Promoting Ebooks with KDP Select

*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 …

Free:

Pixel of Ink

Ereader News Today

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.)

Indie Book of the Day

Free Book Dude

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)

Free eBooks Daily

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)

Paid:

Paid ads through The-Cheap.net

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.)

Kindle Fire Department

Kindle Spotlight Book Promo

Kindleboard Blog Ads

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

IAuthor
Indie Kindle
EBook Korner Kafe
eReader1 US
Kindle Finds
Amazon Kindle
eBooks Free Free Free
Free eBooks Daily
Authors on the cheap (1 book every 24 hours)

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.

Related posts:

- E-book promotions: Countdown – meh. Permafree – yay! (kinda)

- Amazon trying to re-Kindle interest in KDP Select: The new “Countdown Deals”

About Ruth Nestvold

Ruth Nestvold's short fiction has appeared in numerous markets, including Asimov's, F&SF, Baen's Universe, Strange Horizons, Scifiction, and Gardner Dozois's Year's Best Science Fiction. Her fiction has been nominated for the Nebula, Tiptree, and Sturgeon Awards. In 2007, the Italian translation of her novella "Looking Through Lace" won the "Premio Italia" award for best international work. Her novel Flamme und Harfe appeared in translation with the German imprint of Random House, Penhaligon, in 2009 and has since been translated into Dutch and Italian. She maintains a web site at www.ruthnestvold.com.
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129 Responses to Promoting Ebooks with KDP Select

  1. Tia Bach says:

    Not only am I saving this, I am printing it (something I rarely do for posts) and filing it away in my publishing files. Great information. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  2. Some great info here. When the time comes, I’m going to have to remember it. Thanks for posting.

    All the best with your writing and promoting goals.

    TTFN

  3. Wow, thanks for sharing this! It’s always great to see what’s worked for others for promotion, which so often seems like throwing darts in the dark. I don’t think my current book or upcoming one are a good fit for KDP Select, but I might try it if I can produce a shorter, tie-in work, so this is good stuff to know when the time comes.

    • Ruth Nestvold says:

      I can’t recommend KDP Select highly enough for promotional purposes, Jennette! Definitely take advantage of it when you have a book you think fits.

  4. KM Huber says:

    Thanks, Ruth. I, too, am saving this as it is stuffed with valuable information. Gave you a Tweet as well. I just love coming by your blog.

    Best,
    Karen

  5. Hi Ruth, I am about to launch my free campaign for my mystery On The Road to Death’s Door (April 11 & 12), and am putting together my to do list. This is awesome information. Thank you so much for providing it. You are a gem!

  6. Chris Ward says:

    Fantastic information, thanks so much for doing that!

    Chris Ward
    Author of (the magnificently underselling) Tube Riders

  7. Great stuff! Thanks for sharing.

  8. davidwisehart says:

    I’m promoting KDP Select titles on my blog, which gets about 5,000 page views per day.

    Details here: http://kindle-author.com/advertise/promote-your-free-book/

    David

  9. What a great post and what useful info. Thanks for sharing. I have several books on Kindle and am thinking of putting my new ones free soon. This is very timely for me.

  10. Pingback: Another successful giveaway: “Dragon Time” now #2 in historical fantasy! | Ruth Nestvold – What’s New

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  12. Thanks, TONS! I’m new to the freebie promo and am gearing up for one in a month. This should make me right.

  13. Thanks for all the tips, Ruth. I have covered most of those bases for my next promotion which begins on Sunday for three days (two books). Those I missed, I’ll make a note of. Just as a point of interest; I jumped on the KDP bandwagon in February and shot up the rankings with an amazing 40,000 free downloads. The result of that and later promotions gave me a sales figure on 7000 plus. Now I’m currently selling about 10 e-books a day, which compares favourably to about 2 per month which I was achieving last year. I’m hoping my marketing and promotional efforts will bump me right up with the big boys. We’ll see. Thanks again for your blog.

    • Ruth Nestvold says:

      Those are amazing numbers, Michael! My most successful freebie was 8500+, after which I sold about 250 books. :) But I’m not complaining. Still pretty new to all this, and most of my traditional publishing cred is in short fiction, which doesn’t go very far in the ebook world. I’m working on it!

  14. Judith Post says:

    It’s so generous of you to share so much information. Thank you! My agent is going to let me list a free novella soon. This came at a perfect time for me.

  15. What a fantastic blog post, Ruth! Wow. I shared it with the Creative Reviews group on Goodreads (crediting you, of course) and was so inspired by this comprehensive list of ideas and links, I did a followup to this blog as my own Tuesday Tip blog here.

    I’m not using the KDP Select program (and almost definitely never will except to launch a loss leader specifically written to be a loss leader) but your ideas apply to more than just Kindle books. I took your blog, augmented and extended it to the general case and focused on the discussion rather than the links. Your list is beyond complete. I just linked to yours :)

    Thanks again for sharing such a comprehensive list and valuable resource. Clearly, you spend hours collecting all of that data into one place. It’s very generous of you to share it in a blog post.

    -sry
    Sarah, The Webbiegrrl Writer
    @webbiegrrl
    http://webbiegrrl.blogspot.com/

    • oops, “spent” not “spend” – I should hope/think you do not spend (present tense) now that you’ve got this list at hand! LOL

      • Ruth Nestvold says:

        Well, unfortunately it doesn’t work as well as when I first put it together, since Amazon has changed the algorithms. :(

        Thanks for featuring me on your site, BTW!

  16. Pingback: Cracking 1,000 ebooks sales (and other good news) | Ruth Nestvold – What’s New

  17. Anna Elliott says:

    Ruth, thanks for putting this together! I just wanted to share that it is not necessary to contact ereaderiq. I asked them what the best way to submit a book was, and received this reply:

    There is no need to submit an eBook giveaway. Our system is automated and
    will list your book automatically on the day it goes free.

    Regards,
    Christian Hupfeld
    http://www.eReaderIQ.com

  18. Pingback: Great Post on Raising Your Kindle Ranking « SciFi, Fantasy and Other Books

  19. davidmcgowan says:

    Ruth, thanks so much for the info. I’m considering enrolling in KDP Select to list my debut, The Hunter Inside, and this has really given me some great stuff to think about!

  20. Pingback: Before you organise a Free book day, be sure to notify these sites. | The eBook Guide

  21. Pingback: Notify Top Sites About Your Free Kindle eBookThe eBook Guide | The eBook Guide

  22. Bon Rose says:

    What days do you think are the best for freebies? How many days do you do? I have a several book/stories so I was wondering if doing one for 2 days then another one for 1 day but again which days? Thank you!

    • Very good question! And I have no decent answer. :) I avoid Fridays, because that’s the day I’ve had my worst results, I also avoid the 15th of the month, because one ad site does a big promo then, otherwise — try it and see!

  23. Thank you sooooo much for this, Ruth! Wow… :)

  24. Reblogged this on Arabella Kidd and commented:
    Brilliant job.

  25. Annie —

    The rankings for your book, whether free or paid, are underneath the Product Details. My book Yseult is free today (June 22), so if you go to this link, you can see what I mean:

    If you don’t visit it today, then you will see the Paid rankings rather than the free rankings.

  26. This list is concise and incredibly helpful. Thank you so much for putting this together, Ruth N.

  27. Good resource, thank you! Maybe I’ll try another free promo of my children’s book Miro the Dragon soon, and then I’ll try out some of your tricks :)

  28. Netty says:

    Thanks a lot, Ruth. This will do me a whole lot of good. You are blessed.

  29. Tia Homes says:

    Thank you sooo much for this blog post. I’m a very young writer and this is very helpful to me when the time comes for my next KDP Select Promotion days. Thanks!

  30. Ruth, this is pure gold! Thank you so much.

    I’m new at all this (publishing, promoting) and your tips helped a LOT!!
    God bless you!

  31. Thank you for this. You’ve set everything out so nicely that the process doesn’t seem so daunting.

  32. Pingback: Could group promos be the wave of the future for indies? | Ruth Nestvold – What’s New

  33. i LOVED THIS!! I’ve been composing from four different articles as I get ready to make my novel Dreams of Reality free in July and you had a lot of information they had and a whole lot they didn’t have! Here’s one also http://www.facebook.com/groups/Fan4Authors/ you can post your free novel there and encourage other authors to share and tweet.

  34. herminestrand says:

    Reblogged this on Nihilism for Dilettantes and commented:
    Today, a little laziness on my part–but not really. Below is a repost of someone else’s article that self-published writers definitely need to know about if they are going to use the KDP Select program through Kindle Direct Publishing. For readers: the article helps us writers get a copy of our books to you for free–and it offers useful websites and twitter tags to use in order to find out what Kindle books are available when.

  35. You have written a very informative article Ruth and we thank you very much for it! Your hard work of gathering the information and compiling it in here to help other indie authors out is a true blessing and we thank you for it! If you ever need any help at all, just ask, I have been told I am very good at getting word out on facebook and twitter! Thank you very much for your words and your insight! Have a great day!
    Wendy Siefken
    here is my facebook page, if you need anything just give me a shout! Thank you again!
    https://www.facebook.com/#!/wendy.siefken

  36. daphne says:

    Thanks for this awesome list! I was working through it and I discovered that the Facebook page Kindle Tips & Tricks is closed and is now eReader1 US and their new url is https://www.facebook.com/eReader1.US.

  37. Thanks for the useful information!

  38. Jay Walsh says:

    Hi Ruth – incredible list, thank you! Did you know there are a couple of eBook groups on LinkedIn? You’ll have to be a member of LinkedIn, of course, and you’ll have to join the groups (which may take a day or two waiting for approval). But they both have running posts introducing new books and giveaways.

    Ebooks, Ebook Readers, Digital Books and Digital Content (50,617 members)
    http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Ebooks-Ebook-Readers-Digital-Books-1515307?trk=myg_ugrp_ovr

    E-Books / E-Book readers (2,409 members)
    http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1841342&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr

  39. Tasha says:

    Thanks every so much for all this information – so useful. I knew some of it, but not even close to all.

  40. Pingback: Budget Marketing:*The Freebie* | Romance on a Budget

  41. Pingback: My KDP Select Free Giveaway Experience – Part 1 « davidmcgowanauthor.com

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  43. Pingback: Hitting the Jackpot with Yseult and Shadow of Stone (The Pendragon Chronicles) | Ruth Nestvold – What's New

  44. Hi Ruth,

    Thanks for linking to our site! Just so authors know, we also offer submissions that are completely FREE. $50 gets you a guaranteed standalone feature and promotion on our Facebook and Twitter pages, but you can submit your book to us for free (with no guarantee) if you want to try us out before paying.

    If anyone has questions or just wants to make a contact at Freebooksy, feel free to email me — taylor@freebooksy.com. We love to help authors!

  45. Anonymous says:

    Great Article, Ruth. Made me realize I could offer this service to viewers of my website too.
    http://www.goodbooks-toread.com/
    Now has a new web-page offering free and paid (cheap) ads for KDP Select free ebooks.
    We need to be contacted at least a week in advance for an author submission and its first come first served.

  46. THIS is what I’ve spent the last two hours scouring the internet for. I wanted a comprehensive list of sites/Twitter addresses/how tos for using KDP Select’s free days. I’m not planning on doing it for a few months, but I wanted to get all my ducks in a row before I started up the promotion. So many other blogs I’ve read say, “Find Facebook pages” or “Submit it to Kindle blog sites.” Yes, I knew to do that, but I needed to know which ones, and you took care of that for me! This is totally fantastic. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • I’m glad the info looks helpful, Sariah! I keep it updated too, because I use it myself whenever I have a free promo, so come back when you need it! And if you notice a link or something that isn’t working, please let me know.

  47. Pingback: Other Ways to Promote Your Writing | Beyond the Elements of Style

  48. Hey hey… I run eBooksHabit.com and we accept submissions from authors for their free ebook promos as well. We are new, and are working hard to grow our reader base. In a month or so, we are up to 2000 on our mailing list, as well as over 1000 Facebook fans.

    Please consider adding eBooks Habit to your awesome list here. =)

    Thanks…

  49. wobblyg says:

    This is great, Ruth. I love the fact that you keep this updated. Every time I have a promo, I come here and find all the links I need in one place, plus new ones I didn’t know about. – Brant

  50. Hi Ruth,
    sometime after the last group I decided to keep the site promotions on a daily basis as well, could you add it to the list?

    http://www.freefantasybook.com/free-fantasy-book-author-submission/

    Let me know if you have any questions,
    –Chris

  51. Pingback: KDP Select Free Promo Review – Marketing for Self Publishers Part 2 | Self Publishing Sci-Fi Romance

  52. diana893 says:

    Announce your freebie on LibraryThing and Goodreads.
    Ruth, can you please tell me how to do this? Thanks, Diana

  53. Pingback: Thanks for the downloads

  54. Anna Vine says:

    Thank you Ruth so much for this information. It was extremely helpful.

  55. Thank you so much for this post. I’m seeing sites that I wasn’t aware of, even after investing in marketing books and three promotions. I’m looking forward to even better results next time!

  56. Pingback: USEFUL LINKS FOR INDEPENDENT AUTHORS | A Newbie's Journey into the Publishing World

  57. Pingback: An Excellent List of Book Sites | David VanDyke's Author Blog

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  60. vic says:

    Hi Ruth

    Can you tell me how long, on average, it takes for a free ebook listing website to promote a book after submitting it to them please? I want to work out when to list my book as free with KDP Select, and at the same time make sure I have left enough time for it to be promoted.

    That sounds like a bit of a mouthful. I hope you know what I am getting at :)

    Thanks

    Vic

    • Hi Vic,

      I’m not quite sure what you’re asking. You arrange your free days with KDP Select first, and then you go to all these sites and tell them when your freebie will be and hope they pick your book up. With the free sites, there’s no guarantee your book will be listed, only if you pay for advertising.

      Hope that helps!

      Ruth

  61. vic says:

    Thanks Ruth. I wasn’t quite sure what I was asking either :) Okay, so if for example I go to KDP Select this afternoon and set my free days to start on April 23rd, will this give enough time for me to submit to the promotion sites if I do that this afternoon as well? Do those sites need a weeks noitce, two weeks, a month?

    Thanks for your help.

    Vic

    • Vic,

      Most of the sites say they need at least three days, several at least a week, but some indie writers suggest notifying these sites at least two weeks before your promo.

      Good luck!

      • vic says:

        That’s exactly what I needed to know. And thanks for an incredibly helpful article and list of promotion sites.

        Thanks again.

        Vic

  62. This is great, Ruth. Do you have any suggestions as to when it’s best to make these notifcations? All on the free day? A week ahead?

  63. Lynn West says:

    Hello Ruth,
    Please add us to the list. Our site http://freediscountedbooks.com/, promotes KDP free books in all genres. Submissions are free and we automatically place them for sale in our bookstore after the free days have passed.

    We also accept perma-free books.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Thank you much for “giving back” Ruth. I have shared this, printed it and will share with the Writers Round Table workshop I facilitate!
    I haven’t yet done anything of your powerful suggestions, but I did pay Facebook to promote my Free Kindle Book (Fuel For The Fire) and two Christmas sales ($1.99 & $2.99 which I timed myself after withdrawing from Kindle Select in order to time them for Christmas). I linked the FB ad to my Kindle page. There were over 2200 Free downloads and a dozen purchases. I bet there would have been a lot more purchases using your suggestions!

    • You’re welcome! I haven’t used free for promotional for a while, since it seems to have so little effect these days, but I’m glad people are still finding my list useful. :)

  65. Pingback: E-book promotions: Countdown – meh. Permafree – yay! (kinda) | Ruth Nestvold – Indie Adventures

  66. Pingback: Amazon trying to re-Kindle interest in KDP Select: The new “Countdown Deals” | Ruth Nestvold – Indie Adventures

  67. bharathi.b says:

    thanks for your valuble posting, it was very informative.i am working in web design company in chennai

  68. Erne Kouk says:

    Great list, I would also add Bookpraiser.com on that list

  69. Anthony Myers says:

    Would you mind adding Zourla.com ? Check it out

  70. Woow that waѕ strange. I just wrote an incredibly long commen bսt after
    I clicked submit my сomment didn’t ѕhow uρ.
    Grrrr… ԝell I’m not writing all thɑt ovеr again. Anyways,
    јust wanted to sаy superb blog!

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