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October 26, 2015

How to Promote Free Days / Listing Blog Hop



*If you're here for the Listing Blog Hop, scroll down. :)

***

Some publishers set up free days on Amazon for their authors. This program is called Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) in which Amazon publishes your eBook three months sooner than your release date and during this time you get 5 free days. So many first-time authors don’t know how to promote these free days. I didn’t when Hurricane Crimes was free, so I had to learn.


First, let me warn you about expectations. 

Free days are great for first-time authors because it gets your name out there and your eBook into many Kindles. But...

1. Not everyone who downloads your eBook will actually read it. Many people just love the word FREE and will one-click every free eBook they can find.

2. Many authors shoot to the top of Amazon’s 100 Top Free Ebooks list. But this won’t happen to everyone.


Now that those pesky expectations are out of the way, let me tell you how you can promote your free days:

1. Create an event on Goodreads. Goodreads is always my #1 tactic for spreading the word about a new release, sale, or giveaway.

2. Make a special post on your blog to announce it. (You can even create a Google Form to ask bloggers to post about your free eBook. After they sign up, send them all the info, including an HTML code for their ease.)

3. Of course share the news on Facebook and Twitter.

4. Also share the news on Google + (tag your circles) and any Yahoo Loops you’ve joined.

5. Now the one that’ll take the most time...submit to free eBook websites. You can find them by simply using Google.

Here are some websites you can use to promote free days:

TIP #1: Check their guidelines. Many of these sites require you to submit your book info ahead of time. And some of them cost money or don’t accept short stories. 


The results of my Free Days for Hurricane Crimes:

Hurricane Crimes reached #10 in the Top 100 Free Suspense books, making it an Amazon Best Seller (or freebie), which thrilled me to no end. It also cracked the Top 100 Free list for Romantic-Suspense at #22. After that, Hurricane Crimes clung to the low 400's, staying around #20 in the top free suspense books.

Number of free downloads - 2,324.

TIP #2: You can do all of these things when promoting a book sale. Just look for discount eBook sites instead of free ones.

For more tips on how to promote see:



QUESTION: Have you put any of your eBooks for free? What did you do to promote it and what was the result? 


************************************************************

The List Blog Hop is hosted by Bish Denham and it's pretty much what you think it is...a blog hop of lists. These lists can be about anything at all, anything you find fascinating or even a bucket list. My list consists of things I've Googled for my books.


Research for my unpublished series:

- Types of fighting styles
- Military guns
- Helicopter machine guns
- Military combat uniforms
- Code Red
- Arrow quivers
- Sai daggers
- Circular saw blades
- Taser guns
- Bones in arms
- Tourniquet
- Seizures
- Carotid artery
- Thoracic curve

Research for Seismic Crimes:

- China Town

Research for new WIP:

- How to hot wire a car
- How to escape from a trunk
- Crossbow pistol
- Throwing knives
- Road flares
- Voodoo
- Zombies



102 comments:

Jackie said...

I like your Listing Hop lists, especially research for your new WIP! And I LOVE that mug!!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You definitely need that mug for those kinds of searches!
Thanks for participating in the blog hop.
I'll make sure we have all of those sites listed at the IWSG.

H.R. Sinclair said...

OMG! I love that mug. And thanks for the tips on getting freebies out.

Juneta key said...

Luv the mug too. Great tips, thanks. Interesting research list. I might have to check some of that stuff out too.
Juneta Writer's Gambit

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

That mug is great and so, so true for many of us out here researching and writing. :)

Pat Hatt said...

Yeah, been to the top 100 free a few times, but now free does nothing any longer, really kind of pointless it seems. haha yeah, I purge my browser history each day, no since is ticking off the NSA.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Congrats on doing so well with your free book.
Free books work best when the author has other books available for sale. It spurs those sales.

betty said...

I have to admit, I'm one of those that download a book because it says "free". I have several books (more than several but I don't want to admit how many) on my tablet that I have had for close to a year and haven't read yet......but I am getting better about deciding what books I will download if they are free and not just randomly do so.

Great tips you share here!

betty

Arlee Bird said...

I've definitely got a wild browsing history--no rhyme or reason to the casual observer.

I'm not sure that I'd want to pay to promote a free book when there are so many free resources to use.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Lidy said...

Informative post as always. I've made my book free for a week for National Poetry Month in April and Smashwords Ebook week. And I posted about it on my blog and on Facebook and Twitter. Now thanks to this post, there's a lot more I can do the next time I make my book free. Oh yeah, I love that mug. :-D

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Jackie! I think we all need one of these mugs. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I do. I really do. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome, Southpaw. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks for stopping by, Juneta!

Chrys Fey said...

l should do a writer's giveaway and offer this mug as a prize. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

It does seem that free doesn't do much because so many out there are attracted by the word free but then don't even end up reading or reviewing your story.

Chrys Fey said...

And Hurricane Crimes was my own book. I had nothing else out at the time.

Chrys Fey said...

I have quite a few on my Kindle that were free too but most of them were published by my publisher The Wild Rose Press. I got them to support the author. I still have a lot to get to, but I will read them all. Someday.

Chrys Fey said...

I wouldn't want to pay to promote a free book either.

Chrys Fey said...

Having your book for for those weeks was a great idea, Lidy!

SpacerGuy said...

Its been a while since I had a Star Trek boxset givaway on my site and it far easier to do now with the like of Amazon, linky lists and vouchers etc. Thanks for the awesome tips.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

LOL. I love that mug. And wow, that's a long list of research. You've been very busy.
Susan Says

Hart Johnson said...

I so need to get better on my marketing stuff. Good list of things to do when it is free day promo time...

M.J. Fifield said...

What a cool idea for a list. My browser history would be worthy of that mug, too.

I haven't done a free day for my book yet. Like Hart, I need to get better about my marketing.

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome! :)

Chrys Fey said...

I cut a lot from my research list because I didn't want to go over 25.

Lisa Thomson said...

I love your search lists! :) I've got some good ones, too. I haven't had my book in the free program. It's in the lending library though (on Amazon). Great tips to know, Chrys. Thanks for this b/c my new ebook will likely be added to the free days.

Chrys Fey said...

I always try to find other ways to market. Marketing is a never-ending learning process.

Chrys Fey said...

;) Writer's often research and Google the strangest things.

Chrys Fey said...

I haven't heard about the lending library on Amazon. Hmm...I'm going to have to look into that. Thanks!

And you're welcome! :D

Julie Flanders said...

I need one of those mugs! I was doing some scary browsing for my story yesterday and got a little nervous about the history LOL.

Chrys Fey said...

HAHAHA!!!! :P

Yvonne Ventresca said...

Love your list! And I need that mug, too, since I'm currently working on a YA murder mystery.

Yvonne

Chrys Fey said...

A mug for everyone! ;)

Sarah Foster said...

Haha I love that mug! I need one of those as well. I guess we all have to research some sketchy subjects now and then :)

Jeffrey Scott said...

Your Promote Free days could have been a list in itself. Congrats on the top free book. It's a good story (I havne't finished yet, but getting there).
As for your actual list. I love your mug. And I have to admit I do a lot of web browsing too. But I also like physical research. I recall one day I was doing research for my story and picked up a few magazines at the store. GQ, Seventten, Hot Rod Magazine and a few others. The eclectic assortment of magazines was chosen for each character in my story and what I felt was their particular interest. A few people over for a visit when I still had the pile of magazines out raised a few eyebrows. Most prominently the Seventeen Prom Special magazine. LOL

Tamara Narayan said...

I so, so, so need that mug. Or that saying on a t-shirt. So awesome. Thanks also for the freebie tips. Now I now where to go for free books!

Chrys Fey said...

It's a job requirement. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

That's very true, but it was my intended post for today. For the hop I wanted to do something different.

Thanks, Jeffrey! It was my first published story. I've learned a lot more about writing since then.

I've checked out many books at my local libraries for research, but sometimes I just need to do some fast research. Or there's no book that'll tell me what I need to know.

Ha! That's a funny story about the magazines. And a great way to develop characters.

Chrys Fey said...

Ha! Yes! These sites are great for readers looking for free books too. :P

Yolanda Renée said...

Great mug!
Congratulations on the FREE listing ideas! All great, but especially for getting your book to the top! Awesome!
Love your browsing history, mines pretty close!

Jax said...

I love that free listing idea through Amazon!! You're right that not everyone will read it, but it's a great name to get your name across.

Carrie-Anne said...

I had some free days scheduled for last year, but I cancelled them after I did more reading and heard a lot of writers saying they didn't go as well as they'd hoped, with many people only downloading their books because they were free, and frequently writing negative reviews because it's not the type of book they would've read had it not been free, and didn't expect quality from a free book. It seems most writers agree free promotions work best when you're releasing the next book in a series and make the first book free to induce more people to buy the new book, or if you're already a steadily popular name and don't have to worry about people getting your book only because it's free.

sherry fundin said...

I love hearing how authors research the novels and that is a great cup!!!

sherry @ fundinmental

Anonymous said...

Ha! Those are some great topics to have to search for a WIP. You definitely need that cup.

Chrys Fey said...

I can imagine the things on you browsing history. ;)

Lisa said...

It is clear to see why you need the mug after reading those lists! Love this blog hop, and thanks for commenting on my blog!
The tips are very welcome and because I haven't read my "changes" to policies lately, I'd missed the change in how they work the "free" days... Appreciate your researching that!

Chrys Fey said...

It is a great way to get your name out there.

Chrys Fey said...

That's why I mentioned those expectations. It is true that many others get negative reviews because it was free. That doesn't always happen to everyone, though. Doing free da u s is excellent exposure, especially if you can get on a top list.

Chrys Fey said...

The best cup for writers.

Chrys Fey said...

I do. Christmas gift idea. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome! And thanks for commenting on mine. :)

diedre Knight said...

Your research list looks a lot like mine! I expect the browsing police to come for me any day now ;-) What a terrific mug!
Wish I'd had your handy promotion list a bit ago. But I'll sure keep it mind for next time. I swear, you're becoming as valuable to writing as the excellent tips you give! :-)

Shah Wharton said...

Lot's of useful tips - thanks Chrys! :) And yeah, my browser history serves everything from horror and thrillers to erotic romance! :) *blush.

Shah X

dolorah said...

Think of how wonderful you would feel if all those free downloads were .99 instead! I'm guilty of purchasing because if says "free" on a genre I enjoy, but knowing how hard a writer works, I usually catch books at .99 to 2.99. I remember when I used to go to book stores and pay $6 - $15 for books, so I already feel I'm getting a bargain at $1- $3.

Love your research list. I have some interesting things on my browsing history too.

Cathy Kennedy said...

Chrys, fabulous tips to know should I ever write an e-book. I have taken up authors' freebie offers in the past knowing all too well that I wouldn't read them immediately and maybe never. It's not that the stories aren't intriguing enough, it's just my brain won't slow down long enough to read anything of length. But, I'm baby stepping my way toward finishing one of my recent downloaded novels that I got for 99 cents. lol Oh well, thanks for visiting today. Have a spooktacular week!

Cynthia said...

I've downloaded a free book before and I most definitely will get to it during my down time.

I'd like to be brave enough to post the things I've googled in the name of research someday!

Chrys Fey said...

They're getting their handcuffs ready for us. ;)

Aw! Thanks.

Chrys Fey said...

Oh, if your browsing history could talk. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

I know! It would've been amazing if it were that case.

Chrys Fey said...

I know what you mean. I, too, got free eBooks because they intrigued me and I intended to read them but then my list grew and more books got piled on top of them.

You're welcome, Cathy! And thanks for visiting me. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Haha! I think there are some things I kept of this list...out of embarrassment and to keep it PG. ;)

Liz A. said...

Good tips for the free books. I'll have to look at those sites to find some free reads ;)

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

You always have the best advice, Chrys. I'm saving this. I've never had my books for free. on Amazon. The publishers would have to do that, I guess. They've never mentioned it though.

Birgit said...

Great list for free books as I had no idea how much is out there. I love reading an actual book still:) Love your lists-it made me laugh because of what you watch or read about-The mug says it perfectly.

mshatch said...

'Bones in arm' - hmm, that makes me worried for your characters. And I remember seeing someone escape from a trunk, once into the back seat, and another time out the trunk. Can't quite remember exactly how. Hope I don't ever need to!

Belle Unruh said...

Your list shows how much work goes into writing a book. I admire authors, my mom is a writer. I love it when I learn new things in a book, like how ancient warfare was conducted.

Chrys Fey said...

I don't blame you. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

Most publishers don't do it anymore because they don’t see the benefit in it. There usually aren't a pickup in sales after the free days end like there used to be.

Chrys Fey said...

I need the saying on that mug above my computer. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

Yup...an injury. I believe it was for a bad guy though.

Chrys Fey said...

A lot of research goes into writing a story and making it accurate.

Botanist said...

Love the list of research topics! Yeah, some of the things I've researched have made me nervous too :)

Meradeth Houston said...

Great list! Made me giggle! I really do hope I never have anyone get suspicious about my google search terms--my last book was definitely one that led to some suspicious keywords!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Great pointers for during a free e-book period! Also, I love that you listed your searches on the books. I bet a blog hop of recently searched terms for book research would be interesting.

Chrys Fey said...

I hope not too. :p

Chrys Fey said...

That would be a fun blog hop!

Chrys Fey said...

Haha. I can only imagine the things horror writers search.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Chrys. Definitely a post to bookmark. Yeah, now that I have one book published on KDP I thought i'd go the free route when I have a reveal at Michael di Gesu's tomorrow, but then I found that you can't make it free if it's 99c, which is close enough to free, I suppose. When I sort this Amazon thing out I must write a post or a book about it. There's so many hazy 'rules' for the unwary and it takes a lot of time to unearth these restrictions. But I think you need more than one book for free to help much. :-)

Chrys Fey said...

Amazon creates the silliest rules. I had no idea an ebook couldn't be made free if it's regular price is 99cents.

Elizabeth said...

Chrys, you are always so full of great writing advice :) Those sound like great ways to get your free book out there, because as a reader, I have used some of those sites to find free ebooks. I like your list and that mug is great, lol! My search history is definitely strange sometimes :)

Chrys Fey said...

I love that you've use these sites to get free books. :)

Patsy said...

I'm guilty of downloading free books and then not getting around to reading them. I am trying to catch up!

Jen said...

Oh I LOVE these lists! I need to do that for my books so I'll know exactly what I need to research...instead of enjoying the rabbit trails that happen when I won't reign myself in! LOL! And that mug. YES! I think all writers need that. Standard disclaimer for the insatiably curious.

Cheers!
Jen

Chrys Fey said...

So am I. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

Yes! I love that "standard disclaimer." ;)

Robin said...

I'm totally guilty of downloading something because it's free and then not reading it. I have way too many books in my kindle that got there via just that means. It's not that I don't want to read them, but I have more books than time. Sigh.

Your list (web searches) cracked me up. I know I've looked up some crazy-sounding things. I need that mug, too!

Chrys Fey said...

I understand because I've done the samething. I totally need to find this mug so I can do a writer's giveaway some time.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I've downloaded things for free and it's taken me around 1 week to 1 year to read them, but I don't keep downloading stuff for free in the mean-time.

Currently, I have short story e-books and a novel for free and so far, I have noticed a slight build-up in sales of my second novel, nothing to get super excited about, but a tiny bit of extra interest.

Katharina Gerlach said...

Love the mug, could need one too. ;-)

Chrys Fey said...

That sounds smart of you, Tyrean.

That's great! Every little bit helps, right?

Chrys Fey said...

We all need this mug. ;)

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Your blog was always great, Chrys, but in the last year it's become spectacular. I love all the marketing advice!

I haven't been able to give my book away for free, unless you count the one people get for signing up for my newsletter, but should it happen, I'm now prepared--thanks to you.

Thank you! <3

Chrys Fey said...

Aw! Thank you so much!! I really tried to make this year a good year for Write with Fey. :D You’re welcome! <3

Misha Gerrick said...

Hahaha looks like you have a lot of fun researching things. ^_^

Chrys Fey said...

I do. :p

Tara Tyler said...

love your very incriminating list of research topics!
and i love even more the list of book promotions sites - i've done them, some are excellent and some are okay, but there are just so many books out there! so hard to get noticed! but we have to keep at it =)

and thanks for supporting my simulation release tour!

Chrys Fey said...

You'really right that we do have to keep at it.

You're welcome, Tara!

cheerfuloptimistic said...

That reminds me, there are some free books I need to read soon.

Chrys Fey said...

Yes! ;)

Toi Thomas said...

Okay, that mug rocks! I need one of those. I'm pretty sure my browser history would terrify all my friends and family. ;)
I like your list of research. As an author, I respect your efforts and am inspired to do more of my own.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Toinette! :D