Now that you have planned your promotion, you should start your marketing campaign. You can use three mayor outlets for this.
- Your own websites (all authors should have their own website to promote their books and to give their readers a way to connect with them)
- Social Media
- Websites that promote free or bargain books
Your own Website(s)
Your own Websites should provide useful information first, and be a marketing tool second! You want to provide something for the community of your readers, that way you will be able to retain and entertain your readers. Marketing and Promotion or plain advertisement should never take center stage if you want to build a long term relationship.
I usually run one or two blog entries on my websites announcing the free promotion on the first day of the promotion. Don’t do more – if people read your blog or subscribed to your RSS feed they got the message – anything else would just bother or even annoy them.
Make sure you schedule these posts correctly – and keep in mind that Amazon is not very punctual in starting your free period (it could easily take an hour or two longer than you would expect). The worst is to announce that your book is free and when your readers go to Amazon it is not free. (This is valid for all outlets where you promote when your book is already free.)
Which brings us to the Social Media Outlets. Of course this depends completely on your social media reach. I am not on Facebook or similar sites so I am not able to really measure the success of promoting on your social sites. But I don’t think you should join any social network just for this reason – many times you are advertising to fellow writers or your close friends (but they already bought your book, didn’t they?).
If you are using Twitter there are many services that allow you to schedule your promotion (e.g. using IFTT or BUFFER). These services can be valuable to extend your global reach as you don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to tweet about your book. You can also use some sites that will tweet for you (this is something that I have tried with some success). Don’t buy tweets on ebay (this again is advertising to a group of people that has no interest in your work) – instead use sites that are actually trying to help you as an independent author.
One of these sites is the world literary café http://www.worldliterarycafe.com/ - they provide many services that you can use for promoting your book but the one I want to introduce here is the service provided by Indie Kindle:
They will tweet about your book (not just for free promos but anything you want them to say) to their followers (which is a group of people that are actually interested in your work).
To promote your book you have to submit a tweet following a format that is explained on their website – it basically looks like this:
#ebook alert! Sci Fi adventure “Into the light” FREE 31.8 - 2.9 http://amzn.com/B008T4TAAA #IndieKindle #childrenbooks
Or like this:
#ebook alert! The next Leadership Bestseller http://amzn.com/B007TJGJMS #IndieKindle #Business
They will tweet this regularly for up to a week.
Besides using social media to your advantage there are many websites out there, which will promote your free book.
Let’s start with the sites where you can list your books ahead of time:
Again, one of these sites is the world literary café http://www.worldliterarycafe.com/
Here you will find the “free eBooks Postings” – where you can promote your free book by posting to a forum, listing the free dates and title of your book:
You have to submit some basic information – it looks like this:
DATE(S) OFFERED: 31.08. - 02.09.
TITLE: Into the light
GENRE: middle grade, YA, sci-fi adventure
Enjoy the book - and please leave a review! Thanks!
(The whole site has many options to connect to your readers and fellow writers and to learn about promotion and marketing (I will go into some of their other services in different chapters – especially the tagging/liking of books is an interesting topic that can help you to promote your books)).
Other sites that will promote your free book:
Pixel of Ink http://www.pixelofink.com/sfkb/
A great place to announce your free book, or take part in all kinds of book/author related discussions is Amazon itself. Go to the “Meet our authors” forum. Here you will find discussions on many topics that allow you to promote your (free) book. The range of discussions changes continuously but here
is a screenshot that gives you a first impression:
It also offers a great way to engage with your readers (of course you do have to actively take part to reap the benefits).
The next page is FreeBooksy http://www.freebooksy.com/editorial-submissions - they also offer a couple of paid options for promoting your book.
eBook Hunter asks you to provide your information one week in advance – so make sure you go to their page not just a few days in advance, to ensure that you get listed:
Orangeberry Book Tours requires at least 3 Reviews – don’t post if you have less than that (you will find this requirement on quite a few sites)
Free Kindle Fiction has also an option to guarantee your listing (for 5$)
Indie Book of the day http://indiebookoftheday.com/authors/free-on-kindle-listing/
Free Book Dude http://www.freebookdude.com/p/list-your-free-book.html
You can also contact Phil at firstname.lastname@example.org – he requests the book information via email.
Free Kindle Books and Tips http://www.fkbooksandtips.com/for-authors/
These sites require that your book is already free when listing:
These are just an excerpt of all the great sites for promotion out there – I will add to this list in the future. Also leave me a comment if you have additional sites you want me to promote.