Author Topic: What's going on with permafree?  (Read 1329 times)  

Online Gareth K Pengelly

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 295
  • Gender: Male
  • Leicestershire, UK
    • View Profile
What's going on with permafree?
« on: June 28, 2020, 09:08:01 am »
So, book one in my series has been permafree for a couple of years.

Finally got a Bookbub lined up for next month, and went to check on the book only to discover that it had reverted back to paid by itself!

Emailed KDP about it, and they got back in touch with me yesterday to say 'done it, it's permafree again, enjoy!' Check it, and yes, it was back to being free.

Then today, check again, just to make sure.... back to paid again! Aargh!

Anyone else getting this? Couldn't have started happening at a worse time.

KBoards.com

  • Advertisement
  • ***

    Offline alhawke

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 311
      • View Profile
      • A.L. Hawke website
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #1 on: June 28, 2020, 09:13:35 am »
    So sorry to hear about this. Awful. I haven't done permafree but I have encountered emergencies with KDP. Call them, don't just email. I know this is possible in the US, not sure in other countries. Also ask them what's going on. Is it price matched at a price? If it is, delist it from the place its price matched outside of Amazon.

    In brainstorming, I thought for a moment you could pull it from publishing and then republish but that will probably cause more problems.

    The only good news is that you have time. I hope you get it sorted out.


    A.L. Hawke | Author website | Goodreads | BookBub

    Online Gareth K Pengelly

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 295
    • Gender: Male
    • Leicestershire, UK
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #2 on: June 28, 2020, 09:21:52 am »
    Thanks, I hope so too, haha. And yes, I'm going to ring them, or have them ring me, tomorrow, for sure.

    Online Gareth K Pengelly

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 295
    • Gender: Male
    • Leicestershire, UK
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #3 on: June 28, 2020, 10:02:01 am »
    Taken the opportunity while it's still paid to update the backmatter ready for the promo.

    At least updating it now doesn't give it another excuse to revert off permafree when they do finally make it free again... sigh...

    Offline Kathy Dee

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 620
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #4 on: June 28, 2020, 09:45:38 pm »
    Anyone else getting this? Couldn't have started happening at a worse time.

    I had three permafrees. Two of them are unaffected, but one of them has indeed reverted to paid. It happens to be a book that I am planning to put into KU and I am actually in the process of getting it delisted from everywhere but Amazon. So, as it happens, it is not a problem for me.

    But when I originally asked Amazon to price match it to free, it was my Google Play link that I sent to them. Now that book has been completely removed from Google Play. So I am wondering if Amazon keep an eye on pricing at the price-matched site - that might explain why my book went back to paid. Might something like that also apply to your book?

    Offline Doglover

    • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
    • *******
    • Posts: 5603
    • Gender: Female
    • Huntingdon, United Kingdom
    • If you want real love, buy a dog.
      • View Profile
      • Margaret Brazear Author
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #5 on: June 28, 2020, 10:29:21 pm »
    It's not showing free in the UK


    The past is another country; they do things differently there
    Margaret Brazear | Website | Blog | Facebook | Newsletter

    Online Gareth K Pengelly

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 295
    • Gender: Male
    • Leicestershire, UK
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #6 on: June 29, 2020, 04:15:02 am »
    Yeah still not free today. And annoyingly it won't let you phone KDP from the UK, which is strange, as Ebay have a callback feature where someone from the US rings you up even here.

    I've sent them another email. Not strongly-worded, as I know they're only doing their job, and the juggernaut that is Amazon has a mountain of bugs in its system, but I've REALLY emphasized the urgency.

    My Bookbub is three weeks today, and the thought of the book not being free in time is too much to bear.

    Offline notjohn

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2161
      • View Profile
      • Notjohn's Self-Publishing Guide
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #7 on: June 29, 2020, 08:21:00 am »
    In my experience, Amazon stopped price-matching freebies some years ago. I have one book that has been free since 2010 and another publish in 2013 that has never been free, though I have several times reported the lower price at Barnes & Noble online etc.

    And I don't think that the US offices are providing call-back services while the Chinese Critters are raging about.
    Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting: http://viewbook.at/notjohn

    The blog: http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com

    Offline Doglover

    • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
    • *******
    • Posts: 5603
    • Gender: Female
    • Huntingdon, United Kingdom
    • If you want real love, buy a dog.
      • View Profile
      • Margaret Brazear Author
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #8 on: June 29, 2020, 10:03:41 am »
    In my experience, Amazon stopped price-matching freebies some years ago. I have one book that has been free since 2010 and another publish in 2013 that has never been free, though I have several times reported the lower price at Barnes & Noble online etc.

    And I don't think that the US offices are providing call-back services while the Chinese Critters are raging about.
    People are still using the price matching to get their books permafree on Amazon. It's not something they've ever stopped. Anyway, I thought you didn't believe in having books free. You are always saying so.


    The past is another country; they do things differently there
    Margaret Brazear | Website | Blog | Facebook | Newsletter

    Online ImaWriter

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1178
    • Gender: Female
    • Canada
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #9 on: June 29, 2020, 10:45:57 am »
    And annoyingly it won't let you phone KDP from the UK,

    Are you following the buried, round-about way to connect with them?

    Go to the KDP help page

    >Contact us
    >How Can we Help
    >Pricing
    >Price Matching
    >Phone/call us
    >UK
    >Call me in 5

    Online Gareth K Pengelly

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 295
    • Gender: Male
    • Leicestershire, UK
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #10 on: June 29, 2020, 11:17:32 am »
    Are you following the buried, round-about way to connect with them?

    Go to the KDP help page

    >Contact us
    >How Can we Help
    >Pricing
    >Price Matching
    >Phone/call us
    >UK
    >Call me in 5

    Yeah, and at the last step it says you need a US phone number, haha

    Online ImaWriter

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1178
    • Gender: Female
    • Canada
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #11 on: June 29, 2020, 11:48:32 am »
    Yeah, and at the last step it says you need a US phone number, haha

    Seriously?

    My apologies, then. I'm in Canada, and that's the process I use to contact them. I just assumed it worked for everyone listed in the pull-down menu.

    Online Gareth K Pengelly

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 295
    • Gender: Male
    • Leicestershire, UK
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #12 on: June 29, 2020, 12:55:25 pm »
    'Only available for authors with a US phone number. Estimated wait: less than 1 minute.'

    If only :(  Much quicker than waiting for them to email back lol

    Offline alhawke

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 311
      • View Profile
      • A.L. Hawke website
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #13 on: June 29, 2020, 01:03:32 pm »
    Gareth, I have a suspicion you've already looked into this, but can you get a phone number through a service like magic jack or something and update your profile with it? There's got to be a way to get a US #. I would think Amazon's blocking you because of international phone charges? Or, maybe they're limiting correspondence outside the US. Whatever the case, it sucks that people outside the country can't talk direct. The phone works much better than emails when there are problems.

    If you can't call, I'd get trigger happy with your keyboard fingers and keep bugging them. They really should be able to fix this.


    A.L. Hawke | Author website | Goodreads | BookBub

    Online Gareth K Pengelly

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 295
    • Gender: Male
    • Leicestershire, UK
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #14 on: June 29, 2020, 01:16:26 pm »
    Gareth, I have a suspicion you've already looked into this, but can you get a phone number through a service like magic jack or something and update your profile with it? There's got to be a way to get a US #. I would think Amazon's blocking you because of international phone charges? Or, maybe they're limiting correspondence outside the US. Whatever the case, it sucks that people outside the country can't talk direct. The phone works much better than emails when there are problems.

    If you can't call, I'd get trigger happy with your keyboard fingers and keep bugging them. They really should be able to fix this.

    Hmm. By the looks of it, I can buy a US phone number on my Skype account for only a fiver.

    It's tempting to pull the trigger on that in order to resolve this quickly.

    Online Gareth K Pengelly

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 295
    • Gender: Male
    • Leicestershire, UK
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #15 on: June 29, 2020, 01:31:26 pm »
    Hehe, it worked. On the phone to them as I type this, lol.

    Offline alhawke

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 311
      • View Profile
      • A.L. Hawke website
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #16 on: June 29, 2020, 03:26:42 pm »
    Yay! That's great!!!


    A.L. Hawke | Author website | Goodreads | BookBub

    Online Gareth K Pengelly

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 295
    • Gender: Male
    • Leicestershire, UK
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #17 on: June 29, 2020, 04:10:13 pm »
    Yay! That's great!!!

    Cheers! Spoke to a very helpful gent who promises me they've sorted it and that it'll revert to permafree within 48hrs....

    We shall see, lol.

    Online ImaWriter

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1178
    • Gender: Female
    • Canada
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #18 on: June 29, 2020, 04:55:59 pm »
    Hmm. By the looks of it, I can buy a US phone number on my Skype account for only a fiver.

    It's tempting to pull the trigger on that in order to resolve this quickly.

    May that fiver be returned to you many, many times over during your BB!

    Glad someone had a usable suggestion for you.  ;D

    Offline FOMO

    • Status: Dr. Seuss
    • *
    • Posts: 17
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #19 on: June 29, 2020, 06:44:00 pm »

    My permafree reverted to paid on Amazon this spring. No notice from them or anything; I just happened to see it one day.  I've had too many hassles with Amazon over the years, so I just capitulated this time... it's in KU again now.

    I've heard of a couple other authors with the same experience this year (but never before 2020, so it must be some new thing Amazon has tweaked).

    Good luck.

    Online Gareth K Pengelly

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 295
    • Gender: Male
    • Leicestershire, UK
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #20 on: July 02, 2020, 04:22:00 am »
    AAARGH! What the hell?

    So after a phone call with them, the chap at KDP ASSURED me that he'd fixed the issue. Slowly, over the last couple of days, it did indeed revert back to permafree on .com, then .co.uk, then .ca, .com.au, then finally .in.

    Then, this morning, BACK TO PAID on all sites! Aaaaaaargh.

    Was massively looking forward to this Bookbub promotion, it felt like winning the lottery or getting struck by lightning (nice lightning, not, you know, blow your head up lightning). Now I'm just getting incredibly stressed because Amazon can't seem to get their house in order!

    Online Gareth K Pengelly

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 295
    • Gender: Male
    • Leicestershire, UK
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #21 on: July 02, 2020, 05:26:56 am »
    Right, been on the phone to them AGAIN. They're hoping they've fixed it this time.

    Every time it drops off free, I'm gonna pester the absolute sh*t outta them. I've impressed upon them that I (and by extension, Amazon) stand to lose potentially a good amount of money if it's not free by promo day.

    Online Gareth K Pengelly

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 295
    • Gender: Male
    • Leicestershire, UK
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #22 on: July 04, 2020, 06:55:35 am »
    Yes, get in!

    The price still wasn't matching, so rang them again and finally got through to someone who took the time to look into the problem properly.

    Turns out, the title on Kobo/Nook/iTunes is slightly different to how it appears on Amazon. In addition, I've updated the cover on KDP and didn't upload the same cover to D2D.

    The chap at KDP reckons that these small differences are what's stopping the price match from sticking.

    So my job now is to get D2D titles and cover exactly matching that of the book live on Amazon, and it should well go free and stick.

    Fingers crossed, guys. Fingers crossed.

    Offline Triceratops

    • Status: Dr. Seuss
    • *
    • Posts: 20
    • Cinderella story.
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #23 on: July 04, 2020, 09:42:10 am »
    The price still wasn't matching, so rang them again and finally got through to someone who took the time to look into the problem properly.

    Turns out, the title on Kobo/Nook/iTunes is slightly different to how it appears on Amazon. In addition, I've updated the cover on KDP and didn't upload the same cover to D2D.

    The chap at KDP reckons that these small differences are what's stopping the price match from sticking.

    So my job now is to get D2D titles and cover exactly matching that of the book live on Amazon, and it should well go free and stick.

    Fingers crossed, guys. Fingers crossed.

    Who knew that the listing had to match that tight. Thanks for the updates!

    Online Gareth K Pengelly

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 295
    • Gender: Male
    • Leicestershire, UK
      • View Profile
    Re: What's going on with permafree?
    « Reply #24 on: July 04, 2020, 09:54:32 am »
    Who knew that the listing had to match that tight. Thanks for the updates!

    I know, right? Talk about picky!

    I'll let you know when the price-match goes through.

    Hoping people can learn from this thread if they have to go through the same nightmare too lol.

    KBoards.com

    • Advertisement
    • ***