Amazon Putting the Kibosh on Freebie Sites

This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own.

amazon associates free kindle booksI do not have any websites that promote freebies or even a lot of coupons anymore. Over the past two years, many affiliate programs have started denying any site they deem as a “deal site” or “coupon site,” and I have had to make adjustments to meet the standards of those advertisers I want to market. But, I know there are many of my readers that do have blogs in the freebie, cheapie and coupon niche. If this is you, and you are promoting free Kindle eBooks you need to take a moment to read the new Amazon Associates Operating Agreement sent out this morning.

As of March 1, 2013:

In addition, notwithstanding the advertising fee rates described on this page or anything to the contrary contained in this Operating Agreement, if we determine you are primarily promoting free Kindle eBooks (i.e., eBooks for which the customer purchase price is $0.00), YOU WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO EARN ANY ADVERTISING FEES DURING ANY MONTH IN WHICH YOU MEET THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:
(a) 20,000 or more free Kindle eBooks are ordered and downloaded during Sessions attributed to your Special Links; and
(b) At least 80% of all Kindle eBooks ordered and downloaded during Sessions attributed to your Special Links are free Kindle eBooks.



This does not take place until March 1 so you have a little bit of time to look at your reports and make any adjustments necessary. For me, I think I am going to get bit in the butt from the other side of the online business coin – as a service provider. eBook promotions are where I make a good chunk of money right now. One of those marketing avenues is the Kindle giveaway. I’m sure there will be some major changes with how these promotions are being advertised to the public. In turn, I will need to make changes as well.

Do you promote free Kindle eBooks? What changes will you be making?


    • says

      I believe you need to meet both of the above requirements to be ineligible for commissions in any given month. But, it is certainly something to keep in mind and keep an eye out for changes in the future.

  1. says

    This makes me feel really bad for the people who have built entire websites around free e-books! I’ve ran across a lot of those and I’m confident they make a large portion of their income from Amazon.

    • says

      I know there are about 15 to 20 huge websites that I submit free promotions to on a regular basis. I am sure there are some big changes coming that will also impact the authors that use them. Bummer!

  2. says

    This bites. I send a single blog post a day to a large mailing list with links to free Kindle books. I also post the link to the blog post on Facebook. This generates a very large portion of my income, which isn’t much to begin with. These new changes will affect me very negatively.

    • says

      If you are within the 20,000/80% guidelines Cathy, you should be okay. But it is definitely something you would have to watch like a hawk and not something that you can easily “switch off” if you are approaching the limits.

      • says

        I don’t know how many free Kindle books people are actually downloading, but I’m getting over 1000 clicks a day on the free Kindle book links. Chances are, I’m over the 20K limit.

        Starting today, I’m posting only half as many free books as usual in hopes it will keep me under the limit.

  3. Tiffany says

    Question for you: how do you know how many free Kindle books are downloaded? I haven’t been able to tell from look at my Amazon Associates account.

  4. says

    I’m sad because I go to those big freebie Kindle book sites! I do a little sidebar promotion of 3 freebies on my blog. I doubt it will effect me much as an affiliate, but it will as a customer. Funny how they’re willing to make a commission on all the sales you help them make but aren’t willing to share the wealth. I just don’t think that’s nice! (yes, I’m pouting!)

    • says

      Several of the big sites have already sent out notices that they will not be changing a thing (Author Marketing Club and eBook Lister are two that come to mind). They will still be there, Amy! You may just need to change the websites you visit most frequently.

  5. says

    I do promote free Kindle books once in a while, but I don’t have a deal/coupon/freebie site and the majority of my Amazon links are for purchase, not freebies. I wonder how long before they will just kill them completely…

  6. says

    This doesn’t affect me but for those it does…couldn’t you just create separate accounts? One for freebies, one for affiliate purchases? That way one doesn’t affect the other? I suppose you’d have to make separate sites too, though, which could be a lot of work on top of changing links.

    Anyway, just a thought.

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