Trying to “make it” as an indie author as taught me a lot about the power of the word FREE. The reason is that with Amazon Kindle Select you can run promotions where any of your self-published books are free for a set number of days. The idea is for the book to climb the many top lists on Amazon so that it gets maximum exposure. The “only” thing Amazon asks of you is that your book is exclusively published with Amazon for a three-month period.
I’ve tried free days on Amazon Kindle Select quite a few times now with some success and found it to be one of the most powerful marketing tools an indie author can find. When I’ve run it for The Wake-Up Call I’ve had up to 26 000 downloads in two days. This helped the book to climb the top lists and to my amazement it managed to reach #4 in Contemporary Fiction and #1 in Humor. Since the book stays for some hours on the top list even after the promotion is over, this will obviously net quite some sales as well.
That was the most successful Kindle Select Promotion I ever ran. Other times, it’s been decent to completely pointless. The success of your promotion depends on a number of things:
1. The days you choose. Weekends are rarely good, because people tend to do other things than browse for free e-books.
2. That the book has a decent rating. Less than 4 star reviews in average will be less effective.
3. That you do your homework and make sure to advertise the book everywhere you possibly can. There are loads of free book promotion websites out there. I will list some below.
4. That you use all your communication channel in getting out the message. Social media can be very effective and Twitter has done wonders for me in the past.
5. That your book has a good looking cover (people are very visual) and an interesting description.
6. That the first pages of your book (what readers usually sample) really hook the reader.
7. That your book is placed in the right category for it. Categories like Mystery and Thrillers is extremely competitive, but maybe you have a smaller niche that is easier to reach out through? This means it will be easier for you to climb to #1 on the Amazon top lists.
The reason I started writing this post is that I’m now trying two free days (3rd and 4th of April) on Amazon Kindle Select again to see if it can do any wonders for my recently published novel “Hollywood Ass.”
I have done some promotion, but sadly the book is yet to have a review so I’m not sure it will get enough downloads to make a difference. But as an indie author you have to try your best and see what works.
Sites where you can promote your books (to be updated):
Digital Book Today
The Kindle Book Review
World Literary Café
Author Marketing Club
Free Ebooks Daily
Kindle Nation Daily
Kindle Book Promos
Some useful twitter hashtags courtesy of Jeff Bennington:
- #kindle #kindlefire #ebooks #FREE #mustread #goodreads #greatreads #freeebooks #Kindlefreebooks
- #AmazonPrime #Kindledeals #kindledeals
- @FreeKindleStuff @FreeReadFeed @free_kindle @Freebookdeal @freebookpromos @freebooksy
- @KindleBlaze @KindleBookBlast @KindleBookKing @KindleDaily @Kindlbookreview @digitalBKtoday
- @KindleFireDept @KindleEbooksUK @KindleFreBook @KindleFreeBooks @KindleFreeStuff @KindleKing
- @KindleSurprise @KindleUS @KindleUK @KindleDE @KindleES @Kindle_Max @kindle_mojo @Kindlefreebies