Sending your Kindle ebook as a gift can count as a real sale, but …
If you need a little sales boost, gifting your Kindle ebook to readers can help give your ebook’s sales rank a quick little lift. All you need is your recipient’s email address and then click the “Give as a Gift” button on your Amazon book page to send your ebook gift.
Sounds so easy, but there are some traps, so don’t rush in until you have read a little more.
Money. The first consideration is obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. You will be spending your own money on buying and gifting your ebook, so unless you have an unlimited budget, don’t go crazy. But at the same time, you can get up to 70% royalty back if your gift counts as a sale.
No Sale. Now here is the big tip! Not every ebook gift you send will count as a sale. I made this mistake a couple of years back, so I wasted some cash due to my lack of knowledge. There are a lot of reasons why a gift will not count as a sale.
How to make a Kindle ebook gift count as a real sale
Making a Gift Ebook A Sale.
So here is the key to getting an ebook gift to count as a real sale. When you send a gift ebook, the recipient MUST claim the ebook within 24 hours. One minute later, and bang, no sale. Here is the nitty gritty from Amazon Help about Gifting for Kindle:
Your royalties will be based on the price and royalty option selected at the time the Kindle gift was purchased. After the gift recipient downloads your title, your royalties will accrue, and the sale will show on your reports. A gift sale counts toward a sales rank only if it is redeemed within 24 hours by the recipient.
So if you send your ebook gift to a reader and they lazily claim your gift after a few days, you lose not only your money, but you lose a real sale and your boost to your sales ranking.
Another trap is that your recipient has the choice to convert your ebook gift into a gift certificate to spend on other products. On top of that, they can ask for a return! Yes, a refund on your very kind gift.
You are welcome to gift your book to as many people as you like to help promote it. Be aware that gift recipients have the option of choosing a gift certificate instead. Also, as with all Kindle sales, gift recipients have the option to return the gift within 7 days of downloading.
Lastly, be sure your recipient is in an Amazon friendly country.
Customers can gift all titles available through KDP on Amazon.com, through wish lists or book detail pages. The only current exception is for titles that are not available in the country where the customer lives.
And I bet you thought that giving a little gift was easy, didn’t you?
Know Your Reader.
The 24 hour limit on gifting creates an obvious problem. Wouldn’t it be great if you could gift your ebook to your entire contact list? You could try, but do they all have a Kindle and an Amazon account? Will they all obediently claim your gift within 24 hours?
The key to using gifting to help sales rank is to know your recipient and know for sure that they will claim your gift promptly.
Are You Sure It Works?
Yes, 100% certain. In doing my testing for this post this morning while most of the world was asleep, I splashed out big on my research budget and gifted two copies of one of my ebooks. Yes, I’m such a spendthrift. Anyway, I knew both recipients and they sent me an email as soon as they claimed my ebook gifts. I checked my KDP dashboard a half an hour later and the two sales were showing along with the appropriate increase to my royalty earnings for the two ebook sales.
How To Use Ebook Gifting.
Because of the 24 hour limit, bulk gifting is not a good idea. To use gifting effectively, you will have to make sure you know that each of your recipients will definitely claim your gift as soon as they receive it. To make this happen, you will have to be in contact with them. This means that offering ebook gifts on social media or using gifts as give aways or prizes may not work very well.
As I mentioned earlier, I made this mistake a couple of years ago when I used gifted ebooks as prizes. Of the twenty ebooks I gifted, only four were claimed, and not one of them inside 24 hours. The result was exactly zero sales for a lot of money spent and wasted.
Yes, ebook gifting works and can result in real sales, but with one big proviso. Your gift MUST be claimed in 24 hours. That is not always as easy as it sounds, so be very sure you can trust your recipients to play their part.
So, would you like me to send you one of my ebooks as a gift?
Well, if you promise not to convert it into a gift certificate, not to ask for a refund, you live in an Amazon friendly country, and cross your heart and hope to die that you will claim it within 24 hours, I might just possibly think about it.