MatchBook and Kindle Sales Rank (A Hard-to-Get Answer)

When I went to enroll my books in Kindle MatchBook—a new program from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP); you can learn more about MatchBook by clicking this link—an important point occurred to me:

  • Will the MatchBook sales improve your Kindle sales rank?
  • If so, if you make the MatchBook price free, will that also affect your sales rank?

Here’s why it’s important: If the MatchBook freebies would improve your Kindle sales rank, that would serve as an incentive to offer print customers a free Kindle edition.

I checked my email, the September KDP newsletter, and the information about MatchBook available from a link on my KDP bookshelf (which all boiled down to the same information), and this point wasn’t clarified. I then posted this as a question in the KDP community forum; there was some interest in the answer, but nobody there apparently knew the answer, either.

Next, I contacted KDP. They responded in a day, but only to tell me that they needed 5 more days to figure out the answer. (!) Today, KDP responded (yep, today was day number five).

If I was informed correctly, 99 cent, $1.99, and $2.99 MatchBook sales will improve your Kindle sales rank, whereas free MatchBook sales will instead count toward your free sales rank.

Wait a minute. Something seems strange here.

When you make an e-book free through KDP Select, the book is free all day. During this time, the e-book has a free sales rank. When the free promotion ends, the e-book returns to the paid sales rank.

But MatchBook won’t be free all day! People can buy your Kindle e-book at any time. So if one customer “buys” your e-book for free through MatchBook, three seconds later someone else might pay for it at the Kindle sales price.

What’s going to happen? Will the book have a free sales rank and a paid sales rank at the same time? Will your book be ranked among freebies and paid books simultaneously?

It seems it may be so, based on what I’ve been told. (Or your book could toggle back and forth between the free and paid sales ranks with every free or paid purchase.)

Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing)

6 comments on “MatchBook and Kindle Sales Rank (A Hard-to-Get Answer)

  1. Hi, Chris. I’ve just set up Amazon KDP FREE promotions for both of my books to run for 5 days, including READ TUESDAY… I would like your advice on whether or not to change them to the new COUNTDOWN promo. FYI both of my books are also enrolled in MATCHBOOK. It all seems so confusing… What do you think? Bette

    • Hi, Bette.Thank you for participating in Read Tuesday. A Countdown Deal would let you make royalties during your promotion; if you’re eligible for this (you might see if KDP will let you schedule one), that might be a nice benefit. You can do either one in addition to MatchBook. However, you can only do Countdown or free during any 90-day enrollment period; KDP won’t let you mix and match. Kindly, Chris.

  2. Hi again, Chris. I just set up KINDLE COUNTDOWN for both books to run December 6 – 12. Now I’m off to design an infograph of some sort to advertise the promo. THANKS for all of your help. You’re AWESOME! Bette

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