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Thread: What are the legal/ethical expectations for a free book?


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Permlink Replies: 4 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Dec 2, 2017 9:41 AM Last Post By: Notjohn
Tabitha Driver

Posts: 1
Registered: 11/19/17
What are the legal/ethical expectations for a free book?
Posted: Dec 2, 2017 6:08 AM
 
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I wrote and published a serial novella on my blog --a chapter every week. I'd like to publish all the chapters together in Kindle while still keeping the free series of blog posts up since I know some people would prefer to read the chapters all together. However, I don't want to violate the legal and ethical expectations of the KDP contract. Should I...

A) ...not publish on Kindle?
The contract states that I shouldn't have my writing available for a lower price than Kindle. On my blog, it's free, but the lowest price available on Kindle is 99 cents.

B) ...publish on Kindle for a price and then get them to price match it and make it free?
I've heard of people doing this before, but it doesn't sound like this option is still available.

C) ...publish on Kindle for 99 cents. Leave the serial novella up on my blog.
I'd view the blog posts and Kindle version as different because of the format ---and thus not in violation of the line about not providing it for a lower price. OR I'd view it as Kindle not providing a free option.

Thanks!
Ralph E Vaughan

Posts: 3,463
Registered: 12/01/12
Re: What are the legal/ethical expectations for a free book?
Posted: Dec 2, 2017 7:02 AM   in response to: Tabitha Driver in response to: Tabitha Driver
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You might have trouble publishing at all. KDP routinely declines anything already freely available on the internet.
cdalebrittain

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Registered: 03/05/11
Re: What are the legal/ethical expectations for a free book?
Posted: Dec 2, 2017 7:20 AM   in response to: Tabitha Driver in response to: Tabitha Driver
 
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I'd recommend putting it up on Amazon for $2.99 if it's a decent length novella (like 30,000 words). Take down all but the first installment from your blog. You can have 10% of a KDP book available elsewhere, and it would make a nice teaser to get people to buy the book.
Diana Persaud

Posts: 2,711
Registered: 10/07/13
Re: What are the legal/ethical expectations for a free book?
Posted: Dec 2, 2017 7:30 AM   in response to: Ralph E Vaughan in response to: Ralph E Vaughan
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Ralph E Vaughan wrote:
You might have trouble publishing at all. KDP routinely declines anything already freely available on the internet.

And they should. It's bad customer service to have a paid version on KDP and a free version on your website.
If I were a customer, I'd be angry and feel cheated.

OP, Is that the kind of experience you want your customers to have?

Either sell it or don't.

As for #2, they only price match it from a VENDOR like BN or Google. Your website is not a vendor.

As for #3, no they aren't in different formats. Your website is digital, as is the ebook.

Edited by: Diana Persaud on Dec 2, 2017 7:30 AM
Notjohn

Posts: 23,788
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: What are the legal/ethical expectations for a free book?
Posted: Dec 2, 2017 9:41 AM   in response to: Tabitha Driver in response to: Tabitha Driver
 
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In the immortal words of Cole Porter:

Never give anything away, away, away
That you can sell.
Ev'ry night, ev'ry day,
Try to remember, ma belle,
Never give anything away, away, away
That you can sell.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook. Each does one thing well and the other thing poorly.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog:
http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
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