Kindle Free Book Promotion is an option when your eBook is enrolled in Amazon’s KDP Select. This is available for authors who have published their eBook via Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon). Every 90-day period, you can offer your book for free for up to five days.
One of our authors asked us what we think of this option. He had just published his first eBook and wondered if the Free Book Promotion would be a good way to boost sales.
Some writers have found that freebies boost reviews, so this can be handy if you haven’t got any or only a few. However, the better sales boosts from freebies come from what’s called buy through, when authors have more than one book for sale. Buy-through is when you give, say, the first book of a series away, and everyone who likes it buys the rest of the series, netting the author increased profit. We really haven’t heard much on how a freebie giveaway boosts single-title sales.
Another way to boost sales is to do the buy-through in reverse. But it requires some work on your part. For instance, you’d write a 5,000-word short, preferably related to the story you have now, maybe featuring a peripheral character who figures in the story, or maybe a central character before the action occurs. You offer that story for free. Those who like it will then buy the next one, your actual full-size novel!
There’s debate about whether to make the smaller freebie a cliffhanger. Some people say it annoys readers who then refuse to buy the next one. (But would they have bought anyway without the freebie?) Others say the cliffhanger aspect, if done properly, brings the readers to the next book.
We do think it seems a cheat to offer something for free that the reader only gets resolved if they buy something else from you. So, a self-contained story (even if it features some or all of the characters from the main feature), but one without the heavy-handedness of a cliffhanger, seems a friendlier option.
In any case, the buy-through in reverse method means you’d have to write a short. So that means doing some extra work. But we think it’s better than giving the main event away for free.
Have you got other experiences with free book promotions? We’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
Book Helpline provides independent authors with professional feedback on their book. We also offer copy editing and proofreading, and publishing your book to Amazon. This way, we can help you get your book in the best possible shape so you can proudly present it to the world.