Monday, May 14, 2012

What I Learned About Having a Novel FREE on Amazon

There is no such thing as "Build it and they will come." This is the first lesson everyone who plans to put a book for free should know.

I put in two weeks of marketing and overall research. I was lucky enough to have met authors who'd been through the process and had been successful, lead me in the right direction.

I'd always said there had to be a secret sauce that no one tells you about. And there is, I'm sure of it. I'm still not sure what the secret sauce is, but it's out there, and "they" know about it.

I can't say I blame the authors who aren't sharing, as they probably worked hard to find out what works and what doesn't. I do know this, throwing money at it DOESN'T work.

So, back to the free weekend. Going into the process, I knew what my dates would be about 2.5 weeks in advance, and I contacted any and every site I could think of that would promote a free eBook. Some responded and posted, some didn't.

Facebook pages and groups dedicated to indie authors are a great place to start, but they are mostly authors. When those authors are nice enough to jump on your bandwagon and help get the word out, it's awesome.

Get your website, Facebook Page, and Twitter account up to date, and use them. Let everyone know your book is free, and then follow up and let everyone know just how well it's doing. No, you don't want to tell the the number of downloads you had, but you can keep them posted on where your novel stands on the Amazon Top 100 lists.

Let Us Prey was at #6 on the Amazon Top 100 by the morning of the second day of the free campaign, and stayed there for most of the Mother's Day weekend.

If I had to do it again, I'd take my friend (and wonderful author) Martin Crosbie's advice and not do my Amazon freebie over a holiday weekend. I'm sure I'd have had many more downloads, instead of the dismal Sunday downloads I had.

My downloads were in the 5-digits, where as I know others who had freebies over the same time period who only had 3-digit downloads. I worked my butt off, and was exhausted by the end of the weekend. But it was a blast!

Would I do the freebie promo again? You bet! There are probably a few things I'd do differently, but overall, I'd go with the same game plan.

When it's all said and done, be sure to go back and thank everyone who helped you with your campaign.


  1. Freebie downloads are cool. But how did you do in terms of sales? Mind my asking? 'Cause my first experience with a giveaway was dismal.

    Michael Jahn

  2. I've sold more today than I usually sell all month. I think you have to keep getting your name out there, especially the day after. Thank everyone, and keep your name fresh in their minds, that way next time they'll be happy to help you promote again. Use social media before and after.

  3. Replies
    1. Hey Jeff, thanks for stopping by! I can't wait for your book to come out!

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  5. I bought your book for free from Amazone Kindle and I just read it. It was such a good book, I didn't stopped, before I read it to the end. You did a great job, whith story lane and characters. I like Mimi very much. She is strong, indepandent and smart women. You put everything I like in mystery, especially dog. I like books with dogs in them. By the way thank you for you great job and if you will write a sequel, I will by it even for money.
    P.S. Sorrry for not very good english. I am not english speaking person, I am just english reading.

    1. Thanks so much, I'm so glad you liked the book. I'm sorry for the delay in replying, but I've been off the computer for a few days. The second book TEXTUAL RELATIONS is available on Amazon now.

  6. Thanks for the education. For those of us who are new to the publishing game, we should always strive to learn from those who have come before us. Thanks for posting on your experience.

    1. *smooches* Tony. I can't wait to read your novel!