Saturday, September 04, 2010

Free and Kindle: Promotion Tactics That Can Work if You Work Them Right

To Free or Not to Free, That Is the Question

Many visitors and subscribers to this site also subscribe to my SharingwithWriters newsletter. Occasionally I reprint some of the articles from it on this blog, expecially when I'm away speaking at writer's conventions or vacationing. So today you get a reprint. I am especially fond of my "Q&A a la Ann Landers" features. When I was working at my first job in journalism, I edited Landers columns for length, sometimes laid out the pages her columns appeared on. I loved Landers then and still love Landers-like advice columns. They help individuals, and--by application--a wider audience.


My husband bought me a kindle for my 36th birthday it hasn't shipped yet but I was thinking of loading up on lots of the free books? Then I was thinking of posting some of my own children’s picture books on Kindle (in black and white) and selling them for zero. Maybe others for 99 cents to $1.99.
How do they set up payment?

Valerie Melville


To publish on Amazon and to access all their information on that process, you must enroll for Amazon's advantage account. Once you've done that, you should be able to access pay information. After you've determined that you want to publish there, either as a free e-book or for a low, e-book price, uploading a book to Kindle is free.

Giving away a free book or two is a good way to sell others. But it only has a chance of working if, in the free ones, you include an ad for your other paid ones. That means you’ll need to go back and reformat your book before you put it into a pdf file for a Kindle upload.

Ads usually go in the backmatter. If you need convincing, I suggest you get Chris Anderson's book Free: The Future of a Radical Price at the library (or better! Support the publishing industry and buy one!). Read it through for an understanding of how to eventually make money from giveaways and be sure to stick with it long enough to get to the later chapters that address some uses for using freebies in the publishing industry.

This marketing tactic works especially well with books that are so old they aren’t selling well anymore, or for books that your traditional publisher has taken out of print. It is also an effective promotion device for writers of fiction. People read one book by a specific author, like it, and often buy another one.


PS: You can subscribe to my Sharing with Writers Newsletter by going to my Website. There is a newsletter link in the top, right corner of nearly every page. Also, speaking of free, a free e-booklet that will help your writing career. (-:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog:

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