a free promo reminder feature that can send you directly to your book’s KDP promotion manager page, saving you time and effort!
In order to give your book away for free permanently on Amazon, you’ll first need to make sure it’s not in KDP Select. Otherwise, this technique will not work.
Once you’ve made sure it’s not enrolled in KDP select, it’s time to publish it for sale on as many other distributors as possible. These days, Amazon requires more than one most of the time so I recommend that you publish it on Smashwords, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. Make sure you set the price to $0.
Get Amazon to price match
Amazon wants to remain competitive, so they’ll often price match books automatically if they’re popular enough. However, we don’t have time for that! We want our books to be free right away.
Amazon’s “official” method of pricing matching is for a book to be reported as cheaper elsewhere. You can do this by going to your book’s page on Amazon and clicking the “tell us about a lower price” link.
There are multiple groups where authors can participate in sending Amazon a wave of price matching requests for their books, such as kboard’s “Make it free” thread and a thread in Goodread’s Indie Book Collective. Participating will get your book’s price lowered much quicker than you could on your own.
However, it can still take a long time for this to happen, so I recommend the “unofficial method.”
The Unofficial Price Match Method
Most authors don’t know it, but you can contact them directly through KDP and request a price match (the link is in the KDP dashboard footer for future reference). I’ve always had success with this method, and it usually takes no longer than 2 days to get my book for free.
Once on the contact page, select “Book Details” then “Pricing your book.”
A script I’ve used is as follows. Simply fill it in with your own information.
I’ve recently made “TITLE” by AUTHOR (ASIN: XXXXXXXX) free on a variety of other online stores. It can be found for free at the following links:
Is it possible to get Amazon to price match this book to free please?
Thank you for your time!
Note: Make sure you include all 4 links the first time! Amazon is not so forgiving and if they tell you “no” once, they’re very likely to do so again even though you may be presenting new information.