Saturday, December 6, 2014

Places to promote your book (when your book is free)

My previous post discussed a two day free promotion I did with my book on Amazon. I promised links to the places where I promoted my book but felt a separate post would be best. Before I give the links however, you need to understand how to maximize the effectiveness of your linking.

The first thing you should be doing is building a presence on any site you intend to link with in the future. Don't just pop in, post links to your book and pop out. Nobody will know you. Nobody will click your link. You should contribute to the discussions, comment on other posts, build friendships and continue such activities well after the free period.

The first set of links I'm going to give you highlight the need to do what I just stated. These links are on a site called Reddit. This site imposes the need to participate on you. If you don't participate you won't see activity on any of your links. In fact, if anyone sees anything you link there and you've just created an account to link your stuff, it'll be a miracle. The way Reddit works is that new accounts can't link to stuff more than once over the course of many hours. Sometimes your link will be filtered out if you're a new account, too. Go to - make an account - go there daily and learn how Reddit works. It's a fun site and it's where I tend to get most traction for free periods for my book. I've also connected with and formed years long friendships with people on the site.

The way Reddit works is, essentially, like a giant forum. Forums have subforums for categories, Reddit has subreddits in the same thought. Here are the subreddits that welcome you to promote your work:

  1. /r/FreeEbooks
  2. /r/KindleFreebies
  3. /r/ShamelessPlug
  4. /r/bookdownloads
  5. /r/eFreebies/
There are more subreddits, but these are the most used ones. There's even regional subreddits like /r/FreebiesUK (and even more for places like Australia, Canada, etc.) but you should primarily stick to the five listed.

What's good about listing your books there is that not only do you get listed on Reddit, but there are bots that autopromote links from there on twitter. Also, since Reddit is such a social type of place, you're more likely to see someone tweet about your book on twitter after they've seen your link on Reddit, then you are if you ask people to retweet you.

The next place you should be promoting is on Facebook. Like Reddit, you ought to be making friends and talking to people there. If you don't, you won't see any traction! However, if you make friends and you post in any of the groups I'm about to mention, those friends might see your post and give it a visibility boost by commenting or liking your post. (If your posts get no likes or comments, it tends to be dead in the water, not showing up in anyones feed.)

Here are some Facebook groups that allow promotion:

Don't post everywhere all at once! Stagger your posts for different time zone coverage!

This is key. If you just go link crazy one hour and then expect traction throughout... or if you link everywhere constantly... less people will follow your link. Advertise at most in two places on any particular hour. The next hour go for two completely different places. Heck, give it two or three hours. The more time zones you hit, the more people will notice your links.

This brings me to my next part of where to share your book links: Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media sites that allow hashtags. On all these social media sites, it's important to interact with other users before you ever promote because you'll start building a following. You'll start getting people interested in you as a person and they will be more apt to share your links. When you do share your links on any of these platforms, hashtags are important to include with your post! Example of a right way and a wrong way of formulating a twitter post:

- WRONG WAY: Here's my book. It's free today. Please retweet.
- RIGHT WAY: Free today! A book of awesome writing prompts. #amwriting #freeebooks

Here's the difference between the right way and the wrong way. The wrong way doesn't explain anything about the book. The wrong way also didn't use hashtags. Why use hashtags? Because people who aren't on your friends list can discover you through hashtags. Also, the right way linked to the book using the &keywords=keyword trick which I described in this previous blog post about making the best of your free promotion period.

When you share on an image type of social media site like Pinterest or Instagram, use a part of your cover or a small section/quote from your book stylized as an image for people that's easy to share.

If you do all of the above properly, you should be able to easily crack the top 600 overall free for your day. If you found this post helpful, be sure to share it! If you have any questions, feel free to ask below.

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