How does a brand new author with no fans and no platform get the word out about his or her book? This was the dilemma I faced (and still face) upon self-publishing my debut novel, Dead & Godless. Lacking the cash needed for a real marketing push, I did what many other first-time authors have done. I joined KDP Select.
Not everyone agrees that giving away tons of free ebooks is the best way to promote yourself, but it’s definitely one of the easier ways, and if your book is strong enough to generate word-of-mouth (which is what really sells books), then giving away a few thousand copies shouldn’t scare you.
I started by doing the research, reading up on how other authors had used giveaways successfully. You can’t just pick your free days and trust in Amazon to bring in the traffic. You need to promote your promotion. The YouTube channel of Tom Corson-Knowles, author of “The Kindle Publishing Bible,” was one of the more helpful resources I stumbled upon.
I chose to schedule my five free days all at once, so as to allow enough time for those initial readers/freebie hunters to spread the word. Avoiding the beginning or end of the month, my giveaway was set to run from November 22nd to the 26th.
Three weeks prior, I started contacting services that promote free ebooks. Dead & Godless had five glowing Amazon reviews at the time, but it probably would have helped if I’d had more. With too little critical acclaim, I was rejected by Bookbub, and thus locked out of the biggest mailing list.
With Bookbub off the table, here’s what I did:
1) I signed up for a service called Bookpraiser, which submitted my book to about 100 blogs, facebook groups and twitter pages that cover free and bargain books. Cost = $30
2) I used Fiverr to find more book promoters who have a good number of followers on social media services such as twitter, tumblr and pinterest. Cost = $20
3) I signed up for Bookblast’s mailing list, and was accepted for their Free Book of the Day on the 23rd (yay!). Though not as huge as the Bookbub list, Booblast still has a good reach. Cost = $100
At last, the first day of my Kindle giveaway arrived. Since Dead & Godless is a Christian fiction novel, I knew better than to expect the kind of numbers that romance authors often see, but I was still a little let down by the initial response. During that Friday, I only managed to move 300 ebooks. The most popular free book blogs had chosen to ignore me, and since I’d heard that the first day of a giveaway is usually the biggest, I wasn’t exactly riding high.
As it turned out, I should have been more hopeful. On Saturday my Bookblast email went out, and immediately I saw a huge jump. In addition, one of the bigger blogs (Free Kindle Books & Tips) suddenly decided to pick up Dead & Godless. The combination of these factors led to my numbers going from 300 on Friday to 3,000 by the end of Saturday.
All in all, I moved almost 6,000 ebooks during the promotion. Considering my genre and the fact that I wasn’t featured on many of the more popular outlets, this result wasn’t bad at all. Have I seen a big jump is sales following the giveaway? Nope, but I have seen a small jump, along with several new reviews. There are people talking about my book that didn’t know it existed before, and that extra praise may help get Dead & Godless featured on more services when my next promotion comes along.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Christian Fiction
Rating – PG-13
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