How I Promoted My Kindle eBook

Cover of Sociopathic Surgeon
How should you promote your eBook / ePub?

My best results came from offering it free for five days, using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select service.

Sociopathic Surgeon was free from February 26 to March 2, 2013. It was downloaded by more people in five days, than the previous year.

I will explain how I promoted my eBook. I hope you find my experiences helpful.

Free Book Days with Kindle Direct Publishing Select

KDP Select Box
I removed my book from iTunes and Nook to join Amazon’s KDP Select for three months. KDP Select allows me to offer my book free for five days out of every 90 days. However, my book can only be sold on Amazon during this period.

NOTE: KDP is set to renew automatically. I learned about this when Amazon notified me that I was violating KDP Select Terms because my book was available on iTunes.

Clear Auto Renew

KDP Renewal Box
Login to your KDP Dashboard.

Clear “Automatically renew” to prevent unwanted renewals.

Manage Promotions

manage KDP promotions
Click “Actions” -> “Manage Promotions” to open “Promotions Manager.” Select your free book days. It is helpful to select days at the beginning of your KDP Select period, because you must wait 90 days for your next promotion.

My Brief Best Seller

I wrote Sociopathic Surgeon because I wanted to write a Best Seller about alcoholics.

Sociopathic Surgeon was a pseudo–best–seller while it was free.

How To Be Number One on the Kindle Store

Amazon Rank sample

OK, not the entire store. I was tops in in Medical Thriller and second in Medical Fiction for a few hours. My sales rank plummeted after my free book days.

Getting Started

I support myself as a Web programmer, so it seemed natural to create SociopathicSurgeon.com to use on emails / links. I added it to search engines, hoping it would appear in search results. I added pages and “Like” buttons for Facebook and Google+.

None of this was helpful.

I sold more books after I added Sociopathic Surgeon’s Amazon link to emails and comments.

An Amazon.com Associates account added a few cents to each sale. I created a link with my associate’s code and used bitly to shorten the link.

Blogging

Impaired Doctors, a topic related to my novel, did not receive much traffic.

More potential readers visited My Kindle Book Is Free For The Next Five Days. Sadly, readers ignored:

I need reviews. Sociopathic Surgeon has one four star Amazon review. More reviews and sales will encourage me to finish the sequel!

Sociopathic Quotes

Sociopathic Quotes
I copied and pasted 300 quotations into a database, and wrote a Wordpress plugin to use them.

I sent “Sociopathic Quotes” to Twitter with a link to Sociopathic Surgeon on The Kindle Store. I wrote a Wordpress widget to display the Tweeted quotes on my blog.

For example, I recently Tweeted:

I could stop your heart in a second, and do it so it would never be found.

I think it is cute, but it has not increased sales.

Free Book Announcements

I was not sure which days of the week were best. My free days included a weekend.

I submitted an announcement to the following sites:

NameDescription
Author Marketing Club Join to announce your free book. Many other services.
Awesome Gang Free Book Promotion for Authors. Distributes a daily email with free books sorted by category.
eBookLister.net Daily email, Web site provides links to free Kindle books.
Free Book Dude Free Book Dude features free fiction and non-fiction books. @FreeBookDude on Twitter.

Other sites found my book from these sites, and a few Tweets / reTweets.

Author Forums

I posted a “free book announcement” on the KDP author forum and two LinkedIn groups: Writers and Bloggers and Ebooks, Ebook Readers, Digital Books and Digital Content Publishing.

My first review came from the KDP forum.

What’s Next?

I want to renew KDP Select for another free promotion. I would like to try different days and submit to more sites.