How to Set Your Book Free on Amazon

free ebooks earth-237955_960_720This may be old hat to some of you. But we get new indie authors every day, and also Amazon changes stuff every little while. So since IU is here to help everybody, no matter where they are on their indie-author journey, I thought I’d take a few minutes to explain what it takes to get Amazon to set the price of your eBook to free.

First, let’s get the names straight. To sell an eBook as an indie on Amazon, you need to publish it via Kindle Direct Publishing, which is often abbreviated as KDP. Continue reading “How to Set Your Book Free on Amazon”

One Author Has Success with Free Books

Branded for Murder #4 - Amazon FreeAfter trying different approaches to market my books using “free” periods on Amazon’s KDP Select program, I finally found some success. When I combined holidays with multiple free books, the result was a large volume of downloads with actual sales following the free period.

In the last three years I have self-published six books. Four are part of my Scott Tucker series which is set back in the 60’s in Boston. However, like most new authors, I have the problem of being discovered. As many know, the KDP Select program allows five free days during any ninety-day period which can be used to bring attention to new authors.

When I began using this ‘free’ approach, I made the first book in the series free, hoping to attract attention to that book and the series. Later, I made another book in the series free hoping it would also bring attention to that novel and the series. It sounded good, but this serialized approach did not provide actual book sales (a sales bump) following these free periods. Continue reading “One Author Has Success with Free Books”

KDP Select Freebies Revisited, Yes, Again

Free BeeI kinda missed the freebie boat. I hadn’t got to marketing Trucking in English when the KDP Select model changed and the overnight successes weren’t happening any more. I’d not have been one of those anyway, you need a pukka novel for that, but reading what experts such as Martin Crosbie had to say, it seemed as though the era of nice sales spikes might have gone as well. Martin’s article How I run my KDP Select Promotions, concluded that freebies can still help but it’s more of a lottery than it once was.

I decided to try it anyway, not so much for sales but because I was struggling to get the review numbers I needed for some of the bigger marketing sites. I thought maybe people who downloaded a freebie would be more likely to write a review in return. I also had a more existential question to answer. My stuff isn’t obviously interesting to most people until they get stuck in. When you do mad things in case they’re amusing, and then write about them when they are, your titles can feel so niche as to appeal to almost nobody. I knew that once I persuade someone to try one, they love it and buy the other, so maybe if all it took was a click rather than the untrousering of a dollar or few, more people would dip toe in water.

So, I planned my freebie. I opted to run all my five days together, to give the book the best chance of gaining some traction. I used the excellent list of free book promo sites that Martin compiled for IU, giving each site a month’s notice of the full five days, to maximise the chances they’d list my book. I only used free listings, assuming I’d not recoup any outlay. I did not tweet or Facebook it (I’ve spammed my friends enough) but I did list it here on IU.

I took careful notes and learned some things. Here they are. Continue reading “KDP Select Freebies Revisited, Yes, Again”

Preparing for Your KDP Select Free Days by Rex Jameson

[Editor Note: This step-by-step list is a great guide for promoting your free book through KDP Select. We used Rex’s methods to promote BAD BOOK at the end of June and had good success.]

Back when I first started using KDP Select, I used the Squidoo list by theinformationlady to promote my KDP Select promotion periods. I have had some pretty lousy results from Select recently, and I decided to revisit this and try to ferret out the proper way to do this. Here is my current process for promoting KDP Select titles:

Step 1: Make sure you have reviews BEFORE you settle on your promotion dates

Shortly after I published The Goblin Rebellion, I scheduled a KDP Select 2-day promotion over a month later and informed all the major sites without having any reviews for the book in place. I didn’t receive any emails back from ENT or POI, but I was in conversations with 2 book bloggers and had given away 50 copies at LibraryThing to try to garner some reviews. There were at least five people, counting the book bloggers, who told me they should be able to hit the promotion deadline.

None of them came through. Continue reading “Preparing for Your KDP Select Free Days by Rex Jameson”