If you expect people to find and download your free book, you’ll be hugely disappointed.
The preparatory stage of your KDP free days are the most important.
Your promotion will fail if you do not prepare strategically and effectively.
This article will highlight a few of the preparatory strategies we employ to make our authors’ free days promotions successful.
This is the second part of a 3-part series on maximizing your KDP Select Free Days Promotion. Read part one here.
Increasing Discount Value
We all love discounts on products. The bigger the discount, the better we feel about the purchase.
We have been using a simple pricing strategy that helps to show an increase in the value of the book when it goes free.
Take one of our author’s books, Maurice on the Moon, as an example.
Maurice on the Moon by Dr. Daniel Barth is the first book of an ongoing science fiction adventure series for young students. With the intent to draw readers to the series with a low price on the first book, we set the first book’s price at an undervalued amount of $2.99.
The value that the book has as an educational and Common Core science and reading resource is not reflected by that price. If it were not part of a series, it would be priced at $5.99.
Two days before each free day promotion we have for Maurice on the Moon, we bump up the price to $5.99.
Why do we do this?
When your book enters its free days and the kindle price is dropped to $0.00, beneath it will be a new section titled ‘You Save.’
Bumping the price of Maurice on the Moon to $5.99 right before entering its free days helps potential downloaders realize not only the amount they are saving during the promotion, but also the value of book they are receiving for free.
This strategy is not applicable to all books. If your book is $5.99 and is not undervalued, it’s quite unethical to overvalue the book by increasing it to $9.99. Only employ this strategy if your book is normally being offered at a price lower than what the value of the book actually is.
Contacting Book Promoters and a Little Tip
The most effective way to expose your free days promotion is through book promoting websites.
With the proliferation of self-publishing authors and ebooks, book promoting websites have grown.
Each book promoting website has its own time and submission guidelines. In most cases, promoters ask that you submit a request at least 1 month before your promotion begins. We are continuing to experiment with the suggested 1-month time frame.
Some websites require that you have a certain number of reviews as well as a particular average rating for reviews. So, make sure you meet a promoter’s requirements before submitting a request.
Although many book promoting websites have gone defunct since these restrictions, there are still several free book promoting websites that we recommend you use for your free days promotion.
Here are links to some book promoters that are still promoting free ebooks:
As the ebook landscape is changing and book promoters are constantly coming and going, make sure to keep organized and keep a thorough list of which promoters are still viable options or not. Compiling a list of promoters with necessary information, such as submission guidelines, will make the preparatory stage of your free days promotion more time efficient and effective.
Here’s a little tip to help getting your book featured on a website.
On the first day of your promotion, visit each of the sites that you sent a request for a free book feature. If they did not feature your book, send them an email asking what specifically about your book triggered a red flag for them to not feature it. Make it clear that you are asking them because you want to improve your product page rather than abrasively asking, “Why didn’t you guys feature my book?”
Expressing your concern for the book to promoters could result in them featuring your book the next day. It has happened to us!
Tracking Download Numbers and Category Rankings
For each of our promotions, we track download numbers as well as category rankings every 2 hours as consistently as we can and log them into a simple excel spreadsheet. Category rankings are not as important to track hour by hour. But, when you hit #1 in a category, make sure to take a snapshot of it! It’s great material to use in thanking those who downloaded your book. More importantly, we keep track of our download numbers not only because it’s exciting to see results but also, more importantly, to have something to compare with for following promotions: kind of like an A/B split test.
Cataloguing download numbers on each day helps you analyze on which days free ebook promotions are more effective than others as well as which hours in the day garner most downloads.
By tracking your download numbers, you are able to stay on top of when download numbers slow down. In our most recent promotion, we realized that downloads were a bit slower at a certain time during the day. We saw this as an opportunity to employ some tactics to help expose our free book to people. We strategically used the tweets that we got from book promoters and retweeted them during slow download hours, thereby refreshing those tweets to our followers’ twitter feeds.
The Promotion Has Ended…Now What?
What is the purpose of executing a KDP free days promotion? At the end of the day, you want to generate book sales.
Generating more and more free downloads helps your book become more visible in the Kindle Store. The more downloads you get, your book will improve its categorical rank as well as its top free books rank, ultimately, improving its visibility to potential buyers.
It’s vital to see if the improved visibility results in book sales. Take a snapshot of your total sales before your promotion begins to have base numbers to compare to. Then, keep track of book sales after the promotion ends. Hopefully, your book sales vastly improve after the promotion.
You may be asking, “Is there anything else I can do after the promotion ends to help book sales?”
There are several essential strategies you need to employ post-promotion and the final segment of this 3-part series will address this critical question.