*Note, January 6, 2014: I am no longer using limited-time free promotions to move books, so I am no longer updating this list on a regular basis. But if you find links that no longer work, if you let me know in the comments, I’ll remove them. Thanks!*
During the month of February, 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 …
Cents-ible eReads (The last time I tried this, the page was down. If it’s still down the next time I check, I’ll delete the listing.)
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.)
Spec Fic Daily – (Note: Only for books in the genres of FANTASY, SCIENCE FICTION, and HORROR!)
Books on the Knob (Note: I don’t use this anymore, since I haven’t been listed in over six months, but give it a shot if you’re so inclined!)
Free Kindle Books and Tips (Note: no short stories)
Kindle Finds (Free and paid; requires at least 10 reviews and a rating of 4 or higher)
Digital Book Today (Free and paid; requires at least 18 reviews and a rating of 4 or higher)
FreeBookSy (Free and paid; the free link is below the table detailing the paid advertising options. Long list of additional information to fill out.)
eBooks Habit (Free and paid)
Bookpraiser (Free and paid)
Flurries of Words (asks for donations of between $1 – $5 for a listing)
Good Kindles (at least $7 donation for a listing)
Freebookshub.com ($5 donation for a listing)
World Literary Cafe (costs)
Kindle Nation Daily (costs lots)
Frugal E-Reader (costs)
BookBub (various pricing schemes according to genre and whether the book is free or not)
Bargain ebook hunter (They supposedly have an option for free ebook promotion, but it’s been down so long now, I’m moving their listing to paid.)
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
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. List your book on Snickslist (this can only be done while the book is free!)
10. Post it to Addicted to eBooks
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!
In other news, I finished the edits for my Arthurian novel Shadow of Stone this week, and am now waiting for the final editorial sample. Once that’s in, I can decide on a copy editor, book a slot, and announce a publishing date for the follow-up novel to Yseult.