On this, the eve of my second KDP promotion, I feel the urge to both impart some wisdom and hopefully receive some. As all of you indie authors who have taken advantage of Amazon’s KDP program know, they let you promote your ebook for free for five days (separate or together, however you choose to do it). This is an EXCELLENT tool, at least if your main focus is to get your name out there, build up your ranking on Amazon, and share your book with as many people as possible. If your goal is to make money, then doing KDP promos might not make you happy, especially when you see thousands upon thousands of copies of your book going out for free, while you probably wish you could be netting a profit. But either way you look at it, Amazon is helping authors get out there, and I think it’s just plain awesome.
But just what can you do to make sure your KDP days are used most effectively? What tools of the trade, if you will, are there out there that the authors with the most success are using?
First of all, let’s start with some basic tidbits about the KDP promo days, and what to expect (this coming both from my own experience, and from what I’ve read of other authors experiences):
1. Don’t expect lots and lots of reviews on Amazon just because you manage to give away a thousand some odd free books. Typically, it seems, the people who are downloading the free ebooks don’t take the time to read them right away, but store them for a later date or maybe never to be read at all. All we can do is hope that some of them will take the time to read the entire book, and then hopefully take even more time and write a review. Readers, if you’re reading this, PLEASE WRITE REVIEWS! We as authors love to get feedback, so please, if you like a book take a few seconds to just write something to give us encouragement 🙂 thanks!
2. Expect to be pirated. Yes, you read that right: pirated. There are websites out there (and this shouldn’t surprise you at all, what with the internet being the way it is these days) that download your book when it’s free on Amazon, and then they share it on their website for people to go in and download it. For free. Everyday. Okay, so before you get offended, like I almost was, think of it this way: your book was free anyways…and now there are a few hundred (or more!) people checking out your book. We’re trying to get our names out there after all, right? So grin and bear it and be happy your book was worth pirating in the first place 😀
3. Book bloggers may download your book! This is wonderful, by the way, because if you happen to have a catchy enough cover, a clever enough title, or maybe a really good book blurb, some book bloggers may take notice and download your book and thus read/review it! I was approached by a couple bloggers after I held my last promo, so I know this can happen. What’s great about it is that instead of you having to solicite your book to the bloggers by spammish emailing, they come to you. They may even offer to do an author interview with you, which is even better news! Publicity is publicity is publicity, people, and be thankful for all that you can get!
Alright, so there’s some basic tips to note about KDP promo days. But what do you do to make the most of the free promo while you’ve got it? Well, here’s some carefully compiled tips I’ve gathered from across my web searches, some of which I’ve utilized and others that I haven’t yet tried. But hey, every little bit helps, right?
1. Make sure you have a Facebook page. I know you probably already do, but you need an author or book facebook page for people to like. If you’re just getting started, I recommend going to this page: http://www.worldliterarycafe.com/content/facebook-likes and joining the like list. What happens is you’ll add your name and FB page to the list, then go up the list and like the pages of all of those above you. They are all authors and are very friendly and will like your page in return if you link it back to them. Trust me, its a great way to build connections and network on Facebook. Then, once you have your FB page up and running and you’re ready to do your KDP days, make sure you post about them! Let everyone know and request that they share the info!
2. Twitter…oh so useful! Again, you probably have one of these too, but I can’t stress enough how important Twitter has become for spreading the word about promotions. Make sure to send out tweets every few hours or so the day before your promo, and the day of. Also, use the hashtags #IndieKindle #(yourgenre) #kindle #amazon #ebook #bargain #books #indiepub #selfpub #buyindie to help people search and find your tweets. On your free promo days, feel free to tweet out to the following Twitter pages, who support authors promoting their books: @DigitalBkToday @kindleebooks @Kindlestuff @KindleEbooksUK @KindleBookKing @KindleFreeBook @FreeReadFeed @4FreeKindleBook.
3. Kindleboards. Okay, so I haven’t had very much experience with promoting in forums, mostly because they are super strict about how many times you can post and where you can post about your book and so forth, but they still can be useful. Check out http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php and poke around. They have a thread for advertising free books, so I’d make sure to post a link to your free book in there on your KDP day.
4. Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, etc. All of these websites are good to be on and to network through. If you build up a good friends list, you can message them and remind them of your free promo.
5. Amazon Kindle Forum. Again with the forum thing, but it doesn’t hurt to post about your free book on this board’s Free Book thread too. http://www.amazon.com/forum/kindle/ref=cm_cd_dp_rft_tft_fp?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx1D7SY3BVSESG
If you dabble in all of these things, hopefully your KDP day will net you as many downloads as possible, and maybe even a few fans 😉 We can all hope, right?
Get Breath of Air for FREE tomorrow (May 15)!! http://www.amazon.com/Breath-Air-Dryad-Quartet-ebook/dp/B007SYSFB2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337048619&sr=8-1
“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” -JK Rowling