Note, Nov. 2014: Now that I have returned to using free as a strategy for promoting my books, I am updating the list here again. If you notice any links that don’t work or have any suggestions for links to add, please let me know in the comments!
During the month of February 2012, I did four free promotions with KDP Select, and I’ve started to get the hang of it. After the freebies, my ebooks have bounced into the top 100 Paid in their categories. As I write this, Yseult (which was free for 24 hours on Feb. 29) has the following rankings:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,468 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#48 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Fantasy > Historical
#59 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Historical
If you check the popularity ranking for Historical Fantasy in ebooks, it’s even #3. :) (And Dragon Time is #8!)
I promised a bunch of people I would write a blog post about what I do leading up to and during a free promotion, so here goes.
There are several folks you might want to contact about your free promotion once you’ve scheduled it. These sites will announce your book either 1) if they think it’s worthy, or 2) if you’ve paid them enough. Until now, I’ve only used the sites that don’t charge for announcements, but you have no guarantee of being listed. With the paid sites of course you do (but note that not all of them will promote everything). As I said, the only sites I’ve contacted are the ones that are free, but I’m listing several non-free sites I heard about through the blogosphere that are supposed to be good, at least if you are not the daughter of someone who spent formative years during the Great Depression …
Indie Book of the Day (Note: the last time I tried to submit here, I got an error message.)
Book Deal Hunter (To post here, you have to subscribe to their newsletter.)
eBookLister (Note: If you’ve submitted a freebie for the same book before, you get an error message asking you to correct your listing through a contact form.)
Digital Book Today (Free and paid; requires at least 18 reviews and a rating of 4 or higher)
eBooks Habit (Free and paid; for a listing, books must have at least 3 reviews)
Bookpraiser (Free and paid) Note: The last time I tried to enter a book here, it kept insisting that my book description could be no longer than 500 characters, even though my text editor said it was under the limit. The count it finally accepted was less than 250 characters. Go figure …
Bknights on Fiverr – As the location indicates, promotions here cost $5, plus 50c fee
Ereader News Today (prices starting at $15)
Flurries of Words (asks for donations of between $1 – $5 for a listing)
Freebookshub.com ($8 donation for a listing)
Kindle Nation Daily (costs lots)
BookBub (various pricing schemes according to genre and whether the book is free or not)
Free eBooks Daily (Listings starting at $3)
Snickslist (Listings start at $1. Note: this can only be done while the book is free!)
xtme:englishbooks (A German site for English ebooks)
There are also a number of things you can do during or shortly before your free days to help potential readers find your book:
1. Tag your book on Amazon with the words “Kindle free book,” “free ebook” and “Kindle freebie.” (This can be done before your book goes free, but not too far in advance, or you might piss off potential “customers”).
2. Tweet (use hashtags #FreeKindleBook #freekindle #freebook #free #kindlepromo). Don’t forget to thank those who retweet!
3. Post on Facebook pages on your free day(s):
Your Facebook Wall
Free Kindle Books
eReader1 US (Guidelines for posting are here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/ereader1-us/book-promotions-including-self-promo-by-authors-and-publishers-and-their-friends/448662358501661)
eBooks Free Free Free
Authors on the cheap (1 book every 24 hours; guidelines are here: https://www.facebook.com/AontheC/notes)
EBook Korner Kafe (You have to like and share a Focus Post in order to be able to post here.)
4. Announce your freebie on LibraryThing and Goodreads.
5. Blog it, natch.
6. Post about your free book on your other social networking sites (Linked In, Google+, etc.) I try to pace this, since I have the sites that allow it set to automatically post to Twitter.
7. Announce it on the Kindle Boards (Links To Free Books) while it’s free.
8. Send a message to @kindlenews on twitter (over 20,000 followers). If you write in the genre of fantasy and science fiction, send a message to @kindlefantasies (600 followers). Here are few more potential accounts to notify, but be judicious. No one wants to be spamming twitterverse with ads for your book: @DigitalBkToday @Bookyrnextread @kindleebooks @Kindlestuff @KindleEbooksUK @KindleBookKing @KindleFreeBook @free_kindle @FreeReadFeed @4FreeKindleBook @FreeKindleStuff @KindleUpdates @Booksontheknob @Kindle_promo @IndAuthorSucess @CheapKindleDly @KindleDaily (Note: in order for them to retweet, many of these require that you follow them first.)
9. Post it to Addicted to Ebooks (You need to register to be able to post here, and you have to post on a day your book is free.)
All the promotion is a lot of work, but it can pay off. Even for someone who is writing in the unsalable genre of Arthurian fiction. :) BTW, I update this list fairly regularly, so if you have a suggestion for a site to add or remove, please let me know in the comments below!