View Full Version : Marketing Techniques differ for FREE eBooks?

September 12th, 2018, 08:10 PM
After publishing a few paid books, I just published my first permafree eBook called Maximize Your Book Sales With Data Analysis. I’m curious what differences there are in marketing a free eBook vs. a paid book. For example, I often use AMS ads for my paid books, but I can’t justify spending significant dollars on those ads for my free ebook. (just to be clear, I'm willing to spend a little $ to promote this free eBook, but not near as much as I currently spend to promote my paid books). What other marketing differences should I be aware of for free eBooks?

Ralph Rotten
September 12th, 2018, 09:29 PM
First off, I gotta ask, how do you publish it for free? Where do you publish it for free?

I'd say the best way to market a free book is via social media, which is also free (or at least gratuituous...)
You speak at a seminars, that seems like a good venue to hawk a free book.
You should be sure that the last page has a link for people to FOLLOW you on amazon, so they find out about your next books.
You could also be sneaky and mention your book every time you review someone else's book (applies to books of a similar genre.) I've seen that done.
Then there is playing the search engines; use metatags and traffic to make your book more visible.
Mention the book on your Amazon author page.
And lastly, you could do the bookcrossing thing and leave print books in dentist offices and the like. Just write "This is a read & release book"
Check out bookcrossing for further details.


September 12th, 2018, 09:43 PM
Good questions/points, as usual.

First, it's an eBook... so there's no printing cost of course and I can offer it for free.
It is sometimes called perma-free too. To do that, I uploadthe eBook on KDP… but their minimum price is 99 cents. I do NOT choose KDP select, so that I canalso distribute it “wide” (meaning it is NOT exclusive to Kindle). Then I publish it for FREE on other websiteslike Kobo, BN, etc. To do that, I choseto upload my book onto draft2digital. They usually take a 15% cut of royalties, but since my book is free theytake nothing. D2D distributes my ebookto several sites. Once my eBook islisted for free on those sites, then I tell KDP to “price match” my Kindle bookso that it is free. About 10 days afterI told KDP (and sent a few follow-up emails), they finally made my Kindle eBookfree on Amazon. So that is how you canmake an eBook permafree. NOTE: I canalways change the price later, so technically it is not free forever if I laterchange my mind, but I plan to keep this little eBook free (its basically amarketing tool and has links to my website and books in the back, just as yousuggested).
Hope that answers your question.

Ralph Rotten
September 14th, 2018, 02:53 AM
That's actually a clever way of getting the book out there for free. I wondered how it was done.

I know it's an ebook, I just suggested the print versions as a way of marketing.
You can print proof copies via CreateSpace without ever actually publishing it.
The BookCrossing model was kinda a cool idea BITD. I had one book make it all the way to Canada, and another get to Australia before they stopped being reported.

When I said you should have a link for them to follow you, I actually meant follow on Amazon. That way their kindle will notify them when you publish new stuff.
The link is on your Amazon author's page.

September 15th, 2018, 01:51 AM
Thanks for the info! Ihad never heard of BookCrossing til you mentioned it. I just did a quick search on Google and it soundsvery interesting. Sounds like a fun wayto see how far your book will travel around the world.
I also liked your suggestion about buying proof copieswithout the need to publish in case I wanted to get a few ppk copies made up. However, my co-author and I wanted to createour little eBook as cheaply as possible, so our cover designer only made the bookcover for an eBook (not a paperback). Icould be wrong, but I don’t think we could order proof copies of the ppkwithout first uploading a ppk cover that passes the CS book cover requirements.Also, we didn’t want to incur the expense of buying these ppk books and havingthem shipped to us. In any case, I could see the benefit of having some ppkcopies on hand to pass out for free at my speeches and other events. So thanks for the suggestion. I’ll considerthat in the future.
For what it’s worth, this little ebook has only beenavailable on Amazon for free for the last 4 days and already it has beendownloaded 35+ times. That is prettyexciting b/c my paid books don’t usually sell that quickly. I just hope that this ebook continues to getdownloaded frequently and that at least a few of its readers will decide topurchase a book from either my co-author or me.
As a side note, this eBook is basically a marketingexperiment and it cost me a total of $400 for my part (I paid for the copyediting,graphic design work, and for one editorial review to be done soon... not surewhat my co-author spent, but she was responsible for getting the cover designmade). I hope this experiment paysoff. If nothing else, it was interestingand I learned a lot about working with a co-author, how to create a perma-freebook and how to use draft2digital.

Ralph Rotten
September 15th, 2018, 02:19 AM
Well, are you gonna post a link?

September 15th, 2018, 09:23 PM
Thx for asking! Here's my little free eBook... http://mybook.to/mybs

By the way, I'm happy to report that it is averaging 10 downloads per day since it was listed for free on Amazon... wish I got that much activity from my paid books! :)

Ralph Rotten
September 16th, 2018, 01:40 AM
Hey, I downloaded a copy and am reading the book. Very interesting material. I think I will try Google ads. I have had crappy results from Amazon ads, so I think I will try something new.

PS: I gave you a nice 5-star review to help float that book to the top of the pile*

*The rest of you mugs should think about getting a copy of this book as well, and leaving Mikey a good review. We live on a spherical planet, and on a spherical planet what goes around...

September 16th, 2018, 05:28 AM
Thank you Ralph! Ijust read that review on Amazon (right before I came here and read your post)and was thinking that was probably you… and I was right. J So nice of you to takethe time to read my little eBook and leave a nice review… I really appreciateyour support and all the kind words!
The Google Ads are worth a try, but I didn’t have as muchluck with them the two times I used Google Ads for my 2 (nonfiction) books. I did see a noticeable bump in website visitsduring my Google Ads (which probably helped my SEO). But not much of a difference in my actualsales during those ads. The only word ofcaution I have is that Google Ads tend to be a little pricey compared to AMSads (at least in my experience). I set adaily cap on my Google Ads and my AMS ads too… I frequently hit that cap on myGoogle Ads, but almost never for my AMS ads. Good luck with your ads.

Ralph Rotten
September 16th, 2018, 03:23 PM
That's what this forum is all about; writers supporting other writers!

In fact, yesterday I retweeted about a dozen of my fellow WF writers: Neetu, Harper, Lindy W, Mikey, DA Watson, Darren, Mod, ThompsonShore, Sue, GDPenman, & MichaelWillets

Okay, so it was only eleven, but you get the idea. :coffeescreen:

September 16th, 2018, 06:45 PM
You’re so right about the importance of these forums and theneed for authors helping authors. Likethey say, a rising tide lifts all boats!

Your efforts to spread the word about my eBook and leave a5-star review really helped! Thismorning, my eBook hit #1 in its Amazon category (KDP Authorship) on the best-sellerlist for free books. Very excited to see that happen b/c my paid books neverhit higher than top 15 in their Amazon categories. The real test will be to see if the successof this free eBook has any impact on book sales for my paid books. I’ll report back later and let everyoneknow. Thanks again!