How To Give Away A Free Book On Amazon

Photo Credit: Flickr user  MorBCN

NEWS FLASH: THE DREAM IS FREE ON KINDLE April 1st, 2013 – April 5th, 2013

Please download it, enjoy it, tell your friends, and review it if you like! Thank you so much!

I want to give away my books. That sounds crazy, right? Why would I want to do that? Because “it is more blessed to give than to receive”. Jesus said that and He is always right. I like being right too so I hope that over the course of my writing life that I am able to give away more of my books than I sell, especially books like The Dream which have so much significance behind them.

But that isn’t the only reason for a writer to give away their books. It’s simply the best marketing tool available to the entertainment industry. Not just the book industry, but musicians and movie makers have learned the same lesson over the years. If you give it away, they will want more of it. Of course, it has to be something they like, but if I read one more post about creating amazing content my head might explode.

Awesome Content See What Happens
Photo Credit: Flickr user  ~Rich Johnson~

Why Giving Away A Free Book On Amazon Makes Sense

Are you a famous author? If so, then I am basically a famous author too and we should be best friends. If not, then please continue reading because you want to know how giving away your books will make you more money than not giving away books.

The answer is simple, really. You want to sell more books, but not very many people know who you are. All the marketing and social networking in the world won’t matter much if they don’t know that your books are worth the risk. Giving away a free book proves to them that your book is worth reading?

But then they have already read my book for free! How do I make money from that?

The answer is two-fold. First, some of those readers will write reviews on Amazon telling them how wonderful their lives were when they were reading your book. That will help others to know that your book is worth the gamble. The second answer is your next book. This is especially effective for those who have written or are writing a series.

Take my book The Dream for example. I told the story I wanted to tell and I am happy with the book, but I also wanted to do two things with how I finished it. One is that I wanted people to think about the ending for themselves. I didn’t want to give them all the solutions and then forget the story ever happened. The other thing I wanted to do was to get people to read the following book in the series. I probably didn’t do it perfectly (okay, more than a few people begged for a prologue) but I want people to keep reading my books. Giving away a free book is just one more way of getting people invested into the series so that even if they don’t buy the first one, they might be more inclined to buy the second one.

How To Actually Give Away A Free Book On Amazon

Now onto the nitty gritty meat and potatoes of giving away your book for free. First if all, when I say Amazon I mean Kindle. Giving away physical copies for free can be hazardous to your bank account unless you are independently wealthy or have a nice publishing deal that takes care of that mess for you.

It all starts with signing up with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Yes, this means that the digital edition of your book can only be sold on Amazon Kindle for the length 90 days assuming that you sign up for the Select program. Big deal. Most books are sold on Kindle anyway. I believe in making my books DRM free so that people can read them anywhere, even on a Nook or Kobo. People can convert the file using Calibre. The added benefit of signing up for KDP is that the author gets 70% of the royalties, which is amazing.

After that, all you have to do is choose which days you want to give your book away for free. You can choose up to 5 days and the general consensus is that you want to run your promotions for at least 2 consecutive days in order to build momentum and climb the best seller (or at least best free book) charts.

When the time approaches for the book promotion to take effect it is your time to tell everyone that it is going to be free. Tell book give away sites 2 weeks in advance. Tell everyone you know on the day it is free so they won’t have time to forget. Make a Facebook event and a Goodreads event, send out Twitter blasts, and ask everyone to download it (even if they don’t want to read it).

Watch your rankings soar. Celebrate! Tell everyone about it. Give away more free books. Thank everyone personally and as a whole. Ask them to review it if they like it. Then open up Scrivener and write more books. After you are basically a famous author like me people will want to read more of your books. Don’t let them down by not writing more books.

REMINDER: THE DREAM IS FREE ON KINDLE April 1st, 2013 – April 5th, 2013

Please download it, enjoy it, tell your friends, and review it if you like! Thank you so much!