Every indie author struggles with the thought of doing a free book promotion. I have been there, but I’m here to tell you, that you can benefit from this type of promotion in many ways.
As I usually do with these tip types of posts, I will go through the pros and cons of free promotions and you can judge for yourself.
First, however, I want to go through the ways you can approach free book promotions. Some are more successful than others.
The first, and probably the easiest, method is to do a promotion through Amazon. You can do a free giveaway of your book for up to seven days. You just have to schedule it through the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) web site. You can then post on your favorite social media outlets and your blog and hope for the best. You have to be careful on Facebook, however. I’ve found that if you post the same promotional information in several groups within a short period of time, you will do some hard time in Facebook jail. I did a 30 day stretch the last time and I only posted to about 10 groups. They are really cracking down.
Another option apart from manually posting to social media is to run paid ads on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc. This can be pricey, but the reward can be good. I’ve had thousands of books downloaded this way, but it cost me.
Another effective method, that also helps you grow your mailing list, is to give away books in exchange for subscriptions. When I couple this with ads, it really helps me grow the list and gain exposure.
Each of the methods I mentioned could be detailed in separate posts. What I really want to do with this post is give you good information to help you decide whether a free book promotion is right for you. So, without further delay, here are the pros and cons.
- Amazon ranks authors by units downloaded. Your rank as an author will rise whether your books are free or paid for (according to the Author Central site).
- Many more people will have your work in their hands. If you’ve written multiple books, this can be useful. I gave away the first book in my Frank Rozzani detective series and watched sales of the second and third books bump up as a result. Readers like me will read everything written by an author if they enjoy their work.
- You will get more reviews.Reviews are the lifeblood for authors on Amazon and Goodreads. It is like a digital word-of-mouth.
- Your exposure will increase. See bullet two as to why this is good.
- Lost sales – for a period of time, you will lose that 70% of $2.99 or whatever you’re charging. If you don’t sell any books, however, I’ll let you figure out what 70% of zero is.
- You’re giving away your precious work. Okay, if you’re going to be an indie author, get over that noise quickly or you will be forever disappointed. John Grisham had a garage full of A Time to Kill when he started out. Sometimes you have to give up something to get future reward.
This is far from a scientific or economic analysis of free book promotions. The techniques listed have worked for me. I’d be happy to answer any questions or help any of you figure if this is the right approach for you and what method to use. You only need to ask.
As always, hit me with your comments and questions.