Getting a Kindle book written is easy. You can write it yourself or hire someone write it for you. I’ve done both. But getting people to buy your book is not so easy. This post isn’t about how to pick the right topic (although that is extremely important), instead I’ll focus on how to jump start sales of a freshly published Kindle book on Amazon. The method I’m going to talk about is the same method I’ve done for all my books. I’m going to use examples from my latest book to illustrate what I did to go from no sales to some sales. Notice that I didn’t say “from no sales to spectacular sales”. I’ve never experienced spectacular sales but my books do manage to maintain a certain sales volume month after month. This is nice because I’ve done all the work publishing the book and now it becomes another passive income generating asset in my business.
Promoting My Latest Book
So last month, I published a new Kindle book. I hired a freelancer on Elance back in February to write the book for me. When I got the completed book, it was great except that after a few days of reading it over, there were some things I needed changed. I paid the writer her fee because she did exactly what I described in my job posting. but I knew I needed to modify a few things before I was willing to publish it. So it took me a few months to get around to re-writing and taking all new photos myself. Finally the copy was how I wanted it.
Before I continue, you may or may not know that when I publish a Kindle book, I also publish a print version as well through Createspace for the reasons I stated here. So when I got my books approved on Amazon and Createspace, I was hoping for big sales. I did get 2 Kindle sales on the first day but from that point on, there were no sales at all! Both the Kindle and print versions were sitting there idle.
As a little experiment, I decided to let the book sit for longer than I usually do before I promote the book just to see what would happen. 5 weeks later, no one was buying my book. So it was time to jump start sales. A lot of people talk about promoting self published books on Facebook, Twitter, your website or an email list. Well, I didn’t use any of those to promote this latest book. Besides, I don’t have any social media accounts or email lists that cater to the subject of this book. So what did I do?
Where to Promote Kindle Books?
I needed to get my book seen by a lot of people. So I listed my book on various websites that specifically promote free Kindle books. My books aren’t normally free but I did take advantage of KDP Select to schedule 2 free promotion days for my Kindle book on Amazon. These sites may or may not list your book but if you submit your book to all the sites I have listed below, you’ll have a good chance of getting some major free downloads of your book and this could get sales rolling on your book. Simply provide all the information about your book and they do the rest.
However, here’s a bit of advice: The more advance notice you can give these sites, the better. Many sites indicate they need at least 2 days notice so I submitted my book information 5 days before my free giveaway started. Below is the information you should have on-hand before you start submitting to these sites. Type this information into a text document so you can cut and paste into their forms. This will save you a lot of time! Here’s the information you need before you start:
- Book Title
- Author Name
- Author Email Address or Your Email Address
- Subcategory (optional)
- Book ASIN Number
- First Date Free
- Last Date Free
- Number of Days Free
- Amazon Website Link to Kindle Book
- Description of Book
- Cover Image of Book (click here to see my Kindle cover templates)
Once you have that information ready, you need to pick which day or days to make your book free. You can have up to 5 free days for every 90 days that your book is enrolled in the KDP Select program. The following websites are free to use and that’s precisely why I use them. Why pay to promote your book? Here’s the list:
- eNews Reader Today
- Pixel of Ink
- Free Kindle Books and Tips
- Free Booksy
- That Book Place
- Free Book Dude
- eBook Lister
- Bargain Book Hunter
There are more sites like those than I have listed but these are the ones I personally use. Some of the other sites require payment. For me, this list is all I need. Just remember to give those website owners enough time prepare and get your book listed. They probably get tons of submissions and you want to give them as much time as possible to increase your chances of getting listed. Getting your book listed is not guaranteed. However, some sites offer “Guaranteed Listings” for a small fee. Like I said before, I’ve never paid for a promotion.
During my promotion, my newest book was downloaded 5943 times for free. In the 11 days that were left in the month of June, the book went from zero sales to 21 copies sold at $3.99. Plus I got a couple of borrows. I also received four 5-star reviews which should help sales in the future.
Don’t forget that I also have this book available in print so I have a bonus sales channel to get more paid readers. The awesome thing about publishing both print and Kindle versions is that they share the same reviews. I’ve actually had print books outsell their Kindle counterparts. This is the main reason why I publish 2 versions. I never know if the print version or the Kindle version will sell more. Following the free promotion period, I went from zero print sales to selling 7 copies at $11.99.
As a side note, my print books do not go free when I run a free promotion through KDP Select. The print and Kindle versions are completely independent products except that they share reviews and both versions links appear on each book’s unique sales page on Amazon.
Giving Away Free Books Works!
If you read the Kindle forums, you’ll see that there are people who are strongly opposed to giving books away. But in my experience, giving books away soon after they’re published and using the promotion sites above have really worked. Don’t worry about giving away your work to a few thousand people! There are still plenty of people out there that will want to buy your book once it has been made more visible on Amazon. Good luck with your publishing venture!