Marketing Free Books

I’m always testing new ideas when it comes to marketing books and when I do, I’m sure to let you all know the results. So, this past week I thought I’d test out Amazon’s marketing for books enrolled in KDP Select. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s Amazon’s way of putting you in a contract where your ebook version is exclusive to Amazon while giving you some advantage with their marketing tools on the platform.

You can always opt out of KDP Select after every quarter, but being a part of the program allows you to also be able to sell your ebook for free through Kindle Unlimited. This, in theory, helps you generate more readers for your book which are counted in a collective pool per page read on Kindle. If you haven’t checked it out or are thinking about doing it, there’s not much harm to it. Just make sure you read the fine print and don’t have more than 10% of your book published anywhere else digitally.

Now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, let’s go ahead and talk about the real reason you clicked on my blog – how many books did I actually give away? We’re going to get there, but first let me tell you how easy it was to do and what I did to try and drive the numbers up for my giveaway.

With KDP, everyone has a dashboard where you can see sales. On that dashboard, you can also find a button that says “Marketing” which is where you would go to schedule your Free Book Promotion.

The “Marketing” tab has other promotions you can run too, such as the Kindle Countdown Deals where you can make your ebook $0.99. This kind of marketing technique is better once you have an established anchor series. Many indie authors use this to get readers hooked on the first book, so they’ll buy the other books in the series at full price. It works if you have a really compelling series with some major cliffhangers. I know, because I’m also a reader that binge reads.

Anyway, once you get to the Marketing page, you’ll click on which marketing campaign you wish to run. You’ll select the one for Free Book Promotion and a new screen will ask you which book you want to run the promotion on.

If you have multiple books enrolled in KDP, then you’ll see them on the pop-up screen. Simply select the book you wish to run the deal on and then choose your dates to confirm when you want to run it. You can be strategic about this as well. Some authors like to run the promotion right before they release another book in the series, or right after. That way, they can get readers and reviews for the new book as well. The term for it is called gentle leading, I believe. You’re gently nudging readers to pick up the other books in your series by making the first one extremely affordable.

Witch Trials doesn’t currently have a sequel…yet. Dun dun DUN!! We’ll save that for another blog post next week.

Now, onto my results. So, the deal lasts for 5 consecutive days. You may even want to be strategic about this as well. I knew I definitely wanted to include the weekend on this, with Friday and Saturday being the most free books given away. I chose to start on a Wednesday and the deal lasted until the end of Sunday.

Now, this doesn’t look like much for some authors out there that make huge sales, but for little old me, this is HUGE! Of course I promoted it on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. I even ran a paid ad on Facebook and Instagram for the five days the ad was running at a low price. I think that helped drive up the numbers a bit, but next time I think I’ll just do Facebook and not do the ad on Instagram. I also made a post on my Tumblr, but according to my stats on Bitly, it looks like most of my link clicks came from Facebook.

Why am I sharing this with all of you, you may ask? Well, because some writer out there who self-published on Amazon is feeling discouraged because they’re not making the kind of sales they wanted even though they have a gem of a book on their hands. And if this information gives them that spark they need to keep writing and trying to spread their stories, then that’s what I’m going to be for them – a spark.

I may not sell a lot of books, but that doesn’t mean I should stop writing, marketing, or helping others. Perseverance goes a long way I’ve heard. So, chin up, and try a new marketing strategy or two. Maybe even a dozen like me. But don’t forget the most important thing – to keep writing.

Published by Lauren Eason

Author of Dark Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. Podcaster. Book Reviewer. Catmom.

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