Some self-published authors continue to question whether the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program’s free book promotions option is worthwhile.
The second question is: Is it worth it to be exclusive? Because if you want to be a part of the KDP Select program, you have to commit to exclusivity on Amazon.
There seem to be almost as many opinions on these questions as there are, well, books. So what’s my take?
My Take on Free Book Promotions
I listed The Author’s Guide to Goodreads) in the KDP Select program.
While I am an advocate of going wide, meaning publishing on iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords and other online book retailers, exclusivity to Amazon tends to be a wise choice for new authors. It’s also a good choice when launching a new book to choose KDP Select for three months only, introduce your book to new readers when you mark it down to free, and once the three months are up, go as wide as possible.
Now there’s that other question to consider. Are giving away ebooks worth it?
I’ve never been a huge fan of KDP Select promotions but not because I don’t give books away – I give paperbacks away all the time. And I’m a big believer in giving away books to aid awareness and garner more book reviews.
My issue with free book promotions is that they never seem to work as well for me as they do for bestselling authors. Maybe it’s because I write nonfiction. And maybe it’s because authors who serialize their books sell a heck of a lot more books than I do.
Despite my reservations, I gave it a go and joined KDP Select. And I scheduled a free promotion.
In addition to using social media and my email list to alert my readers and followers about the sale, I also paid for some lists. But first I had to research them.
Book Promotion Services to Check Out
This is what I discovered:
If you’re launching a new book, select the New Release Max program which reaches 750,000 readers and 147,000 email subscribers. But you can’t have a free promotion; you must charge $0.99 per book. Book Butterfly guarantees 50 sales.
If you’re willing to spend more money, Pure Real is another option. They guarantee 5,000 free book downloads, will notify 1 million readers of your book, and they include a Twitter promotion.
Check out their other promotions as well. They have eight packages.
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My thoughts: Considering the size of the email list, the pricing seems fair. What you don’t know is how many of those readers prefer romance or historical fiction or science fiction let alone nonfiction. But the guarantee of downloads is enticing.
To qualify for EReader News Today, review these restrictions:
- Your books need to be available on Amazon.com. They also promote book deals that are available at Barnes & Noble/Nook, Google Play, Apple iTunes and Kobo.
- Your books must be priced at $0.99 or be on sale.
- Your books are required to be a full-length book, in other words, at least 125 pages. There are exceptions for children’s, nonfiction, and cookbooks.
- You can’t run two promotions within 90 days.
Also, EReader has further considerations:
- The covermust appear professional.
- EReader will look at your reviews to see how well readers have liked it.
- Your book must be professionally edited.
- The larger the discount, the better chance you’ll have at your book being accepted.
- EReader won’t post erotica, pornography, books that contain controversial subject matter, or books that may be considered offensive to any race, gender, or religion.
- EReader does reserve the right to deny a book.
My thoughts: A Goodreads group that I belong to gave his service a high rating, and I plan to use it in the future.