Free Books: Just Give It Away?

This post, by James Moushon, originally appeared on The Self-Publishing Review.

I have a Free Book Promotion coming up and I keep hearing the George Strait song ‘Give it Away’ playing in my ears. (Now you know where I get some of the inspirations for my posts). It was time for me to do some research and talk to several successful authors on how to do this and what their experiences were in giving their books away.

Free books have been a custom in traditional paper books for as long as book reviews have been written. They came with the territory. They were sent directly to a person or an agent. The reader/customer rarely got their hands on a freebie unless they went to the Library.

The Internet has changed all that. The ebook has altered the way we read, distribute and market books. It has increased the competition between authors and retailers and publishers, all at the speed of light. Now one of the most important things for an author is to create an interest in his book with friends and followers online.

One of the methods of choice is a Free Book Promotion.

10 Easy Planning Steps

I’ll start off with ten steps we all should write down and follow if we are going to give our books away.

1. Start several weeks in advance. First, select the dates and the period of time you want to run your promotion. There is some wisdom used here. The experts say do the promotion for 2 or 3 days in the middle of the week but not at the start of the month. Give yourself enough lead time so you can get everything together.

2. Get your book and site information together in an easy place to work with. I use a Word document to manage mine.

That includes your book description, the ASIN and ISBN numbers, your cover, the Amazon buy link and any other link that relates to your book. This should include links to reviews and blogs.

3. Made sure all your support group’s information is updated with the latest book information plus all your author profiles are up to date.

4. Next, go to the Amazon promotion manager and schedule your Free Book Promotion.

Review the Amazon Free Promotion Rules before you start. If this blog had more space, I would recommend this step before I published the book but that is a whole different topic.

Basically, you need to be enrolled in the KDP Select program. You have 5 days to offer your book free every 3 months and you must have exclusive rights for the primary content of the book and Amazon has the exclusive rights to the sales. If you got all of the above, you’re good to go.

5. I recommend you set up a day to day schedule (at least a 2 week schedule) and decide what you are going to offer free and when? Your book? Giveaway product? A Bonus book? Remember not all things can be done at once and you well run out of time if you’re not careful.

6. Start drafting your tweets and your Facebook communications. This is something you can start way ahead of time. Your are going to post them often. Variety is a good thing here. If you just keep sending the same tweet at your followers, they will start skipping over them like some of the other noise out there.

Here is a sample of two that I created for my upcoming Free promotion. This will give some idea anyway of what I am talking about. Notice I have put the number of characters in brackets after the post. When I get down to tweet time, I know right where I’m at with Twitter.

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Read the rest of the post on The Self-Publishing Review.

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