Promoting Ebooks with KDP Select

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

Indie Book of the Day (Note: the last time I tried to submit here, I got an error message.)

Free Book Dude

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.)

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.)

Free eBooks Daily (Free and paid)

Digital Book Today (Free and paid; requires at least 18 reviews and a rating of 4 or higher)

eBooks Habit (Free and paid)

Bookpraiser (Free and paid)

Paid:

Ereader News Today (prices starting at $15)

Paid ads through The-Cheap

FreeBookSy

Sweet Free Books

Flurries of Words (asks for donations of between $1 – $5 for a listing)

Good Kindles

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)

BooksEnds

Kindle Spotlight Book Promo

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”

130 thoughts on “Promoting Ebooks with KDP Select”

  1. 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. 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.

    1. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. Fantastic information, thanks so much for doing that!

    Chris Ward
    Author of (the magnificently underselling) Tube Riders

    1. Thanks for the link, David! I’ll add your site to the paid part of my list. How far in advance do you suggest authors notifying you?

  6. 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.

    1. 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!

  7. 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/

      1. 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!

  8. 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

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

    1. 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!

      1. Ruth, I’m hoping you can help me… lol. I’m SUCH a newbie to this… your post is a blessing! How do you figure out and/or where do you go to figure out where your book is rating on “free ranking”… :) Thanks again and for any insight. best- Annie

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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!

    1. Thanks for the clarification, Taylor! I know I used to have you in the free promo section, but then one time when I went over to sign up, all I could find was the paid promo, so I changed the listing.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

    1. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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!

  21. 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

    1. 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

  22. 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

    1. 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!

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

        Thanks again.

        Vic

  23. 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!

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