Every month, the IASFA invites member authors to include their books our newsletter, based on genre. These promotion are sent to our large reader-facing newsletter audience. Books included must be free or 99cents. There is also a section for new releases—books published since the last newsletter.
What to expect:
Members report giving away several hundred copies of their book over the five days. How many books you “sell” will depend on your cover, your blurb, and the other books in the promotion, and if you have other promotions running. This could take your book to the top of its categories.
KENP: Because of how Amazon has their product page setup, “Read For Free” is the big button for those with KU subscriptions. Buy for $0.00 is under that and minimized. So, even with a free promotion, you might see a bump on page reads for those who clicked “Read for Free” instead of buying the book. This is unique to books that use the five free days as part of the KDP Select program.
All members with books in the promotion are expected to share the promotion with their newsletter lists and/or social media channels. Even if your reach is small, you are expected to share. Not only is it good for the promotion—it also provides value to your newsletter readers, which improves engagement with your readers.
How to do it:
If this is your first promotion, here are couple of things to help you figure out how it all works.
The purpose of the promotion is to get your work into new readers’ hands, not to get signups to your newsletter. However, giving your book away through this promotion (or selling it for 99 cents) should bring new-to-you readers to your work and potentially increase newsletter sign-ups and sales of your backlist.
Load your book cover, link, and blurb on the IASFA website
· Go to the IASFA website and click on Login
· Enter your username and password
· Hover over My Portal (on the menu) and click on Book Entry Form
· Enter your book’s title into the search bar
· If your book appears, click on it to check the entry. If you need to make changes, go back to the Book Entry Form
- Enter the changes and submit. Changes to the book entries are done by an actual human person, so they will not appear immediately. If you don’t see a change after 3-4 days, please post on the Facebook group or send an email to email@example.com
· If your book is not in the system, add it
- Enter the data requested.
- Take some time to develop a compelling blurb—this is what will convince readers to download your book
- New books should appear on the draft page immediately
- When entering a link to your book, we highly recommend a universal link that will lead the reader to the correct geographical store. See below for more details.
To make the most of these promotions, we recommend the following:
- At the end of your book, make sure there is a link to the next book in the series or the next series in your backlist. If possible, make these universal links
- Make sure your blurb is compelling and free from typos and gramatical errors
- Share the promotion with your own newsletter and social media followers. It’s not fair if other authors are sharing to their lists, and you aren’t. We’re authors helping authors. Do your part.
- Make a note of your book’s rank before the promotion starts, so you can see how much of an impact the promotion has.
- Keep track of the promotions you run on your books, and record the results of so you can decide which ones to use again.
How to make your book free:
· If your book is in Kindle Unlimited, the terms of service say you cannot give it away anywhere else. However, you can set up five free days each quarter. Instructions on how to do that are here. Please make sure your book is free all five days of the promotion.
If your KU term ends before or during the promotion, you might not be able to schedule your free days. If your term ends before the promotion, you’ll have to wait until after the next term starts to schedule your days. If your term ends in the middle of the promotion, you will have to contact Amazon and ask them to help you. They can take your book out of KU, then you immediately re-enroll it to restart your term. You can contact KDP here (that’s a US link. If you’re outside the US, go to the KDP help pages, and scroll to the bottom of the page. Look for a yellow “Contact Us” button.
· If your book is not in Kindle Unlimited, you have two options:
- Set up the book for free on other retailers, then request a price match from KDP. Most of the retailers allow you to schedule sales in advance—see your retailer for instructions. Then contact KDP and ask them to price match. They won’t match until the book shows a price of $0.00 on another retailer, so you’ll have to do this in the day or two before the promotion. Please be aware KDP can reset the price without notifying the author. So you’ll want to check the day of the promotion.
- Probably the easier option is to set up a giveaway. Because your book isn’t exclusive to Amazon, you can give it away as much as you want.
- Bookfunnel will allow you to set up a giveaway for as little as $20 per year.
- You can set up a giveaway for free on Story Origin.
- When using a download service like BookFunnel or Story Origin, make sure you turn off email collection. We don’t allow that as we’re trying to build our list and for those members on our list, it would look like we’re selling them out by making them give up their email again to get your book.
- Set up a download from your webpage—we don’t recommend this because you’ll be dealing with customer support when readers can’t figure out how to side-load the books. Believe us, you don’t want to have to deal with that. Both BookFunnel and StoryOrigin have a range of services that most authors find helpful, and excellent reader support, so they’re worth looking into.
Universal links: links that take the reader to the correct country store. There are lots of tools that do this. Some of the free options are Books2Read.com and bklnk.com. StoryOrigin and Genius link have paid options to do this. There are many other options.