Promoting a Free E-Book

Nine Best Poems1. (989x1280)        One amazing development since the onset of e-books is the popularity of free books.  One might expect readers to like giveaways, but the authors?

They have their reasons.

There are now more than 24 newletters or blogs that list free e-books.  Authors can get on-line publicity for giving away a digital download that costs them nothing.

That’s the reasoning, but I have reservations.  I don’t worry about those who might have paid for my book and now won’t.  No, I worry about those that have paid and will feel a cheated to learn they didn’t have to.

But what if it works?  Two new writers in the area claim to be making good money off books after a free offer.  They’re talking quit-the-day-job “good money. “

So I decided to publish Nine Best Poems just to give it away.  Yes, it’s listed on Amazon at $1.98, but anyone can get it absolutely free July 20 and 21 on Amazon.  The book contains my best poems—nine of them—with illustrations from www.clipart.com.   (A one-week subscription giving me permission to use images in print cost $13.95.)

From Garth Wright, a sci-fi author from Buhl, I learned that Author Marketing Club has links to the sites that provide notices of e-book giveaways.

I was ready to begin.

Ready, that is, if I could find a way to tell Amazon we were going to give my books away.  Kindle Direct Publishing flouts these promotions as a reason to publish through them,  but I explored every nook, cranny and link at http://authorcentral.amazon.com  without finding that elusive check box. Then Jane Freund, Boise author and publisher, showed me http://www.kdp.amazon.com –I had an account there, with check boxes, that fed off my Author Central account.

Once Amazon agreed that the giveaway is going to happen, I tackled that list of 24 newsletters and blogs.

I soon learned that most aren’t looking to feature a 25-page self-published poetry books.  Who would have figured?  Some will mention only books over a certain length; others, only kids’ books or Christian romance books.  Some don’t even recognize poetry as a genre—I told them Nine Best Poems was a humor book.

Some sites say they will feature only books of quality UNLESS you paid them $5, or $10, or even $15; in which case, you were guaranteed space and the readers would never know that anything but your breathless poetry or prose had earned the posting.

Several sites require that a book have three reviews on Amazon and a rating of four stars or above.  Others wanted a real review, the kind in magazines for librarians.

A few sites wanted notices 14 days in advance of the free promotion.  One, however, wouldn’t accept a listing until the day the book was available free.

Most wanted authors to sign up to receive their publication. So that’s one more thing I will be learning.  How will receiving 12 daily e-newsletters about free books affect my productivity as a writer?  Can I keep the fact that there are thousands of writers vying for readers’ attention from discouraging me?  .

Learning is what art–and life–is all about.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>