Marketing & Promotion
Everyone loves a sale. Discounting your book periodically will draw in people who may not have been drawn in
when the book was at its normal price. If they like it, you've gained a fan, and fans will consider buying your
other books and help spread the word on what a great author you are. I once heard from a book club member
that one of my books on sale at the time caught her eye, and from that I sold twenty-five books. You never know.
You understand a sale, but I know some of you are asking why anyone would want to give away their books for
free. Many authors feel it sends a message that they put such little value on their book that they're willing to give
it away. Hear me out, there are reasons to give away books.
First, giving away books gives you exposure you wouldn't otherwise receive, lots of exposure. During my most
successful free book promotion, I gave away over 76,000 e-books. (Read about this and other book
promotions of mine a little further down.) This kind of exposure leads to increased sales of the book being
promoted in the days/weeks/months following the promotion, as well as in crossover sales for other books.
Secondly, the more books you give away, the higher your Amazon ranking, and the higher your ranking, the
better your ability to sell more books. Readers look at rankings, and so does Amazon. My books have shown
up on that section of Amazon's buy page that says, "Customers who viewed this item also considered..." as
well as on the opening page of some Kindle readers.
Third, some of the people who download your book will write a review--reviews that will help other readers
make buying decisions. During the thirty days following my biggest promotion, I received 147 Amazon reviews
averaging 4.4 stars.
And last, giving away an e-book doesn't cost anything.
Click here for an article I wrote for indieBRAG about giving away books.
If your book is available on Kindle, you may want to consider the KDP Select program. Their Terms and Conditions are lengthy, but in a
nutshell, you can choose up to five days to make the Kindle version of your book available on Amazon.com for free in exchange for
giving Amazon exclusivity on any digital version of your book. Every 90-day enrollment period, you can choose five one-day promotions,
one five-day promotion, or any other combination you desire.
Or you can choose a Kindle Countdown Deal that involves limited-time discount promotions and a countdown clock showing how
much time is left at the promotional price.
Another benefit of the KDP Select program is their Kindle Owners' Lending Library. If someone is an Amazon Prime member, they can
borrow most books on Kindle (one per month) at no cost. The beauty of this is that the author earns a royalty based on pages read. I
earn the majority of my royalties from Prime members borrowing my books.
Why wouldn't you want to participate in the KDP Select program? If you elect to participate in KDP, you will be violating the program rules
if you continue to sell e-books via channels other than Kindle, and if you breach the contract in this manner, you face forfeiting all
royalties earned during the 90 days. So if you are successfully selling lots of e-books in other venues, you may not want to opt into this
Where to Promote Discounted and Free Books
Click here to purchase a list of many sites where you can promote your discounted and free books. Many are free of charge, some cost
a few dollars a day, and some are quite expensive. (I charge a nominal processing fee for this and other lists which are updated
Always a Decent Return on Investment (ROI)
Here are some examples of my KDP Select promotions. I've never lost money on a paid promotion.
Book title: Regarding AnnaWhat makes the first two stand out was choosing BookBub as a promotion site. They were expensive ($290 and $220 respectively) but
Free book promotion period: April 18-22, 2015
No. of sites on which the book was promoted: 40
Total investment: $281
Number of free downloads during the five-day promotion period: 76,769
Number of books sold/borrowed during the 30 days following the promo: 4,648
Number of Amazon reviews during the 30 days following the promo: 147 averaging 4.4 stars
Book title: Boxed Set: The Coach House & Daughters
Free book promotion period: August 6-9, 2015
No. of sites on which the book was promoted: 33
Total investment: $290
Number of free downloads during the four-day promotion period: 42,332
No. of sets sold during the 30 days following the promo: 365
No. of pages read during 30 days following the promo (including the 1st day of the promo): 1,672,786
No. of Amazon reviews during the 30 days following the promo: 70 averaging 4.7 stars
Book title: Daughters
Free book promotion period: July 9-11, 2015
No. of sites on which the book was promoted: 1 (Robin Reads)
Total investment: $15
Number of free downloads during the three-day promotion period: 5,805
No. of books sold during the 30 days following the promo: 62
No. of pages read during 30 days following the promo (including the 1st day of the promo): 36,422
No. of Amazon reviews during the 30 days following the promo: 6 averaging 3.7 stars
Book title: Red Clover
Free book promotion period: September 5-9, 2015
No. of sites on which the book was promoted: 52
Total investment: $90
Number of free downloads during the five-day promotion period: 7,772
No. of books sold during the 30 days following the promo: 38
No. of pages read during 30 days following the promo (including the 1st day of the promo): 57,296
No. of Amazon reviews during the 30 days following the promo: 12 averaging 4.7 stars
they also yielded the best ROI.
- Receive periodic notifications when additional subjects are added to
the writer’s advice sections (about one per quarter).
- Learn of my future book releases (about one per year).
- Let me know if you would like to see additional topics included on
this website, and if I use your suggestion, receive a complimentary
copy of one of my books (your choice).