View Full Version : Kindle matchbook

11-25-2013, 12:06 AM
This month I was thrilled to see the sales of one of my books double. At least that's what it looked like from the basic month to date report. When I got the more detailed report, I realize that half of those increased sales were simply people using the Kindle matchbook program to download free. I still had an increase in sales, which is nice, but not as large as I initially thought, as I don't get any royalties on those free downloads. Yet they apparently count as paid, which inflates the sales rank. Do you think it's better to set the matchbook download for a partial price or free? On the one hand, you make nothing if it's free, on the other, you will certainly have more downloads that way and increase your sales rank.

Another question - Will Amazon match books that were bought used (so the author ends up with nothing all around), or only books bought new?

Juliet Rich
12-05-2013, 12:43 AM
Thanks for answering a question I didn't even realize I had until you answered it. ;) It's good to know Matchbook counts in sales rank.

And that's a good question about the used books. Could a reader potentially amass an ebook collection by buying and reselling used books? Probably they'd lose out on the shipping costs though.

12-05-2013, 05:27 AM
I am honestly not sure how any self-pub author benefits from matchbook. I am about to publish a print anthology of my three novellas, so I worked out the numbers. For the print book, I'll make 0.45 from an Amazon sale. For the equivalent ebooks sold separately, I make 4.05. For a bundle price, it'll be less. About 3.15. I can't see what benefit there is to me in giving away the ebooks free, or at a reduced royalty, in return for the tiny royalty I get on the print book. I just don't think the numbers add up at all.

I'd be very interested to know how anyone makes this work for them.

K.B. Parker
12-05-2013, 08:43 AM
I thought all matchbook ebooks were free? I didn't know you could set a price. I love the matchbook program but for some books (when you are trying to price competively) it may not be worth it when you look at how much royalty you could make print vs. Kindle.

Then again, if someone is buying the physical copy would they have even thought about the alternative, to download the kindle version, instead? It could just be an afterthought for those books that offer it. Like, hmmm it's free? Okay.

12-07-2013, 10:35 PM
The matchbook price must be free or a big discount off the regular eBook price. If you have a $2.99 eBook, you can set your match price at $0.99 or free.

I changed mine from free to $0.99 cents and the matching stopped cold turkey, so I think people only tend to match the print book they've already bought IF the eBook is free. I'm not losing any sales by making my matched eBook free, because those people would not be buying the eBook anyway. They *already* have the print book, so why spend the extra? But if it's free anyway, they'll download it and maybe sell their hard copy or trade it in at a used bookstore or donate it to the library to free up some shelf space.

So, if you make your matchbook free, I don't think you are losing out on any eBook sales. You are temporarily inflating your sales rank for those free downloads, which could lead to wider recognition and more sales. You may, however, be simultaneously reducing your print sales, as those used print books start circulating and re-selling and people buy them instead of an ebook or a new print book.

My regular eBook sales increased slightly when the matchbook was free (not counting the matchbook downloads), so I think the sales bump may have had a positive effect, and I may return it to free.

12-09-2013, 04:12 AM
I checked with Amazon. They will only match the book if you bought it new, not if you bought it used from third party sellers.

Juliet Rich
12-12-2013, 07:34 PM
Good to know. Thanks for checking and reporting back.