As promised I will lay out the steps I took for my KDP free book promotion days. You can see what worked, what was worth my effort, and what I will skip next time. I will add that not everyone will have the same results. I was promoting a children’s ebook. Those are hard to move. Romance, YA, fantasy, and others may see much better results.
The week before my free days:
I used these two sites (pictures linked to site for your reference). I placed my book on every site these two websites linked that accepted my genre and were free for posting to. It was a lot of work. I kept two and sometimes three screens open at one time in order to copy/paste needed info on each free promo site. There are other websites like this. These were the ones I used for this promo though. (children’s book free listing options were a much slimmer picking than for regular novels)
On day one of my promo I had already linked to every free promo site I could find through the above websites. I also posted to Facebook, twitter, and my website which pushes out to all of my linked social media sites.
If you will notice I used hashtags. Hashtags are important. They boost your reach for the target audience.
First day results:
Notice Feb 1st, 24 downloads. Yep, that’s it. All that work for 24 downloads. Just wait, day two was even worse.
I went to fiverr to hire someone to post to some of the free promo Facebook groups.
I paid $5 dollars for this gig. If you’ve ever made the rounds and tried to post to 60 Facebook groups you might feel like I did. $5 seemed like a steal for someone else to do the leg work. I should point out that I ordered this gig the week before to give her time to work me into her schedule.
I messaged her early that morning to double check that she was working on this. She messaged me back around noon to let me know she was just getting around to posting my promos.
She sent a report after with links to some of the places she posted, and tweets that went out. She did what she said she would. The job was to spec.
Second day results:
Notice Feb 2nd. Yes, that’s 5 downloads. 5… Why? Why only 5 downloads? Well, I think some of it had to do with her presentation. There were no hashtags on any of her posts. No #free #book #kindledeals etc. She didn’t even hashtag the tweets. That’s a huge no no. I will be passing this gig up in the future.
Two weeks before my promo I submitted to bookbub looking to purchase a promo day. I was turned down. It didn’t surprise me. So I went looking for an alternative. I decided to go with Freebooksy.
You can use Freebooksy for your free promos or Bargainbooksy for books on sale. It does cost money. Here is the pricing chart for Freebooksy:
Notice the email list size for each genre. I used the children’s promo. I can only imagine my results would have been double if I’d done this with my fantasy book.
Third day results:
Notice Feb 3rd. Yep, 674 downloads. That was huge for me. I’d never seen that many downloads before. It pushed me to #1 in all of free children’s ebooks, and #215 in all of free ebooks. This was a direct result of their email list. They also feature you on their site. That was helpful as well becuase the next two days had decent results even though I did nothing more on day four and five. Here are the results for the last two days basking in the afterglow of being featured on Freebooksy.
Notice Feb 4th. 107 downloads from simply existing on the Freebooksy website. I didn’t post anymore about the promo because I wanted to see how effective this ad would be.
Notice Feb 5th. That’s 90 downloads bringing my total for the week to 900 downloads.
So why did I pay money to give away my book?
I consider this advertising. I believe in my book and hedge that I will gain a few followers. Perhaps they will buy one of my other two children’s picture books. Maybe they will look at my amazon author page and see my YA fantasy. I might gain a few more reviews. In the end, the $40 dollars I spent on my Freebooksy ad did its job. I broke my own personal record for downloads, my book is in the hands of 900 potential repeat customers, and I’ve learned some things that work along with things that don’t.
Leave me a comment to let me know what you’ve experienced during free promo days. What’s worked well and what hasn’t?
Thanks for reading and happy promoting!
Beth Hammond, is an author/illustrator who writes anything from YA fantasy to children’s picture books. She is a wife, mother, and lover of life. Her early years were spent serving in the military. Her middle years spent raising babies and figuring out her place in the world. Her YA fantasy novel “The Sound Of The Stones” is newly released and available now. She created stories for her book loving children, “Do Your Toes Stink Good?”, “The Blond Korean and the Blue-Eyed frog”, and “Puppy Waits”. Her later years are yet to come, and filled with hopes and endless dreams. She spends her days creating worlds through words and illustration. bethhammond.com