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Discussion Starter #1
I got the following email from Amazon regarding a book that is free in most places, including Amazon.com, but not in the UK or Canada. I provided links for UK and Canadian stores where it was free.

Regarding the UK link, I've confirmed your book is being sold for the lower price on other sales channels.

From time to time, we may match prices elsewhere online, including free promotions. However, we retain discretion over our retail prices. I've matched your Kindle book's price with the price on other sales channels, so you can expect to see a change reflected within the next couple of business days.

About the Canadian link as mentioned from time to time, we may match prices elsewhere online, including free promotions. However, we retain discretion over our retail prices and cannot offer a price match in this case.
In other words, they will make it free on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, and they know it's free at other Canadian stores, but they don't feel like making it free on Amazon.ca. For reasons.

Not a huge deal for me, but I thought I'd share this to see if anyone else has had a similar experience. And also as a warning that attempting to make something perma-free is never guaranteed to work.
 

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yep!
I had exactly the same problem with my first short story, I made the title free after a few weeks on D2D but amazon wouldn't price match. Since it was my first story it was all about generating a profile for myself as a new writer. I had exactly the same worded email from Amazon. I wrote to them a second time and this time they did price match and I began to see an increase in my downloads. It was still priced at $1.27 on Amazon.au so I had to write to them again.
I've never really understood why Amazon may or may not price match, it is in their best interests after all.
I hope it gets sorted out for you and best of luck with the story ;D
 

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What an odd company. There's a clear acknowledgement that free books only help to sell more paid books (or else why would the authors be doing it?), yet getting them free is this unclear, time-consuming process that surely costs Amazon a lot in support hours.

Thanks for the replies though. I'm glad there's hope that it'll go free eventually, and maybe I'll contact them again if it doesn't happen in a week or two.
 
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Phronk said:
What an odd company. There's a clear acknowledgement that free books only help to sell more paid books (or else why would the authors be doing it?), yet getting them free is this unclear, time-consuming process that surely costs Amazon a lot in support hours.
Yes and no. SOME authors in certain genres do well with a free book that encourages readers to buy more down the road, but it is NOT a universal norm. And even if it helps individual authors, it isn't Amazon's goal. Amazon has actually been trying to tone down the push for free for a couple of years now. It wasn't all that long ago that they put affiliates on notice that they could lose their affiliate accounts for channeling too many "free" sales. It costs Amazon almost the same amount of money to process a 'free' sale as it does to process a paid one. Also, Amazon is trying to drive those bargain hunters into their subscription service. Amazon wants the only books that are "free" on their site to be those titles that are exclusive to them so they can channel people into the subscription service or Prime.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
Yes and no. SOME authors in certain genres do well with a free book that encourages readers to buy more down the road, but it is NOT a universal norm. And even if it helps individual authors, it isn't Amazon's goal. Amazon has actually been trying to tone down the push for free for a couple of years now. It wasn't all that long ago that they put affiliates on notice that they could lose their affiliate accounts for channeling too many "free" sales. It costs Amazon almost the same amount of money to process a 'free' sale as it does to process a paid one. Also, Amazon is trying to drive those bargain hunters into their subscription service. Amazon wants the only books that are "free" on their site to be those titles that are exclusive to them so they can channel people into the subscription service or Prime.
Ah yeah, I hadn't thought of the threat to KU. All the more reason to go wide, if only to support competition for Amazon. I like having a variety of things to try out, including perma-free, limited free days when in Select, and KU.
 

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I received a very similar response the first time I contacted them.

So I tried again.

The second time, I received the golden,  "We went ahead and did that for you" response. It's a fickle world out there on Planet Zon.

Since then I've had it go free in Canada and then get put back to retail and then revert to free again. But last I checked it was back to regular price.  ::) 
 

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When I first tried to go permafree, Amazon gave me the same form letter, but made my book free in the US and CA a few hours later. Then I saw it was not going free in the UK, so I requested they do that. It took them a couple of weeks, but they finally price matched. Since then, Amazon had voluntarily price matched in Brazil, India, and a few other places but never the EU or Australia.
This is why I have the permafree all over the place, including Google Play, so I have more international downloads. I'm not so sure how big Amazon is in some of those countries anyway.
 
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