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SPQ 080: KDP Select Free Promotions: How Many Days Should I Use?

Written by Steve Scott on May 8, 2015. Listen to SPQ: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS Feed
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kdp select free promo

The Question

Chris of PowerLists.org asks via email: I recently published my first book on KDP Select and was wondering if it is best to do a five-day promotion or to split up the days into one two-day promotional campaign and one three-day promotional campaign. Thanks. Love your show.”

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

It’s great to see that a lot of recent questions are coming from first-time authors. That means a lot of people out there are taking action.

With KDP Select, you get to give your book away for free for five days in every 90-day period. If you do your promo the right way, you can see an uptick in sales once your book goes from free back to its original price. You can use all five days in a row, use one single day for free five different times, or do a split of two free days and three free days.

People who really want to launch with a bang use all five free days at once. This makes it easier to get your book in as many hands as possible, giving you a lot of extra eyeballs. You might even get in to the Top 100 Free listing on Amazon.

Steve suggests checking out episode 72 to learn more about paid advertising. You should look into purchase ads for free launches. He also recommends doing a lot of outreach to bloggers and other authors.

Jyotsna Ramachandran recently did a great job with her free promo for “Job Escape Plan.” She ended up with over 100 reviews and took the #42 spot on the list of top-selling Kindle books. Her PDF gives a step-by-step overview of her process.

Submit your book to as many free sites and Facebook groups as possible. Spend a couple of weeks laying the foundation for a really good launch.

Another option is to launch for three free days and then follow up with a two-day free promo. When you first get started, you’ll make mistakes, so the downside of using all five days at once is that you won’t be able to do another free promo on Amazon for 90 days.

With your first book, use the first three days to learn the ropes. Then use your remaining two free days for the next book you launch. Make sure you create an Amazon Associates link for every type of book you are doing. Steve explains how to do this on his website.

Find out what actually works for your book promotions. If you post to 100 Facebook groups and only get 10 clicks, that’s not a good use of your time. If you get a lot of clicks, then keep using that tactic.

Document every step you take during your first free promo. When you come out with your next book, use the techniques that worked and ignore the ones that didn’t.

Resources and Links

Powerlists: Learn more about Chris, a senior data analyst living in Norway

SPQ 072: Steve discusses the use of paid advertising for authors

Job Escape Plan: Find out more about building a successful home business that allows you the freedom to quit your job and enjoy life

Successful Book Launch: Jyotsna Ramachandran provides a step-by-step explanation of how she did a free promo that yielded more than 100 reviews and landed her book at #42 on the Kindle Top 100 list for free books

Tracking Your Launch: Steve explains how to create tracking links for your book campaigns

  • Thanks Steve for mentioning my book launch 🙂 I followed the Promo stacking method of scheduling the paid promos within the first 2 days so that the book enters the Top 100 list at the earliest. This helped in ranking the book in the paid store once I stopped the free promo on Day 3. As you suggested, I may use the remaining 2 days of free promo next month.

    • My pleasure Jyotsna. Hopefully I didn’t butcher your name too much. It was really awesome to see you share so much good stuff in the launch document. I’ve heard a bunch of people got a lot of value from it. 🙂

  • chrisbaird

    Thanks Steve for the great answer. You always give such complete answers that it takes a while to try implementing everything. I wasn’t aware that the 5 free promo days could be split among different books. So much to learn and thanks for the help. Chris

    • Glad to hear you learned something! Many times I assume people know that you can break apart the five days, but I’m happy you got value from the episode.

  • I found that when I ran a free book campaign for the full 5 days, the amount of downloads over final couple of days was actually significantly lower than the first so I would definitely agree that splitting them up is the way to go. In fact I’m about to give it a go now so wish me luck!

  • Five days in a row work perfect for me.