Why Put Up Your Book For Free?

Book cover
The Nostalgia of Time Travel
It’s been a while since I used Amazon’s KDP option of putting up a book for free for a few days as a marketing strategy for my novels. In the old days, if your book did well in the get-for-free list, its ranking was transferred to the pay-to-read list.

But since then Amazon has tightened its algorithms. The do-well affect is not as transferable. So why offer your book, whose creation is a torturous and labour intensive task, often spanning months, for free?

Well, for one, it gets your work read. Amazon still calls the shots in the indie world in terms of spread and reach. Obscurity is akin to oblivion for a writer. Rather have people read and (hopefully) enjoy your book than have it wallow in the darkness among the millions of other books that are never discovered.

Secondly, there is always a chance that some kind souls who have harvested your book for free will find it in their hearts to review it and post the reviews up on Amazon. As we all know, reviews are like gold dust to indie writers.

Thirdly, a widely popular book on the read-for-free list, does enjoy some spill off effect. Maybe not a torrent, maybe not a gush, but definitely a leak.

It is for these and other reasons that I decided to put up my latest book, The Nostalgia of Time Travel, a novelette, for free on Amazon for a period of three days. Within two days, Nostalgia had shot up the lists — #3 in the Metaphysical bestseller category, and #4 in Fiction and Literature!

So far so good.

But, again, the nagging question persists: Will the book’s popularity endure? Time will tell.

Needless to say I’ll be reporting on The Nostalgia of Time Travel’s bid for prominence, in the near future. Watch this space, because if it works for me, it can work for you!

Summary
Offering your book for free for a few days on Amazon may help get it noticed.

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Stavros Halvatzis

I'm a writer, teacher, and story consultant.

5 thoughts on “Why Put Up Your Book For Free?”

  1. For years I resisted giving away my books. After finishing my 6th I realized the need to do something different to build a reader base. Otherwise, why write?

    Several promotional services were contacted and a plan was put into motion. After a couple of trial and error attempts we perfected out marketing strategies. Opur’s Blade soared to #1 overall on Kindle Free. Needless to say it was at the top of 4 subcategories as well.

    Now I have many KOLL (Kindle Owners Lender Library) readers and get daily sales on my books. Cross sales on other titles has been impressive. In retrospect I wish that I would have started offering the free downloads on Kindle earlier. I will embrace the Kindle Select program regularly. It is a wonderful tool for Indie writers to utilize!

  2. Your Book, The Nostalgia of Time Travel, was wonderful! I love your word choices and the flow of your sentences were poetry. Chapter six made my eyes itch with unshed tears, chapter thirteen made them fall. It was touching and beautiful. Thank you!
    Lili

  3. I’m in the last week of a 3 month free run for the first book in my UF series, and while it took me a long time to come to terms with putting it out there for free, I just got the first month’s numbers back. The best result, a boost in sales on all my other books. However, I’m with you, I’m wondering how long the boost will hold. My entire goal was to gain new readers, and based on the numbers it seems to be working so far. Best of luck!

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