Then there’s the second session at MWSA, in which I am expected to be the ultimate source of advice on how to use Amazon’s Kindle programs to sell books. Again, this is something I’ve done in the past. Last year I managed to sell 47,000 copies of Beyond All Price through Kindle. But recently Amazon has started changing the rules. I was all set to explain how a writer could offer one of her books for free on another book site and force Amazon to make the same free offer. I’d done it. It worked. Readers flocked to get their hands on the book, and ratings soared. I decided to test it one more time, just to make sure.
Then I received the ominous letter from Amazon. They no longer will tolerate writers doing free or other low-price promotions on other websites. It is now a violation of the Kindle agreement (You know, the one where you checked the “I accept the terms” button without ever reading the fine print?) They gave me exactly five days to correct my transgression or face permanent banishment from all Amazon sites. I backed off; I couldn’t afford to do anything else! And once my sinful free offer disappeared, Amazon welcomed me back like a prodigal child. But now I had to re-write my PowerPoint presentation from the ground up.
And that’s only one of several changes that Amazon has made in the past two weeks. Others involve the way they handle royalties, the addition of a new Kindle Serials list, and the revision of standards that determine best-seller rankings. I’m re-writing as fast as I can – and keeping my fingers crossed that they don’t make any other major changes this week, while I’m on the road.