Amazon is revising its affiliate system on March 1st, 2013, and this new change will have reverberating effects on people who promote free Kindle ebooks. It will start to prevent blog and website owners from raking in thousands of dollars a month in commission fees.
Amazon is clamping down on websites that draw a large segment of the population looking for free Kindle ebooks. Most website owners hope that in promoting free books, that the customers will end up buying something from Amazon. This will earn the website owners commission fees and often make the entire process worth it. With these new changes, when webmasters reach the threshold of 80% of all users downloading free books, it doesn’t matter how much patrons end up spending on Amazon. Also, if you run a Free Kindle eBook site and your customers end up downloading over 20,000 free ebooks, in any given month, you are also ineligible from making any revenue.
Websites that offer free Kindle ebooks make up for less then 10% of all Amazon affiliates. This new rule will encourage them to start offering paid books on their websites, instead of exclusively promoting the free ones. This will obviously discourage new projects from launching to take advantage of free content, in the hopes people will make the odd purchase.
Amazon often saw free ebooks as a necessary factor in encouraging people to use their ecosystem. If you could buy a Kindle and have hundreds of thousands of free ebooks at your fingertips, it could be the deciding factor with choosing that brand over others. Since Amazon is the definitive market leader, controlling 45% of the global book market, the company is axing a loophole that accounts for a large segment of internet traffic.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.