As regular readers will know, we have a slight difficulty with our free books being distributed on the Kindle platform by people who download them from our site. In some cases they are breaking the terms of the licence agreement, in some cases, they erroneously name me as the author and in others they are not doing anything wrong per se, except giving the end user a poor reading experience.
Our free books section was setup long before the Kindle became a reality, so the PDF books are not formatted with Kindle in mind. That’s the main problem we have been thinking about and I came up with a simple solution i.e. format all our free books for the Kindle and make them available as free downloads from the Kindle site. Unfortunately, Amazon/Kindle won’t allow me to make my books available for free download.
It seems that larger publishers are allowed to publish their books setting their purchase price as $0 on the Kindle, but the minimum price I am allowed to charge is $0.99. If you live in a country, such as the UK, where purchase tax applies, then that also gets added. This makes the purchase price of a $0.99 book actually $1.41 in the UK once VAT has been added.
Now, at present, our free books are being sold for as much as $19 by some people at the Kindle site. This is clearly not a good deal for the user and Amazon/Kindle do not seem to want to work with me to resolve the problem. So the only solution I can think of is to reformat all the free books for the Kindle and then upload them at the minimum price i.e. $0.99.
There is just one problem with this approach. The books are still available for free at our main site. I don’t want to start charging (at our main site) for books we have always given away for free. So I think I need to find a way of including something extra with the Kindle books in order to differentiate them in some way, and this is where I am slightly stumped for the moment.
Here’s a couple of things I am considering:
- Provide Resale Rights in the Kindle Versions Only
- Provide a Link to a Kindle-Only Members Area With Extra Goodies
The problem is that I need to be careful with the extra(s) because granting rights in the Kindle books could end up making the situation even worse rather than better, so I am still working on this problem and don’t yet have an ideal solution.
If you have any suggestions regarding this matter, I would be more than happy to receive them. Please do leave a comment below.