(Please note: This was published on March 7, 2012. While it is dated, the overall strategy and tips are still relevant today (7/20/2016).
“A good marketing plan is like a battle plan–design a flexible strategy, adapt, and pursue.” author Ruth Francisco
Authors, below is an email that we received from author Ruth Francisco covering some of her tips for maximizing KDP Select Free Days. This is not an exact science, but she makes a lot of good suggestions. Of course, many of you have your own ideas. Hopefully you can find a tip or two to use that will increase the success of your marketing plan.
The most important point is that authors need to take charge of their marketing plans for their books. Running one ad, doing a post, or just putting your book up for free on KDP is not a marketing plan.
Our greatest successes come from authors with a marketing plan that they are executing. Take the time to create and then execute a marketing plan for your book. The outcome will often be financially rewarding.
From author Ruth Francisco
The Kindle Select program allows indie publishers (e.i. writers who self-publish to Kindle) to offer their books for free for 5 days every three months. In turn Amazon requests an exclusive. The question is how to best make use of a free give-away promotion. Here’s some tips.
1. Wait until you have at least 6 (the more the better) good reviews before going free. With so many free books now, readers are more selective. A few reviews will put you ahead of the game.
2. There has been much discussion about how many and which days to choose. I am tending to believe 1 or 2 day promotions are best. DBT (Digital Book Today): We run a popular one page site called The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books. We are more likely to post a book if we know it is running for a minimum of 2 days. Many authors will do up to a max of 5 days. Tip: Our traffic on this site is consistent from day to day since most readers are visiting our site as a result of being a subscriber to our daily mailing list.
3. A month before your book will be free $0.00 on Amazon, submit your book to book websites.
5. On the first day of your promotion, alert all your followers on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter. Ask your Twitter followers to retweet your promotion.
6. Twitter about your book to all Free Kindle twitter addresses (do a search for them on Twitter). Here are some Twitter accounts that tweet and retweet about free books to get you started.
@DigitalBkToday @kindleebooks @Kindlestuff @KindleEbooksUK @KindleBookKing @KindleFreeBook @FreeReadFeed @4FreeKindleBook
7. Email all good reviewers of all of your books. Many reviewers have email links on their Amazon Profile. Invite them to “gift” free copies to friends.
8. List your link on Kindleboards, both on this link for free books, and on your individual book thread in the Bazaar. http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,97167.0.html
10. On the first day of your free promotion, get up very early (like 3 A.M.) and add your book to the Amazon Kindle Forum thread for free books. Also add a comment to your book on the Amazon Kindle Forum Meet Our Authors thread that your book is free.
11. If you have several titles, try staggering free promotions. Free promotions seem to work particularly well for books in series, drawing people to buy other books in the series.
12. After your free promotion when your rank is slipping, gift copies of your book to boost your rank.
13. Several weeks after your promotion, run a .99 special on your books that are NOT in Kindle Select. Simply change your prices on Amazon, or lower your prices on Smashwords. Amazon will match the price. It will appear that you are slashing your prices, with the original price and discount. (Everyone likes a deal.)
14. A good marketing plan is like a battle plan–design a flexible strategy, adapt, and pursue. Good luck.