Are you planning a select time period to offer your book free of charge to readers? There are several reasons why you might want to do this, but I've gone over that in a different post. If you're reading this, then you've already decided to run a free promotion on your book, whether it be through the Amazon KDP Select Program or any number of other venues.
I've compiled a list of websites that will share announcements about your free book promotion with their readership at NO COST to you! For those that are unfamiliar with free book promotions, offering a service like this for free to an author or publisher is not uncommon. It's a win-win situation for all involved -- you get exposure for your giveaway, and the site gets more content to interest its followers. Another important point to note is that if you have already chosen to take the plunge with a free promotion, it stands to reason you want to get your book into the hands of as many potential readers as possible, yes? Don't just take my word for it, but I can tell you from my own experience that if that is your goal, listing your book on free promotional sites makes a world of difference where exposure is concerned. It's easy to do, it's free, and it can help make your promotion more successful. What's not to love?
Below is a list of sites on which I have personally submitted books for free promo days. Not all of them have actually listed one of my titles during the promo, but from my own experience these sites are easy to deal with -- In many cases, all you have to so is let them know via filling out a form or sending a quick email with your book information and your promo dates. I haven't included any site in which I had anything less than a positive experience, or that required me to digest too many rules and regulations before I could post.
When choosing sites for a free promotion, keep in mind the following:
- The early bird really does catch the worm. Many sites who will allow you to promote your giveaway for free have other streams of actual revenue to think about. Since you aren't paying for the privledge, there is usually no guarantee that your book will actually be listed. To get the best chance possible, you want to let your chosen promo sites know about your giveaway as early as possible. Some sites will tell you they need a minimum of 48 hours notice. Some say they need two weeks. My opinion? Unless they specifically say they won't consider a promotion that is scheduled to occur further in the future than a certain date, start submit one full month before your promotion is set to begin. Free promo sites get a lot of submissions, and there are times when just being up in the queue a little bit can be the difference in your book getting listed, or not. Alternatively, there are some sites that won't allow you to submit to them until your begin date is at hand (some won't even allow it until the actual day the book goes free). If this is the case, respect their wishes and make a note to yourself to submit at a time they will accept it.
- Some sites list specific requirements for books they will promote. Usually this constitutes a certain number of reviews, or a certain "star" rating. This can sometimes be daunting to new authors who are trying to do a promotion just to get those reviews and ratings in the first place, but again, they're offering this service for free. If your book doesn't meet the requirements, move on to the next site (there are plenty out there that don't have requirements like these, trust me).
- Don't get upset if a site you submitted a freebie to doesn't respond personally to you, or doesn't run your promo. In my experience most of these sites get so many submissions that they simply don't have time to let everybody know who is getting posted and who isn't. Submit once and let that be the end of it (unless they specifically say to submit again if you don't hear from them by a certain time).
- READ THE RULES! Every site is unique and may have guidelines they would like you to observe when you submit a book for free promotion. They may ask you for different information or have a few questions for you to answer. Remember the soup nazi? If you don't do it their way on their site, chances are there will be "no soup for you".
- Many sites that offer free promos also have paid promotional options. Give them a look if you're so inclined. Depending on your promo budget, you can get things like guaranteed listings, larger blurbs, tweets during your givwaway period, or other options for anything from a $1 donation to a $5-$6 one-time expenditure.
Annnnyway, without further ado, here is the list. As I mentioned these are all sites that (at least as of the time of this post) had free promotional options that I made use of, was able to understand easily, and generally had a positive experience. Some are exclusive to the Amazon KDP Select Program, others are not. If a given site is not on here, it does not mean I have a bad opinion of that site (more likely than not I simply don't know about them, or have never used them). The list will be updated as I have new things to add to it. I will also include recommendations from other readers/authors, but I will label them as such if I cannot attest to having an experience with the recommended site personally.
Pixel of Ink
The Frugal eReader
Bargain eBook Hunter
Free eBooks Daily
Kindle Book Promos
Free Kindle Books and Tips
Indie Book of the Day
Free Book Dude
The e-reader Cafe
The Kindle Book Review
Book Deal Hunter
Free Kindle Fiction
Book Goodies for Kids
That Book Place
Indie Book Promo
One Hundred Free Books
My Book and My Coffee
Orangeberry Free Me
Just Kindle Books
Digital Ink Spot
Daily Free Books (This site lists every free book on Amazon automatically, every day. You don't even have to do anything. How convenient!)
The following sites only allow free promotions when the book actually is free (in other words, if you are running a promotion only for a few days, you cannot submit to them until the first day the book is free). Wake up early on your first promo day and get listing!
Addicted to e-Books
Kindleboards Book Bazaar
Here's a simple timeline for putting together a decent KDP Select free book promotion. Certainly it pays to work in any other plans you may have to get your book ready for its days in the freebie sun!
|31+ Days Out||Decide on your promotional days. Research what days of the week are best to reach your target audience. Setup your actual promotion on KDP.|
|30 Days Out||Promote on freebie sites now! Give as much advance notice as you can without offering too much (many sites don't want to hear about your promotion more than 30 days out).|
|7 Days Out||Announce your promotion on your blog, your book's facebook page (you do have one, right?), CreateSpace community forums, KDP community forums, Smashwords forums, and so forth. Goodreads.com in particular has several groups specifically designed for doing this. Be noticable but humble -- promote, don't spam. You don't want to promote in this way too early because you risk damaging sales. Why would somebody buy your book three weeks before it goes free when they can just wait? By the same token, you don't want to wait too long to do this, or you won't leave enough time for people to view your posts.|
|3 Days Out||Consider upping your book's list price. You don't have to do this, but it can be a good psychological way to earn yourself a few more downloads. A $5.99 book that is available free for a limited time looks like a better deal than a $2.99 book that is available free for a limited time. You can lower the price again after the promotion is over. I suggest doing this three days out to make sure there are no problems (some sites, such as Amazon, occasionally require 24-48 hours for a change to actually become live).|
|Day Before||Go back to the forum posts you made at 7 days out and reply to them with a short reminder that your book goes free tomorrow (the same goes for Facebook and your blog). Double check the promo sites that will only allow you to post on the actual day the book goes free, because some of them will let you post the night before (and this is one less thing you will have to do on the day of).|
|During Your Promotion||Tweet. Tweet every few hours about your book being free. Check out this post on 30DayBooks.com for a list of tweeters and hashtags to help you out. Submit to any "day of" promo sites first thing in the morning. Return to Facebook, your blog, and reply to your forum posts with a quick message reminding folks that today is the day. |
|The Day After Your Promotion||No matter how successful your promotion was, take some time to thank the community of readers and writers in general. Don't gush -- you don't know who did and who didn't download your book. The point is to be appreciative to the community as a whole. Don't create any new posts anywhere to thank people. Go to your Facebook page for the book, your blog, and reply to your forum posts with a word of thanks.|
Anyway, that's my two cents. I will be adding to and updating this page as I encounter new ideas, and I invite you to share your own in the comment section below. Good luck with your promotion!