Does anyone else have experience with Kindle Direct Publishing free promo days? What did you do after the jump in downloads to keep momentum going? I self-published my romantic comedy novel "Christmas in Wine Country" about 2 weeks ago. This weekend I ran a 2-day free promo and 9,000 people downloaded a copy. What do I do next?

I'm sure I'm not taking advantage At All of this opportunity; I spent the day driving my kids around and doing dishes instead of...doing what, exactly??? Should I start wearing a sandwich board with my book title on it? Make my children T-shirts with my book's name on them? Grab a bullhorn and yell about it from the top of college campus bell towers? 

I know I probably shouldn't have written my late-night tweet, "Suck It, Tolstoy". I was just excited to  leapfrog over "Anna Karenina" on the best seller list. What I should have tweeted was the more polite "In Your Face, Tolstoy!"

But, honestly, any ideas? Has anyone else self-published & done free promo days? What did you do next???

Thanks for the advice! And I promise to share if I actually do anything right in this marketing process :)


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Jade Kerrion has done some fantastic work here that may help you out...

Hi, Addison. 

Congratulations on sticking it to Tolstoy!  I've done many promotions and there's really not much you can do.  People download your book, you get a little boost in sales, and then it fizzles out because there are thousands of free books out there every single day.  I think the best thing you can do is write another book.  Not all the free downloads will be read.  Many people just download books because they are free, but there is a certain percentage that will read it, and if they like it, they'll be looking for another book by the same author.  You might want to include an excerpt of your next book at the end of the first one.  That's a great form of marketing your work.

Irina Shapiro

Hey Addison,

What else are you doing to market your book? Promo days are awesome to help with getting better stats and reviews on Amazon, which helps you to show up in the big Amazon marketing machine... however, as I think you've discovered, it has to be just one part of an overall marketing strategy.  Have you submitted your book to any indie reviewers?  Do you have a blog and are you writing posts that would draw search engine traffic and attention of people who would be the right target audience for your book?  Have you offered your book as a giveaway for any of the Christmas giveaways that many bloggers are starting right now?

You might also consider purchasing an ad on Goodreads. This is the time for you to advertise since your book has Christmas in it's title and Goodreads is a very targeted audience of readers... it's one of the few places that I recommend my clients advertise, if they have the budget to buy advertising.  You can also reach out to romance readers in the groups there, to see if anyone would be interested in hosting you for an interview or giveaway on their blog... the big idea is that you need to get your book in front of as many targeted potential readers as possible... it's exposure that you're looking for at this point.

Hope that helps some.

I think your combined efforts will one day pay off. I believe sending your press release to as many people as you can is very important. Now this is something I don't want to do myself so I'm willing to pay someone to do this for me. Getting your press release to journalists, magazines, newspapers etc. is very helpful.

Have you done a virtual book tour? They are great for promoting your book.

I wish I could tell you. The most downloads I ever got for any giveaway was 192 and I was tickled, and the fact that you got 9,000 with no additional sales is discouraging. I think it's just a buyer's market right now.

Thanks so much everyone for your replies and ideas! 

The good news I want to lead with -- my book "Christmas in Wine Country" has been on the best seller list since my free promo days 2 weeks ago! The first 2 days after the promo the book's sales and rank plummeted, but then from day 3 on sales have been great and it's mostly been in the top 10 best selling titles in chick lit (what Amazon calls women's fiction/single women) and top 15 in humorous fiction. 

I credit most of this to the free promo days getting my book out there & generating some good reviews. I've also done some contacting bloggers about reviews & author Q&As, but my big lesson learned is -- do this in advance! I put my book up on Amazon in November without building my platform first. Thanks for suggesting Goodreads, Shauntelle. I came across it a few weeks ago and am only now realizing what a great site it is. Such a fun way to connect with other readers and to get your book out as a writer. I haven't done a paid ad there, but maybe next week after these promo days I'll do that.   

And, LindaAnn, great reminder about the press release. I did an interview with a local newspaper this week, but haven't written an official one. Will try to do it!

I'm doing another 2-day promo this weekend and am going to include an excerpt of my next book (thanks, Irina, for the suggestion). I'll post an update after this next free giveaway -- and thanks so much for all the great ideas! So much to do! But it is fun!


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