10 ways Amazon saves us money on e-books

10 ways Amazon saves us money on e-books

There’s been a lot less talk lately about the cost of e-books.

Ever since the US Department of Justice prevailed against five publishers (who settled) and Apple (which didn’t), Amazon has been able to discount almost all the e-books in the Kindle store (I have still seen the Agency Model in play with a few books not from the Big 5).

That’s something they used to commonly do before the Agency Model stopped it.

Even through the dark days, Amazon managed to discount other books…but now, it’s back to being much broader.

Here are ten of the ways that Amazon saves us money on e-books:

1. Free Books

There are two real types of free books in the Kindle store. One are the public domain books, which are not under copyright protection. Amazon likely did not digitize these originally (that was probably done by Gutenberg.org), but by making editions available through the Kindle store, we get the Kindle service advantages (like backing up and syncing our annotations).

The other ones are books that are free promotionally: the publisher chooses has the rights, but chooses to give them away. Amazon encourages that by allowing publishers who are part of the KDP Select program to make their books free for a limited time. Amazon does that even though it costs them more to handle the administration of it.

2. Kindle Daily Deals
Kindle Daily Deals at AmazonSmile (support a non-profit)

Every day, Amazon has books which are at a reduced price for that day only. With all of these deals, check the price before you click the Buy button, because it may not apply in your country.

3. Kindle Monthly Deals $3.99 or less
Kindle Monthly Deals $3.99 or less at AmazonSmile

100 or more books, often on a big discount.

4. Kindle Countdown Deals
Kindle Countdown Deals at AmazonSmile

Thousands of books discounted for a limited time, with a countdown clock to tell you when the deal will end.

5. Kindle Matchbook
Kindle Matchbook at AmazonSmile

Discounted e-books from a list of over 80,000 when you have previously purchased the p-book (paperbook) from Amazon.

6. Kindle First
Kindle First at AmazonSmile

Pre-publication books for eligible Prime members at no additional cost.

7. Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL)

Eligible Prime members can borrow up to a book a month (from more than 100,000 choices) at no additional cost. You have to have a hardware Kindle (Fires count), and you have to borrow the book from your device (which is why I’m not linking here).

8. Special Offers

Book deals are sometimes part of the Special Offers which show up on the Kindles of people who have chosen to get a discount for buying an ad-supported model.

9. AmazonLocal

This free service often includes book deals.

10. Price-matching

If you see a lower price advertised at another site (or in a store), you can click or tap a link on the book’s Amazon product page to tell them about a lower price. You have to give them the details, and it isn’t guaranteed that they will lower the price…but it seems pretty likely. I’ve done it, and have seen a book come down in price.

In addition to those ten, Amazon discounts many other Kindle books which are not part of a special program.


* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. I recently polled my readers about my linking to AmazonSmile, and while more than two-thirds of the respondents said they would like it or didn’t mind (and about 15% didn’t know), there were enough people who wouldn’t like it that I’m not going to just jump into it and do it for everything. I’m going to try doing both links in this post, and see how hard and/or confusing that is for people. You can let me know how you feel about having both links by commenting on this post.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

11 Responses to “10 ways Amazon saves us money on e-books”

  1. Tuli Reno Says:

    I just bought a book through your matchbook link. I had heard of it but for some reason didn’t check it out. Thanks.

  2. Man in the Middle Says:

    #11. There’s also the borrowing feature, which temporarily gives someone not on your Amazon account the ability to read one of your Kindle books.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Man!

      Yes, that’s another good one…and I could keep going. 😉

      One of the biggest things for us has been the licensing that allows us to have people in different parts of the country read the same book…all for one download price. There have been cases where each location might have bought a copy.

      As long as it’s not for commercial purposes, you could have 100 people on an account, and they could all read the same book for a single price of, say $9.99. Not all at the same time, typically, but eventually. 🙂

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