Lessons of a Free Promo

I finally decided to sign up for KDP Select. Included in the perks is up to five days where your book will be free. It’s super easy to do. Took me less than five minutes.

But the key to your freebie days will be promotion. You have to tell everyone, and get them to tell everyone. I drafted a friend to whip up a virtual flyer for me with the essential info, then I waited.

Jen cover FreeOnAmazon

Two days before the promotion began, I shared it on Facebook and Twitter. I told my freebie promoters about it. And I waited.

I used the following places to promote my book – Reader’s Gazette, eBook Bump, and My Book Cave – all free! Reader’s Gazette takes three weeks to join, but they are awesome and promote your books once you’re an author. They also tell about your bargains. They’re my favorite of the three.

Then came the day of the promotion. I stalked my sales report and my book rankings. In between all that, I mostly stayed on Twitter.

Authors are your friends. If you’re anything like me, you have a lot of authors on your Twitter feed. Use this to your advantage. Pin your promo flyer to your profile page, then stalk your followers pages. Your assignment is easy – retweet like crazy. If you like it, retweet it. If you don’t want to share it with your audience, don’t. But search for things you can share with your audience.

Why are you spending valuable time promoting what other people are talking about? Simple. 90% of them will see they’ve been retweeted, go to your page, and share your promotion.

Take screenshots.

Screenshot 2016-02-21 10.50.02

Sadly, your awesome stats will not stay in the upper tiers for very long, so take advantage of the moment. Take screen shots. On the first page of your category? Take a screen shot. Circle it in paint. Share on Facebook.
Stalking your rankings is addicting. The numbers keep going up, and it’s AWESOME. You’ll want to know every hour if it’s improved. Plan to be on your computer or phone a lot. It will happen whether or not you think it will.

top 3 edittop 4

Weekends are awesome. I started my promotion on a Friday, ending it on a Saturday. My numbers on Saturday beat out my Friday numbers, but just barely. Weekends are when most people have the time to read, or are searching for their next book. Take advantage of that.

Don’t use your five days all at once. Please spread it out. Use two or three together. Your momentum will build from day to day. You’ll be thankful that you can do it again.

See if more free places will promote you. I found My Book Cave during my first free promotion. I sent them a submission, and they emailed me just after my promotion ended. Since I was flexible on the days that I had available, and the rest of my book fit their criteria for a feature, I was able to get a slot. But that does lead me to my next point.

Spread out your freebies. I ended up being selected for the feature on My Book Cave the next weekend after my first one had ended. I almost wrote them back and asked for a different day. I didn’t. The result, sadly, was rather lackluster. My free copies did move, but in much lower numbers and at slower speeds.

Don’t freak out if you get bad reviews. It’s part of the game. It’s no fun, trust me, but some people will download your book and then get upset that it was exactly what you wrote. It’s okay. You are not a horrible writer, I promise! Everyone has room for improvement. Some things only come with practice.

Offer Discounts. The Book Cave people suggested having my other books on a discount during the length of my promotion. My second book is fairly new, so I wasn’t sure about that. I looked up the Kindle Countdown, and I was eligible for that to begin just after my free promotion started on my first book (for the second time). This was also super easy to set up (but make sure you go to the next page and click the I Agree button – I didn’t, and did not notice anything until the day the promotion was set to begin. I about freaked out when the price didn’t change! I clicked the button and waited. Three hours later, my updates had published and the promotion was live).
While my second book did not sell amazingly well on the days that my book was free and it was super cheap, I did get multiple sales in a single day – something that usually doesn’t happen for me just yet.

Enjoy the moment. This one’s pretty easy. Enjoy your book being popular. People will buy free books. Cross your fingers and hope for good reviews. Until then, smile! People are buying your book!

Screenshot 2016-02-13 18.00.49



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