Authors and publishers may wonder whether offering FREE or 99-cent discounts on Amazon is a viable marketing strategy. The answer is a resounding yes! Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider this approach:
- Attracting new readers: Providing a free or 99cet book is an excellent way to introduce potential fans to your work. With little financial risk involved, readers are more inclined to try out a new author. If they enjoy your book, they’ll likely purchase other titles in your Amazon store. Remember to include information about your other books at the end of your book … AFTER you have politely asked for a review!
- Boosting visibility and sales rankings: When a book is offered for free or 99cents, it often sees a significant increase in downloads and sales rankings. This increased traffic will help boost your book’s overall sales and reach a wider audience. YES free books DO count as a sale, and help your book ranking number go up!This can be an important tactic to use if your book is trending and you want to boost its ranking numbers in various categories. Be sure to take a screenshot and brag about it IF you get to a category best seller ranking.
- Promoting a new release: Offering a free or 99cent book can be part of a larger marketing strategy when launching a new release. By generating buzz and interest on social media platforms, you can effectively promote your latest work.
- Supporting your promo team: If you have a promo team who have already read an Advance Review Copy (ARC) of your book, you can have them purchase your free or 99cent book before posting their review on Amazon. This way, their review will be registered as a “verified purchase.”
- Building your mailing list: Free or 99cent promos are an excellent way to grow your mailing list. Include a link to your website or mailing list landing page at the beginning and end of your book. Many best-selling Kindle authors invite readers to join their promo or beta readers group at the conclusion of their book.
- Generating reader reviews: While free promotions may not result in a significant influx of reviews, they CAN generate reviews over time. Readers who download free books might not read your book immediately, and they are less likely to write reviews (approximately 1%). However, even a few reviews can make a difference.
Overall, offering a free or discounted book on Amazon can be an effective marketing strategy for authors and publishers to attract new readers, boost visibility and sales of their other books, and promote new releases.
Many New York Times best-selling authors offer the first book in their series for free as a proven marketing strategy. This proven business model has helped sell entire series of 20 or more books!
LOL I am a sucker for this proven sales tactic. Over the years I have purchased many dozens of romance, mystery and Science Fiction series based that first FREE book!
For more information on how to get your book into a PERMAFREE status, read Dale L. Roberts’ insightful book, Secrets of the Permafree Book: How to Publish a Free Book on Amazon. In his book Dale outlines the exact step-by-step process necessary for creating a Permafree book
To better understand the relationship between free promotions and reviews, read The Book Review Conundrum. This article explains why free promotions may not be the ultimate solution for generating reviews and offers alternative strategies to consider. If you’re not afraid of putting in some work, this article is a must-read!