I've decided to share this big old list of websites with you. It's likely you'll know of most these sites, but I'm sharing them anyway. An author friend of mine released their first book a couple of months ago and he enrolled it in KDP Select. He asked me what websites I submit my free book info to, so I went ahead and made this 'Ultimate Marketing Plan' for him.
This is by no means an 'Ultimate Marketing Plan'. It's only what I named the original Word file I sent to my friend, because I couldn't be asked to give it a serious title.
Anyway, when the changes to the Amazon affiliate program took place recently, I believe a lot of the sites below decided to stop posting free books (or at least limit the amount of free books they post). So, if you plan on using these sites, you're going to need to go through them all and check out how they are running now, what their policies are, etc..
And just because a site is listed, it doesn't mean I condone their practices. This was just a list of sites for my friend who wanted to get the ball rolling -- and he assured me he'd check all the sites out individually and keep his wits about him! =]
If you happen to own or be associated with any of the sites below, please don't shoot me for directing people your way (I'll be happy to remove the website from the list if you ask). I may have listed your site under a heading like 'To post to on the day', but I do ask that anyone clicking on these links checks out each individual website's policies before posting content.
Also, some of these links may lead to specific pages that don't exist anymore, so you may have to get rid of all the text after the forward slash (/) and try again, or maybe use a search engine to find the sites.
(The list below will be updated as more people post new sites on this thread. Thank you for suggesting websites to add to the list!)
Here it goes ...
Ultimate Marketing Plan - KDP Select Free Days!
STEP 1 – GET LOTS OF REVIEWS
- REVIEW WEBSITES -
Search Google for blogs and review sites in your genre. Check submission guidelines for any site you select, and then submit your book for a review! Most reviewers will post to Amazon if you ask them to, and, if necessary, remind the reviewer to adhere to Amazon's review guidelines (http://www.amazon.com/gp/community-help/customer-reviews-guidelines). Reviewers you provided a free copy to will need to follow this guideline especially: • Full disclosure: If you received a free product in exchange for your review, please clearly and conspicuously disclose that you received the product free of charge.
New Note: Above I have listed some review websites that some people may frown upon (BookRooster, TheBookPlex), as I know some people believe that if you are paying a reviewer, then that may influence their review. But it's entirely up to you if you want to use these services. I'm just letting you know they are available - I'm unsure whether or not using the these services is against Amazon's guidelines, but you have the link above if you'd like to check. It seems that it may be against the guidelines: 'What's not allowed: • Reviews written for any form of compensation other than a free copy of the product. This includes reviews that are a part of a paid publicity package '
Confession: I used TheBookPlex quite a while ago now (before checking Amazon's review guidelines) to garner reviews for my first novel, A Death Displaced, and the reviews the book received were critical and detailed. It received a mixture of 5, 4, 3, and 2 star reviews. Mostly positive, but also the only 2 star reviews the book has received so far. Also, I checked up on the reviewers afterwards and it turns out that most of them are bloggers, members on Goodreads, and some of them authors themselves. In this experience I don't feel the reviews were influenced by the reviewers being paid. Even the most positive reviews out of the lot still pointed out flaws in my work, alongside the reasons why they liked or didn't like elements of the book.
- I don't have much to say about BookRooster, but like I've said ... please make your own judgement. I'm not condoning any practices, just highlighting the options.
Warning: Be careful when it comes to some websites that ask you to pay for reviews. Some ask for outrageous amounts like £400 for a ‘professional’ review. These are generally not worth the money!
STEP 2 – SET THE DATES FOR YOUR BOOK PROMOTION
Sign into your KDP profile (https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin) to set the dates for your Free Days Promotion. Most websites that feature your book like it when your books are free for at least 2 or more consecutive days.
STEP 3 – SUBMITTING TO WEBSITES TO FEATURE YOUR FREE BOOK
- 1 MONTH IN ADVANCE -
If some of these websites don't have submission forms, you may have to use their contact form and explain about your book going free. Make sure to read the websites policies before submitting. Also, with some of these you have to pay for a feature. Maybe try setting a budget for each promotion and being selective over the websites to pay and also over what days you want them to feature your book to get maximum exposure and to keep the buzz going.
If you’ve got money to throw about, then you might as well go all out and pay all of the websites to feature your book. Mega exposure! It's up to you.
NOTE: I’ve said to submit to these sites one month in advance, but check each website’s policies first. Some might only need one week’s notice.
NEW NOTE: Like I said at the beginning of this post, some of these websites might not be featuring free books anymore ... some might not even be live anymore. You'll have to check each one out for yourself to decide what the website is worth to you.
35. http://indie.kindlenationdaily.com/?page_id=642 (OPTION FBH - Free Book Highlighter Service - $29.99)
56. http://kindlespice.com/submissions - Erotica
57. http://www.booktalk.org/advertise.html - Paid advertisement.
62. http://www.eroticaeveryday.com/ - Erotica
STEP 4 - ON THE DAY YOUR BOOK GOES FREE!
- WEBSITES TO POST TO ON THE DAY –
You’ll need to sign up to some of these websites to post about your free books on the day. It’s easy to do, and worth the short time it takes. Always keep each website's policies in mind.
- FACEBOOK PAGES TO POST TO ON THE DAY OF YOUR KDP SELECT FREE CAMPAIGN -
You may have to join some of these pages/groups beforehand so that you are allowed to post to them on the Big Day. As a favour to the page owners (in return for them allowing you to post your book), be sure to 'like' all of the pages that you post to, and also to share it on your social networks.
Check the 'about' sections on all of these pages to see what content, if any, they are happy for you to post on their walls.
NEW NOTE: As I keep (probably unnecessarily) pointing out, some of these links may not be featuring free books anymore, or may not even be live. But here they are anyway!
BE AWARE: Check if it's a UK or a US page, to make sure that you post the correct link. For most of these pages it's okay to just post straight onto their timeline, but I recommend that you read each pages policies.
- FORUMS TO POST TO ON THE DAY –
These forums allow you to sign up (for free) and post one thread about your book to them.
WARNING: Make sure you read these forums’ policies, and post in the correct boards on their sites.
STEP 5 – TWEETS, BLOG POSTS, FACEBOOK POSTS, ETC.!
Tweet about your book throughout the day, maybe once every 1-3 hours! Also, let all your Facebook friends know, and if you have a blog, post it on there. And all those other social networks ... too many to mention.
STEP 6 – HIT THE REFRESH BUTTON ALL DAY LONG
Sign in to your ‘Reports’ section on KDP and refresh your page every now and then to watch those downloads coming in. (NEW NOTE: The following sentence was aimed specifically at the friend I gave this plan to. We are both in the UK.) Don’t be discouraged by slow downloads early on in the day. Most US downloads will occur over night when it’s afternoon/evening, Eastern Standard Time. So hopefully you’ll wake up to thousands of downloads.
- OTHER USEFUL LINKS -
Here are a few other sites that have generally useful information on them, or info that I haven’t had time to go through.
- BOOK PROMOTION –
Here are some websites that offer to sponsor your book for a price. They have requirements for most sponsorships (minimum amount of reviews, minimum star rating, etc.), but make sure to do research on the effectiveness of their sponsorships before going ahead and spending crazy amounts of money on fancy banners that might not actually produce sales.
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR KDP SELECT FREE DAYS!
I'm not really sure how much help this post will be to you authors out there, but I hope it helps some of you out in at least some way! =] This marketing plan usually leads to at least 10,000 downloads when I run a free promotion, but maybe you'll do better, maybe you'll do worse!
Submit your free book to as many sites as possible, and then the rest may be down to luck