To Free Or Not To Free

Ok, I think I may have wasted that ‘clever’ title on this post, but it does seem to be the question on Amazon’s mind every time I want Shadow of the Wraith to be free.

Last weekend, I had Saturday and Sunday scheduled for a free promotion. All went as planned, as far as I was aware. I checked Amazon.co.uk and it was at £0.00 – all good. However, then came 4 or 5pm. ‘Your book isn’t free’, was the simple message from an American who had gone to download it.

Now, we can’t see the price on ebooks on the Amazon sites that we’re not meant to buy from, so I had no way, previously, of knowing if it was free on .com, and no reason to doubt it. Of course, that was still early morning in America – who knows why that American was up at that time, but I’m glad she was. Then again, you people seem to get up ridiculously early compared to us!

Amazon, surprisingly, only took an hour or two to respond to my email, and told me that it was a temporary glitch, and that it had been sorted. Nonetheless, it didn’t become free on Amazon.com until about 9pm here – so afternoon there. Plenty of time for all the Americans and Canadians and Irish – and whoever else has to buy from .com – whom I’d told about its freeness, to go on and discover that I was lying. Or as far as they knew, anyway.

Still, all was well, and I ended up getting 448 free downloads over the two days. Most from the .com site, despite the…hiccough. Amazon promised to make it free on a day of my choosing to make up for it. That day is today.

So I turned on my laptop, checked all the sites I check, panicked unnecessarily when I remembered the book was free and I’d told no one, and had a cup of coffee. I set about posting on every forum I’m on – actually not a huge amount, but with my memory, I can’t afford to be on too many!

Then, as I was about to click ‘post’ on my final thread, it occurred to me that perhaps I should have actually checked Amazon, rather than just naively trusting them.

£2.56.

Yes, they’ve done it again. On this, the day supposed to make up for their screw up last week, they have screwed up. They’ve done the exact same thing, but in reverse. This time, Amazon.com lists it as free, but .co.uk does not.

Now, I can hardly be too annoyed with Amazon, or complain about them too much. After all, thanks to them, I am now a published author – even if I won’t actually feel like that until the first, say…5000 sales. But it is a little disappointing when one of your most powerful tools to get your book and your name out there is messed up. We only get five free days every ninety days, after all.

Anyway. In short, Shadow of the Wraith is free on Amazon.com – and quite possibly .de and so on, I don’t know – but not on Amazon.co.uk. Sorry, but it’s not my fault! We’ll have to see if they offer me another free free day to make up for this time.

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