Have You Actually Read the Amazon Terms of Service? - WRITE | PUBLISH | SELL

Aug 6, 2018 | Publish

Have You Actually Read the Amazon Terms of Service?

Amazon Terms of Service

If you haven’t read the Amazon Terms of Service as related to publishing and marketing your books, you really should! Amazon has been cracking down lately, ever since the bookstuffing controversy came to light.

Did you know that…

  1. You are not supposed to include Amazon affiliate links in emails? It’s a big no-no.
  2. You may not offer gifts or compensations in exchange for a positive review. So, you can offer advanced copies of your book in exchange for A review but you cannot ask for positive ones. And you can not offer a gift beyond a copy of your book in exchange for a review.
  3. You cannot ask people to buy your book in exchange for reimbursement for the purchase, to boost your sales rankings. This should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how often it happens!
  4. Amazon discourages the use of giveaways to manipulate sales rank.
  5. You may not upsell or promote products or services in the book. This is a HUGE one. Many of us write books as a way to promote our businesses. We’re not necessarily looking for best-seller status from our books, but just a boost to our main businesses. You can have a bonus but you can’t have a direct sales pitch.
  6. You cannot make any promises or guarantees. I’m sure you’ve seen pitches like, “Buy this book and make a gazillion dollars.” However, you can talk about why your book is valuable, and what readers will learn from reading your book.

After the book that I contributed to, Write and Grow Rich, was pulled by Amazon, I was compelled to take a closer look at the Amazon Terms of Services. The book is back on Amazon, by the way. (And yes, that’s an affiliate link! ? )

KDP and Affiliate Links

We got this question in response to our last newsletter:

“Would you please be so kind as to let me know if it is okay to use my Amazon affiliate links inside my books? I have written several self-help books that have links in appropriate places, to other books that pertain to the subject. Are those still permissible?”

We thought this was a great question, so we dug in a little to find the answer.

First, we found this post: https://selfpublishingquestions.com/affiliate-links-kindle…/

This post answered the question, but to verify it, we straight to the source: the KDP TOS.

If you ever read the TOS, or any kind of TOS, you know it’s not always straightforward and requires some “reading between the lines.”

We put in a help ticket with KDP, and they responded within 24 hours, with:

“You may included affiliate links within the content of your book.
“…read section 5.1.2… it means you can use the affiliate links but the primary intention should not be to promote or advertise the products or services. Furthermore, you should not spam the readers with plenty of affiliate links.”

The email also said to use links that are not likely to change in the future (making your book instantly outdated).

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