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Amazon to Change Free eBook Policy for Associates

Next month, Amazon will change its policy for associates who help readers find free Kindle eBooks online, making certain sites ineligible for advertising fees. Here’s more from the company:

Starting March 1, 2013, Associates who we determine are promoting and meet both conditions below for a given month will not be eligible for any advertising fees for that month within the Amazon Associates Program …
1. At least 80% of all Kindle eBooks ordered and downloaded during Sessions attributed to your Special Links are free Kindle eBooks
2. 20,000 or more free Kindle eBooks are ordered and downloaded during Sessions attributed to your Special Links

The company predicted that the new policy will only affect .1 percent of its associates and will not count for advertising fees accrued before March 1, 2013.

The online retailer explained in the FAQ: “the Amazon Associates program is designed to compensate advertising partners for referring paid business to Amazon.” If your site exceeds the free eBook limit on any given month, you can still be a member of the Amazon associate program.

To find out how this new will affect Amazon free eBook sites, we caught up with George Burke, the co-founder of eBookDaily. He offered this response:

This affiliate commission change is a big blow to eBookDaily.com. While I can figure out a way around the 80% free book ratio by balancing it out with a mix of discounted (paid) books, unfortunately my 12,000 members downloading free kindle books will cause a problem. If just half of them download four free books in a given month, I’ve then crossed the 20,000 free download threshold and will have my commission eradicated. How am I ever to grow the user base when even this small amount will violate Amazon Associate’s terms?

I was under the impression that Amazon relied on affiliates like eBookDaily to continue pushing the Kindle brand and funnel web traffic into Amazon every day? While I understand that sites like mine do rely on members to purchase other non-free books and goods at Amazon in order to earn commission, a site like eBookDaily brings the user to Amazon.com to make those purchases, whereas without clicking on eBookDaily’s free book link to Amazon.com, the person may shop for
their items at Target, Walmart, or even B&N’s websites… Why would Amazon want to penalize the big traffic makers that generate brand and purchase loyalty?

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