Get New Readers and Reviews with Free Book Promotions

Free book promotions

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?

free book promotions


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:

free books promotion

Books Butterfly

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.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Check out these book promotion lists to rent via @CaballoFrances” quote=”Check out these book promotion lists to rent “]

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.

EReader News Today

To qualify for EReader News Today, review these restrictions:

  • Your books need to be available on 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.

[Read more…]

Secrets of Successful Book Launches with Howard VanEs

In this webinar, as part of my Conversations with Frances series, I interviewed Howard VanEs about successful book launches. A master at selling books, Howard shared some of his best strategies.

Here are some notes from our conversation:

[Read more…]

Free Days, the Dangers of Over-Selling Books & Social Media Demographics

The posts from this past week focus on issues that I often hear discussed among writers. One issue is whether writers should give their work away for free. We may fear plagiarism, but the biggest threat to Indie authors is actually obscurity. Offering our books for free for a limited time can help to raise our profile on Amazon and elsewhere. The LiveHacked blog deals with this question authoritatively in the post below. I’m also including a post on social media demographics because you need to be where your readers are. For example, if you write YA, are you on Tumblr as well as Twitter? To find out where your readers are hanging out on the social web, keep reading.

KDP Select/Free Promos: Should You Give Your Book Away? from LiveHacked: Ah, the big question.

I received yet another email yesterday from a nice person asking this very question. They have two (almost three) self-published novels for sale on Amazon, and the question was phrased as, “I don’t understand the value in giving my work away for free, since it doesn’t generate a lot of sales.” My reaction is always the same: I get it.

But that doesn’t at all change my stance.

Social Media Demographics: The Surprising Identity Of Each Major Social Network by Cooper Smith for the Business Insider: Each social media platform has cultivated a unique identity thanks to the demographics of the people who participate in the network. Some platforms are preferred by young adults, who are most active in the evening, others by high-income professionals, who are posting throughout the workday.
Read more:

How To Effectively NOT Sell Your Book by Rachel Thompson: Marketing is everything that you do to reach and persuade prospects. The sales process is everything that you do to close the sale and get a signed agreement or contract. Both are necessities to the success of a business. Sales is but one part of the marketing process. (Small Business Notes)

Reach and persuade (or influence) are why we do things like interact on social media, blog, optimize our websites, advertise (though that does go to sales also), guest posts, interviews, and more.

Selling our books is connected synergistically to our marketing efforts. If you do no marketing, will you have any sales? Highly doubtful.

7 Tips for Amazon Keywords and Best Selling Books by Jason Matthews: Best selling books are more likely to happen when authors use smart Amazon keywords. Are you using yours wisely to help strangers from all over the world find your books? Most authors are not because the whole metadata thing can be confusing. Think of it like this: At bookstores, readers browse in sections where covers, titles and blurbs help them decide to inspect further. Online, readers type phrases into the search bar where the most relevant books show up in the results (or the books Amazon thinks are most relevant).


socialmediaforwritersAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media strategist, trainer, and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.