Interesting discussion from Smashwords’ Mark Coker and The Passive Voice:
I recently re-blogged a post of Grace Risata’s about her experiences of using Kindle Countdown Promotions. As Grace’s blog suggests, if you are promoting a book on Amazon the challenge is to decide how to do it from the many possible sites available. My experience of promoting books that are free on Smashwords suggests that the reverse is true: there are very few sites interested in listing a Smashwords book that is free, if it isn’t also free on Amazon.
In the past, I have primarily been looking for free means of promoting free books and I have found that almost all sites dedicated to ebook promotion require the free deal to be on Kindle as well as other retailers. It’s often the case that if a book is free on Smashwords, it will go free on Amazon too but, in my experience, it can revert to paid on Kindle even if it’s still free on Smashwords, so you need to be aware of this if you’re scheduling a post for the future.
Good ways of promoting free Smashwords books are: to use Goodreads, most of whose Groups have dedicated discussion threads where author promotion is permitted, and to use other book forum sites (Library Thing, Mobile Read and Book Barista are all included in my links). Free Online Novels.com will list your book if it is permanently free.
In part, I am writing this post in the hope that someone will tell me there are ways of promoting free Smashwords books that I’m unaware of. Personally, I’ve never come across dedicated sites to promote books on iTunes (to whom Smashwords ship) and I’ve found that many book pages on Facebook and Twitter are very much Amazon-oriented.
As Romance Or Not Romance approaches its third birthday, I have decided to celebrate with a free promotion of my short Victorian romance, ‘High Sea.’ This will be the last one on Kindle Select so, Kindle users, grab it while you can! The book will be free from Wednesday 12th to Sunday 16th November.
The impending anniversary has given me cause to reflect that the blog is now morphing somewhat from its original purpose as a platform to publicise my books, into a bit more of a writing / self-publishing blog. Having now had some experience of the trials and tribulations of self-publishing, it seems natural to use RONR to summarise useful information I’ve found and, to some extent, to seek to inform other indie writers who are starting out or looking for guidance / inspiration.
To that end, I’ve improved my lists of links to other sites. There is a category for Book Blogs and Other Sites, which contains links to the blogs of reviewers who’ve helped me along the way and to various sites that I have found useful, in terms of providing writing opportunities and guidance or services to authors.
I’ve also created a list of links to sites providing free listings for authors. These are sites that may also provide paid promotional services but do have an element of free listings that I have found to be effective. Some are sites where your book needs to be free to be included. They all have their own submission criteria, so please study these carefully before submitting. Many are forums that also provide scope for indie authors to promote their work. Please bear in mind that forums have etiquette that you must observe – only posting promos in the designated threads, for instance.
I will keep these link lists updated and hope that writers find them useful for promotional purposes and that readers find them a rich source of free and bargain books!