Why give your book away?
While it might seem counterintuitive to give your book away to get sales, a Kindle Free Book Promotion is an excellent way to meet a number of objectives:
Get more reviews – If you have a quality book, more readers drive attention to your book and generate more reviews. Reviews are the social proof that your book is worth reading, whether someone pays for it or not. In the initial phase of launching your book, getting more reviews should be at the forefront of your efforts to create long-term success for your book.
Highlight other books – If you have more than one book, alternating promotions from one book to the other(s) helps to cross-sell your books.
Drive traffic to a website/your business – If your book is a marketing tool for your business, more readers means more traffic to your website and more chances to personally connect with the reader to solve their problem.
What’s KDP Select
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) offers its Select program to authors who exclusively publish their ebooks with KDP. Select subscribers receive a 70% royalty on all ebooks sold plus a variety of other benefits like the free promotion option. To enroll in KDP Select, click on the KDP Select tab at the top of your KDP account or click https://kdp.amazon.com/select for more info.
How to run a Kindle Free Book Promotion
Access the promotions from your Bookshelf once you sign in to KDP. Click Promote and Advertise.
Select the radio button for Free Book Promotion.
Enter the date and notice the number of free promotion dates used at the bottom. When your book is enrolled in KDP Select, you are entitled to 5 promotional days per enrollment period (90 days)
At the bottom of the screen, you can edit or delete the promotion.
Strategies for Maximizing Promotion
Your book – Aside from making your book the best it can be through professional editing and a quality cover, include information to direct readers to the next step. Ask for their review and give them a link to your Amazon page. Send them to your website for bonus material and capture their contact information with lead generation tools. Use your email connection to cultivate raving fans of your work and evangelists to their network. If you have products or services or a new book, email is proven to be the best method to generate future sales.
Timing/number of days – While everyone has different opinions on the exact number of days or days of the week which work best, there is some agreement that breaking the promotion in 2 maximizes the effect. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday seem to be sweet spots for downloads, with Saturday being the only day all agree is the least effective. Brian G. Johnson shares his experience with KDP Free Book Promotion for his books in this YouTube video.
Coordinate with social media – To drive more traffic to your Amazon site, coordinate the promotion with posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads (and your other networks), and include ads to boost visibility. Use hashtags like #FreeEbooks #KindleFree, #free, #books, or #AmWriting along with any hashtags for your genre to reach specific readers. Ruth Francisco suggests including these Twitter handles in your posts as well.
@DigitalBkToday @kindleebooks @Kindlestuff @KindleEbooksUK @KindleBookKing @KindleFreeBook @FreeReadFeed @4FreeKindleBook
Use multiple links – To broaden your readership, Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin suggests including Amazon.com and Amazon.uk links to your promotion on Twitter to boost readership across the pond.
Be helpful – Being relentlessly helpful works. Pamela Fagan Hutchins stresses helping others, too. Share your gratitude with those who helped make your promotion a success. It’s the old 80/20 rule. Create an atmosphere of giving, and readers will pay attention when you promote your book.
Be social – Continue to develop a network of readers and fans to make each successive promotion even better. Engage with people on social media, write great content on a blog, and write your next book. Your readers are waiting to hear from you!