Promoting Ebooks with a Free Run through KDP Select

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!

If you’re promoting a 99c sale rather than a free run, you can find my list of sites for that here.

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ (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. The sites that don’t charge for announcements usually don’t guarantee being listed. With the paid sites of course you do (but note that not all of them will promote everything).


Indie Book of the Day (No erotica.)

FreeBookSy (Free and paid.)

eBookLister (Note: If you’ve submitted a freebie for the same book before, you get an error message stating that your listing will be corrected.)

Book Angel – Book must be PG-13!

Ask David


The eReader Cafe (Free and paid. Book should have at least 3 reviews and a rating of 4 or higher.)

Choosy Bookworm (Free and paid. Book must be at least 70 pages long & have at least 8 reviews with a 4+ average.)

Free Books (Hands down the easiest place to submit the info for your free promo — only ASIN and dates!)

BookScream (While they’re in beta, all ads on BookScream are free.)

eBooks Habit (Free and paid; for a listing, books must have at least 3 reviews. No erotica.)

Reading Deals (Requires a minimum of 5 reviews & a 4.0 average rating. No graphic sexual content.)

SF Signal Free Fiction Tip Line (For science fiction and fantasy)

Frugal Freebies

Awesomegang (Free and paid.)


New Free Kindle Books


Armadillo EBooks

Bookpraiser (Free and paid. Requires you to like, tweet, subscribe, etc.) 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 …



(BTW, before booking any paid ads, you might want to check out my post about Alexa rankings for advertising sites.)

Bknights on Fiverr (As the location indicates, promotions here cost $5, plus 50c fee)

Ereader News Today (Prices starting at $30)

EBookDaily – Still in beta, and the price is donate whatever you think is appropriate.

Book Basset ($7.99 per day. Requires at least 10 reviews with a rating of 3.5 or higher.) (Prices starting at $25. Requires at least 10 reviews and a rating of 4 or higher. Slots fill up early, so you should probably apply at least 2 weeks in advance, if not more.)

Ignite Your Book (99c for a listing on their page, and another $10 for the complete promo, including tweets and newsletter, which you need to order separately.)

Bookgorilla (Prices starting at $40.)

EBookStage (Must have at least 5 reviews and a rating of 4 or higher. Promotion packages starting at $12, but can be free with enough “promotion points.”)

Books Butterfly (A number of various pricing options depending on how many readers your ad will reach.)

Sweet Free Books ($5. At least 5 reviews and a 3.5 rating.)

Digital Book Today (Free and paid; books must be at least 100 pages long and have at least 18 reviews with a rating of 4 or higher. No erotica.)

BookRaid – Pricing per click, starting at 5c, with a minimum threshold of $2 — so at less than 40 clicks, the listing is free. Maximum charge $10. For fiction, the book must be at least 120 pages long. It cannot have been promoted in the last 8 weeks.

Good Kindles ($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. VERY expensive, but most who have used it think it’s worth it.)

Robin Reads (Listings start at $40.)

One Hundred Free Books (Listings start at $75)


Booklover’s Heaven (Requires at least 10 reviews and a rating of 4 or higher.)

Kindle Spotlight Book Promo

Snickslist (Listings start at $1. Note: this can only be done while the book is free!)

xtme:englishbooks (A German site for English ebooks)

During your promo

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. 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.)

2. For erotica, announce it on The Naughty List

3. Announce your freebie on LibraryThing and Goodreads.

4. Blog it, natch.

5. 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.

6. Announce it on the Kindle Boards (Links To Free Books) while it’s free.

7. Post on Facebook pages on your free day(s):

Your Facebook Wall

Free Kindle Books
eReader1 US (Guidelines for posting are here:
Amazon Kindle
EBook Korner Kafe (You have to like and share a Focus Post in order to be able to post here.)
Indie Kindle (You have to be a member to post to their promotion page.)

8. Tweet (use hashtags #FreeKindleBook #freekindle #freebook #free #kindlepromo). Don’t forget to thank those who retweet!

9. 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.)

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!

Related posts:

E-book promotions: Countdown โ€“ meh. Permafree โ€“ yay! (kinda)

Amazon trying to re-Kindle interest in KDP Select: The new โ€œCountdown Dealsโ€

If you found this blog post helpful, perhaps you would be interested in the book, Starting Out as an Indie Author! You can learn more here.

154 thoughts on “Promoting Ebooks with a Free Run through 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.


  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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. 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.

  8. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

    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.

    Sarah, The Webbiegrrl Writer

      1. Well, unfortunately it doesn’t work as well as when I first put it together, since Amazon has changed the algorithms. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

        Thanks for featuring me on your site, BTW!

  9. 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.

    Christian Hupfeld

  10. 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!

  11. 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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”… ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks again and for any insight. best- Annie

  12. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!!/wendy.siefken

    1. I’m getting ready to turn my out-of-print book into a ebook using Bookbaby, and saw your comemnt there with your link . Great list! Thanks so much!

  16. Hi Ruth โ€“ 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)

    E-Books / E-Book readers (2,409 members)

  17. 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 — 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.

  18. Great Article, Ruth. Made me realize I could offer this service to viewers of my website too.
    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Hey hey… I run 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. =)


  21. 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

  22. 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!

  23. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚



    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!


  24. Thanks Ruth. I wasn’t quite sure what I was asking either ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.


    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.


  25. 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!

    1. 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Hello Ruth, Newbie here. Thanks so much for your hard work. I’ve spent the whole day listing with all those free sites. I’m spent. Hope it pays off. My KDP select was for 4 days for free but I think I might stop it after 3 days and save it for next month. What do you think?
    I’m guessing many downloads will be from all these sites where I submitted my book and won’t get me any reviews. So maybe promoting for 3 days then 2 days next month, would be better.
    Please advise.

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