Will Amazon book giveaway affect merchants?

Amazon US have announced yesterday an Amazon book giveaway incentive in honour of World Book Day in the US to encourage reading books from around the globe. Then UK World Book Day was on the 5th of March, and the US is on the 23rd of March.

Amazon say that they’re giving away free copies of nine books that have been translated into English. Customers can download the English-language translation of award-winning foreign-language books curated by Amazon Crossing editors starting from yesterday and concluding at 11:59 pm PDT on 24th of April. Shoppers can download books on this page.

The incentive will see book select authors’ books exposed to a large pool of audience, enhancing the likelihood of shoppers returning to purchase again. It also serves as a ‘free’ marketing campaign as Amazon promotes their books only for a limited time.

In January, a new report by The Author’s Guild accused Amazon of dominance abuse which sees them lowering royalties and devaluing the cost of books for writers. It says that Amazon booksellers have reported financial losses as a result of “extremely low royalties” paid on the increasing number of deeply discounted sales and 25% of net ebook loyalty.

This puts writers in a difficult position as the marketplace controls 85% of the self-publishing market and so most authors have no options other than agreeing to their non-negotiable terms.

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