As an (unemployed) independent author, I am constantly trying to discover ways to gain more exposure on the cheap. Recently, I decided to run a free Kindle download promotion through Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). Because the title of my book tied in with the 4th of July holiday as well as dealing with the Vietnam War and its veterans, I chose to run the promotion from July 1 through July 5.
Having very little expendable money, I had to find ways that I might be able to advertise my book for free or at least very cheaply. Oftentimes, authors can submit their book to a specific webpage and get free advertising, but this is usually at the administrators’ discretion (or something), which means that if you choose not to pay for advertising, they’re probably not going to choose it.
So, I submitted my book to several sites for free: Choosy Bookworm, Read Cheaply, Awesomegang, Pretty-hot, Digital Book Daily, Snicklist, Free Book Dude, Author Marketing Club and One Hundred Free Books. Did any of them run my book? Well, yes-ReadCheaply, Awesomegang & Digital Book Daily did. Somehow, my book also showed up on Book Basset, but I did not submit to them as I was under the impression that they charged for ads. A friend subscribes to their email list and forwarded me a copy of the listing.
I did choose to pay for submissions to a few websites. Readingdeals was $10.00; PeopleReads $7.99 and Snicklist a whopping $2.00 for a grand total of $19.99.
In addition, I did some minimal promoting of said promotion by sending out tweets, posting it here on my blog and posting to my three Facebook pages once a day.
Here are the numbers for the downloads for each day:
July 01: 382
July 02: 135
July 03: 27
July 04: 33
July 05: 11
Total = 588 free downloads
Not too bad, but what the hell does it mean in the end? Without reviews and recommendations, not a whole hell of a lot. Of course, time will tell. I can’t expect anyone to read a 760 page novel in a day or so, right?
So was it worth it? As with most things, yes and no. Yes because nearly 600 new potential readers and reviewers now have my book downloaded into their Kindles, but as I said, if these people 1) don’t read it and/or 2) don’t review or recommend it to others…well, you see how this could go.
If positive results do come from this, I will be pleasantly surprised.