Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Free stuff is good. I think we can all agree on that one. When I lived in Hawaii and taught SCUBA diving I used to say that nothing in Hawaii is free but the sunshine. Customers used to laugh and nod knowingly at that one. Every once in awhile, you run across something entirely free and wonder 'what's the catch?' sometimes there's no catch. Sometimes your email address is needed by the good folks who offered you the free beauty product or free pair of pantyhose. That's when it's handy to have an address for junk mail only. Sometimes a phone number, or a friend's email address is needed, or signing away your first born.
Here's the beauty in Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Everyday the good people over at Amazon in Seattle offer the world FREE BOOKS. In every genre. Entirely free. All you need to get one, or a hundred, is an AMAZON account, which is also free. You can read these ebooks on your computer, phone, ipad, kindle, nook, and any mobile device just by downloading the Kindle App. You don't need to own a Kindle! Ever. At all! The catch has nothing to do with you. They are simply trying to generate eventual  sales by letting the publisher offer books free for a few days every 3 months.
You can even get on a list that sends you an email daily (or weekly)with free books in your favorite genre. There are about 50 sites out there that compile these on a daily basis. Check our Freebooksy, Kindle Books and Tips, Pixel of Ink, eReader Cafe, Free Book Dude, Awesome Gang, Bargain eBook Hunter.
As an author, going free is a wonderful marketing tool to generate interest in your book. Especially first time authors. Or Indie Authors. Building a readership is key to us new authors and getting 20,000 downloads on free days is going to look good for our book's ranking, as well as get reviews from people who don't expect much from something they didn't pay for. My latest review for THE DREAM JUMPER'S PROMISE this morning said "I feel guilty for not having paid full price!" Those words were payment enough, Rhonda.

Here's my tips to authors when getting ready to go free on Kindle Select:

1. Do 3 days and save 2 for later
2.Two weeks in advance, submit your free day notice to as many sites as possible. See AuthorMarketingClub for a good start on this
3. Write some blog posts and set up several days of blogs during free days to lead readers to your book.
4. Get ready to Facebook blast and ask friends to do this by sharing. People love free stuff, don't be shy!
5. Prepare tweets on Hootsuite or another timed site, to go off every 30 minutes for hours on the first day. (Say something compelling and include #Free#Kindlefree)
6. Retweet, share on FB, and keep promo going the first day, especially from about 2 a.m. Pacific Time to noon. This is when you'll get your biggest 'sales'.
7. Set up some cheap ads for the day after you are free. Keep the book at .99 or 1.99 to avoid sticker shock for those lollygaggers who got their emails late about free days.
8. Keep the momentum going as long as you can for downloads- have a contest, do a radio interview, drop flyers from the sky.
9. Write the 2nd in the series ASAP and get it out there!
Remember free days isn't a time to make money, but to generate interest. Two to four days after the promotion ends on Select, you'll see a bump in sales and this is the golden time to keep the momentum going.
Enjoy all the free books out there, everyone and be sure to review as if you're saying this to the author's face.

Good luck Authors and You're Welcome Readers!

Kim Hornsby is the author of Amazon Best Seller The Dream Jumper's Promise

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