Yesterday, I shared 5 ways how you can promote your Kindle book. Two of the methods only work when your book is free. Kindle allows you to giveaway your book for free for 5 days, if you enroll in the KDP Select program, this is when you are going to use those two methods normally. KDP Select is active for 90 days, after that you can enroll again and get 5 more days of free promotion. Still, it’s quite a bummer that you can only use those two methods for 5 days every three months because they are very effective.
Yet what if I told you that there is a way to use them all the time? What I’m suggesting is to make your book permanently free on Kindle. It’s probably not what you expected and you can already think of a hundred reasons why you don’t want your book to be permanently free, but hear me out.
The Benefits Of Having Your Book Permanently Free
Amazon Kindle doesn’t allow you to set your price at zero, the process is a bit more complicated, but we will get to that in a minute. Firstly, why would you want to have your book permanently free?
Well, it’s free promotion all year long for your other books. You don’t want to make your best selling book free. What you do want to do is to write a shorter book, or just take one of your books that isn’t performing so well and make it permanently free to attract more readers.
A common practice for fiction writers is to giveaway the first book in the series for free. If they get hooked on your story, then they will buy the next ones in the series and that’s how you make money.
Anyway, you can go about this free book however you want, but you need to look at it as a promotional tool.
How Your Perma Free Book Should Look Like
Your perma free book doesn’t have to be any different content wise than your other books. It still needs to be a good book, have a good cover, etc.
What you do need to have in place to get the maximum benefit is some strategic marketing elements. In fact, you should want to have them in all of your books.
You want to have a bonus inside your book that you would giveaway in exchange to the reader’s email address. You want to build an email list of your readers. To do that you need an autoresponder (GetResponse, Aweber, MailChimp), then you build a lead capture page, where you giveaway some sort of incentive for people to join, maybe another ebook. Lastly, you put the link to the lead capture page inside your book and position it as a bonus.
This way you will be building an email list of interested readers to which you can promote your other books and future releases.
You also want to have links to your other books to promote them. If you decided to giveaway the first book of a series it’s going to be very effective when you link to the next one.
So, the people who get your free book will have a chance to join your email list and check out your other books.
How To Make Your Book Perma Free
Lastly, let’s cover the technical part how to make your book free. As I already mentioned, you can’t set your price to zero, Amazon Kindle just doesn’t allow you to do that.
What comes into play here is an interesting function of Amazon.
Tell us about a lower price. You can find this link on any item on Amazon and if you click it, you can report that you found the same item cheaper somewhere else and then Amazon will price match it.
So, what we need to do is to publish our book somewhere else for free and then report it on Amazon.
SmashWords is an interesting site. It’s an ebook store, but it also can distribute your ebook to other bookstores like Barnes & Noble, iBooks, etc. All these stores allow you to giveaway your book for free.
So, what you want to do is sign up with smash words and publish your book there for free. The process isn’t that much different from Kindle so, you shouldn’t have any problems. After, a day or two your book will get approved, or you will get a message saying that you need to fix something. When I tried to get my book approved they found a formating issue, which was an easy fix.
Once you finally get approved, your book will be automatically sent out to other book stores, but it will take a while until you will see them listed. I think it was nearly a week until I got my book on Barnes & Noble and later on it showed up on other stores.
Next, step, after you have your book for free on a reputable book store, is to report about a lower price to Amazon.
Sadly just a single report about a lower price won’t make your book permanently free. So, you will need to get more reports. Before you go hunting down your fiends and family to report your book I actually suggest to go to Kboards, sign up, if you aren’t a member yet and go to this thread:
Here you can ask people to report your book. It might take to post several times until your book goes free, but this is the whole process how you get your book permanently free.
Making one of your books permanently free is a common and very powerful promotion strategy that advanced marketers use. I highly recommend taking action on this and get at least one of your books permanently free.
How many book have you published? What promotional strategy is getting you the best results? Let me know in the comments below.