Promoting your Free eBook
So, you've written your book. You've published it on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). You've enrolled into the KDP Select programme and booked a free promotion. You've done everything right so far but you need to do more. The KDP Select free promotion just means your book will be free on certain days. It does not actually involve them promoting your book. You need to do that part.
There are plenty of sites out there that will display the details of your promotion on their website, or even email them to readers. Some are free, others you need to pay for. But that is the subject of another article...
This article focuses on what you can do with Facebook.
The first time one of my books went on free promotion it didn't do very well. That was because I did very little to promote it myself. The second time I decided to see what I could do through Facebook. I did a search for groups and pages which listed free eBooks. There were rather a large number of them so I concentrated on those that had at least a thousand members or likes. I have listed the ones I used below.
Independence reached #5 in Amazon's Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Reads category and #9 in Space Marines. As soon as it reached the top 100 Amazon started to help with the promotion, featuring it in the 'Top 100 Free' lists. These lists have 20 books on a page, so as soon as you reach #20 your downloads step up another gear because your work is being displayed really prominently to readers who are looking for exactly your kind of book.
Now, I don't want you to go away thinking that just posting that your book is free on these Facebook sites. You have to do some legwork first.
- Nail your blurb: This is probably the second thing the potential reader looks at, after the cover. Make sure it makes them want to read it. Make it a hook. Remember, if you link to your Amazon page in Facebook the blurb and the cover image will appear below your post.
- Get reviews: Readers respond more favourably to books with a set of honest reviews. Notice the word 'honest'. By all means contact people and offer them a free copy in exchange for a fair and honest review, but don't do anything to influence the review. When it went free Independence had six reviews on Amazon, all 4* and 5*. I will discuss getting reviews in another article...
What to Post
Firstly, read whether the page or group has any rules on what to write. It could be they require a specific order, eg. title, dates of promotion, link, blurb. Those are simple, just do what they ask and everyone will be happy.
If you are free to write what you want then deciding can be a lot trickier. It may be tempting to just post your blurb. Including it can be helpful, but include more information. Remember to include a link to your book on Amazon so Facebook will automatically add the cover and blurb below your post. Make sure you give the dates of your promotion. State the genre of the work as this will help readers filter your eBook out from the crowd. You could include a couple of quotes from your reviews and mention any top 100 rankings your book has achieved.
Readers are quite likely to have joined more than one group. Vary your posts to maximise your chances of piquing their interest.
These are where people sign up to receive notifications in their timelines of all the posts to the group. All members can post to the group and these posts automatically appear in the timeline on the group page for all Facebook users to see, even if they aren't a group member.
These are usually more highly curated than groups. You can't post direct to the timeline for instance. However you can often post to the page, with your post appearing on the left hand side of the page. Many also invite you to email the page manager with suggestions for books to feature.
I can't stress this page enough. Read the rules of the group or page before posting. Some specify only UK links, some only allow one post per promotional period, some won't allow affiliate links, some stipulate how a post has to be set out. Do what they ask or risk annoying a portion of your potential readership.