After languishing in KDP purgatory, I decided to run my first free promo on Kindle. The result? I'm happy to report that I was able to get as high as No. 9 on the free chart in the below subset of the Kindle Store.Kindle Store -> Kindle eBooks -> Mystery, Thriller -> Suspense -> Mystery -> Hard-Boiled -> No. 9
It wasn't as easy as turning on the free Kindle Select promotion, though. That certainly was the first step. What followed was massive exercise in pimping which, for some writers, may be a soul-crushing act (not so much for me). You really have to embrace your inner-huckster (but more on that in a sec).
Importantly, though, my goal was to not spend a lot in promotion and, since it was my first time out of the free gate, I wanted to see the organic power of what a free book could really do.
So ... A few days before the promotion kicked in, I spent the day signing up my book BOURBON & BLONDES
to be on several daily e-mail blasts. You'll be shocked to learn that there are dozens upon dozens of web sites that offer this service for free. That said, you get what you pay for and there ARE paid services (ala BookBub
) with robust e-mail lists and a proven track record that writers can easily explore but often they are extremely selective and very very expensive.
I was going to do this on the cheap. My budget was going to be only $21. I would pay BK KNIGHTS
(DBS Publishing) to promote my book on their web site and Facebook page as well for as inclusion in their daily newsletter. I found them on the site Fiverr
, an online service where users can get all sorts of tasks done ridiculously cheap. After some mild research, they seemed to be very honest and on the up and up.
Once I booked BK Knights, I concentrated on the the freebie sites. They included: AwesomeGang
Indie Book of the Day
Jungle Deals and Steals
Free and Discounted Books
100 Free Books
Kindle Book Review
Digital Book Today
The E-Reader Cafe
It's Write Now
Kindle Book Promos
These free sites make no guarantees that your book will be included. Some offer a definite spot on their list for a small fee (usually around $5). I didn't want to pay extra so I took my chances.
That was the first half of this two-pronged approach. The social media onslaught was next as I designed roughly 3 different ads to post each day on several Facebook groups and Google+ Community pages.
I'll admit, it can feel icky pimping your own wares by link dumping to your Amazon book page, but most of these Facebook pages are set up for that exact reason. And really, who else will do it for you. That said, my share/post went something along these lines:
☛ CYBER MONDAY FREEBIE ☚ : Snag a FREE copy of 'Bourbon & Blondes' for a limited time. Read the 5★ rated collection that's a boozy mix of old-school pulp, shadowy noir, risky romance and hard-boiled double-crosses. ~ Bottoms up http://amzn.to/12dY5h2
☛ STILL FREE! ☚ : ❝The Cyber Monday deal has been extended. Snag your FREE Kindle copy of 'Bourbon & Blondes.' If your bag is a boozy mix of old-school pulp, shadowy noir, risky romance and hard-boiled double-crosses, be sure to read the 5★ rated collection that splatters onto the page at 90 proof.❞ ~ Bottoms up! http://amzn.to/12dY5h2
and finally, DAY 3:
☛ LAST DAY AT FREE! ☚ : ❝Today is the final day to snag your FREE Kindle copy of 'Bourbon & Blondes.' If your bag is a boozy mix of old-school pulp, shadowy noir, risky romance and hard-boiled double-crosses, be sure to read the 5★ rated collection that splatters onto the page at 90 proof.❞ ~ Bottoms up! http://amzn.to/12dY5h2
Scattered throughout each day (for three days), I would share the post on my own Facebook wall as well as in the following Facebook Groups with my designed piece of art and the link, as shown above: Books,Readers and AuthorsCrime, Thriller & Mystery Reader's CafePulp,Pulp Everywhere, and lots and lots to read.KindelMojoBook PlaceThe Kindle HubAmazon Book ClubsAuthors, Reviewers, & Book LoversAmazon Kindle GoodReadsThe Book NestAll About BooksAuthors Promoting AuthorsBook PromotionE Books RockCreative Designers and WritersAuthors and Book Lovers Discussion GroupFilm noirOnline Book Publicity GroupWriters who believe in supporting WritersIndie Author Book Promotion PageBooks, Books and more Books!!!Passion for BooksAmazon Books, Likes and RankingsIndie Author GroupBook PromotionsFilm NoirPassion for BooksAwesome Free Kindle Books HereReader Writer Reviewer Co-opIndie Author Book Promotion page
Since my book was heavily inspired by film noir as well as bourbon, it was also shared on the FB page of the Humphrey Bogart Estate, The Jazz Age, Turner Classic Movies, The Bourbon Review, Maker's Mark, Jack Daniels and Evan Williams Whiskey.
In addition to a public share on my Google Plus profile, the same was shared in the following Google Plus Communities. I still maintain that Google+ is here to stay and will become even more important as Google's algorithm skews more social in nature. Here are the communities:Google Plus Books Club Writer's Discussion GroupBook ClubBook ReviewersIndie Authors and ReadersWriter's CornerBooks that I likeReading
I also shared each of my banners on various Pinterest pinboards that I created.
I have two Twitter accounts and tweeted the announcement at various points of the day.
I set up a rather unsuccessful GoodReads event announcing the price drop of the book.
I sent an announcement to my rather small subscriber list. If you're an author and do not have a a mailing list set up, DO IT NOW.
I also posted the announcement in a free book subreddit
The post was also shared publicly across my Linked In network.
I also created a message on Kboards announcing the book as free. By the way, the Writer's Cafe area on K Boards is one of the best and informative communities for scribes anywhere online.
RESULTS:DAY 1: 342
DAY 2: 250
DAY 3: 105697 in total
Was that good number? Not sure. I'm happy with it. Only time can tell if it was a good campaign. I would say so, however, if even a fraction of those who downloaded B&B returned to review the book, thus helping to boost it the Amazon algorithm. Another bonus would be if I saw an eventual uptick in my other book 'Front Page Palooka.'
So there you have it ... That's how I moved almost 700 books in three days. Lots of work, but hopefully worth it in the long run.Subscribe to my newsletter for upcoming book news, pop culture goodies, noir delights and all things gin-soaked. Never spam - just utter coolness from time to time.