Planning to offer your ebook or paperback for free? You have to let people know before time runs out! Here are some of the best web sites that will run your free book promotion at no cost to you.
One of the best ways to get attention for your book is by staging a free book promotion. That may be hard to do after you’ve slaved away writing it, but it’s worth it if your goal is to gain an audience. The least expensive way is to give away an ebook. Amazon’s Kindle Select program makes it easy to give away ebooks on a massive scale, if you sign up for the free promo option. (Some authors have reported having 20,000 downloads over a two-day period, but I’ve read that the average for fiction is around 1,200.) You can also give away books easily and announce it to large numbers of readers through reader community sites like Goodreads (see below). Or, you can stage your own giveaways on your web site, through bookstores, etc. The possibilities are truly endless! Of course, if readers don’t know about your fantastic promotion, they won’t get the chance to enjoy it. That’s where you need help–and the web sites I’ve selected here are able and willing.
The web site Pretty Hot is really hot for authors! When I asked if they’d list the free giveaway I set up on Amazon’s Kindle Select, this is what they did at no cost to me. The listing has remained for months ever since, providing ongoing support. The site features books from all genres, as well as nonfiction and poetry. Thanks again to the owners of the site!
If you’re a romance writer, Wanton Reads is a great site for getting your book listed at no cost. They really go all the way to help support authors, by giving books an entire page that includes an excerpt from the book; interview questions; and links to the author’s web sites. Here’s a link to the page they created for my book Come Find Me. Pretty cool, huh? Thank you again, Wanton Reads!
I love Twitter! It’s short, it’s sweet, and it’s full of creative, interesting, and generous people that enjoy helping authors promote their books. You can start “following” people and chances are some will follow you back — as long as you’re not just using it to promote yourself; people catch on quickly. So, be sincere and make sure to balance your promo stuff with interesting Tweets about other topics, as well as other people’s promotional postings. (What goes around definitely comes around on Twitter!). Plus, when you Tweet your free book promotion, you can add keywords (i.e., “hashtags”) that will connect it to lists of similar giveaways. Some common hashtags to consider: #bookgiveaway, #free, #freebie, #freekindle, #freebook. If you want to join my group of followers and be followed by me, please add me to your list! I’m @travisnward.com.
I love that name! Choosy Bookworm has a very friendly, adorable site that reaches out to authors in a fun, nice way. It has more than 5,500 Facebook fans, 3,000 Twitter followers, and 4,500 Daily Deals Newsletter subscribers. There’s an easy form to fill out. They also feature ebooks that aren’t free (at no cost), but they have to be priced at $4.99 or lower.
If you’re looking for tons of readers that are voraciously searching for new reading material, Goodreads delivers the goods! It’s owned by Amazon now, but operated for years independently. There are so many reading clubs organized by genre and interest that you can spend days searching through them. Many of the groups have their own special folders for promoting free days; make sure to put your promo in the right one, or it may be deleted!
Get a Google+ account and start checking out the fantastic communities geared towards writing and free book promotions. Make sure to read the fine print, and tailor your promos to the specific group. If you make it sounds too spammy, the Google spam filter may eliminate it without you ever knowing. In general, make your promo text at least 20 lines and make it personable to you. (Posts with a tone more like “Hey, guys, I wanted to share something with you” work better; ones like “Free books! Five star reviews!” tend to flag the spam machine.) Also, don’t list the promo using the exact same wording in different communities; that, too, can flag the spam filter. And yes, I found out about this the hard way by naively applying Twitter-esque short lingo to my promos, assuming that Google+ would prefer it short and sweet. Not so.
The eReader Perks site focuses on getting the word out about “free and bargain ebooks.” You can list your free book promotion at no cost by filling out the form here. The books are organized by genre, and it’s easy to navigate, making me think that readers will have a nice time looking for them. But, your listing will be pretty no-nonsense: title, author, genre, number of pages, and how many stars/customer reviews it has.
At Indies Unlimited, you can list free books or books priced at $0.99, at no cost to you. Here’s the information about how to do it. Every Thursday, the site publishes a feature called “Thrifty Thursday.” In order to submit it, you must fill out the form on this page. If you have a print book with a list price under $15, you can also participate in their Print Book Paradise.
At Library Thing, offering a free book promotion is a matter of signing up for a free membership, then locating groups where it makes sense to mention your freebie. There are more than 1.7 million members, so people will be listening.
Like Google+, Facebook has many groups where you can offer free book promotion. Once you sign up for an account, you can peruse the hundreds of groups to see which ones you like most.
On Book Talk, you can sort through forums and let people know about your free book promotion. The site also offers paid advertising, which is less than some other sites, and boasts more than 12,000 members.
Free book promotion can easily be done on K Boards (the “K” stands for Kindle). You can start a topic with your book, or add it to another.
At Book Hitch, you can sign up for a free membership. Once you’re accepted, you can create a free listing for your book, including a 60-word description, a web site, and five key words.
As you can imagine, Kindle Mojo is all about Kindle ebooks! List your free book promo on a forum, or as an event.
The motto at Free Booksy is: ” We love free ebooks. We help you find them.” What more could an author want? You can pay $50-$100 for an ad, or you can submit it for free for editorial consideration by filling out this form.Travis Neighbor Ward is the author of the bestselling novel Come Find Me, which she published under her imprint Northside Books, a division of Pearl Multimedia LLC, in April 2014. For more information about her, visit www.travisnward.com.
Do you know of other great web sites where authors can get help with their free book promotion? If so, share it with us by leaving a comment below!