Freebie offers: Bestsellers No More?

Publisher’s Weekly announced yesterday that from now on Amazon will no longer group “freebie” Kindle offers with regular Kindle offers when formulating their bestseller lists. Will this development alter the numbers of publishers who run free Kindle download campaigns? If shoppers still use Bestseller categories as the starting point, probably. But perhaps there will be a new crop of shoppers who make a beeline for the “Free Kindle” offer list du jour. What will that mean to the authors and publishers of those books?
Writing Tip for Today: If the main purpose of these “freebie” campaigns is to improve a title’s visibility, then although that title might not climb the bestseller list the way mine and others have, it’ll still show up for bargain hunters or piranhas. On the other hand, if the allure of these offers had more to do with it being both free and a bestseller, then the impact of a free week of Kindle downloads might be diluted. Those who complained that free books shouldn’t be counted with books readers pay for have a point. But those on the publishing inside already know that bestsellers statistics are routinely defined in different ways by the industry. What’s your opinion? Should free offers be counted as “sales” or should they be set apart as Amazon has decided to do?

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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