How NOT to promote your next Kindle Freebie!

Okay – so as some of you folks know I’ve been working hard on trying to unlock the secrets of creating a successful Kindle freebie release.

I’ve wrote a bit about it HERE and HERE and – if you scroll down through my blog entries you’ll doubtless find a few more examples. I have been doing my darnedest to figure out what mystical techniques you must use to create a successful Kindle freebie release.

I’ve met with some success – but today I thought I would set up a test case to see how NOT to promote a Kindle freebie release.

I’ve set my Northern Ontario set, redneck noir novella – HAMMURABI ROAD – on for FREE today.

Go ahead and click this picture if you want to upload this book as a freebie from

Go ahead and click this picture if you want to upload this book as a freebie from

I didn’t do ANYTHING to promote this freebie beyond popping out a couple of tweets and posting a few Facebook entries at a few likely Facebook Kindle freebie pages.

I also mentioned it on my own Facebook page as well as my Facebook Author’s Page – which, as Author Pages go is pretty darned punky-looking. Someday I am going to have to get around to doing a better job on this.


Which brings up a side-point that I ought to mention. You don’t have to do this promotion hoo-haw wonderfully, beautifully, succesfully from the get-go. It’d be nice if you could – but sometimes it takes a while to build yourself ANYTHING. Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to fart around and poke at something and SLOWLY get it right.

In any case – to get back to my topic – let me tell you how this unplanned and unannounced and basically unpromoted freebie release has gone so far.

It hasn’t.

As of this moment in time (October 3, 2014 9:15 am in Nova Scotia) – I have given away TWENTY-FOUR copies of HAMMURABI ROAD.

(note: as of 3:15pm in Nova Scotia I have given away 126 free copies)

To break it down – that’s 19 copies on; 2 copies on; 2 copies in (Germany); and 1 copy on (Japan).

If I had bothered to launch a Fiverr campaign with somebody that I’ve worked with before – like maybe bknights I am pretty sure I would have given at least 100 copies by now – judging from my last two Kindle Freebie promotions.

If I had added on somebody like TWEET YOUR BOOKS I would have most likely moved about 200 copies by now.

That is experience talking – which isn’t infallible – but I figure I must have learned SOMETHING in my last couple of freebie promotions.

So – here endeth the lesson.

If you are going to go the trouble to release your Kindle e-books as freebies then why not spend five or ten dollars to get them onto a proper promotion website?

I know – some of you want to know just WHY you ought to spend money to give away free books in the first place!

Well – since my first two freebie promotions I have sold e-books and/or loaned them out through the Kindle Unlimited program 26 out of 30 days this September.

Which means I made money on 26 out of 30 days that September through Kindle.

Prior to September I would move a book or two on Kindle about once a week or so.

The freebies and the Kindle Unlimited have DEFINITELY improved my visibility on Kindle – and hopefully by the end of 2014 I will be moving more than a book or two everyday on Kindle.

That’s the plan, anyway.

Lastly, I ought to mention that I have sold seven e-books on October 1st and three e-books on October 2nd through Kindle. The Kindle Unlimited has given me three borrows on October 1st, two borrows on October 2nd, and three more today.

Those borrows will net me a return when Kindle Unlimited makes its October payout – in December if memory serves me. The amount of the pay-out depends on how many borrowers actually open that e-book and read at least 10% of the e-book and it varies month-by-month but either way it is still money coming to me.

Which I like.

I haven’t sold any Kindle e-books yet today but the day is still young. You can never tell when someone might decide that they just can’t live another moment without snapping up a copy of something like this!

Just click this picture and it will whisk you directly to the listing. Have your wallet and a single dollar ready to burn!

Just click this picture and it will whisk you directly to the listing. Have your wallet and a single dollar ready to burn!

Yes – that was a commercial.

You did not imagine that.

This one is too.


Click this picture if you'd like a free Kindle copy of HAMMURABI ROAD and you happen to live in the UK!

Click this picture if you’d like a free Kindle copy of HAMMURABI ROAD and you happen to live in the UK!

All commercials aside – I hope I’ve helped some of you folks out there who are trying your darnedest to move your own e-books.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

That’s today only.

34 responses to “How NOT to promote your next Kindle Freebie!

  1. Best of luck with it, Steve! πŸ˜€


  2. In my experience with the free books on Kindle, you should schedule your free days to coincide with a holiday, and scheduling two days in a row is better than one. The holiday weekends, in my case Memorial Day (May in the U.S.) and Labor Day (September in the U.S.) made a big difference. I scheduled a single day for an author event I was attending, and very few books were taken as opposed to the several hundred that moved over the holiday weekends.


    • You’re right on BOTH counts, Kathryn. I did awesomely well on Labor Day – and my two day average is much better than one.

      I set this release to a one-day as a test case. I knew that two days would be better but I’m trying to see how an un-promoted release performs.


  3. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog….. An Author Promotions Enterprise! and commented:
    Be sure to read all the way through the article, then click on the LAST book cover and get your copy of the book – THEN – have a look at the great line-up of other books Steve has available πŸ˜€
    BTW – Don’t forget to leave your review of the book(s) you got and read πŸ˜€


  4. Had any response, review wise, from the damned Trolls Steve? We all know they just love getting their grubby hands on any free book going, especially eBooks. Don’t forget that to them ‘free’ means they get to trash the product of yet another writer’s hard work.


  5. Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    A few thoughts on giveaways.


  6. Does that mean you’d rather I didn’t re-blog this?


    • Oh heck, Linda. I’d be pleased and honored if you re-blogged this. πŸ™‚

      The way I see it I’ve learned what I wanted to from this experiment and I now I will do my best to make the most of this minor mess that I just made and turn it into a few more sales.

      Incidentally – we are now at 107 free copies given away today. That’s still not bad – but not as good as the 800 or so that I gave away during my other two giveaways.


  7. Reblogged this on lindaghill and commented:
    It’s promotion time! Pick up Steve Vernon’s latest giveaway today and see why you need to buy everything he has to offer!


  8. Reblogged this on Pilcrows & Cedillas and commented:
    Yay, free book! Looking forward to reading this over the weekend and leaving a review on Amazon/Goodreads. Hoping for a bit of original fun.


  9. Thank you for sharing, Steve. I’m not far off from doing this kind of thing myself and I LOVE seeing real numbers attached to the process. So helpful! πŸ™‚


  10. I grabbed a copy today. I look forward to reading it. Thanks for posting this.


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