Top 10 Free Book Promotion Sites

This is part of the WriteZero Top 10 Book Promotion Sites Guide for Authors & Publishers

This Top 10 List covers the best book promotion sites for promoting free books (ebooks discounted to $0)

Important: This covers the Top 10 book promotion sites which promote free books, and charge money for it

This is NOT a list of book promotion sites that promote books for free (without charging money)

The Top 10 – Top 10 Free Book Promotion Sites

  1. BookBub
    1. The largest book promotion site and in a tier of its own
    2. They have 10 to 15 million total readers
    3. They are strong in nearly every category
    4. They have separate email lists for 40+ different genres and sub genres
  2. eReader News Today
    1. One of the 5 largest book promotion sites
    2. They have been helping authors since 2010
    3. Very strong in nearly all genres
    4. Very reasonably priced
  3. Books Butterfly
    1. The 2nd largest book promotion site
    2. They have 4 million total readers
    3. They are very strong in many genres, especially in Romance, Steamy Romance, Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy, Business, Non Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, Christian, Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and Adventure
    4. They have separate email lists or blogs or websites for 50+ different genres and sub genres
  4. FreeBooksy
    1. A top 5 book promotion site for promoting free books
    2. They have over half a million readers
    3. They are strong in most genres
  5. Robin Reads
    1. A very good, upcoming book promotion site
    2. Very selective and accept only 10% of books
      1. If accepted, this means your book will almost always do very well
    3. Good for most categories
  6. Book Sends
    1. A Top 10 book promotion site for both free book promotion and paid book promotion
    2. Good for most categories
    3. You need a professionally designed cover and a well edited book to get approved
  7. Fussy Librarian
    1. A good book promotion site, on the edge of the Top 10 book promotion sites
    2. Has a lot of genres and sub genres, so you can select your exact genre and sub genres
    3. Very reasonably priced, so you can easily see if it is the right fit for your book

We will be updating this list. As of July 4th, 2020 these are 7 of the best free book promotion sites, with the Top 6 almost set in stone

Honorable Mentions – Free Book Promotion Sites that just missed the Top 10

  1. Book Barbarian – for Fantasy & Science Fiction
  2. OHFB – One Hundred Free Books
  3. FKBT – Free Kindle Books & Tips
  4. Genre Pulse
  5. Book Gorilla
  6. Kindle Nation Daily
    1. They have a very specific package called ‘Free Book of the Day’ which is best to promote a free book

We will be updating this list as and when we find additional very good free book promotion sites

Detailed Insights on the Top 10 Free Book Promotion Sites

To Be Updated

We will, later on, add detailed insights for the Top 10 Free Book Promotion Sites

Increasing Your Chances of Getting Accepted at the Top Free Book Promotion Sites

While getting accepted for a free book promotion at the top free book promotion sites is slightly easier than getting accepted for a paid book promotion, it is still important to be well prepared for two main reasons

  1. The criteria for acceptance at the top free book promotion sites are EXACTLY what you need for your free book to do well
    1. The better you work on meeting the criteria and surpassing them, the better your book will do
  2. Readers who get free books have a higher bar than readers who purchase paid books
    1. While it does not make logical sense
    2. Readers who are getting a book for free expect a much more polished book than those who pay for a book

Please make sure you increase your chances of getting accepted, and also improve your results, by meeting and surpassing the following 7 main requirements

  1. A professionally designed book cover
    1. A professionally designed book cover is imperative if you want to get good results
    2. It will also greatly increase your chances of getting approved by the top free book promotion sites
    3. Readers care very deeply about how well polished the book cover is
  2. One or more Reviews
    1. Most of the top free book promotion sites require 1 to 10 reviews before they will approve a book
    2. In some cases, if the book cover and writing and editing are very strong, they will accept a book without reviews
      1. However, that requires very good writing and a very good book cover
  3. Review Rating over 4 Stars
    1. You will need a review rating of 4 stars or higher to get approved at most of the top free book promotion sites
    2. A review rating over 4 stars is also essential if you want your book to do well
  4.  Full Length Book
    1. Most book promotion sites don’t accept books under 150 pages in length
    2. Some will accept books between 100 and 150 pages
      1. However, even they will not accept books under 150 pages
    3. This is a very important criteria
      1. The top free book promotion sites do not accept short stories because they don’t do as well as full length books
      2. If you want to give readers a full taste of your writing, you should make a full length book free
      3. A Short story does not work as well as a full length book
  5.  Professionally Edited Book with as few mistakes as possible
    1. This is critical
    2. While people who buy books might forgive a half polished book, readers who get it for free do not have any patience
    3. If your book has spelling mistakes and typographical errors, people who get it for free will bury it with negative reviews
  6. A well written book, that is well polished and rewritten to flow well
    1. The better written your book is, the better it will do
    2. The more rewrites you do to improve your book and improve the flow, the higher the chance you get good reviews
  7. Book categorized in the right genres and sub genres
    1. This is perhaps the most crucial
    2. People who are getting your book for free do not think twice (because they are not paying enough)
    3. They assume you put it in the right categories and the right sub categories
    4. If you did not, and they find out they just spent 30 minutes reading a romance novel when they were expecting a mystery
    5. They will, definitely, leave bad reviews and sink your book
    6. It is on you to make sure you set the categories correctly
    7. It is also important to set the sub categories correctly

These are all things that will help your book downloads and sales for the Entire Life of Your Book

Instead of viewing them as encumbrances, view them as an opportunity to improve your book and your book’s packaging and polish

Free Book Promotion – Biggest Mistakes to Avoid

These are the mistakes to avoid to make sure your book promotion with the top free book promotion sites goes well

  1. Make sure you polish your book A LOT
    1. Readers who get books for free expect a very well polished book
    2. If your book is not polished, it is much better to not promote it
    3. Promoting a half polished book will lead to you getting negative reviews
  2. Make sure your book is in the exact right genres and sub genres
    1.  The book MUST be in the right genre
    2.  The book must also be in the right sub genres
    3. Readers who are getting free books do not double check to see if the book is in a genre they like
    4. If they find out later it is not, they might leave bad reviews
  3. Don’t fall in love with the CURRENT state of your book. It is not a finished product
    1. The market will tell you whether or not your book is ready
    2. It will tell you whether you need improvements
    3. It will tell you what improvements you need
    4. If you fall madly in love with your book, the editing, the cover, the current state of it
      1. You will not listen to the market
      2. If you don’t listen to the market, you won’t be able to do well with your book
    5. The less you think your book is perfect, the more successful you will be with it in the long term
  4. Have something readers can buy after they read your free book (& tell them about it)
    1. This doesn’t apply if you have only one book
    2. In all other cases you must make sure readers who get your free book know that you have other books they can buy
    3. Your free book must link to your paid books
      1. It must also link to your website
      2. It must also link to your book page
  5. Don’t forget to ask for their email address
    1. One of the best things you can leverage a free book for, is to gather email addresses of readers
    2. That gives you the option to contact them DIRECTLY and CHEAPLY
    3. Make sure you ask them to sign up for your email list
  6. Don’t forget to ask for reviews
    1. One of the other great things you can leverage a free book for, is to get reviews
    2. You must ask very politely for reviews
    3. Do ask!
      1. Most readers have no idea that an author would like them to review the book
  7. Don’t grow too attached to, or spend too much marketing, your first book
    1. Your first book is your most unpolished work
    2. Don’t start thinking it’s your best work
    3. Definitely don’t spend 100% (or even 50%) of your marketing budget on your first book
  8. Have lots of patience
    1. You have to test and learn
    2. You get feedback from the market, and you act on it, and you improve
    3. No one becomes successful very fast or very easily
    4. The best quality you can inculcate is respect for the market
    5. The second best quality you can inculcate is patience
  9. Don’t disrespect readers
    1. Have respect for their time
    2. Have respect for their money
    3. Realize that your book might be the only book they get to read that month
      1. If you put it in the wrong genres you might spoil their entire month
      2. If you do an unpolished book, their reading pleasure for the entire month is gone
      3. If you misrepresent what the book is, their week might be ruined
  10. Make it a win-win – Don’t ignore the reader’s perspective
    1. Most authors go too deep into what they would like
      1. Without considering that the reader should also benefit
    2. Try and put yourself into the readers’ shoes
      1. What does the reader want?
      2. What would the reader like from your book?
      3. What does the reader have to get to feel

Most of these are very avoidable mistakes. Please do avoid them

Free Book Promotion Sites – The Unbelievably Critical Importance of Picking the Right Book Genre and Sub Genres

We keep going on like a broken record about picking the right genres

It’s because this is the single biggest mistake authors make. Both for free book promotion and for paid book promotion

It is more serious when you mess up your book categories for your free book promotion

  1. If you pick the wrong genres and sub genres for your books
  2. Your book will get fewer downloads than it would
    1. The right readers will be confused by the fact that you’ve chosen the wrong genres for the book
  3. The wrong readers will download the book
    1. That will lead to negative reviews and will sink your book

It’s a book killing move to pick the wrong genres and sub genres. Yet, authors keep making this mistake again and again and again

If you were selling cookies, would you go place them in the detergents aisle? Would you then expect that people looking for cookies would somehow read your mind and figure out that you put your cookies in the detergents aisle?

If you are procrastinating and skipping all the important things you should be doing for your book, you STILL need to get off your backside and do ONE thing very, very well

  1. Figure out what the PERFECT book genres and book sub genres for your book are
  2. Put your book in those book genres and book sub genres
  3. Put those book genres and sub genres in the book title and cover and book description
  4. Make it painfully obvious to everyone what your book genre and sub genre are
  5. Most importantly, make it painfully obvious TO YOURSELF what your book genres and sub genres are

EVERYTHING depends on getting the genre and sub genres of your book right. Instead of 5 minutes, give it 5 days or even 5 weeks

Leveraging Free Books as Part of a Bestseller Strategy

This is a topic that merits its own post. We will just leave a very short guide here

  1. Becoming a Bestseller can be attempted using the following pricing pattern/strategy
  2. 2 to 3 days at $0
  3. 2 to 3 days at $0.99
  4. 2 to 5 days at $2.99
  5. Then $4.99

That is a well tested strategy to go for Bestseller Status

The slightly better alternative, especially if you have a larger budget, is to just promote it at $0.99 throughout

However, Free to $0.99 to $2.99 to $4.99 is a viable strategy, and it can work with a smaller budget

Improving the Results of Your Free Book Promotion with the Top 10 Free Book Promotion Sites

The following 10 things will help you improve the results of your free book promotion with the top free book promotion sites

  1. If looking for maximum visibility and awareness
    1. Make the book free for 3 to 5 days
    2. Don’t go for a one day promotion as that isn’t enough time to reach a lot of readers
  2. If looking for follow on sales, and you have multiple books
    1. Consider making one of your book permanently free
    2. If that is not an option, have one book free for 3 days every 2 to 3 months
  3. If looking to promote a book series, and it has 3 or more books
    1. Consider making the first book in the series permanently free
    2. If that’s not possible, make it free for 3 to 5 days every 3 months
  4. Make the genre and sub genre crystal clear to Readers and to Yourself
    1. Firstly, you yourself have to figure out what the genre and sub genres are
      1. 50% or more of authors are incorrect in selecting genres because they don’t know what each genre actually is
    2. Secondly, the book cover, book description, book title, author profile, and categories at the book store must match what book genres your book is in
    3. Thirdly, all the promotion and marketing you do must be to readers in those exact genres and sub genres
  5. Get the best editing you can afford
    1. Editing is make or break for a book
  6. Get the best quality book cover you can afford
    1. Very few books are very successful without a professionally designed book cover
    2. The corollary is that an awful lot of well written books fail because of a poor cover
  7. Under no circumstances should you try and do any of these yourself
    1. Design your own book cover
    2. Do your own editing
    3. Do your own proof reading
  8. Have a Plan and an Aim
    1. Aim – What is the aim of your book promotion?
    2. Aim – What is the aim of your career as an author?
    3. Plan – What do you plan to get done using this free book promotion?
    4. Plan – How will making the book free help increase your readership and your book sales?
  9. Be Prepared for Adversity and Murphy’s Law
    1. Being an author is like being a CEO of a start up
    2. There are always fires you have to put out
    3. There are always ups and downs
    4. There are times when Murphy’s Law really kicks in and EVERYTHING goes wrong
    5. There are times when your fighting spirit is the only thing that will get you through the hard times
  10. Treat Failure as Feedback
    1. You ever hear those stores of big name authors who got rejected by 28 Publishers?
    2. Guess that they did in between sending all those applications and getting rejected?
      1. Soul searching
      2. Rewriting the book
      3. Improving the book
    3. Every failure you experience, should be treated as Feedback
      1. Every failure, if you learn from it, takes you closer to success

Making a book free and doing a free book promotion is one of the best ways to get feedback and learn how to gather readers and get sales. It is a low cost method (much lower costs than having to do it with paid books or paperbacks). It is a trial by fire because free book readers are way more demanding than paid book readers

It is a really good way to develop yourself as an author and a person

How to Increase the Number of Reviews you get after Promoting Your Free Book

Getting good reviews from a free book promotion is very challenging. Here are the 5 key aspects to consider

  1. Your Book Must be Very Well Written
    1. A paid book will get good reviews even if it is decently good
    2. A free book will get good reviews only if it is Very Well Written
    3. If you have not done 2 or 3 rewrites of the book, then it is hard to get reviews
    4. Every 1,000 free book downloads will get you
      1. 10 to 20 reviews if your book is very well written
      2. 1 to 5 reviews if your book is well written
      3. 0 to 3 reviews if your book is decent
  2. Very High Polish and Very High Fit and Finish are essential
    1. Readers who get the book for free have higher quality expectations than readers who buy
    2. Your book must be well edited and COMPLETELY free of errors and grammatical mistakes
    3. People who pay $0.99 to $9.99 for your ebook will often overlook small issues
    4. People who don’t pay anything for your book will behave as if they paid $25
    5. If your book is not very high quality, then making it free will lead to bad reviews and will sink your book
  3. You must get the Book Genre absolutely right AND You must keep reminding readers of what the book genre is
    1. For a paid book, the reader will check 5 times (book cover, book description, categories at Amazon, reviews, book title) to confirm the book is in the category they read
      1. If you put the book in the wrong category, the reader won’t buy it
      2. If you put the book in a slightly wrong category, the reader may or may not buy it
        1. Even if they buy it and it is slightly wrong in genre, they will not leave a bad review
        2. People who pay for books are quite generous and accommodating of mistakes by authors
    2. For a free book, the reader will just check once because there is no spending required
      1. If genre is not clear, or if genre is wrong, they will download your book expecting A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT GENRE from what your book’s Genre actually is
      2. If they read it (only 10% to 30% of people who download the book will read it), and find out it is the wrong category
        1. They are very likely to leave a bad review
        2. You’ve wasted their time
        3. They thought they were getting a free gift
        4. Instead you gave them a tight slap
        5. People who get things for free behave as if you have done a mortal wrong to them, if the ‘free gift’ turns out to not be an actual gift
      3. If the genre is slightly wrong, some of them will still leave a bad review
        1. What is worse – they will ALWAYS make it out to be your fault
        2. You have to make sure that readers have absolutely on confusion about what the book’s category is
  4. You must get a good number of free book downloads
    1. The more free book downloads you get, the more people will read your book
      1. The more people read your book, the more reviews you will get
      2. Important Note: A very small fraction of readers who read a book actually review it
    2. (Rough Guide) Every 1,000 free book downloads will get you
      1. 10 to 20 reviews if your book is very well written
      2. 1 to 5 reviews if your book is well written
      3. 0 to 3 reviews if your book is decent
    3. Very few authors have very well written books
      1. By the stage your have very well written books, you usually have enough loyal readers, and getting reviews is no longer the insurmountable mountain it used to be
      2. So the first option of getting 10 to 20 reviews from 1,000 free book downloads is off the table
    4. If your book is well written and getting 1 to 10 reviews for every 1,000 free book downloads
      1. Then aim to get between 2,000 to 10,000 free book downloads
      2. That will usually get you between 2 to 20 reviews
      3. In the best case it can get you 5 to 50 reviews
    5. If your book is only decently written (you haven’t done 3 rewrites; you haven’t put thought into the flow of the story) then it will be getting 0 to 3 reviews for every 1,000 free book downloads
      1. In this case the number of downloads will also be lower
      2. You will have to aim for 1,000 to 5,000 free book downloads
      3. That will get you between 0 and 5 reviews
        1. You have your start
      4. In the best case it will get you 3 to 15 reviews
  5. [Super Important] Ask for Reviews
    1. The most important ingredient is Asking for Reviews
    2. Ask for Reviews at the beginning of the book
    3. Ask for Reviews where the book ends
      1. That is the point at which readers are likely to be happiest
        1. Provided your book is good
      2. That is where you should ask them to – Please leave a review if you liked the book. Thank You!
    4. Readers are in their dream world where they think you are making your book free because you like them so much
      1. They don’t realize you are doing it in the hope of getting reviews
      2. You MUST ask for reviews
      3. Otherwise readers have absolutely no clue that you would like them to leave a review if you enjoy the book
  6. [Super Important] Ask for Reviews from Readers in the Right Genres and Readers who Like the Book
    1. Firstly, make absolutely sure to only promote the book to readers in the right genres
    2. Secondly, make absolutely sure to ask for reviews from readers in the right genres
    3. Thirdly, make sure to figure out some way to filter and ask for reviews from readers who actually liked the book

All 6 points are critical. The last two are often overlooked. In reality, they are the most important points

The Incredible Importance of Avoiding Negative Reviews when Promoting Your Free Book

There is no way to put it elegantly

  1. Readers who get the book for free have very high standards
    1. A person who paid for the book will tend to ignore the 27 obvious spelling mistakes you could not be bothered to fix
      1. He will give you a 5 star review because he likes the writing style
    2. A reader who gets the book for free will take it as a personal affront that you have spelling mistakes in your novel
      1. How dare you give them a free book with mistakes
      2. Do you not realize how precious their time is?
  2. If you make a book free without first polishing it and making it almost perfect
    1. Your book will get hammered
  3. Readers who get the book for free are sticklers for book being in the right genres
    1. A person who paid for the book thinking it is Romance, will not go crazy if it is actually a Mystery
      1. They may not finish it
      2. However, they will not try to finish your career
    2.  A reader who gets the book for free will make it a personal vendetta
      1. If they get a free book that they think is Romance
      2. It better be romance
      3. If it is actually a mystery, they will leave a 1 star or 2 star review
      4. They are obsessed with making you feel the pain that they felt when 23 minutes into the book they paid $0 for, they realized it was not a romance
    3. The only solution is to make 100% sure that you out the book in the right genres
    4. The only solution is to take the extra step by giving readers 5 Crystal Clear indicators of the book’s genre
      1. Book Cover
      2. Book Title
      3. Book Description
      4. Book Categories
      5. How Book is promoted
      6. ALL of them should clearly indicate what the book genre is
      7. Put it in your Author Profile too. That helps too

You might question the value of making a book free to get awareness and visibility, when there is a large risk that the free book downloading readers with great expectations might kill your book

Well, it is a risk

If your book is unpolished, it will get bad reviews

If your book is put in the wrong categories, it will get hammered

However, you do need reviews and making the book free is one of the simplest ways to gather reviews. It just means you should only make the book free after

  1. Making sure the book is very, very polished
  2. Making sure the book is only in the right categories and you make it Crystal Clear what the book categories are

Please treat this section very seriously. Making your book free to get reviews is a task to be carried out very carefully

Free Book Promotion Sites vs Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are better suited to promoting paid books

Book Promotion Sites are better suited to promoting free books

The reason for this is quite simple

  1. A good promotion with a Free Book Promotion Site will get you around 1,000 downloads for $100
    1. That’s 10 free book downloads per $1
    2. Usually it takes 20 to 30 clicks to get 10 free book downloads
    3. So you are paying just 4 to 5 cents per click
    4. You’re paying just 10 cents per actual free book download
  2. A good Facebook Ad to promote a book will usually cost between 10 cents to a few dollars for a click
    1. Even if half the readers who click download the book, you’re paying 20 cents to a few dollars per download
    2. That’s 2 to 20 times more expensive than a free book promotion site
  3. The fundamental cost structure of Facebook Ads makes them more suited to situations where a click is worth a lot more (paid books) as the clicks are never cheap

You can supplement your book promotion site marketing with Facebook Ads. Make sure you keep an eye on how much you are paying per free book download

If it gets much higher than 10 cents per free book download (5 cents per click, roughly) then you would be better off using a free book promotion site

Fantasy Book Promotion Sites vs Amazon Marketing Services

Amazon Marketing Services can be even more costly than Facebook Ads when promoting free books

Which makes it an inferior option to the Top Free Book Promotion Sites

Why Make a Book Free?

This is a very good question – Why do authors make a book free? Why give away what they have worked so hard to create?

There are a few answers to this question

  1. Making a book free is the best way to create awareness that you exist
    1. In the beginning, when no one knows you are a good author, you have to have some way to create awareness
    2. A Free Book is a very cheap way to create awareness
      1. Making 1,000 readers aware that you exist might cost you $1,000 to $5,000 if you use traditional advertising
      2. For $100 or so you can promote your free book and get 1,000 readers to download it
        1. Not just become aware that you exist, but also download your book
        2. Of those 1,000 roughly 300 to 500 will even take a shot at reading the book
      3.   That is so much cheaper than any other way to make 1,000+ people aware that you exist
        1. These readers also get the book in their hands
    3. Please remember that your foremost battle is to Make Readers Aware That You Exist
      1. A Free Book is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to win that battle
  2. A Free Book is a great and cheap Marketing Method
    1. If you think of a free book as a marketing tool, you will better understand the power of free books
    2. It is a very good marketing method because not only does it make readers aware you exist, it gets a copy of your book into their hands
    3. It’s akin to handing out free ice creams at the Mall for your Ice Cream Shop
      1. Except that a free ebook costs you nothing
    4. It’s very cheap because the product you giveaway is free
      1. It costs you nothing at all to create 1,000 copies of your ebook and hand them out
      2. A Paperback would cost you $3,000 to $10,000 just to print the copies
  3. A Free Book is a great way to promote a Book Series
    1. If you make the first book in the series free
    2. Readers who find and read the first book, will get hooked on the book series
      1. PROVIDED your writing is good
    3. Then they will buy the rest of the series
    4. It’s like making the appetizer free and then readers can buy the entree and dessert
  4. A Free Book is a great loss leader
    1. A Loss Leader is a product you sell at a loss, to create awareness and to make people aware of the quality of your product
    2. A Free Book is a great loss leader because it costs nothing
    3. A Free Book is also a great loss leader because a well written book will get readers addicted to/in love with your writing
  5. A Free Book allows readers to get a taste of your writing
    1. This aspect cannot be underestimated
    2. If they see you on an Ad, all they see is a book and an author
    3. They don’t know if you are a good author
    4. On the other hand, a free book is not just Awareness, it’s actually a book they can read
    5. They get an ACTUAL taste of your writing
  6. A Free Book is a good way to get reviews for your book
    1. Please read the previous section to fully understand the pros and cons of using a Free Book as a way to get Reviews
    2. A Free Book is one of the most effective ways to get reviews for your book
    3. Please do make sure the book is well written and in the right categories and well polished
      1. Otherwise, making the book free to get reviews can really misfire

Free Book as Marketing is so powerful that most of the ebook stores take various measures to make sure Free Book as Marketing doesn’t replace traditional book marketing

When the ebook stores are scared of Free Books, you have to realize that it is because of how powerful they are as a marketing method

Why Pay to Promote a Free Book?

Now that we know a Free Book is a great marketing method, we stumble on to another problem

Why would an author pay to promote a free book?

Isn’t it enough to make it free? Won’t readers just find the free book automatically? Isn’t there someone who shares free books without charging authors?

Well, there is a slightly complicated answer to these questions

  1. In the past (2009, 2010, 2011) when Amazon and Barnes & Noble were fighting for market share, they would heavily promote free books
    1. At that time you could get by without paying for the marketing of your free book
    2. Amazon even encouraged websites to share free books by offering incentives in their Amazon Associates program
      1. You could make money from Amazon by sharing free books
      2. Please Note: These still exist in a very diluted form. However, they have been really trimmed back
  2. Over the years, the ebook stores realized that free books work too well
    1. Readers shift to buying books of authors who offer free books
    2. Instead of buying books of authors who pay the ebook stores a lot of money for marketing
    3. Readers shift to buying cheaper and cheaper books
    4. Instead of buying $10 to $20 ebooks
    5. The money the book stores were making from selling ebooks came under threat
  3. The eBook Stores responded by making it tougher and tougher for readers to find free books
    1. They also made it tougher and tougher for authors to spread awareness of their free books
    2. That led to the rise of ‘book promotion sites’ and other marketing channels that promote your free book to readers
    3. As free books are made ‘hard to find’ in the book stores, there are now marketing companies that share your free book with readers
  4. That brings us to present day (2020, 2021) and you cannot depend on ‘luck’ to get your free book into the hands of readers
    1. Most of the large book promotion sites charge to create awareness of your free book
    2. There are a few smaller and less effective promotion sites that will share your book for free
    3. If you want to make a large number of readers aware that your book exists, then you have to pay for advertising

Basically, it is quite simple

  1. You can not pay for advertising, and a get a small number of people to find your book
  2. You can pay for advertising, and get a large number of people to find your book

If you want to grow faster and reach more readers, you have to pay

The 3 Core Skills for Authors

The 3 Core Skills are the most important skills you must learn if you want to become successful as an Author

Becoming very good in each of these three skills is essential. If possible, you should also try to attain Mastery in one or more of these 3 Skills

The 3 Core Skills for Authors are

  1. Knowing What to Write
    1. Find the Right Market to write for
    2. Writing the Right Book for this Market
    3. This is by far the most important Skill an author can learn
  2.  Writing Very Well
    1. The better the quality of your writing, the easier to sell your book
    2. The better the quality of your writing, the more reviews you will get and the better the reviews will be
      1. This, in turn, will lead to more sales
    3. The better the quality of your writing, the more readers will buy your other books
  3. Marketing Very Well
    1. Marketing and Sales is essential to be successful as an author
    2. It is Just As Important as having a well written book
    3. Free Books are one of the most powerful marketing methods
    4. A Free Book is also a great way to gather emails from readers and create a life long direct marketing channel to them

Please read this post on Levels of Mastery of The 3 Core Skills to better understand the 3 Core Skills for Authors

Do the 3 Core Skills apply to Free Book Promotion?

Yes, they most definitely do

Let’s look at each Core Skill and why it applies to Free Book Promotion

  1. Knowing What to Write
    1. Everything revolves around you writing for the right market, and writing the right book for the right market
    2. If you get this right, your free book will fly off the virtual shelves
    3. If you get this wrong, or if you use the wrong marketing methods, then even with a free book you will not be able to appeal to readers
    4. You know you are in the right market if
      1. Your free book really flies
      2. People read it and a few review it
      3. People start buying your paid books
    5. You know you are in the wrong market if
      1. Your free book gets very few downloads
      2. People don’t leave reviews, or leave negative reviews
      3. People don’t buy your paid books
  2. Writing Very Well
    1. A Free Book works best if it is a well written free book
    2. If you stand on a corner giving away unappetizing looking food, not many people would be interested
    3. On the other hand, if you have something that looks and smells delicious, lots of people will partake
    4. Please note that all the benefits of a Free Book only apply if your book is a well written book
    5. If readers don’t enjoy your book, then making your book free serves no purpose
  3. Marketing Very Well
    1. Firstly, a Free Book is one of the absolute best marketing methods
    2. Secondly, the better your marketing skills, the more value you will be able to get out of your free book
    3. Thirdly, not only is a Free Book a great marketing method it’s very cheap (it costs almost nothing to give away a free ebook)
      1. This means that you have more money freed up for your other marketing
      2. This means that you can scale up Free Book Marketing very cheaply and easily
        1. Giving away 10,000 free books is possible quite easily
        2. Giving away 10,000 paperbacks would cost you $30,000 to $100,000

If you are an author, there is no escaping The 3 Core Skills

The sooner you embrace the 3 Core Skills the sooner you will start seeing positive results

Using A Free Book to gather Reader Email Addresses

One of the most powerful ways to leverage Free Books is to gather reader email addresses

This is how it works

  1. You offer the reader a copy of your free book, in return for them signing on to your email address
  2. The reader signs up
  3. For life (or as long as you can keep that reader subscribed to your email address), you can reach that reader with offers and deals
    1. You can tell them about book discounts
    2. You can tell them about new releases
    3. You can tell them when you make a book free

Having an email list is critical for a few reasons

  1. You can reach your readers any time
    1. This is the single most important determinant of success as an author – Can you reach your readers DIRECTLY and EASILY?
  2. You can reach your most loyal readers any time
    1. When you have a new release and you need them to buy the book
    2. When you need reviews
    3. When you are making a bestseller push and need to reach them
  3. It strengthens the relationship between you and the reader

This is a topic for an entire post of its own. Perhaps even an entire book. However, this section should give you an idea of how important gathering your readers’ email addresses is. It should also highlight for you that Free Books are an incredibly powerful way to do this

The 5 Golden Rules of Free Book Promotion

These are the 5 Golden Rules to keep in mind when promoting a Free Book

  1. The Free Book must be high quality and worth as much or more as a Paid Book
    1. Making a short story free, or making a low quality book free, is the Exact Opposite of what a free book promotion should be
    2. You should provide IMMENSE VALUE with your free book
      1. Both in quality of writing
      2. And in amount of writing
    3. All the benefits of a free book promotion happen when it is something Readers really want and really benefit from
      1. It should be a taste of your best work
      2. It should be a proper taste i.e. a full length book
  2. Listen to the Market
    1. A Free Book is not just a great marketing tool
    2. It is also a great tool to get feedback
    3. The Market will tell you exactly what you need to do
      1. If the free book is not moving
        1. It means you are writing for the wrong market
      2. If the free book is getting bad reviews or no reviews
        1. It means you need to improve the quality of your writing
      3. If the free book is taking off
        1. It means you are in the right market, and have the right product
      4. If the free book is taking off and the paid books are not selling
        1. It means the readers are not willing to make the jump
        2. Are you pricing the paid books too high?
        3. Is the quality enough to make the free book popular, and yet not enough to drive sales of paid books
        4. Please remember that the solution is often improving the quality of your books
  3. The Game is Won or Lost in the Selection of Genres
    1. While this is critically important for Paid Books
      1. For Free Books this is ten times more important
    2.  Free Books have very little friction i.e. readers can just click a button, and get the book
      1. They don’t have to pay
      2. That means they will not think twice – they will just assume you put the book in the right genres
      3. If it ends up being in the wrong genres, they will get very upset
        1. People who focus on free books are very picky and very finicky
    3. If the genres are not absolutely correct, lots of people from the wrong genres will download your book
      1. This will lead to bad reviews
      2. This will also be confusing because you will not have accurate data on what percentage of people downloading the free book, buy your paid books
    4. You need to make sure your free book is in the absolute correct genres and sub genres
    5. This is so important that if you cannot ensure this, or don’t know what the right genre for your book is, please don’t make the book free
      1. First, you have to figure out what the right book genres for your book are
  4. Knowing What to Write is the Single Most Important Skill
    1. You have to find The Right Market
    2. You have to write The Right Book for this Right Market
    3. That is the only way to do well as an Author
    4. Your Free Book is a powerful tool
    5. However, it can only work if you are writing The Right Books for The Right Market
  5. You have to be at peace with what the Function of your Free Book is AND you have to let it do its Function
    1. Your Free Book is a Loss Leader
      1. You are making it free to create awareness and to sell your other books
      2. You have to let go of whatever money you think it would have made you if it was $5 instead of $0
        1. It cannot be a loss leader without there being a loss
        2. That small loss upfront will lead to a lot of big gains down the road
        3. Make sure you don’t let the tiny pain of a small loss upfront prevent you from the pleasure of long term gains
      3. Its function is to be FREE and attract readers and drive your readership
    2. Your Free Book has to be a high quality book and you have to keep improving the quality
      1. Its function is to be a TASTE of your writing and a FULL taste of your writing (a full length book)
      2. You cannot offer a MacDonald’s Burger if you want readers to know your Restaurant serves high quality steaks
    3. Your Free Book is a Marketing Tool
      1. Before cutting it off or stopping it
      2. Consider what you would have to pay to get the same level of marketing reach in any other way
      3. You will find that a Free Book is an incomparable Marketing Tool

A Free Book is a Marketing Tool that can win you an entire War all by itself

Learn to leverage Free Books properly and you are almost unstoppable

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