Does A Kindle Gift Card Count As Real Sale On KDP?

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Do Kindle Ebook Gifts Count As Real Sales On KDP

Sending your Kindle ebook as a gift can count as a real sale, but …

If you need a little sales boost, offering to gift a Kindle book 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 Kindle gift card.

It all sounds so easy. But there are some traps. So don’t rush in until you have read on a little more. Giving a Kindle book gift card is not quite as simple as it all sounds. There are two main points to consider before you begin.

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Money

The first consideration is obvious, but it is obviously worth mentioning.

You will be spending your own money on buying and then 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 Amazon Kindle gift card counts as a sale.

 

No Sale

Now here is the big important tip. Even if your gift is accepted by a happy reader, not every ebook gift you send will count as a sale.

I made this mistake a couple of years back. I wasted a lot of hard-earned cash due to my lack of knowledge.

There are a lot of reasons why a gift will not count as a sale.

 

How to gift a Kindle book to count as a real sale

How to make a gift a Kindle book into 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 of the delivery date.

One minute later, and bang, you get 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 then they happily but lazily claim your gift after a few days, you will lose not only your money, but you will also lose a real sale and any boost to your sales ranking.

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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 on the Kindle Store. Yes, give it back. And worse for you, they can get a refund onto their gift card from 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 wishlists 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 away a little free gift was easy, didn’t you?

 

Know Your Reader.

The 24 hour limit on gifting creates the most 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 Kindle ebook gifting to help sales rank is to know your recipient and know for sure that they will claim your gift promptly. You should include a personal message asking them to claim your book immediately.

 

Are You Sure Ebook Gifting 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 from the redemption link.

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 at all.

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 giveaways or prizes probably will 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.

 

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Conclusion.

Yes, Kindle 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.

 

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Derek Haines

Webmaster and Writer at Just Publishing Advice
A Cambridge qualified CELTA English teacher and author of 18 books with a life long passion for publishing in all its forms.
I started my working life as a lithographer and then spent over 30 years in the printing and publishing business.
Originally from Australia, I moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. My days are spent teaching English, writing and wrestling with technology while enjoying my glorious view of the Alps.
Derek Haines
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Derek Haines

A Cambridge qualified CELTA English teacher and author of 18 books with a life long passion for publishing in all its forms. I started my working life as a lithographer and then spent over 30 years in the printing and publishing business. Originally from Australia, I moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. My days are spent teaching English, writing and wrestling with technology while enjoying my glorious view of the Alps.

10 thoughts on “Does A Kindle Gift Card Count As Real Sale On KDP?

  • October 20, 2018 at 3:06 am
    Permalink

    Another question about this:
    Does a gift order count as only one sale, even f it contains multiple copies?
    For example if I purchase 5 copies to gift, is that order only counted as one sale?
    If so, do all 5 of the recipients need to download within 24 hours or it does not count at all?

    If this is the case, gifting single copies at a time is the only way this is advantageous during a launch (and of course being in touch with the recipient to make sure they not only received the gift email but they downloaded the book). Thanks for your insights on this!

    Reply
  • October 20, 2018 at 12:02 am
    Permalink

    Does Amazon permit the recipient of a gift e-book to write a review of the e-book?

    Reply
    • October 20, 2018 at 9:38 am
      Permalink

      Yes. As long as the recipient meets Amazon’s criteria as a reviewer.

      Reply
  • September 10, 2018 at 8:21 pm
    Permalink

    Can we receive a refund from Amazon if the person we sent the gift book to, does not pick it up?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • April 19, 2018 at 9:49 pm
    Permalink

    Amazon has the following rule: “To write a Customer Review, you must have used your account to make at least $50.00 in purchases in the past 12 months on Amazon.com with a valid credit or debit card.”
    Does this apply to books received as gifts? That is, will the recipient of the gift be prevented from reviewing the book if he/she has not made $50 in purchases in the past 12 months?

    Reply
  • January 8, 2018 at 2:21 am
    Permalink

    The whole not being able to gift to anyone in my own country totally sucks. Just another way Amazon penalises those outside of US borders.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2017 at 9:07 pm
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    Hi, I can’t find on Amazon where you can ‘gift’ the book? Can you help?

    Reply
    • July 7, 2017 at 9:26 pm
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      It’s directly under the Buy Box on the top right of your book page. There’s a button, Give As A Gift.

      Reply
  • May 20, 2017 at 11:43 pm
    Permalink

    Hi – your post contains information that isn’t exactly accurate.

    A gift will count as a sale (and you’ll get royalties) as soon as the recipient downloads the book, whether it’s within 24 hours or even 2 weeks later. However, if they do not download it within the first 24 hours, it will not count towards your Amazon sales RANK, but as long as they do eventually download it, it will count as a sale and you’ll get paid.

    I have had instances where I’ve gifted a book and the recipient did not download the book or redeem the gift… in those cases, then no, you will not get the “sale” or royalties from it, since it was never redeemed.

    Reply
  • June 26, 2016 at 3:30 am
    Permalink

    Couldn’t you just send gift certificates to people instead? They can be used anytime. Of course people could spend it on something else, but if they would, then they also would probably trade the ebook gift into a certificate.

    Reply

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