How to promote a Kindle Freebie cheaply…

So – I am STILL building up to a HUGE Halloween promo from October 27th to 31st that I will tell you all about – but not just yet.

Yes, I am a tease.

Still, I thought I would post a recent mini-promo that I conducted to give you folks an idea on how certain promo-sites perform – PARTICULARLY for us horror authors.

I put my Halloween collection OCTOBER TALES up for a freebie promotion from Sept 30, 2015 to October 3rd, 2015.

Don't forget - today is your LAST chance to grab yourself a Kindle copy of OCTOBER TALES!

I didn’t do much of anything for the first day – beyond mentioning it on my blog. I moved about 25 copies. I have purposefully held back any promoting until the second day of the freebie-promo just because I wanted to give the collection a sort of a “soft promo-opening” (no dirty jokes, now). The way I figured it – this way I absolutely know for certain that the e-book will be available free from the crack of crow-rise on October 1st – and that the promo will be pushing an e-book that is already warmed up.

Here’s where I sat on the first night at Amazon.com.

#5,647 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
#58 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Myth & Folk Tales
#60 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > SciFi & Fantasy > Fantasy > Fairy Tales

I had booked free promotions at the following websites for October 1, 2015.

IT’S WRITE NOW
JUST KINDLE BOOKS
LOVELY BOOK PROMOTIONS
ONE HUNDRED FREE BOOKS

I also hit a few choice Facebook pages – although I really find Facebook pages to be VERY ineffectual as selling tools.

Ditto for tweeting.
anti-twitter

By the end of October 1st I had moved 79 copies but I had begun to lose ground. Still – 79 copies is not too bad considering I didn’t spend anything to advertise it.

#6,402 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
#72 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Myth & Folk Tales
#75 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > SciFi & Fantasy > Fantasy > Fairy Tales

Then – on October 2 I had a bknights $10.00 promo combination of Facebook, Twitter and Newsletter.

(I know – I have already poo-pooed Twitter and Facebook – but there is a bit of a difference between me randomly posting BUY MY BOOK updates all over Twitter and Facebook – and a company that specializes in book promotion.

Blog Photo 001

Then – by the end of October 3rd I had moved a total of 357 free copies and the ranking has scootched up just a little bit.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #789 Free in Kindle Store
#6 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Myth & Folk Tales
#7 in Kindle Store > Kindle Short Reads > Two hours or more (65-100 pages) > Literature & Fiction

pvBJ1FZ.jpg

Finally, by the end of October 4th I had given away 485 free copies of OCTOBER TALES. Ten dollars of promotion balances out to about 2 cents per copy. 84 KU pages doesn’t really balance that out but I am hoping that as readers begin to flip through the pages of OCTOBER TALES over the month of October KU pay-out will creep up a bit higher – or at least that is the plan. I also bagged one new review – which is always a plus.

SO – was this event a success?

I would say so. I moved 485 free copies of OCTOBER TALES for ten bucks. That is a pretty good return for a VERY under-promoted freebie.

What have I learned?

Well, for starters, a writer is ALWAYS better off actually paying for a guaranteed promo rather than submitting to the “we-won’t-charge-you-a-dime-if-we-have-room-left-over-to-fit-you-in-and-we-feel-really-sorry-for-you-buddy” category.

Secondly, it really helps to be organized. Ideally, you ought to make sure that your e-book has the proper price on it – THE DAY BEFORE YOU PROMO STARTS!

That way no matter WHEN the promo site goes live your book is ready for promotion.

That wasn’t too big of a deal for me. OCTOBER TALES is a Kindle Unlimited release and I had already prelocked the freebie price ahead of time. However, when you are talking about promoting an e-book that appears with other distributors such as Kobo or Nook – well, you REALLY want to make sure that you have got that e-book marked down to the proper price. I lost some theoretical sales on a reason mini-promo of an e-book that was published on Nook, Apple and a few other sites thanks to the aggregate D2D. Nook took four days to bump the price down. That was my fault for waiting until the last minute.


I have a very big end-of-the-month two book promotion that will go live by the third week of October. I will keep you all posted on how that develops so that you can see the sales result of a LARGE 99 cent two book promotion.

Lastly, let me leave you with a peek at a brand new book cover of mine that I am bringing out in a VERY different way than I usually do.

(I know – I am a tease).

The Tale of a Time Traveling Toilet.

The Tale of a Time Traveling Toilet.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


Click this banner. Nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into Kindle Scout you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

Click this banner. Nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into Kindle Scout you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

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2 responses to “How to promote a Kindle Freebie cheaply…

  1. Pingback: A Look at Amazon: Timeline and Indie Author News | Musings and Marvels

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