Running a Free Book Special

If you're running a special where your book is free, it's absolutely critical that you use this brief window of opportunity to promote your book as much as possible. This is a short, firework-brief moment where your book can receive massive retweets, shares, and word-of-mouth conversation. You want to get that book in front of as many thousands of eyeballs as possible. This builds up name recognition for you, interest in your book or series, and long term elevation of your efforts in general. With this one blast your book is now seen and known by thousands of people who never will hear of you otherwise.

Make the most of this moment.

Here's what I do.

First, I post to LinkedIn and ask people to share the news. After all, I'm offering something for free. People love to share news of free stuff with friends and family who might be interested in the topic. This gets them thinking about your book / series and about who else might be interested in that topic. That's exactly what you want to happen. Also, because it's time-based, people actually will do it. Study after study shows that people with a non-time-based task tend to delay and put it off. If someone has a restaurant gift certificate that never expires, they put it away to use "someday". But if people get a restaurant gift certificate that expires in ten days, they immediately plan when to use it. The deadline motivates them. So, in the same way, your brief free window motivates them to share the news NOW - which is what you want to happen.

Next, I post to every Google Plus feed I have. Google Plus is great for two reasons. One, of course, it reaches your fans and family in that area. Second, though, it also boosts your link's results in Google, which you want. So you want to be posting links in Google Plus fairly often.

Third, I make a primary post in my Facebook fan page area - and then share that out to every other fan page I can. I talk about it on other fan pages where they are open to that. Be careful not to spam and upset people. You want to post places where they welcome that activity. Also, be clear in your post that you want people to share the news. People will often be happy to share if you ask them to. You need to ask. But if you don't make that initial post, they'll have nothing to share.

Next, I post about this in every blog I own.

Twitter is also important. Ask people to retweet your post. Make sure you emphasize that it's free and it's about to expire. People need to share and act quickly. Otherwise they'll put it off and then never do it.

I send news about it in each newsletter I run. Again the emphasis is on the free, on sharing with family and friends, and on the short timeframe. The readers need to be encouraged to act quickly while they're thinking about it. Otherwise they'll forget. We're all busy!

Post on GoodReads. There are MANY groups on GoodReads which specialize in free giveaways. There are also usually folders in genre-specific groups (like romance) which are about giveaways. Post in every single one. Yes, you could say that a portion of these people tend to only read free things - and that's fine. They still have a wealth of family and friends who they talk to. If they read a book for free and adore it, and they tell others, then you now have a free marketing agent working for you. They weren't going to buy your book anyway, so you didn't "lose money" in the deal. You gained a lot of money because of their promotional activities for you. You are gaining all the sales of their family and friends.

Let me know if you have any other suggestions!

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