Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.

Freebies on Amazon and Smashwords


Has anyone had any luck making their ebooks permanently free on Amazon? I have a couple of small ones free on Smashwords, one a short story, an excerpt from my short story collection, and the other a book on grammar and punctuation. The short story, obviously, is a promotional effort, leading to the collection, while the other one, at only 19 pages, I’d simply like to give away to help anyone who needs to improve their written English. It’s not, by any means, a comprehensive guide to the English language but I have a few little tricks to help remember where apostrophes go and indeed what they are actually for, among other things.

I read somewhere to go to the book’s page on Amazon and scroll down to Product Details and then below that to ‘tell us about a lower price’, then type in Smashwords URL and the price. I did do that and I also emailed Amazon, who said they can’t offer any books for free, apart from the 5 days through KDP Select. They do though and I suspect if I can get enough people to inform them of the lower price available on Amazon they will eventually match the zero price.what did

It might seem an odd request, to help me get my book prices lowered to zero, but I’d appreciate it if you take a minute to do that for me and I’ll let you know if it works.

The books in question are ‘Brown Dog’, at Amazon and at Smashwords, and ‘What Did You Say?’ at Amazon and at Smashwords.

My YA book, Sanctuary, is free on Amazon for two days, July 1st and 2nd, and I have a Countdown offer on Not Guilty, starting at 99c on June 30th and then 1.99 on July 1st. Not Guilty is a true story about a mother who killed her three children, in 1910, in a country town in Australia.

It’s freezing here, and wet. Winter is well and truly with us and I’ve had enough of it and am ready for some sunshine. Still it’s nice and cosy inside and I’ve been getting stuck into some writing–hit the 10,000 word mark in my latest novel today so pretty pleased with myself. Trying to discipline myself with a deadline of sorts and commit to 1000 words per day, except when I really have to go shopping or babysit, or anything else that comes along . . .

Author: cmsgardnerblog

I'm a writer of fiction and non-fiction, for teens and adults. I live in Central Victoria, Australia and my books are available at

4 thoughts on “Freebies on Amazon and Smashwords

  1. I’ve heard you have to ask them to price-match…but I haven’t tried it yet. Good luck and if you find a way, let us know!

  2. If your book is in the Smashwords Premium catalogue it will automatically be supplied to Kobo, iBooks and Barnes and Noble. If you set the Smashwords price to zero it will be zero on those too. I am not sure what looks at but as I understand it looks at Barnes & Noble and Amazon UK looks at Kobo. So get the links to your free book on those sites and tell Amazon about a lower price, giving those sites, rather than Smashwords, as the matching site. I am told this works well. I’ve tried it myself and the first book in my trilogy is currently free and has been for some time. The golden rule on this one, so I am told, is that you need to make your free book the first in a series.

    Next you need to inform all the sites listing free books that you can. I got a big bump when the book went free and now four or five people download the free one each day and I am selling copies of the second and third every couple of days. Before making the first book free I was selling one or two books a month. So yes, it does make a difference and if you have a series it’s worth doing. Conversely, I gave away a whole load of free shorts stories – well over 9,000 copies of one – and it had absolutely no impact on my sales whatsoever.

    So there’s my two pen’orth, I hope it’s useful.



  3. Thanks MT. They are there so I’ll send that link to Amazon.

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