After releasing the 2nd book in my regency romance series, I decided to finally run a free book promotion for my first book. It’s supposed to be a tried and true marketing strategy to: a- get reviews and increase awareness of one as an author, and b- get readers hooked to one’s writing style and consequently buy the next book in the series. Sounds good, right? But how on earth can an indie author afford to run a promotion like that when it costs on average between $60-$80 to be featured on one newsletter. There are, of course, cheaper options out there that range between $5-$20 (e.g Book Doggy, Crave Romance, Red Rose Romance…etc.) but when you start stacking the promos, it really adds up. The idea of spending over $100 while making zero dollars for five or so days didn’t still well with me. So, I figured I’d try running a free promo for FREE! And I mean I did not spend a single dollar to promote my sale. Most of these sites offered a paid option to guarantee a spot, which I didn’t do. These are the sites I used to promote my Free KDP, 18+ romance novel:
1- Armidillo ebooks https://www.armadilloebooks.com/submit-free-ebooks/
2- Ask David https://askdavid.com/free-ebook-promotion
3- Awesome Gang https://awesomegang.com/submit-your-book/
4- Book Bongo http://bookbongo.com/submit/
5- The Book Preview Club http://bookpreviewclub.com/free-submission-form/
6- Booksprout https://booksprout.co/ this site is great actually. It’ll track how many people saw your promo and actually clicked on it.
7- Contentmo https://contentmo.com/submit-your-free-ebook-promo/
8- Crave Freebies http://www.icravefreebies.com/free-kindle-book-submission/
9- Digital Book Today https://digitalbooktoday.com/join-our-team/paid-and-free-promotions/
10- eBook Lister http://www.ebooklister.net/submit.php
11- eBookasaurus https://ebookasaurus.com/free-book-listing/
12- eBook Habits http://ebookshabit.com/for-authors/
13- eReader Café https://theereadercafe.com/promote-your-books/
14- E Reader Love http://www.ereaderlove.com/contact-us-submit-a-book/
15- Free Books http://www.freebooks.com/submit/
16- Free Kindle Books 4 U http://www.free-kindle-books-4u.com/promote-your-book/
17- Indie Book of the Day http://indiebookoftheday.com/authors/free-on-kindle-listing/
18- It’s Write Now https://itswritenow.com/submit-your-book/
19- Korner Konnection http://www.kornerkonnection.com/index.html?fb=ebookkornerkafe
20- Lovely Book Promotions http://lovelybookpromotions.com/submit-your-kindle-freebie/
21- My Book Place http://mybookplace.net/submit-your-book/
22- New Free Kindle Books http://newfreekindlebooks.com/authors/
23- People Reads http://www.peoplereads.com/list-your-ebook.html
24- Pretty-Hot https://pretty-hot.com/submit-your-book/
25- Read Freely http://www.readfree.ly/author-submissions-silver-tier/
26- Reading Deals https://readingdeals.com/submit-ebook
27- Topless Cowboy https://toplesscowboy.com/submit-your-book/
28- Wanton Reads https://wantonreads.com/tell-us-about-your-book/
29- Zwoodle Books http://zwoodlebooks.com/submissions/
Of course, you should post everywhere you can on social media…it is, after all, FREE. There are many groups on Facebooks and hashtags for Twitter and Instagram such as #freekindlebook and the likes that you should definitely utilize. Newsletters and newsletter swaps are another great (and free) tool.
Did I get hundreds of downloads of my free book? Yes! Would I have gotten more had I gone with other paid sites like Ereader News Today, Freebooksy, Book Rebel, The Fussy Librarian…etc.? Most definitely! I’m not going to even get into Bookbub because that’s over $400, which is definitely out of my budget. I do use these paid sites, however, when running a 99 cents promo and I often break even with them. But to run a free promo and be out of pocket for hundreds of dollars is not really doable.
Be wary that even those these sites are free, it’ll take you a lot of time to submit your promo to each and every one of them. Time is money, so you need to take into consideration the amount of time you invest in this. For most indies on a budget, however, it’s a decent trade-off.