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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had a permafree book that has been static for years. It ranked fairly high for permafree (top 1000). This was due to consistent advertising effort and focus on releasing in that series. I felt confident in ordering advertisement for an Ereader News Today ad. Amazon pulled the permafree status ON THE DAY of my advertising, so I lost my advertising space, my investment, and now, the ability for sell-through.

I know this isn't the end of the world. It may be an indication that I should go wide. But this one really hurt. No notification or anything. Just one day, my blue bar was off. And I sent an email to ENT wondering why they didn't run my advertisement which was somewhat embarrassing given what I found out today.
 

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Hmm.
So sorry to hear about this! That really sucks.
This just happened on a thread running two weeks ago for a writer scheduled with a free BookBub promo. It must be a new policy with Amazon and we have to be vigilant. I never did a wide price match free promo run before, now I'm beginning to think I never will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've had a permafree book that has been static for years. It ranked fairly high for permafree (top 1000). This was due to consistent advertising effort and focus on releasing in that series. I felt confident in ordering advertisement for an Ereader News Today ad. Amazon pulled the permafree status ON THE DAY of my advertising, so I lost my advertising space, my investment, and now, the ability for sell-through.

I know this isn't the end of the world. It may be an indication that I should go wide. But this one really hurt. No notification or anything. Just one day, my blue bar was off. And I sent an email to ENT wondering why they didn't run my advertisement which was somewhat embarrassing given what I found out today.
Hmm.
So sorry to hear about this! That really sucks.
This just happened on a thread running two weeks ago for a writer scheduled with a free BookBub promo. It must be a new policy with Amazon and we have to be vigilant. I never did a wide price match free promo run before, now I'm beginning to think I never will.
HMMM...that sounds intentional. I hope not. I wondered why the very day of my advertisement, the permafree went from free to paid. I mean, this thing has been permafree since 2014. It was a bit too coincidental for me to feel good about it. I had absolutely no chance to react at all and didn't even realize why my ad didn't run until the following day. Not that I share my data that freely, but Amazon probably has ways of figuring things like that out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm sorry for your writer friend. Bookbub is a much heavier cost than ENT.
 

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They just did this exact thing to me on March 8 with a BookBub promotion. It is definitely NOT a coincidence.

Intentional or not, someone or something within Amazon is targeting permafrees on promotion days

I am exiting the Permafree system ASAP. Not worth the risk

 

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HMMM...that sounds intentional. I hope not. I wondered why the very day of my advertisement, the permafree went from free to paid. I mean, this thing has been permafree since 2014. It was a bit too coincidental for me to feel good about it. I had absolutely no chance to react at all and didn't even realize why my ad didn't run until the following day. Not that I share my data that freely, but Amazon probably has ways of figuring things like that out.
In the other thread where we were discussing this, we came up with the idea that maybe Amazon has a bot that checks the BookBub site against current permafrees, since the books are all posted on the BB site before the newsletter goes out. Does anyone know what time the BB site updates?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
In the other thread where we were discussing this, we came up with the idea that maybe Amazon has a bot that checks the BookBub site against current permafrees, since the books are all posted on the BB site before the newsletter goes out. Does anyone know what time the BB site updates?
I think you're right. I have more power as a consumer than an author. After the years of good Amazon customer service, I feel shocked and betrayed. As of today as a consumer, I will no longer spend money on Amazon Advertising, nor knowingly make a purchase through their site. (Sometimes other vendors have their own websites, but ship via Amazon.) Barnes & Noble, here I come!

As an author, I don't know what to do...Amazon has been my primary avenue of book income for so long...
 

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I think you're right. I have more power as a consumer than an author. After the years of good Amazon customer service, I feel shocked and betrayed. As of today as a consumer, I will no longer spend money on Amazon Advertising, nor knowingly make a purchase through their site. (Sometimes other vendors have their own websites, but ship via Amazon.) Barnes & Noble, here I come!

As an author, I don't know what to do...Amazon has primarily been my sole avenue of book income for so long...
It sucks. I don’t blame you for feeling betrayed.

You should check out the FB group Wide For The Win. They’re really helpful there for people who want to go wide.
 

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In the other thread where we were discussing this, we came up with the idea that maybe Amazon has a bot that checks the BookBub site against current permafrees, since the books are all posted on the BB site before the newsletter goes out. Does anyone know what time the BB site updates?
And clearly it isn't just Bookbub being targeted since OP's promotion was on ENT

I also had a promotion March 8 with Freebooksy.

Someone or some program within Amazon is picking up on the promos and switching the price to paid

Possibly an attempt to profit Amazon since if the promotion was to happen with a paid book = money for Amazon for each book sold (versus free, they get nothing)

Only way to be safe is exit the Permafree system since it can't be trusted anymore
 

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If that's the case, they'd do better to pull the free status after the email goes out, not before. As it stands, it looks like they're punishing authors for not being exclusive and not even benefiting from it. It's all bad, but that's a tad worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't think it's a target to authors as much as to the companies competing for advertising dollars. Otherwise, why not wholesale change all permafrees at once and call it done? This was done on the day that a major advertising competitor posted a list of free books. I don't know if ENT had to react to my book not being free after posting or if it was a terrible coincidence...but after seven years on permafree status...I just can't think why else it would have changed.


I'm going to stop posting on this now. Too much angst. Gotta think positively and get back to work :)
 

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It sounds to me like some sort of update had the side effect of making an algorithm more sensitive and triggering web sweeps for price checks - checks that aren't finding the accurate prices, for some reason. Whether it's a sudden spike in permafree downloads triggering it, or the book being detected as listed on a free site, I imagine the problem will be smoothed out in the coming weeks, if there are enough complaints to make Amazon aware of it. A poor customer experience isn't to their benefit, after all.

It's tough for us authors to have promotions ruined in the meantime, though. And costly.
 

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No way I will ever use Permafree again. The system is unreliable and can't be trusted.

Especially when sites like Bookbub will not reschedule you in this situation. They simply delete the Amazon link from the email and you still get charged for the email (and no refund either).
Minimum six month wait on top of that to get back in Bookbub.
Not a risk I can afford to ever take again.
 
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