How to Increase Your Amazon Kindle Book Sales by 600% in a Week

By Sean Ogle •  Updated: 10/29/21 •  9 min read

This is a guest post from Tristan King, an entrepreneur and writer who recently published his first book on learning langauges on the Amazon Kindle store. 

Recently, I experimented with Amazon’s KDP Select Program, a new system on the Kindle Store which increased my book’s sales over 600% within one week. First I’ll tell you the story, then I’ll share how you can do it too.

Amazon KDP: Hitting the Publish Button Increase Kindle Book Sales

“What have I done? What if no one likes my book?” I thought, finger poised on the yellow ‘Publish’ button.

After 9 months of writing, the moment had finally arrived to send my book out to the world. Remembering the encouragement of several ‘real’ authors much braver than I am, I hit the button.

Soon after, an email arrived saying that I was now live on the Kindle Store. No going back now!

Over the next few days, sales trickled in slowly, and I even had one positive review. This was extremely exciting. I wondered what the next step was: How can I get the book into more people’s hands?

I’d read about a program called KDP Select, Amazon’s lending program, at which they’re throwing lots of money and promotion.

What is Amazon KDP Select?

Here’s the rundown on KDP:

The catch: it must be exclusively sold on Amazon. No Apple, no B&N, no PDF website sales. Exclusivity? Sounds like a tough decision, right? It wasn’t for me.

Up until that point, through the Apple iBooks store, Barnes & Noble, and Sony’s Nook eBook store, I had sold a grand total of zero copies.

Every single sale I’d made was on Amazon.

Given I wasn’t making any sales on the other platforms anyway, why not try it? I unsubscribed my book from Smashwords faster than you could say “why haven’t I sold any copies through you?“, and enrolled in KDP Select, making my book free for a 24-hour period.

Then, things got interesting.

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The KDP Select Experiment: Results

After the first hour of “free” promotion, I checked how many copies had been downloaded.

50 copies in an hour!

I almost fell off my chair. Yes, they were free downloads (i.e. I didn’t make any money off them), but I was ecstatic because it meant:

  1. My book now had the chance of helping 50 new people learn a foreign language (this is the whole point!)
  2. At least a few people were interested in what I had to say.

2 hours down, 80 downloads. While I slept at night, it was downloaded over 200 times.

At the end of the 24 hour period, my book had been downloaded 400+ times – a lot more than I’d sold during six weeks of being in the Kindle store.

After the freebie period was over, people continued downloading the book. Not at the same rate of 20-50 sales per hour, but in the following week I had a 600% increase in sales.

To be clear, we’re not talking Stieg Larsson numbers here, but for me as a first time author and newbie to Amazon, this was a breakthrough, and made me grin like a little kid.

Here’s what my sales figures have looked like:

  • December 28th – Feb 15th:  25 sales (six weeks)
  • Feb 15th – Feb 28th, straight after KDP Select promotion day: 30 sales (one week).  Sales have continued to trickle in since then at a much faster pace than before.
  • Total downloads in the month of Feb: 513 (some free, some paid)

Why My Kindle Book Sales Increased By 600%

In my experience, four things contributed to the increase in sales:

1. People like freebies, and they like “expensive” freebies

If you won a car in a competition and had two choices – a $20,000 car for free, or a $2,000 car for free, which would you pick?


Prior to this promotional period, my book was $7.99. When it went “free” on the Kindle store, it said $7.99 FREE. This meant an $8 ‘discount’ during the free period, as opposed to books which were normally 99 cents, and are then free during promotion ($.99 discount).

This, of course, doesn’t mean my book is better than anyone else’s which is lower priced: but it gives the impression of a larger discount. I suspect this increased the number of downloads.

2. Getting in the top twenty lists, and staying there after the promotional period

When someone downloads your book (for free or paid), it moves up the charts. My book was #1 in the “Bilingual” section for a while, even though most people downloaded it for free. This meant a lot more people saw it, compared to when it was down in the dungeons of Amazon’s search listings. Amazon does not kick you off the charts after your free promotion ends.

Being in the charts when it reverted back to a paid download meant more people saw it, and resulted in more sales.

[Please note:  Since this original post was written, Amazon has changed their ranking system.  Your book will no longer stay in the normal ‘best sellers’ based on free sales.  Only paid sales now count towards permanent rankings.  Also, sometimes the price is no longer displayed next to the word “Free” for some books.  Whilst much of this article is still relevant, we’d also suggest consulting other reviews of the KDP program to make sure you have a balanced view.]

3. Increased cross-promotion

When people download your book, it starts appearing in the “People who bought this book also bought..” and “Recommended for you” sections, further increasing visibility.

This is similar to eBay’s “We recommend..” or YouTube’s “Recommended videos” cross-promotion: addictive, aren’t they?

4. Reviews bring more authenticity to your book

More downloads = more people reading = more reviews. I still don’t have a ton of them, but a few stars next to your book makes a difference for fence-sitters.

How to Increase Your Kindle sales 600%

Below are some basic guidelines on how to get a book into the Kindle Store, as well as how to approach the KDP Select program to boost your sales.

Step #1: Write your book

You can do this in Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Scrivener or any number of other writing tools.

Step #2: Format it using Amazon’s quite strict but very logical Formatting Guide

I’d suggest reading this guide first in order to set up your MS Word file for minimum re-work.

After my book was finished, it took me around 6 hours to format it to their guidelines. This can easily be outsourced for under $100 on Upwork, too.

Minimalist formatting is necessary because users can increase or decrease the text size on their Kindle / iPad, so font size, page numbers and coloured headings become irrelevant.

You can find all of Amazon’s formatting guidelines here.

This Kindle Publishing guide may also prove useful.

Step #3: Create a cover, or get one designed

Fiverr or 99 Designs are good for this, or you can do it yourself if you’re game. I purchased a photo from for $80, which gives me license for up to 499,999 book sales.

If we ever go over that, then that is one license I’ll be more than happy to revisit then!

Details of Amazon’s Image Guidelines are here.

Step #4: Convert your MS Word Document to Amazon’s format

First, “Save as” Filtered HTML, and then into Amazon’s format (PRC) using Mobi Pocket Creator. This sounds complicated but takes less than 5 minutes.

The Guide to Conversion and Formats is here.

Step #5: Create an Amazon KDP account, upload your book and set the price

Your book will be available on Amazon in the US, UK, Spain, France, Italy and Germany. You can opt out of some if you want.

For prices $2.99 – $9.99, Amazon gives you 70% and takes 30%. For anything outside of that, Amazon takes 65%, and you get 35%.

Step #6: Create an author page on Amazon Author Central

Write a bio and add a photo – you are now an author!

Amazon’s Author Central page can be viewed here.

Step #7: Enroll in the KDP Select program

Enroll in the KDP Select program making sure your book is available exclusively to Amazon (or they won’t pay your royalties!). Enrollment is by clicking one button. Make sure to set a promotion day to see the effect of free downloads on your paid sales.

If your book is borrowed by KDP members, you’ll also receive a share of the borrowed royalty pie. (For me, this is so minute as to not be relevant – yet.)

For all the info on the KDP Select Program check this out.

Step #8: Experiment with different promotions

I tried my first free promotional period on a weekday.

The second time, I tried it on a weekend, where I figured more people would be lazing about on the couch browsing the Kindle Store.

The second time around, free downloads were lower overall, but I did see another big increase in downloads after the promotional period ended. I’m still experimenting with this.

The Amazon Kindle Publishing Wrap Up

Will this work for everyone? I’m not sure yet. Your mileage may vary, and everyone’s book will be different. I do believe that KDP Select is, if nothing else, a fantastic way to experiment with price points, get your book out into the world, and have some fun.

Hopefully, your message will get into more people’s hands than it would have otherwise: that’s the whole point, right?

That’s all, folks! It’s not difficult to publish an information product onto the Kindle Store. Authors and information agents – go make it happen!

Questions, or any other resources I should add to this post? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Looking for More Kindle Publishing and Amazon KDP Resources?

We’ve got a lot of content for aspiring authors. Check out some of these articles for more help getting your Amazon Kindle business off the ground.

You can find all of our Self Publishing content here.

Sean Ogle

Sean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
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376 comments on "How to Increase Your Amazon Kindle Book Sales by 600% in a Week"

  1. Sheyi says:

    This post will surely help Amazon publishers alot and thanks for sharing it. I’m going to share it on twitter as well.

    BTW: There’s no ggood means of contacting you here


    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Sheyi,
      Thanks for sharing it – I hope it helps a few aspiring authors! Feel free to ask any further questions you have here in the comments.

      If you like, you can also contact me (Tristan from the guest post) at [email protected], or Sean via his “Contact” link at the bottom left of the website.


      1. Tristan,

        I saved this post to make sure i get to read it sometimes later which i am here now. I am considering publishing on amazon kindle now that i have set things up BUT i am concerned by the % when the ebook is more than the $9.99 price tag.

        I guess this is not a good thing from amazon….. I plan to create what could become a membership ste (if i add some stuffs and videos to it) and i want the price to be somewhat higher than the $9.99 price…. something like $47 but the royalty is kinda low to me.


      2. Tristan King says:

        (In reply to the post below from Sheyi)

        Hi Sheyi,
        Good to hear you’re moving ahead with your writing. The ‘official’ angle from Amazon, I think, is that they used what’s called “Consumer-based pricing” – in other words, making the prices as low as possible to benefit consumers (readers). As such, I wouldn’t really recommend it for a membership site. Besides, I don’t think there’s a way to host a membership site on Amazon, is it’s more of a one-time-download system.

        What you *could* do though, would be to provide a free or low-priced book on the Amazon Kindle store, which gives people good information and *then* points them to your membership site. I.e. “Get the eBook version for $4.99. By the way, did you know I have an awesome membership site full of videos and other cool stuff? Go to to join us”.

        Agree: the royalty of only 30% of products above $9.99 is a bit low. Better to sell 100 copies at $9.98 than 5 copies at $20, though =)

        Good luck and I hope it goes well!

      3. Tristan,

        I was actually carried away while writing my last comment. What I meant is that, I will create a membership site, put the link in my amazon ebook, the ebook will be worth more than the price on amazno at least x20 so that buyers (or those who get for free) can subscribe to my membership club.

        Almost samething like you adviced above.

        How is the sales of your book going? Hope you’ve got other new ebooks out there on kindle? keep rocking and making money.


  2. My first attempt at the Amazon KDP was a couple of days ago. Yesterday was the first promotion I ran (mine was a weekday). I hit the same results on the downloads that you did. The high numbers sent me through the roof. In addition, I found out that it was being offered on the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain sites as well (Got some downloads from there too.) I ended the promotion with about 18 reviews which were all good. I came up as number two in a couple of Amazon’s categories. Will follow up when I get more data on actual sales. Your post is right on target though as I (indirectly) definitely replicated it.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Michael,
      That’s fantastic – I’m really glad to hear you gave it a shot and that your numbers exploded. Great stuff! It’s exciting to see downloads coming from other countries too 😉

      Let me know if you have any other questions (although it looks like you’ve mastered it already) and would love to hear your data once you have some more sales through.

      Getting 19 reviews is huge, and I can see they’re all really positive. Do you have any good tips for getting readers to write reviews?


    2. Hey Michael,

      How did it go?
      Come here and tell us.


  3. Chas says:

    Thanks, this is great advice and noteworthy tips. I am sure some niches fare better than others.
    Note to Sean~ I tried to post on this thread before, but, a window popped-up, asking me for my member name and password- is location180 now a membership site, or is that just a glitch? It never happened before.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Chas,
      Thanks for the shout. You’re right that some topics will catch on faster than others.

      I’ll leave it to Sean for the ‘official’ response, but I’m pretty sure there’s no L180 membership requirement. There was something a little strange happening with the comments on this post (and this post only) a few days ago, but it seems to be fixed now. Seems to be just a one-off glitch.

  4. Thom Young says:

    I tried this as well. One of my books got as high as number two in the Mens Adventure Category Free. It is a great program. I have been on Kindle since 2009, I find it the best platform to be on. I am in the second time around now, sales are good but not as high as last time. I have seen an increase in my sales after the free promotion as well, I only charge .99 cents a book being that I am an underground writer but it sure is fun to see sales and addicting I must add. Great advice for any writer.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Thom,
      Thanks for the comment. I can see you’re already super experienced and have lots of books on Amazon – great to hear that KDP worked for you too. Seems like it’s really a good program to get extra exposure, and you’re right about it being addictive to watch sales 😉

  5. Steve Cooke says:

    Great content!!!…I’m working on a couple of books have outlines done on several and I am doing the “meat” or inner working of one that has been in the works for a while. I think its a real good information even though its not a fun topic ( dealing with death and the matters pertaining to it, from a planning point of view) I will have reviewed several times and hope to really make an impact with it. Will let you know when I launch it. Thanks for the Great information.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Steve,
      That’s great – hope you’ve kept going with it and are now a published author 😉 Hope it goes well!

  6. Fantastic post! Very helpful, thorough, and inspiring as well. I wish you the best with your book (s).


    1. Tristan King says:

      Thanks Donna, glad you enjoyed it. It’s fun, learning about processes I knew nothing about a year ago 😉

  7. Paul Easton says:


    Thanks for a really interesting and helpful article.

    “Will this work for everyone? I’m not sure yet. Your mileage may vary, and everyone’s book will be different. ”

    While I’m genuinely pleased you’ve been able to tell us your success story I do feel it is also important, in the interest of balance, to provide an alternative and, perhaps cautionary, experience.

    In late April I published my book on Kindle – it was a collection of regular articles I’d written for a UK trade publication over a number of years. As I have another book project in progress this seemed an interesting way to “test the water”.

    In the five weeks between publication and the end of May I had managed to sell a modest 20 copies, which I felt wasn’t actually too bad for a specialist book.

    Having sold nothing since, though – despite my continuing promotion through my own website and blog as well as Facebook and Twitter – I decided to try the KDP Select free promotional route after reading a number of articles, such as yours, by various authors who had achieved some considerable success in boosting paid-for sales after giving away large numbers of downloads.

    On the appointed ‘freebie day’ my book had 50 free downloads – at one point it even managed to reach No.1 on the Amazon ‘Bestsellers’ ranking for its own particular category! So I was quite pleased.

    Since then, though, I have not sold any paid-for copies. Also once I came off the free list my overall Amazon rating quickly dropped back to where it was before the promotion.

    Meanwhile a business colleague was also keen to explore the possibility of using a free promotion to boost sales of her own book, which is on a more mainstream and general-interest subject.

    On her ‘freebie day’ (not the same one as mine) she managed to get 276 free downloads, but has only sold one paid-for copy since.

    So as you can imagine, we’re both currently feeling rather disillusioned by our experience and feel it’s important to stress that doing a free promotion may not be an effective way to help build sales and visibility for everybody’s book.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for sharing your experience, and I’m 100% with you that it’s important to keep a balanced view. I’m still learning myself, too, and have tried experimenting with a few different things.

      Whilst it’s a big adrenaline rush to see the free downloads, I’m sure you’d be much more pleased to see some more paid-for copies flying out the door – I can understand!

      A couple of other things you could try/experiment with, that have had various effects for me, are:

      – Does your book have any reviews at the moment? Once I had a couple of reviews there, I found that sales started getting better and better. You could ask a couple of friends or family (best if they’ve actually read your book of course – dishonest reviews are too easy to spot!) to post a review to get things going.

      – I’ve also tried experimenting on different days with the free downloads. For me, late weekdays (Wednesday / Thursday) have worked best. I think this is because after the free days, the book sits towards the top of the charts for a little while, and people are then using their Kindle over the weekend. There’s a knock-on effect.

      Hope that helps a little, and love to hear how it goes as you use your other free days (as you probably know, you get 5 for every three month period you’re enrolled in KDP).


  8. Oh my, I haven’t made use of the free promotional tool in KDP Select yet. This is sort of enlightening to me. Okie, I will give it a try. Many many thanks for pointing that out 🙂

    1. Tristan king says:

      Great Robert. Hope it helps your sales and gives you some fun experimentation too 😉

  9. Rob says:

    Very interesting article Tristan! I’ve been publishing some books as well. I actually put my book up on KDP select and had over 5,500 downloads. The next day I had 40 sales! Unfortunately today, I have zero sales and am baffled as to why? Anyone have any thoughts?

  10. Tristan King says:

    Hey Rob,
    Glad you liked the article! That’s a huge number of downloads. Well done!

    Two suggestions:
    1) Play around with different price points. Set it up for 4 days or so; then change the price and see what happens over another 4 days.
    2) Try doing your ‘free’ days on different days of the week, and see how it impacts sales on the following days. I’ve found Wednesdays and Thursdays to work best. (I can’t be sure why, but I *think* it’s because on the ‘free’ days it goes towards the top of the charts, then stays there, and people are using their Kindles over the weekend to ‘browse’ and therefore see it up the top).

    Good luck and let us know how it goes! =)

  11. Irene says:

    Old hat, sorry. Already in May, Amazon changed their algorithm meaning that freebies stopped affecting sales. On the contrary: they damaged everybody’s sales because why would anyone pay money for a book when there’re so many available for free? KDP Select was arguably the worth thing Amazon could have done to their writers many of whom now quit the program, disappointed.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Irene,

      Good to hear another point of view – there are definitely two sides of the story here. It might be different for different authors, but for my actual book sales on Amazon, they continue to rise every month that I’m involved in KDP, and they go up after every time I have a freebie day. The metrics tell me that this still works.

      The reason people still pay for books (and if anything, Kindle’s market share is only increasing – there are not less people buying books) because books enrolled in KDP are only free temporarily. If a book is really worth its value, I believe people will still pay for it. I don’t see it as a zero sum game (‘I want book X, but this different book called Y is free, so I’ll get that instead’) – I think if people want it, they’ll still be willing to get it, especially at Kindle prices.

  12. Charlene says:

    Congratulations. I am days away from pushing the button myself just getting the book formatted for kindle right now. I’m so glad that I’m not the only one having the beginner’s doubts. I was planning to enroll in the select program but currently offer my book as a free download somewhere else. I will have to remove it from that website. Thanks for all the great info.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Good to hear Charlene – go for it! =)

  13. Peter says:

    @Tristan, good site and very informative.
    what are the prospects of keeping a book @ say $0.00 for the purpose of an extensive free offering to readers.
    @ success for indies, my advice is what i had experienced as a writer also. Never let your exterior packaging kill your great book , i mean just as Tristan stated, your book cover must be super; i had bad sales for my super books because i did not take it seriously until one of the amazon kindle best selling authors got me to use , they are real good and their packaging has sold more of my books in the stores, am approaching a best seller soon. Goodluck to indies

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Peter, good to hear you’re going well. I don’t think Amazon allows you to post books for free (as then they wouldn’t get any royalties) – I believe the lowest you can price it is $0.99. In the KDP program, you get 5 promotional (free) days every 3 months. Good luck with it!

  14. Ani says:

    My book was self published on Amazon and enrolled to kindle select. Had VERY few sales up to now… at present am investigating when and how to use the promotional days

    Thanx for the post

    1. Tristan King says:

      Nice one Ani! Would love to hear how it goes. Experimenting with these things is good fun. If you can, also try to encourage a few people to review your book, as that helps your rankings and encourages others to buy. Good luck!

      1. Ani says:

        yup, that is what I did. Already have 3 reviews posted

        1. Jamini devi dasi says:

          But a book like science behind scripture doing very well wherever it goes but Amazon or fb has no respond . This is really wonderful.

  15. I wanted to follow up with what I had thus far. The book is doing decently. While I haven’t hit massive numbers, I do get steady sales. If you want the 600% the key seems to be maintaining timely promotions and keep getting the word out there. When I was consistent in running my promotions, sales remained high. Something that was interesting, is that while I have not been persistent at doing either, I found the author central to be very helpful. I gain a lot of traffic from that to my blog. As well, I was able to promote webinars and other events I was doing. So there was some balance. Even when sales were low on the book, I could easily pack out a webinar with traffic from Amazon. These were the key points I found and certainly would be glad to share further details for those interested.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Great to hear it Michael – thanks for the update and really interesting to hear about Author Central!

    2. Kim Duke says:

      Hi Michael,

      I’m about a month away from launching my new sales book for women in business – your tip about “pack out a webinar with traffic from Amazon” caught my eye!

      Would love to learn more.

  16. Nebolisa says:

    You have certainly sold me on this idea. I will hit the button in a few minutes and get my debut novel published. If all goes well, I will send you a signed copy. Seriously. I have more butterflies in my stomach now than a garden in the spring.
    Please acknowledge, so we can stay in touch.

    Thanks again.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Nebolisa,
      Woohoo! So glad to hear you’re excited. Best of luck and let us know how it goes =)

  17. Liss Thomas says:

    Thanks for the advice. Trying it this week on my debut novel. I’m hoping it will boost sales and generate a few more reviews.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Great to hear that Liss. Good luck! =)

  18. Ani says:

    Intersering post.
    My book of short stories became bestseller#1 during the promotional period with over 1600 download… but then I barely make 2 sales per month… and I wonder what coud be done to help increase the ongoing sales + get reviews…
    I am too – still experimenting 🙂

  19. Doug says:

    I have a book that I have been selling on Clickbank for a few years now on a very small niche topic. It is priced a $14.95 and I sell maybe one or 2 a week, mostly through affiliates.

    I am wondering if I am allowed to sell it on Amazon, if I already market it through Clickbank? Not sure if you know, but I thought I would ask.


  20. Halavaras says:

    Good article.

    Clickbank and Amazon are very different animals. Kindle sells much more fiction than non-fiction. Novels are very hard to sell, especially long novels where people have no idea who you are. Small books spread over a greater amount of books tend to work much better. People seem to want a quick blast while they are at work for an hour/ or traveling home and then done.

    I find the KDP program poor at the moment. Maybe not the people in my niche has a KDP account?

  21. Tristan King says:

    Hey Halavaras,
    Interesting to hear. There’s certainly a market for shorter-burst books out there. Best of luck with the sales – stick it out!

  22. ron lee says:


    Thank you for these tips. Actually read them here first. My new eBook, ‘How To Write, Market, and Sell Your Own Ebook! is on fire due to KDP Select. (on Amazon for just $ 2.99) – FREE to select

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Rob,
      That’s brilliant! So glad to hear that you’re doing well with the new book and that KDP is rocking it for you =)

      1. Tristan King says:

        Hey Ron,
        That’s brilliant! So glad to hear that you’re doing well with the new book and that KDP is rocking it for you =)

  23. N. Hill says:

    I came upon this article researching some questions I have had about Amazon and my book sales for Junior Size Faith. Thank you, Tristin! I have recently enrolled in the KDP Select program and the first 24 hours I had over 1,500 downloaded. I was so excited that it was getting into so many people’s hands! Your story was the same as mine. I did a quick search of your book and realized it was free for the day and just posted it on my facebook page where I advertise free books on Amazon when I find one that I like.

    Thank you!!

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey there,
      1,500 downloaded in 24 hours is huge! Well done and I’m really glad the article was helpful. Thanks a ton for posting my book onto your page – I really appreciate it. Best of luck and let us know how it goes – hope the success keeps going =)

  24. Bill Miller says:

    I did the free promotion and gave away 700 downloads. After it was over, no sales. I have 32 positive reviews on Amazon, have sold over 800 paperbacks. Why is the kindle version not selling? I am on Kindle Select.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Bill,
      How long ago did you do the free download? I’ve found it can take a while for sales to flow through – it can take time for people to see you in up the charts, pass the word around, etc.

      Hang in there!

  25. Sean, great article! However, bigger mind blow when I scrolled to the bottom of the article and the tab for the next article slid onto the screen.

    What sorcery is this?!

    No really, did you build your own site and who is hosting? I’ve been working on my blog awhile (fights urge to spam) and it’s finally looking better. My current link to the next article is horrible and doesn’t pop out like yours does. 🙁 Do you have the code and or site that can help me? Thanks in advance – Jacob

  26. LJBooker says:

    No one seems to be mentioning the fact that the bestselling books that are in Amazon’s select program are not exclusive, like, for example, the Harry Potter books. Those are for sale at Barnes and Nobles Nook store. It seems that there are two sets of rules. Only the indie authors have to give up their rights to sell elsewhere. This way Amazon gets to brag ‘exclusive’ books, while undercutting the other stores with free popular books. And those free bestsellers are getting all the funds in the pot. This whole promotion is about putting everyone else out of business. Has no one else noticed this?

  27. Tristan King says:

    Hi LJ,

    Interesting point. To be honest, I’m not sure whether the biggest sellers (e.g. Harry Potter) are part of KDP Select, but if you say so, I believe you. I imagine the rules for KDP select only apply to self-published authors.

    As self-publishers, we also have the option NOT to choose to given Amazon exclusive publishing rights. One can self-publish on Amazon, as well as B&N, iBooks, and several other platforms, through Smashwords, for example.

    I guess from Amazon’s perspective: as a self-published author, if you given them exclusive rights, they give you extra tools to promote your book (e.g. freebie days). If you don’t give them exclusive rights, you can still publish on Amazon, but without the premium promo tools.

    I’ll respect your opinion too, but personally I don’t see this as evil: it’s just a business and marketing tool.


  28. Jacob Williams says:

    Tristan’s right.

    Without amazon you wouldn’t be publishing anywhere. (Anywhere you oils make it)

    99.9999% of us don’t have bargaining power. You sell millions of hardbacks first and then you might be worth something to amazon. Until then, your getting a way way way way way better deal then they are.

  29. Roger Millhouse says:

    Thank you for this sound advice. My book just recently came out on Kindle. I plan on having soft cover edition availability soon. Royalties are directed towards assisting those in need. Anyway thanks.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Glad to hear it Roger – best of luck and sounds like a great cause.

  30. Christine Crumblehulme says:

    I came across this ‘forum’ ? quite by accident and found it very interesting. I have often thought about writing a book about local history – which I have been researching for over 30 years. (Bolton Lancashire) Is there a place for such a book on Amazon? How long should a book be – or could you write several shorter books? Can a book have photos in it? I am very excited about this idea and wonder if it would be possible for you to itemise the steps needed from writing the book to seeing it published on Amazon. I am a complete novice re Kindle as I have only just bought one. I think they are brilliant. May I wish you continued success with your book, and a prosperous New Year. Kind Regards Christine Crumblehulme

  31. Roger Millhouse says:

    Hi Christine. I love history. I would buy it. Anyway, yes there is quite a niche for history. Write not to make money as a priority but because it is a passion you wish to share the world with. Write a good product, have it edited, get an amazing cover design, get your book in MOBI format. Be willing to market.and be in for the long haul!. Things take time. Createspace does a wonderful job on making print on demand books. Kickstarter is a good place to gain exposure also. Maybe set up a blog. Preview chapters for the audience. Why are you passionate in it? I wrote of my concerns of America economically collapsing, martial law being imposed, and believers in Yeshua(Jesus in English) intensley persecuted thrusting the reader in this environment and tasking them todecipher between two brothers’ letters. Who weigh on the Tribulation, the dyfunctional church systm, the living practically in uncertain times, and positively integrating into their respective communities….if you have a unique story ayou are passionate about. Do it because you believe in it. Let everything else sort itself out. Be practical and study thoroughly. Good luck.

  32. Eileen Hale (Author) says:

    I’ve read your story with interest, thanks.

    I uploaded ‘ALL ABOUT HARRY’ over the Xmas holidays and as yet, I’m sorry to say, it seems to have gone completely unnoticed!!

    Any ideas how to promote it? I’d welcome any advice. I read stories like yours and wonder how you got your novel noticed in the first place.


  33. Roger Millhouse says:

    I am unsure if the last post was to me Eileen? I would attempt twitter, facebook, other social networking entities. Network with your friends. Thinks take time!! It’s for the long haul. It’s a long process. Writing an excellent product is half the battle. You still have to network and make it known. Look online for places where you can promote a preview of your book for free. Write to journal magazines, etc, etc. My book Prepared in the Wilderness isn’t selling like hotcakes but it’s sold on average about 1 a day. Nothing spectactular. Most people I have spoken with want to have my book in paperback so next month it will be vailable in paperback for the sailors, soldiers, college students, and college faculty that want to purchase my book. i would recommend having your book available in both routes. Since the royalties of my book are going towards orphans, widows, veterans, and families in need I’ll be happy with how the book does as long as people are able to get helped in the long run. I’m going to be a doctor so money from this book isn’t a key focus just sharing a perspective that I am passionate in. Once and a great while people become best selling authors overnight, the most it takes time, a repoire and build up using promotions, previews of your book, youtube trailers, etc, etc. social networking is key. I guess you could do some advertisements but I am unsure how those go. Everything from writing to journalists, magazines, facebook, twitter, etc will help in the long run. I wouldn’t expect tremendous overnight. Be patient. If you wrote a great product people will take notice. Get really good honest positive reviews as well. Those are essential. Social networking through different media outlets and gaining 4 and 5 star reviews on your book will help immensely. Those are my two cents. Take care.

  34. Andy Meinen says:

    Hey everyone,

    Thanks for the great info Tristan. I took your advice and have published my book on Amazon with a free offering scheduled for Jan 10 to 11. I hope I can get some reviews – good or bad.

    Thanks again,

    Andy Meinen

  35. Jeffrey says:

    This was the best information I have found about Kindle. I have 5 books almost ready to upload and while I planned on using the KDP offer I had no idea it could be that effective. I had also questioned if the free books would count in the sales volume which you answered. Thanks for the links as they are very helpful.

    1. Tristan says:

      Glad to hear it Jeffrey. Best of luck with the launch!

  36. Roger Millhouse says:

    I am in the process of doing a 5 day promotion. It has 500 downloads today. The first day. Prior to this promotion it was selling 1-2 a day on Kindle version. Plus I have a paperback version. It works people. Thi Exposure works. Hoping to hit over 2,000 byy the end of the promotion. With four 5 star reviews as well, hopefully will get more. Be an author for the long haul. Don’t give up. I’ll keep people posted if this results in increased sales after the promotion. We shall see. Hopefully a few more good reviews also. Press frowrd people. Keep pushing friends!!

    1. Sean says:

      Thanks for sharing Roger! Congrats on your success so far.

    2. Tristan says:

      Awesome Roger! Great to hear it. Best of luck for continued big sales 😉

  37. Roger Millhouse says:

    Royalties go to orphans, widows, veterans, and families in need. If one family is positively impacted than mission accomplished.

  38. Roger Millhouse says:

    The promotion went well. Placed me #1 in my primary genre of Messianic Judaism and #60 in Christianity. The sales have been positively good thus fr from the fallout of the promotion. Word of advice someone will always have something bad to say about whatever you publish. There will be fans and critics alike. Don’t take it to heart. It’s simply how things are.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Glad to hear it Roger – well done! =)

  39. Elisha Sheen says:

    How ever that was a nice trick, glad to read. You can also promote your book free at @kindlepromoter on twitter. Just foolow them and they will follow u back and promote your ebook for Free…………..

  40. You can promote your books on my website/podcast. Here’s an example:

    It’s totally free. Just email me from my contact page. I love self published authors.

  41. Burleigh says:

    Loved the story! New to this book writing thing and just published my first book. I feel like a very tiny fish in a big sea. I have sold 2 books in one week and they did not rate it. I have not tried the free promotion yet but will starting tomorrow. Did you decide to do it one day at a time spread out or all 5 in a row. What do you think is best?

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Burleigh,
      Good to hear you’re joining the publishing foray =) I always do 5 separate promotion days, separated out. Personally, I think you get more mileage out of this, because if the book does well on a free promotion day, you can get into the charts and more people see your book. If you lumped all 5 days together, you’d only get bumped up in the charts once (on the first day), and the other 4 days you’d just ‘stay’ there.

      If you separate them out, there’s a chance to get bumped up 5 times. That’s my logic, anyway.

      Good luck with it!

  42. WJ Davies says:

    Great article!

    I just released my sci-fi story “The Runner” 10 days ago and just like you am excited to see people picking it up! I’ve already got a bunch of 5-star reviews, which seems unreal to me.

    I’m going to experiment with a free-weekend this coming Saturday and Sunday. Hope I get the same type of response as you’ve written here.

    Thanks for the read.

    1. Tristan says:

      Glad to hear it – 5 star reviews already is superb. Well done!

  43. Your article was inspiring. I am fortunate to have an average of 4.7 stars on Amazon and Goodreads for my first book, My Mother Killed Christ: But God Loves Me Anyway. (I wanted the title to stand out, but maybe I was a bit too aggressive.) Still, sales have been similar to what you mentioned in your article, 25-30 a month. I’m a bit shy about promoting my book, so your method is perfect for me. You gave me a bit of hope today. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Really glad to hear that, Katie. Best of luck with the sales and thanks for the feedback! 🙂

  44. I rather enjoy getting email updates when people comment on their experiences. Made me realize how important it is for me to set this feature up on my website.

  45. Jean Coleman says:

    I completed a Kindle promotion (5 days duration) a few months ago and the book was selected 599 times. So now I have once again renewed by KDP Select and am trying the free book promotion just one day at a time spread over the three month period. I posted it last night at midnight and it is now eight o’clock in the morningg and 61 books have been downloaded. I am happy that the book is being read. My question is: Where do people go to learn about these free promotions? Where is the listing located? Do I go to the Kindle Store to find the free offers? The people who are downloading the book must be finding t somewhere—-I just don’t know were the information about the free promotional books is located. How do they know the book is being offered for free? Could you please let me know where the offere is displayed on Amazon. I can’t really say that I saw an increase in sales following the last promotion. It’s hard work to promote a book. I think I need an advertizing company that will do the promoting for me at a reasonable cost. Thanks so much for this website and your shared ideas. Hope fully you can answer my question about where the daily free promotions are listed. Blessings!

    1. Tristan says:

      Hi Jean,
      Glad to hear about your experiments with KDP.

      I know some people promote their free book download via email and social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.), which bring some exposure.

      In addition to that, I imagine Amazon has several Kindle-based promotion channels about the free books, too, as you alluded to. I don’t know all of them, but here are a couple:

      I’m guessing there are plenty of people looking for freebies, and Amazon no doubt has other channels as well.


  46. Tristan:

    It’s early in the morning on the first day of my promotion and the downloads are going crazy. This is extremely exciting because I prefer exposure over income. I am lucky to have a great day job!

    Also, I am so impressed at the skillful way you handle each discussion above. Great work!

    1. Tristan King says:

      Great, Katie! Glad to hear you’re getting big downloads. Good luck with it.
      – Tristan.

  47. Eric Fox says:

    Well, for some people KDP helped them out alot. As for me it was a waste of time. I got hardly any free downloads and the sales went nowhere.

  48. Update: I am running a two day promotion and Day 1 yielded 1575 downloads. Will these ever translate into sales? I don’t know, but by my calculations, it would have cost me $7,878 and over a year to send out this many books on my own,as I’ve been doing, in order to get exposure.

    Regardless of the outcome, thank you for your insightful article.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Woah, big numbers! Glad to hear it =)

  49. Eric T Reynolds says:

    Hi, for one of my authors, we enrolled her short story in KDP. Regular price 99 cents. It sold a copy or so. We did a free promotion for 2 days and had 500 downloads and got a pretty high sales rank. But when the promotion was over, the sales rank immediately reverted back to what it was before the promotion and we immediately lost any momentum.

  50. Eric T Reynolds says:

    Hi Tristan,

    I meant to include a question with my last post. 😉 Do you know if this is the general experience now, for the sales rank to revert back to what it was before the free promotion, i.e. has something changed at amazon recently?

    I know another author who had 6000 downloads of her free story, then when the free promotion ended, she sold another 2000 in the next couple of days. But that was a year ago.


    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Eric,
      Good question. I’m not too sure about this, to be honest. I imagine it’s one of Amazon’s algorithm secrets 😉 In my experience (especially around the time I wrote this post), the sales rank tended to stick even after the KDP promotion ended, but perhaps they’ve changed it. I’ll check this out on my next promotion day and try to report back..

  51. Dylan says:

    Huge thanks for this article. I had zero sales for my sci-fi Western Black Book (Part 1: The Devil’s Blood). I did a 5 day promotion and had over 3000 downloads. It became No. 1 in Westerns, Sci-fi, and Sci-Fi Adventure. Since then the book gets a steady 15 sales per day. So it definitely works! A lot of people advised me on the importance of an eye-catching cover too, and a first chapter that hooks the sample reader. Maybe it’s a combination of all these factors? This is what mine looks like:
    Thanks again 🙂

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Dylan,
      That’s superb! Well done on the big downloads and sales. Great numbers.

      What else did you do to promote the book? For example, do you have a supporting website, any guest posts on blogs, or was it mostly the sample chapter + KDP?

      Well done and thanks,

      1. Dylan says:

        Hi Tristan,
        Thanks! I recently set up but during the promotion I didn’t really have anything apart from the sample chapter and book cover to help. I posted the link in a couple forums too, but none got any real traffic. Is there a Top 5 high traffic magical places where e-book writers (fiction) can submit their book links and get real traffic?
        Thanks again,

    2. Wow, that’s inspiring Dylan! I’m about to try a day of free downloads.

    3. sausi-sue says:

      I just wrote my first book called “Memoirs of a Brooklyn Chic” selling on amazon kindle. Its 266 pages, first i priced it at 9.99, then dropped it to 5.99 and someone told me to drop it to 2.99. I had a 5 day promo, and only recieved 206 downloads. after the promo only 3 books were sold. What am i doing wrong. Can someone please advise and give this rookie some tips. reading all your downloads and sales is blowing me away. I want this book to a success. Please any and all suggestions will be embraced. Thanks and congrats to you all!

      1. You need a better cover. The font style and color are unprofessional.

        Using a picture of a real person can be off putting to many. It’s because it doesn’t leave the reader any room to imagine the person’s look. Although Harry Potter is on the cover, he is stylized and cartooned.

        I could go into more but the cover is 90% of the problem.

      2. I love the title but I agree that the cover is weak. That’s not all, I looked at your book on Amazon and read the first page beginning with “Brookly-1964.” Yes, that’s right — Brookly, not Brooklyn. Is that what you meant to have in there? I suspect not. In the first three or four paragraphs, I found at least three grammatical errors. For example, the last sentence in your first graf — “I was too young to understand and grew up thinking it was normal not to have a father until I started school, I never heard the word “Father” before let alone knew what it meant.” That is a run-on sentence and not a clear one at that. In the next graf, you use the term “live in girlfriend,” but it should be “live-in girlfriend.” In other words, you may have fantastic content but you need an editor. Great content poorly crafted will not sell.

        The cover matters, it’s true, but what’s inside the cover matters more. The problem with self publishing is that anyone can (and does) publish. It enables junk to muddy the waters. I’m not saying that your book is junk or that you can’t write. Maybe you can, but you need an editor. Consider this — even Hemingway had an editor, right?

        Good luck!

      3. Jay says:

        I’m afraid I’ve got to side with both Jacob and Debby. The cover is really quite off-putting. As well, I got about three paragraphs in before I hit, “One summer in 1964…” One summer? How many summers did you have in Brooklyn per year?

        It’s those little things that will set readers to posting one- and two-star ratings – or simply ignoring the book entirely.

        I would highly suggest checking sites like or – first for an editor then for a cover designer. This may set you back one or two thousand dollars, but it will be money well spent if this book means that much to you.

        Good luck!

  52. WJ Davies says:

    I’ve been lucky with my Sci-Fi novelette The Runner. My sales have been steady since release at 50-80 per day but I decided to try Amazon’s free days yesterday and today. So far I’ve had over 1,500 free downloads! Crazy!!! We’ll see what happens when it goes back on sale tomorrow.

    Here’s the link for the FREE book is you wanna pick it up:

    Also, it’s a fanfic. The author himself (Hugh Howey) had some really nice things to say:


    1. Dylan says:

      Hi WJ, Just downloaded your book. I look forward to reading it! Best of luck with the sales and hope to see your next work soon. I just read your mention on Hugh Howey’s page: Awesome! I also see that your book is 57 pages. The first part in my ‘Black Book’ sci-fi series was only 20 pages, have you had any negative response to the length? I was initially thinking of aiming for a 100 pages for Black Book Part 2, but if 50’ish pages is also acceptable then that would keep my volumes more consistent while still being good value ($0.99) . Would appreciate your thoughts! 🙂

      1. WJ Davies says:

        Hey Dylan, good question. I haven’t received much negative criticism regarding length, but it has been mentioned several times in the reviews. Here’s some snippets of what they said:

        “This was a very enjoyable (albeit brief) adventure in the Silo storyline.”

        “What a great book! The only problem is that it was too short. Not too short for the price, not too short for the plot. Too short because I don’t think that I’ll ever get enough of the WOOL world.”

        “If this has been an original work and a bit longer for more character development to take place, it would have garnered 5 stars from me.”

        I would say anything over 50 pages for $.99 is legit, and as long as the story can hold the reader’s interest, they won’t complain about length. I’ve seen some 20 page short stories for a buck, and have been hesitant to buy them myself. For your sequel, I think a 50 page goal would be totally acceptable!

    2. Dylan says:

      Hi WJ. Thanks for the really great advice below (couldn’t reply below for some reason).
      Maybe I’ll steer on the cautious side of 50+ pages then for part 2. For that reason, and because I haven’t any promo days left to return the favour of a free book, I’ve emailed you a copy of Black Book (part 1). Thanks again! 🙂

      1. scott says:

        Are most books on kindle 20-50 pages? I’m on my first book I’m on page 167 and aiming to about 300

  53. Thanks for the article. I just finished my 1st book promo, well, my 1st everything. After a week on Amazon, I learned you don’t have to wait the full 90 days before you can do you first promo. Newbie alert! So I quickly scheduled a 5 day promo, four days out and went to work.
    In hindsight, maybe a mistake, but I was excited.

    It finished a few days ago, and I received 4350 downloads. So I was pretty stoked.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Kelly,
      That’s great! Hope it leads on to some good sales too =)

  54. Drew Holmes says:

    Thanks for the advice. I have published several books on Amazon and my sales have been LOW, LOW, LOW! I have over 8 books on amazon and to show you how dismal my sales have been, for 2012, my 1099-MISC was $128.00 USD :'(

    I have decided to go into fiction, A Broken Rose ( I think it is fantastic, but have been skeptical about giving something away for free after taking so long to write it (almost 300 pages in 6×9 format). Additionally, it seems as though every time I want to make a change to my book(s) by way of KDP – no matter how big or small – they take my book down, put it in pending status, and I have to wait for it to go back live.

    I guess I need to have faith in your strategy and offer my new work, A Broken Rose, for free for a day or two and see what happens. It has been live for a 2 days and I haven’t had any takers.

    By the way, at least in Smashwords, I can see how many times my book was downloaded or added to someone’s library. I wish Amazon would show me at least some metrics on how many have visited/previewed my book.

    Regards and sorry for the long-windedness.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Drew,
      Agree, it would be good if Amazon had some more detailed metrics. I’ve raised that with them.. I think they’re aware that their reporting interface leaves a lot to be desired 😉

      No harm in trying out the tests – hope it goes well!

      1. Yes I find them to be inefficient in regards to having an effective site – I can never remember how to get into Kindle so fish round in old emails forever. Etc.

  55. laura says:

    Hello, I am curious, did you leave your book at $7.99 the day after your free promotion or do you suggest reverting to $2.99 or less? Thanks

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Laura,
      I tried various things, but at the moment, I leave it as $7.00. The $2.99 just isn’t worth it for me – with Amazon taking 70% of the royalties.

      1. scott says:

        I thought for $2.99 you get 70% and they get 30% for anything under $3 and above that it’s the oppersite?

      2. My ‘Rock Star’ is $2.99 and I get 70% of that.

  56. Ray Beaufait says:

    Thanks so much. Your information is valuable. I am new at this but very enthusiastic and excited about our book. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Our book is about Golf Long Driving. It is called Long And Straight.


    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Ray,
      Thanks for writing in. Glad you found the article helpful – best of luck with the book. You must be killing it on the golf course! 😉

  57. Drea says:


    I just wanted to thank you for this. I did this for a period of 3 days and I got over 1,700 downloads. Sales have gone up since then. I do no less than 30 sales per week of my book Groupie Chronicles since the free promo. Thank you.!!!

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Drea,
      Woohoo! So glad to hear it — well done =)

  58. Frank says:

    These are very good tips for publishing your ebook with Amazon.
    I have a problem and infact need help from anyone.
    I have 2 books published on Amazon.
    The first book is on Google first page for its keyword,but it does not make any sales.
    The second book is also on Google second page for its keyword and making sales slowly.
    Can someone tell me the short fall of the first book?
    Thank you.

    1. No Frank, we cannot tell you your shortfalls.

      Main reasons:
      You didn’t tell us the name of your books or supply any links.
      You didn’t put a link that takes us to your website when we click on your name. Instead you put a link to a fat burning ad.

      I for one enjoy it when new authors put links to their E-published content. Or are at least interested in the self publishing world. I think we all do. I don’t consider it spam. Or whatever it is you just did.

  59. scott says:

    Hello just curious but What are the legal impilcations if your book mentions real life places e.g. New York, public hoildays or your version of the men in black. No not the movie. But based loosely of the men in black in those alien consparcy’s theroy’s. You know UFO’s kidnapped Elvis and men in black follows the little grey men around lol. Type of thing.

  60. Sez says:


    I have a feeling I’m being incredibly stupid here, but I really want to do the free promotion thing, but nowhere can I find the button/link. It only gives me an option of 30% or 70% comm and doesn’t mention free promotion anywhere?

    I know I’m being incredibly bland and as a somewhat techie and highly embarrassed, but I must be missing something?

    I really want to get my books out there! I have two, completely unrelated works and I’m happy to give them away for free, if Amazon would let me do it for awhile. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Sez! In your Amazon Author Dashboard, go to Bookshelf. Check the box next to your book, then click ‘Actions> promotions ‘. If you can’t see that yet under actions, go to See KDP select Details and make sure your book is enrolled. Good luck!

  61. WJ Davies says:

    Taken directly from the KDP help page:

    How do I schedule free promotions?

    Once your book is enrolled in KDP Select and is available for sale on our website, you will be able to schedule free book promotions in two ways:

    a) From your bookshelf, select the book by checking the box next to the title, click on “Actions” and choose “Manage Promotions”.
    b) From the “Edit book details” page, click on “Promotions Manager”.

    The Promotions Manager will allow you to schedule one or more free promotions, edit or delete a scheduled free promotion, or stop an ongoing free promotion. If you choose to stop an ongoing promotion, it can take from a few minutes to several hours for the action to take effect. In an effort to provide the best reader experience, note that on the days your book is offered for free, it will not be included in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

    Hope that helps SEZ.

  62. Sez says:

    Thank you so much, WJ Davies. I knew I was being a complete idiot. I’ve updated it and scheduled it to start from tomorrow.

    Thanks again!

  63. Doc Andy says:

    Hi Tristan,

    Thanks ever so much for the advice. I’ve spent years prepping my first novel “Dispatchers – Vengeance of the Dark” and decided to take the plunge by uploading it to Kindle.

    Am still in the free promotion phase but doing really well so far, currently 36th in the Suspense Free downloads list. Think this has a lot to do with some of the things you mention in your article. Waiting to see what will happen on Friday when it goes back to priced.

    Cheers for the guidance. Am now eagerly working on my follow-up novels which I have been jotting for ages!

    1. Tristan King says:

      That’s great Andy! Glad to hear it. Good luck!

  64. Emma Ziff says:

    Hey, thanks for your blog post, it was very useful to read through, a great checklist! Perhaps its because I am blonde 😉 but I cannot see where I can find out how many (FREE) downloads there has been so far today. I can only see the paid on KDP. Where do I get this info? Thanks Btw, my ebook is FREE today and tomorrow to download

    Aww yes, I have found the stats …. they were further along the page …. thanks 🙂

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Emma,
      Reports > month to date sales > Free units promo 🙂

  65. Debbie says:

    Thanks for that really helpful comment and your affiliate link Mark.

    I’m sure we’ll all be clicking on it

    1. Sean says:

      Thanks for pointing this out Debbie – somehow slipped moderation and has been removed 🙂

  66. Robert Dee says:

    Hi Sean/Tristan and everyone else,

    I can certainly vouch for using KDP Select to boost sales. My children’s adventure novel, Daisy Cooper and the Sisters of the Black Night was made free over the weekend. I sent links to various blogs on the Friday (the first day of the freebie weekend) and it got picked up and linked to on different voucher/freebie sites as a result. I had five and a half thousand downloads by the end of Sunday and the book stayed at No.1 on the Top 100 Children’s Adventure list from Saturday night until Monday morning. That was incredible. What’s great as well is I’ve shifted 56 copies so far since then that are either paid or borrowed (which I get paid for) and I’m happy with that as a good start. I’m just hoping that out of all the downloads I get lots of reviews because I think reviews are the number one thing driving sales. It also gives me some ammunition looking for further promotion and I’ve had an offer from a blogger with a large following to review it and another did an interview with me. It’s all about keeping the momentum going I suppose. My plan (as much as I have one) is to keep things moving so that when book 2 in the series is available at the end of the year I’ll have notched up a sizeable audience. I’m also thinking at that point of making the first book free for a number of months as a loss leader to get people into the series.

    1. That is an awesome reaction to your free promotion. I published my very adorable (if I do say so myself) on KDP and then offered a free promotion for two days and only had 23 downloads. (plus one paid sale!) So, I’d love to know more about the blogs you sent the word out to if you’d be willing to share or to direct me to a place where I’d find those. I sent to “mom” blogs but clearly no one picked it up or more folks would’ve downloaded my free (and did I mention adorable and funny) book, “Sybil Was Silly But Willie Wasn’t.” Thanks so much for any help. I’ll be glad to return the favor if anything good happens.

      1. Dear Debby,

        It’s funny, but I didn’t consider my promotion as awesome 🙂 because it resulted in nothing – I mean no single review was left, even a 1 star. Today I accidently learnt that one of these 590 people (I just happened to have her as a friend on Goodreads – come and find me there) downloaded my book to read it some time later; she just liked the description and didn’t know me then.
        So I strongly suspect that lots of people just download free books whenever they come across them.
        My first promo day was done without sending a word anywere – just people saw the book and took it. That day there were 250 downloads, because I decided that was enough for them and stopped the promotion.
        I tried Twitter but didn’t understand how to use it, so it’s a waste of time so far.
        Read blog, perhaps you’ll find something useful there.

        Good luck to you dear Debbie, and to everyone in our shoes!

  67. Hello everybody,

    I used 2 days from 5 promo on Amazon KDP Select, and my book Aurora: Secrets behind Reality was downloaded 590 times with absolutely NO reviews, after that the sales went to 2-2-3 copies a day and then 0 for the past 2 days.
    I know that the content sales itself, but I’m no more sure if it is worthy, since I live in Russia, and I had only 1 beta-reader (with raving reviews); others just don’t know the language well enough to evaluate this very content ((
    Any advice on my situation will be much appreciated.

    Marina Latcko

  68. Oh, Debbie, I only now see that your comment was not addressed to me.
    I’m sorry for this misunderstanding!

    1. Hi Marina,
      No problem at all. Good luck with your book and I will check out the blog you recommended anyway. I appreciate any advice!

  69. Jay says:

    A little late to the party but wanted to share my experience with KDP. I helped my dad publish his novel, The Runaway (Kindle) in December of 2011. We had a few sales but it sat languishing in the 6-figure of sales (I think it was #240,000 in its category).

    I tried the KDP program two separate times (about 4 months apart) and gave away about 1000 copies which resulted in some sales – but for the most part, total sales were still in double digits.

    The third time I tried it I found every free announcement site on the web including Twitter and Facebook. I made my announcements a couple days previous to the launch, the day before the launch, the day of the launch, halfway through the free period and on the last day.

    Results? Over 22,000 downloads in 5 days which resulted in over 600 sales over the next 3 months and 30 pretty positive reviews.

    A few things I learned:

    Run your campaign towards the beginning of the month so you can capture the sales during that month.

    Tell EVERYONE you’ve got a free book available. Even if they don’t read it, the download counts towards total sales – thus moving your book up in the ranks.

    You’ll have big momentum after your giveaway ends because your book is ranked higher. The bulk of your sales will be in that first month – those will drop by about 70% in the next month and you’ll only have 10% of that in the third month. So don’t expect any lasting results.

    The beauty of the program is that you can do it every 90 days. I just consider these quarterly sales numbers.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Jay,
      This is great. Thanks a ton for the feedback and insights.

      This is gold, and new to me:
      “Run your campaign towards the beginning of the month so you can capture the sales during that month.”.

      Will do. Thanks again!
      – Tristan.

      1. Jay says:

        You’re welcome, Tristan.

        One other thing I should add: My most success came with starting a 5-day campaign on a Saturday and wrapping it up on the following Wednesday. The most downloads I’d received were almost always Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.

        Good luck!

      2. Jay says:

        …oh yeah, and avoid weeks with a holiday in them like the plague. Horrible download numbers around holidays.

    2. Gary says:

      Jay, thanks for a very helpful comment.

  70. Farhan says:

    Hi Tristan and Sean,

    I’ve seen some authors like J A Konrath selling their books not only on Amazon but also on Apple, Sony, etc.

    But you’ve said that we need to sell exclusively on Amazon or else we’ll get no royalties from them. Could you please clarify my doubt?

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Farhan,

      Not quite. Let me clarify:
      – If you sell on other platforms (Apple, Sony, SmashWords, etc.), you will still get royalties. Same royalties as described in the post from Amazon.
      – If you sell on Amazon KDP EXCLUSIVELY, you can run the free “promotion” days AND get credit from borrowers in Amazon’s borrowing program.

      In other words: For giving them exclusivity, they give you the added bonus of promotion days AND $2-3 per borrow. If you don’t go exclusive, you still get the royalties, but not the bonuses

  71. Eric Pen says:

    Thanks. I tried putting one of my books, “Are You Even Thirty Yet?” on Amazon’s Kindle Select program just yesterday. How long do you normally have to wait to get sales going up? Thanks.

  72. falene best says:

    Wow thanks for this article Im literally taking in everything my brain can retain at this point my book is scheduled for thr release date of april16 2013…Im nervous Im scared Im doubting anyone will find it informative or even more importantly “will it change someones life” Its a scripture based self help book entitled “Getting Out Of My Way” . Here is my question I am self publishing using create space are you telling me that the only way to get on K-amazon is to not allow create space to sell any books of mines ? Also my book is priced at $15 right now does that mean I will only be receiving 30% from my sales. Never the less I thank you for this post it was informative and Im convienced freebies my first week of realease my goal is to sell 6,500 book this yr some are telling me its far fetched for a self published let alone new author to reach that goal but my plan is to sell online and in person I already have contaced several book stores acting as a publishing company and so far I had landed 3 small stores thats placing my book in theri stores I am leaving my first week of release to start a book tour nothing big but I have 5 states already that im visiting radio stations churches and libraries Im focused my first time out the gate and Im taking off running “I cant loose” right now . And neither can any of you keep pushing until something happens good luck fellow Authors 2013 its your year

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Falene,

      Good to hear about your book coming out. Best of luck with it. To your questions:
      – Createspace exclusivity / selling: See the comment three above this one (my response to Fahran above).
      – If it’s priced at $15, yes, I believe you will only get 30% of royalties. When I published this post, it was $2.99 – $9.99 you get 70%; outside of that, 30%. You might want to check the latest on Amazon’s website (just Google it), but I think that still stands.

      Good luck!

  73. Craig says:

    Hi Tristan,

    This is an awesome post! That’s for sharing, it definitely gives an overall view for a newbie or an experienced author.

    Just wanted to check with you, your book was listed Top 100 Free but after that, how did that increase your book sale because it wasn’t listed at Top 100 Paid? Or it was listed there as well after the KDP Promotion ended?

    Looking forward to hear of your sharing.



    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Craig,
      Thanks for the feedback and glad you liked the post!

      It wasn’t in top 100 paid, you’re right. But the thing is, there are also “Top 100” and “Top 10” lists, regardless of paid or free.

      Free downloads count towards that list, as do paid. So some people will see you at the top of those lists (regardless of whether free or paid).

      It did slowly go down again after the big rush, but you do get some time at the top which also increases cross-sells.

      Hope that helps!

  74. Byron Christopher says:

    Hi Tristan,

    Thank you for the post. I’m a long-time reporter but new author who is trying to publish a book on true crime. Your post contained some useful information.

    I’m wondering how it would take six hours to format your manuscript. I have a Mac … and it sounds like it will take more than a simple convert to ‘Word’ to format my manuscript.

    The advantage of using Kindle Direct Publishing over Apple’s eBook, as I understand it, is that with Kindle the author retains copyright.


    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Byron,

      Good to hear about your book. I’m not too sure about Apple’s publishing rights. With Apps for example, I know you retain the IP, and I would *think* the same should be true for Books as well, but I’m not 100% on that so best to check with Apple.

      I wrote my book in MS Word, and then spent the 6 hours or so massaging the styles. It wasn’t a ‘conversion’ as such, from one format to another, just updating styles, removing unneeded formatting, and so on. Should be the same on a MAC as on a PC.

      One other thing you could consider is: there are people who run small businesses specialising in Kindle formatting. They have templates and already know what’s required. If you wanted, you could outsource that part: give them your current (unformatted) manuscript, pay them a bit, and get back a Kindle-ready manuscript in return.

      If I was to write another one, that’s probably what I would do, as it saves tons of time. And formatting documents for Kindle is not fun =)

      Good luck!

  75. Greg says:

    Thanks a lot for the great advice! I’ll follow it when I’m offering my book for free at the end of the week. It’s a vampire novel taking place in the desert, you can check it out here:

  76. Gabe Berman says:

    My first book was traditionally published but I self-pubbed my new one (The Complete Bullshit-Free and Totally Tested Writing Guide: How To Make Publishers, Agents, Editors & Readers Fall In Love With Your Work).

    Love your idea of going free for awhile. It’s very karmic. I’ll do it after my book has been out for a month or so.

    Thanks so much for this post 🙂

    1. Tristan King says:

      Nice one Gabe. Hope it goes well. Good luck!

      1. Gabe Berman says:

        Very cool of you to get back to me so quickly. I’m grateful.

        Any other tricks of the trade you can pass on?

    2. Tristan King says:

      No worries. It’s all in the post 🙂

  77. Rakesh says:


    I am new to Kindle. Published the book “Blood For Gold”

    Immediately after publishing, i enrolled 5 days free promotion. But still didnt see any sales. Is it a wrong step? How Kindle readers will come to know about my book?

    Rakesh M

  78. AVRIL says:


    I just published my first book and was going to run a free promo on it. However, I’ve been told that you should have at least 5-7 reviews before running a KDP promo. Did any one here have reviews already before they ran their promos? Many thanks.

    1. Jay says:

      Hi Avril,

      I’m not sure why someone would have told you that because one of the points behind the free giveaways is to get your book in the hands of people who will write reviews for you.

      I had two reviews when I did my first giveaway. By the time I did my third (and figured out how to do it right) I had two dozen reviews.

      Most people don’t read reviews of a free book before they download it. I’d go ahead and launch your KDP campaign – just make sure you tell the world that it’s free and here’s the link to go get it.

      1. AVRIL says:

        Thanks Jay . I’ve heard that 5 review minimum tip mentioned in several very over-priced kindle book courses (I won’t mention them!) and felt a bit dejected .

        On a post at Digital Book Today, someone said don’t even bother running a KDP promo until you have you have 6! I think you’re case study has pretty much debunked that bit of ‘conventional wisdom’ about the reviews. Thanks ever so!

      2. Tristan King says:

        Hi Jay / Avril,
        I’m with you on that: I don’t think you need to have reviews before doing a KDP promo. The point of the promo is to get the reviews. I got a couple out of the promos.
        Best of luck!

  79. Iain Clements says:

    Hi there

    Thanks for the great article, I’ve just embarked on my first KDP select promotion and was wondering “what next” and this article answered that query nicely.



    1. Tristan King says:

      Glad to hear it Iain – thanks for letting us know and best of luck =)

  80. Ken Shaw says:


    Re: Love for Sale; Diaries of an International Dating Agency

    I took your advice and I got 259 downloads from zero in the previous week! Then it went back to zero!

    Funny thing is the folks who have read it tell me they were splitting their sides laughing…

    Anyway, we plod on eh? If you’d like to check out the free download it’s at:



    1. Tristan says:

      Glad to hear you got some traction 🙂 keep at it!

  81. Michael H. says:

    Great stuff here! Just wanted to add a word of warning (that I learned the hard way today): If you edit your book after your free period (or anytime, I suppose), you will lose your rankings in all categories!

    My new release Kindle Gold: 7 Steps to eBook Success: was free for the past 3 days. I had close to 2,000 free downloads and I was #1 in one category and #3 in another. Great!

    But, after the free download period, I added in a bonus chapter that some customers were asking about. After my book was re-uploaded, ALL of my rankings went away.

    So now I’m back at no-rank; gonna have to try and work my way back up again…..learn from my mistakes!

    1. Andy L says:

      Michael and all.

      Interesting note there about changing content and influence on sales.
      I noticed that if you change catagory mid promotion then you can suddenly lose ranking position (big time!)

      My next promo will be coming up in June, this time I won’t br touching any of the settings.

      Just an extra note, I saw an article earlier about setting up a Facebook fan page. I’m working on mine http://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/dispatchersspectral . It is a work in progress but any comments and suggestions welcome.

      I’m on twitter too, @doc_lamb
      Cheers gang

      1. Tristan King says:

        Hey Andy,
        Good to hear about extending your Amazon presence with your FB page. The photos of the physical book make it seem a bit more ‘real’ outside of the digital / Kindle universe!

        Good luck!
        – Tristan.

    2. Tristan King says:

      Hey Michael,
      Great to know. Thanks for sharing that – I wasn’t aware that updates would reset the rankings.

    3. AVRIL says:

      That happened to me too!! I went ahead and ran my KDP promo and announced it beforehand, as Jay suggested. I got to number 1 in my category, and like you Michael, made a change to tweak my price and BOOM….back down to umpteen thousand and one. I’ve still got 4 more promo days, so I’ll know for next time. I got 90 downloads, but that’s OK. I think I was a little too tentative. I’ll go hell for leather next time.

  82. Andy L says:

    Many thanks Tristan,
    It is a bit strange having the real thing here.
    I figured if I was going to have a stab at it then I may as well put the effort in. Even if it all fails, I have a physical copy.
    I’ll be interested to see what happens when I get to promo again, by then the physical book will be available. I’ll drop a note on here to say when the free promo has started.

    As I say feel free to add on twitter @doc_lamb and keep checking the fan page as I will be updating it with strategically teasing additional information.

    Cheers again for setting all this up.

  83. I have read these comments here with interest and have now tried to follow your advice, but I am not sure it worked out so well, so therefore I ask about an honest feedback. I have just published a Kindle with essays made from interviews with muslim women on equality. I had five days promotion and I had only 273 downloads. Well..this may be a special niche..I don’t maybe I shouldnt’ expect more.. what do you say here? The link to the kindle is:
    Cheers Anna

  84. This was a great idea, but what’s missing is a link to a site that lists all/most of the good sites for free/cheap advertising for your promo. I did a 5-day promo on NO GOOD LIKE IT IS at the end of November, after ads on about 20 sites; pushed it hard on Twitter, LinkedIn, and FB. I already had about 40 reviews up, and my Kindle sales/loans had averaged 31 per month for 2012. There were 6,776 free downloads , Nov 26-30, with most of them in the first three days. December had 473 paid downloads, Jan ’13 was 152, Feb was 78, Mar 50, and this month looks like 38 (last April was 23.) It does work. Mine is Western/Civil War Historical Fiction, so it’s a niche book too. Now I want to do two days free on my sequel, but I changed internet providers in December and lost all my files on advertising. Please-if you know some of the sites for free/cheap ads, share them. I think they really help.

    1. Andy L says:


      Awesome performance stats there. Very impressive.

      Which sites did you use and did you continue publicising your work post promotion?

      I have a promo period coming up in june so I would be very interested in learning more. Don’t worry, my genre of choice is supernatural thrillers.

      Cheers Andy
      Twitter : @doc_lamb

  85. Tisha Starr says:

    This is a great article. I’ve heard of people offering promotions but never knew it translated into book downloads. I am an HIV and youth activist in Chicago and I wrote my first book on the topic, here’s the link

    I would love for a few of you to critique it because like Sausi Sue- I haven’t had much luck in the download department. I took a lot of time with my book, did a book trailer and everything, (view here at ) Let me know if there is something more I can do to drive sales.

  86. Kathy Davis says:

    Hello everyone. I have read all of the comments here and found it to be very insightful. I joined KDP on August 12,2012 and immediately used the 5 day free promotion. I let everyone on my contact lists on my cellphone and FB know it would be Free. I had about 700 downloads during that Free Trial. After the trial ended I had about 20 sales, but I was excited to have any at all being an unknown author. But at that time my book was priced at $9.99. Once I looked at the specials on Amazon it seemed that most books except those by established authors were priced at $.99 to $2.99. I received about 7 reveiews and thought that was great, but the sales didn’t add up so I lowered the price to $2.99. Suddenly my book was ranked at #6, I had about 900 downloads and more international sales and downloads. I eventually re-edited my book and re-released 2 editions, a short-version which is 64 pages and a longer version which is 95 pages. I now have 11 reviews and many people who have emailed me, texted,tweeted and LinkedIn me stating they will be posting more reviews. I also changed the cover. I am currently in a Free trial with a steady download of about 600 per day from every country except Italy and whatever BR is. I have also had actual sales of the short-version while I’m in the free trial period for the long version. My books are titled
    “Shades of My Exotic Life in the Orient and Beyond”
    and “Life in the Orient and Beyond”
    I know the title is long but the feedback I am getting has been positive. Oh yes, initially my book was in a category that included the word “occult” and “religion which I was upset about, but because there is less competition in those areas my book was constantly rated higher. Now it is in the proper category of Romance, adult, thriller and inspite the increased number of downloads the books have never been rated higher than 600 in the Kindle store during the Free trial. I would love some constructive advice as to what I can do to increase my sales and I appreciate your input in this forum.

  87. Kira says:

    I love this article, very insightful. I have written 3 full novels over the last 2 years and am planning on publishing them on amazon soon, once I get over the nervous knots.. 🙂
    Anyway, I have a question. I write under different pen names. Would I have to open a new account for each name?

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Kira,
      Glad you enjoyed the article and great to hear you’re already a self-publishing expert =D

      In terms of pen names: I’m not sure about this. You could try pinging Amazon an email. I *imagine* you would need to open different accounts, as I’m not aware of a “Pen Name” function in Amazon’s control panel, but best to check with them.

    2. Mial Pagan says:


      I write the ‘Dermot O’Hara’ series of detective novels set in Ireland (the latest is ‘Banshee’ under the pen name Michael McDonnell. I have just one KDP account in my real name and that works fine in terms of admin, royalties etc. When you are filling in publication details put your pen name in the
      ‘Book contributors:’ section.

      Where I’m finding it an issue is that I’m now writing a novel about my time in the ad industry; this is in a very different genre and will be published under my own name, meaning I’ll have to promote it from scratch with no track record to rely on but it’s all good experience! Good luck with your novels and don’t worry about the nervous knots – we all get them!

      PS Tristan – many thanks for a useful article and forum.

  88. Tisha Starr says:

    Update, I am at the end of day 1 of a 72 hour promotion. I have 1000+ downloads already. However, my concern is I left the price at $5.99 prior to promotion & wondering if I will lose my spot on the Urban & Coming-of-Age chart if I try to drop the price after promo ends. I certainly wouldn’t want to, I’m number 1 on African American urban fiction.

  89. cotney rush says:

    I agree with you on enrolling with KDP. My cousin has a self book titled Ignite your life. It has been downloader 800,000 in just one day! But here again, its all about quality.

  90. Andrew Lamb says:

    Hi all,

    Just a quick update. I’ve been planning this promotional period for 2 months now. I’ve set up a facebook fan page ( contacted as many twitter based promo groups as possible and done a couple of interviews –

    Now we are actually into promo period – first 12 hours = globally 70 downloads (majority
    As I say, it is free right now so don’t miss out and download your own copy of Dispatchers Vengeance of the Dark from your local Amazon online store!

  91. Danielle says:

    Hi all,

    Some great advise in here! I have done two free promotions so far for my book The Malthus Conspiracy (, the first resulted in 1742 downloads, and the 2nd done over 3 days had over 3000 downloads and reached the top 50 in all free books. However it hasn’t generated many ongoing sales, only about 18 so far. How do you convert good free downloads to sales???

    Also, my novel is 510 pages long, and only $3.99, am I better off selling it as a series, and dividing into 3 parts, (the book is split into 3 parts but the first two parts dont have ‘endings’)

    Please advise.


    Danielle Uidam

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Danielle,
      Glad you liked the article. Good numbers on the downloads! Couple of things:
      – If you can convert some of those free downloads into reviews, that will likely help your sales (e.g. if you can contact some of the readers, if you know who they are).
      – You might consider having links in your book pointing to a website or blog, where you can capture email addresses and make deeper contact with your readers, if you haven’t done that already. This can turn into further sales as well.

      In terms of length – I’ve no idea from a publisher’s point of view, but from a reader’s perspective, personally, I’d split it up rather than having a 510 page book 😉

      Best of luck!

  92. Thanks for your advice. I’d put my book very low – on the priciple that sell more, then bring the price up as it becomes more popular, but no-one has found it yet, so I think I’ll bump the price up then put it on the free download track. Any recommendations would be welcome. My website is
    Janice in Auckland

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Janice – glad to hear about your plans! Best of luck with it =)

  93. angela says:

    Hi Tristan,

    I started my book before reading Amazon’s formatting guidelines and now I’m having a miserable time trying to get it right before uploading it to Amazon. Can you give me any pointers as to the best way to format it through Microsoft word? I’m confused as to the required spacing between each paragraph and whether or not I should indent the first line in each paragraph or not. On the kdp site, it says that indents will be added automatically, so I’m guessing I don’t need to do it but just want to be sure.

    Also, as I was writing my draft I added a line of dashes to separate each section. This created one solid black line that I cannot get rid of! Do have any idea how to get rid of this?

    Any help would be really, really helpful!


    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Angela,

      Oh, the joys of formatting for Kindle! Sorry to hear it’s been a pain. Here are two good reference points (I don’t remember off the top of my head, since it’s been a while since I formatted my books):

      Amazon’s formatting guide:

      Smashwords’ formatting guide (not 100% the same for Amazon, but I found Smashwords’ guide to be much more comprehensive):

      Good luck!

    2. scott says:

      Kindle publishing pro is what you can use. It’s a easy to use software that makes it easy for you. I got it cheap last year. I admit i haven’t used it yet.
      I still working on my first book – I’m a slow writer. and it’s my first.
      So far I’m about 230 pages done and I’m aiming to about 300 pages mark.
      hope this helps.


  94. J. Lynnes says:

    Very interesting article!
    I’ve just published my first amazon ebook, Fairy Tales for Bad Girls (pub website is and have had similar experiences. I think my Nook sales are literally 1. I’ve been dubious about giving it away for free, though!

    I’m considering releasing one of the stories as a separate piece and giving that away for free. Have you tried anything like that? Obviously, you have an active blog community, so that may end up being kind of the same thing!

    If you see a free story pretty soon, you’ve convinced me!


    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi J,

      Glad to hear you’ve released it to the world. Great work =)

      I did release a couple of snippets on the blog – chapter excerpts from time-to-time, and also the table of contents and sample chapter.

      I’ve also seen people like Tim Ferriss release snippets of a book to great success on the blog. Definitely worth a shot!

      Good luck,

  95. Sarah Rielle says:

    Thank you Tristan and everyone else for your advice and experience of KDP Select.

    I have been avoiding it since last September when I published my first novel (“Cake or Death” ) as I felt it was good to be open to other e-readers. However, sales on Smashwords are a small percentage of my sales…you might just have me convinced. I think I am going to unpublish from SW, join Select and have a free promotion 🙂

    Thanks again for sharing your experience.

    Wishing you soaring sales!


    1. Tristan King says:

      Nice one Sarah. Love to hear how it goes and good luck 😉

  96. Donna Cole says:

    Hi Tristan,
    Is this only available for self published authors? My book, “Grace Trumps Guilt,”( is for sale on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle, yet it was placed there by my publisher and I don’t control the page or site. It is also available for sale on Barnes and Nobles, and Warren Publishing.
    I am a bit disappointed with the lack of exposure and only a handful of reviews. Thanking you in advance for your time and advice. Please feel free to visit my website at http:/
    Warm Regards,

    1. Tristan says:

      Hi Donna,
      Understandable. To be honest, I don’t think I’m really qualified to answer this 😉

      I’m only familiar with KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), which I believe is only for self-published authors. Perhaps this could be a question for your publisher? Maybe there’s a way to do both…

      Hope you can find a way!
      – Tristan.

  97. L.M.Moore says:

    Hi Tristan,

    I’m a newly published indie author on KDP, not select. I’m an active member of the communities at author central. And I was told that select just isn’t the way to go unless you’re a series writer. But after reading all of this, I wonder if I’ve been miss informed. And I’m just not selling right now. I’m almost done with book two and I’m considering Select as an option for book one. I write sci-fi and I’m wondering if my genre is best for Select or not. Maybe there is something else wrong with my book? Thanks for taking a peek if you have the time. I loved any advise at this point. Do you think I should wait until book two is complete to put in Select?

  98. neena maiya says:

    Thank you so very much for this!

    I’ve been fumbling around the Internet, trying to learn how to self-publish and promote.

    Now, it’s going to be easy because of generous people like you.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Glad you liked it Neena!

  99. Hello Tristan, Thanks for the great article. I just recently helped my dad publish his book, “The Jäger Journal” to Amazon. We built a small website to help with the promotion, Do you have any thoughts about how to run “a ground game”, i.e. real life promotions? We were thinking of handing out bookmarks with a QR code linking to the website. Curious to know how else folks promote kindle books in person.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Brad,
      Glad you liked the article and happy to hear about your publishing adventures.

      To be honest, I don’t really feel qualified to answer that =) I haven’t done any ground-game promotions, other than telling people about the book. There are some good other suggestions in the comments on this post – perhaps they can help. If I hear about any good tactics later, I’ll let you know. Best of luck!

  100. This used to be the key, but not anymore, because Amazon changed the weight a free book has in the ranking algorithm. It only works in the most popular genres (thrillers & mystery do well in fiction) and if the book has a decent base rates of sales to start with. I would be surprised if it worked for a brand new fiction book anymore because though the ratings peak while free, they plummet as soon as the freebie is over, so the follow on sales are virtually non-existent.
    There is also a glut of free books so the word free does not have the same pull it once did. Kindle -owners have folders overflowing with free books, but my research indicates that few of them ever read them, which is why people don’t get more reviews after a free promo, and many see few follow on sales into other books.
    Even those who previously established themselves on the back of such promos are seeing less results for their giveways. Apparently you need 5,000 or more downloads to make it have a follow on effect.
    I have so many FREE FREE FREE screaming adds come through on my Fb wall that I unfollow, leave groups and turn off notifications. I’m not the only one. The latest word is that for most people free is dead. Personally, I’d rather read a good book than a free one & though free doesn’t necessarily mean bad, a lot of them are! Readers are getting savy.

  101. Becky Monson says:

    Hello – really enjoyed your article, thanks for the advice! Soooooo, I put my book up on Amazon today for free. My downloads as of 8:30 this evening: 29,614. I am currently #1 in my catagories (Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction) and am ranked #2 over all. Holy cow… my question is – really I just need your opinion – Should I keep up with the momentum? I have the free downloads set up until Tuesday… should I stop it? I’m really excited about all of the downloads! But freaking out a little too. I hope it means sales!
    Here’s the link:

    1. klmiller-mckinnon says:

      What a GREAT title…
      Wishing you continued (29,614?? WoooHOOOO!) and terrific success.
      I’d be interested to know the “rest of the story”; it’s now October, how are things going?
      Kerrie L. Miller-McKinnon
      Interrogating the Dead: Creative Research for Writers
      Facets of a Murder: Mayhem and Misery Bay (coming soon to Kindle)

  102. Paula McBride says:

    Brilliant article on how to use the KDP Select programme. I too have used it with many of my children’s ebooks. ‘Hairy, Scary Spider?’ and ‘Pipsy the Penguin’ have become best-sellers in their genre, as did ‘Football is Fantastic!’ in it’s genre.
    You’ve got nothing to lose, and do follow the tips from this article – they explain it so well.
    Good luck!

    1. Tristan King says:

      Thanks Paula – glad you liked the article and good to hear about your success =)

  103. Scarlett Dupree says:

    Awesome article! I took your advice and my book ‘Beauty and the Bad Boy’ is already in the charts and in amazon best seller list. I really do recommend doing promotions but you do need a tool to let the public know. Thoroughly recommend twitter 🙂 Brilliant article and wish everyone the best. You really can do it! Just put the effort in 🙂

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Scarlett,
      Yeah! Well done. Great to hear about the success and good luck with it =)

  104. S.M.Cole says:

    Brilliant run down of your experiences. Appreciate you taking the time to help others.

  105. Steve says:

    I went to the link for uploading a book and it said “Upload to Kindle” I thought that this article was about the great sales on Amazon. Are Kindle and Amazon one and the same?

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Steve,
      Kindle is Amazon’s publishing platform. In other words: Amazon is a massive giant, selling almost anything you can think of.

      The Kindle is a hard-goods product, their e-reader. The Kindle *Program* which I’m discussing in this article, is Amazon’s program which allows self-published authors to get their book onto the Kindle device & system, so people can download it.

      Cheers! Tristan.

  106. Mark says:

    Real life experience is always the best. Thank you for sharing. I have followed every step of your advice and removed my book from Smashwords and enrolled in KDP select. I will post progress and share my experience if folk are interested.

    Thanks again.
    Mark Right

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Mark,
      Glad to hear you’re working hard on it. Best of luck and look forward to hearing how it goes 🙂

  107. Hi Tristan,
    Great article. Thank you. I have 12 ebooks on kindle and this my first KDP select experiment with a free book. The 5 day period has almost expired with over 300 free .com downloads and over 60 downloads. I wait with baited breath to see if people buy when the freeby time expires. I plan to trickle my other 11 books on the free book plan and will use your smart price of $7.99!
    Will keep your readers posted.
    My book: Flat belly secrets at
    best regards ,
    Graeme Lanham

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Graeme,

      Great to hear about that. You’ve been busy, publishing 12 books, wow! Hope it goes well and look forward to hearing about it =)

  108. Hi Tristan! Excellent article! Very informative and helpful! I’m about to do my own promotion on my novel, and this may seem like a silly question, but I’m going to ask anyway. I enrolled my book for the dates 8/16/13-8/20/13…will I need to go in and manually change the price to “$0” myself, or does Kindle automatically do this on the dates you set?

    Thank you, and thank you for sharing your experience!


    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Stehpanie,

      Good work on the launch. Kindle / Amazon will do that for you. You don’t need to change it to $0. =)

      Good luck!

  109. Ramz Artso says:

    So, if I am to price my e-book at 1.99 or 0.99, Kindle gets to keep 70% of the royalties? Did I get this right?

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Ramz – correct. If you price it between $2-$9.99, you’ll get to keep 70%, and Amazon only keeps 30%.

  110. Richard says:

    I’m so happy today. My first kindle book published on “Amazon Kindle Bookstore” now. Than, I need the next step info to boost / increase my sales, and I found this post at google.

    My quick ask is:
    Can I offer my kindle book for free for limited time and increase the price after the end of promotion time’s?

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Richard,
      Good work on getting it out there! Yes – you can offer it for free, then change the price as needed, through your KDP dashboard.
      – Tristan.

  111. Lynn West says:

    This is a very helpful article and the benefits of placing your book in Amazon KDP However, you can get a lot more downloads if you submit your book to the book promotion sites that will promote it for free. Here is a good list of them

  112. Anthony says:

    Question: After launching the book through KDP, can you follow it up with a rerelease through iTunes & B&N? How long is the exclusivity period for?

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Anthony, I believe it’s 90 days. Best to check their terms.

  113. Great article. Thanks for the advice!
    I enrolled in KDP Select, making my book free for two days.
    At the end of the 24 hour period, my book had been downloaded 508 times
    Amazon Best Sellers Rank #587 Free in Kindle Store
    #2 Budgeting
    #3 Parodies

    “I Think My Dog Ate My Coupons”
    Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings! :))
    Thank you.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Great work Steven!

  114. Graeme says:


    I enjoyed your article.

    I’m wondering how you handled copyright issues before releasing your book on Kindle.

    How is your book doing today?



    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Graeme,
      Glad you liked the article. There weren’t many copyright issues for my book, as it was mostly based on personal experience. I did include one footnote attribution for a name I linked to, and I purchased the front cover image, which gave me a license of up to 499,999 copies. I still have a ways to go before I need to get a new license for it 😉

      Today it’s going slowly but surely, ticking along.

  115. Tristan,

    Wow! Thanks so much for a wonderful article. I read it just prior to releasing my Kindle book, Nicole Benson. I’ve had nearly 150 downloads my first day! I’m stoked and can’t wait to experiment with it. Thanks again for the great info!


    1. Tristan King says:

      Good work! Keep it up and best of luck 🙂

  116. Cheryl Head says:

    Thanks. Logical, easy to follow advice and affirms what I’ve been trying to do (maybe that’s why I think this post is so good). Keep up the good work and continued success.


    1. Tristan King says:

      Glad to hear it Cheryl, best of luck!
      – Tristan.

  117. Soledad Steele says:

    Another website to promote your book,

    My book is this week’s feature book and I’ve had more sales on Amazon.

  118. Leonie Milne says:

    Tristan, wow. I am impressed at your statistics. I, like a few here, have just put my first book up on Amazon. Being a woman I found it scarier than I could have believed. You say you took 9 months to get to the publish button well how about 30 years? I know, I know, but my life has been so busy and I was lucky my personal publisher Brian did everything you did and that was why our results are better than we expected. Great reading others like yourself find this a little difficult but exciting too. I think my nest book will go easier now.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Leonie,

      Thanks for the kind words! I’m sure there are plenty with more impressive statistics than mine, but it’s a good start 😉 Congratulations on getting your book out there!
      Best of luck,

  119. cotney says:

    Great article, my friend took your advice and sold over 700 copies in four days. Her book is After the storms by Rauzet moustache. thanks you for the information 🙂

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Cotney,
      Woohoo! 700 copies! That is great. Well done and glad you liked the article. Best of luck!

  120. Thanks so much for the advice, Tristan! I published my first ebook about three weeks ago and sold about 20 copies. I posted it for free on KDP one day ago and have had nearly 300 downloads thus far! Hopefully, the trend will continue when it goes back to $3.99. Thanks again.

    Lorraine Santoli

    “The 10 Secrets to Organizing a Nonfiction Book”

  121. Andy Lamb says:

    Hi all,
    Thought I might quickly update on recent experiments using social media to spread awareness about my novel. All in all, I have had some additional sales, nothing mega. Am more concerned with getting the follow-up novels sorted out (otherwise I am going to end up losing my current fan base!).
    All in all, I’ve found Facebook to be a near limitless resource. It is a fantastic way to connect with new readers – fundamentally from groups who are interested in my book’s subject matter (paranormal, astral projection, science fiction). It is also a great place to get new ideas and network with fantastic cover artists, editors, promoters, etc.
    Running the FB group page also tells me how many people have seen my various status updates. Although only 78 have liked my page, I know that several hundred have seen various updates.
    Amazon’s “Meet the Author” forum is largely a misused tool. There are people on there who are genuinely trying to help other authors with advice and even the opportunity to have their books listed. However, I have found the majority of people are using the forum to promote their novels with frankly underwhelming ads (and they wonder why their books are not selling). They are actually trying to convince other authors to buy their books. “Meet the Authors” is still a good place to network but not a great place to sell.
    Twitter is an excellent way of spreading the word also. I’ve written a sizable blog on how one should use twitter (ironically it is a long blog). The full blog can be read at …
    Am looking into keyword usage and categories, I’ll report back at the end of that experiment.
    Cheers again Tristan,
    Twitter: @doc_lamb
    FB page:
    Universal Book Link:

  122. Hi Tristan – fabulous article – I’m so glad I found it. I’m about to push the publish button on my book on Apostrophes (“The Agony of Apostrophes”) which is my first ever book. How long should I wait before offering it on promotion as a free download? I’ve always been a bit suspicious of free books thinking that they’re not very good. Should I offer it free straight away? Grateful for any advice.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Sylvia,
      Congratulations! You must be excited 🙂 Great work on getting it out there.

      Boring disclaimer: Your mileage may vary.. but to be honest, I would put it up for a promo straight away. Even just for one, day, then split out the other days. The reason is: The faster you get it into *some* peoples’ hands, the more cross-promotion, features, “People who bought this” etc will come to your book. There’s no time like the present 😉

      Good luck!

  123. Jake Poinier says:

    Tristan, this gave me a much-needed boost in morale *and* traffic–thank you. Halfway through my first freebee day, I’m quite pleased, and I’m already plotting how to experiment with the final 4 days. Thank you VERY much!

    Jake Poinier

    “Help! My Freelancers Are Driving Me Crazy: 12 Keys to Driving Loyalty and Results from Your Creative Workforce”
    Twitter: @drfreelance

  124. Pratish says:

    Hi Tristan – I was wondering if you know of a way you can give free books on Kindle using a specific (one-use) coupon. I’m looking for a mechanism to deliver books to potential reviewers for free (obviously I don’t expect them to pay for the book!)

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Pratish — you could send them the file manually via email if they’re friends. Other than the ‘freebie days’ as listed in the article, I’m not sure of a way to give them away for free with a coupon or similar. Best to check with Amazon on that. Sorry I couldn’t help further!

  125. Hi Tristin,

    Nice article! I have a few Kindle Books on Amazon and am wondering if you know how I can check the numbers that have been downloaded for free on amazon prime ? I figure they must be getting downloaded because a couple on my books are in the top 100 in a couple of different categories. Appreciate any insight that you may have on this.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Kris — I think these are the ones listed as “Borrows” (or it might be “Lent”) in your Amazon KDP account. There’s a specific column for it, next to sales, from memory.

      I think that’s the one you need 🙂
      Hope it helps!

  126. Hi Tristan,

    I am going to try your advice. I have had my book on Amazon for 2 months and have not tried the free promotion. I also have a book on language/living abroad. Can you recommend some discovery words/ hash tags that you used?

    Thank you

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Andrea,
      Glad you’re diving in! I used Google Trends to identify the most-searched-for languages, and used that in my keywords. You could try the same for your niche.

  127. Warren says:

    That was a marvelous read! Thank you. I shall be uploading my books in the coming weeks.

    P.S. Under the heading ‘The Wrap Up’ you’ve spelt I’m as Iím. Tut tut Mr Writer 😉

  128. Very helpful, I have been worried the free option would canabalise sales but the truth it seems is it only multiplies exponentially exposure and therefore revenue in the long run. Thanks for sharing.

  129. Cornelius Dav says:

    Thanks for your wonderful article here, is pretty good. i enrolled my first eBook on Amazon’s KDP Select Program 27 September, 2013, Tristan King, how do i see my eBook is been borrowing by free readers under the programme? e.g how many copies that had been downloaded by readers.

    Thank you

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Dav,
      Nice to see you getting into the publishing game. You can see this in your Amazon Dashboard under Free Borrows.

      1. Thanks Tristan, you are the best. i enrolled my first eBook on Amazon’s KDP Select Program and 2 other in normal kindle publishing 27 September, 2013. They have not posted any info on my Dashboard. Please, as an experienced personnel in this field; like my eBook appear live on the 27 September, this is October 26; when will it suppose to appear on Dashboard?

        More Blessing
        Cornelius Dav

  130. Thanks Tristan, you are the best. i enrolled my first eBook on Amazon’s KDP Select Program and 2 other in normal kindle publishing 27 September, 2013. They have not posted any info on my Dashboard. Please, as an experienced personnel in this field; like my eBook appear live on the 27 September, this is October 26; when will it suppose to appear on Dashboard?

    More Blessing
    Cornelius Dav

  131. Andy Lamb says:

    I didn’t think you could enrol your book on kdp select and any other ebook publishing.

  132. Thanks Tristan for your helpful attitude …… grateful Boss, keep it up.

    Cornelius Dav

  133. Stan Arnold says:

    Hi Tristan
    I’ve just finished writing three funny, thriller-type novels which work individually, but also form a trilogy. Fortunately, I followed your advice, before I read your excellent article! So it was quite a relief to find I hadn’t screwed up! I only have book 1 on KDP Select. The idea is to get coverage for that book and, see if that results in sales for books 2 and 3. At the moment, I am building up reviews from people who have bought the first book (some I know, and some I don’t) so that when I have my first KDP Select free day, people can see that readers found it funny/ good read etc etc. If book 1 is a success, I’ll enrol books 2 and 3 on KDP Select. Does that sound like a reasonable plan?
    Thanks again for a great article.
    Stan Arnold

  134. Nauris says:


    I had totally different experience with KDP free promotion. My book was #1 in two categories (marriage and divorce) during the free promo. As soon as promotion was over my book was kicked down to #179!!! Can you explain it?
    Thanks in advance,

  135. Alan says:

    Hi there Tristan and all your followers
    I’m brand new to this whole reading/publishing game. Your article was a great help in steering me in the right direction. After day one I had 100 free downloads and as of now, day 2, I have 170. With three days to go I’m hoping to break 300 total. I have noticed a major slowdown though after a blistering fast start. Any suggestions?
    Anyhow, thanks again for the article and sure I might as well give my book a mention while im here – The Hibernia Strain 🙂

    1. Alan says:

      just to update… the 5 days of free promotion are over and i just limped over the 300 mark with 309 downloads

  136. Danielle Jolly-Corbin says:

    I took all of your advice, and as terrified as I am about rejection, I went live on Amazon this morning. It’s official, I’ve gone worldwide. As of this morning, my first volume of poetry is available on Amazon for all Kindle formats. A Mustard Seed Of Poetry is available worldwide for all to enjoy. After years of hard work and dedication, my writing has gone that extra mile. Please take the time to download it to your mobile device, you won’t be disappointed. Above all else, enjoy. Thank you all for your good advice, lets hope I’m successful.

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hi Danielle, well done on getting it out there 🙂 Best of luck!

  137. Ter Scott says:

    This is great stuff; thanks. I have several books up on Kindle now. Question: How long does the “exclusivity” have to be when using KDP? Just those 14 days or whatever it is; or during the promotion times? And I usually don’t “sell” on my site but I use my site page to direct visitors who land on my page to the Kindle store to buy from there. Your answers and comments?

    1. Tristan King says:

      Hey Ter! Not quite sure on the exclusivity times to be honest. Best to check with Amazon for that. As long as your readers are interested in what you have to point them to, I don’t see anything wrong at all with pointing to your amazon page.

  138. Kenneth Horowitz says:

    I am so grateful to you and everyone out there who take the time to give advice and share their experiences with other writers. I put my first book on KDP Select a week and a half ago and have rode a roller coaster of emotions. It was probably the most joyful experience of my life creating my story. I felt happy and in such great spirits as the book took shape. Yet after finishing the writing and editing process, it was time to throw it out to the world and hope it gets caught by others. I feel encouraged by your strategies and outlook. Plus, the comments I have seen following the article has also made me feel less isolated in my endeavor, and more apart of a large community. I now feel connected to others who love to tell stories and write as I do. Again I am thankful for all that take the time to share their struggles and their triumphs. Here is a link to my book for all that are interested. And feedback from any direction is highly valued!!!

  139. Hephzibah says:

    Hi King, your article came in handy. I just published my book on KDP. Without promotion I made a sale. Waiting patiently to see what the outcome of the promotions will be.

  140. Karma Gurung says:

    Just a few hours ago, I published the kindle version of my book, Climbing Beyond Crystal Mountain. It is on review right now, kindle says. So, I am thinking of giving it a day or two as a chance to stand on its own. If it does not being any attention by its own, I am thinking of doing the kindle select. Your advice if very valuable. Thank you for sharing with us!

  141. James Flynn says:

    Hi Tristan

    I read this article back in October when I self published my first crime thriller The Fox and The Thistle ( ) and on the strength of your argument I signed up for KDP Select and used for a single day and got a couple of hundred downloads so that ensured its initial ranking in the kindle results. I haven’t used any of my other four days up until now but have today have scheduled the remaining 4 for the first 4 days in the new year. I have heard a lot about doing two or three days consecutively to really get momentum so am trying that out and I will report back.

    My book seems to be doing Ok sales wise but not massive, the Nov total was about 75 and Dec is looking like breaking 100 – with very little promotion. My main tactic so far is to optimise the keywords for the book and get a little bit of social sharing going but I believe if you really want to sell loads of books you need to market it and focus on doing a couple of things really well rather than loads of things really poorly, especially if you are like me and have a day job that takes up all your time.

    Two things I am going to try in the new year to get general non Amazon traffic are using and Google Hangouts. Slideshare seems to rank for certain keywords VERY Fast and may be a great way to get your book found on the big G. The concept is to make a visually appealing PowerPoint sideshow that showcases your book – kind of like a film trailer and then Slideshare and google will do the rest (I do this in my day job and its very effective). Google hangouts video chats – again these rank on Google very quickly. Get a few friends together who read your book and discuss it, kind of like a book club – even better get other authors and do a round robin, anyone want to join me in that?. Ensure your book link is in there and you are using the top target keywords in conversation – hangouts actually transcribes the words and uses it to work out what the video is about and to rank it in search results.

    Hope the above helps and thanks again for your article Tristan.

    James Flynn
    The Fox and The Thistle

  142. Thank you Tristan,
    I am completely new to e- publishing, and your article was so helpful from the marketing/publicity angle. I loved writing my book, but marketing isn’t my strong point, so thank you for all the advice, and good luck with your book!
    Sylvia, author of Angel From the Streets

  143. S. Aksah says:

    Thanks for the tips. I’m looking to publish my little book soon once the edit process is done in a few weeks. It is just 12,000 words. Do you think its reasonable to have the free period say for 3 days for a pricing of USD2.99? Or is that a tad expensive?

  144. Marty Christopher says:

    Nice, it was always cool to read the comments here and see the progress. I’ve just put a book up called Crystal Bella…”A Goth rebellious student finds the ultimate truth when he discovers a portal to another world.”

    It was a film script I wrote and I have converted it into a book. This is my link (If you don’t mind me saying :))

    I’ll keep you posted how it goes…if you like. It does rock, it’s unique…xx

    Thanks, Marty

    1. Marty Christopher says:

      Hi Tristan,

      Thanks for you great article. It was very helpful, and it is always good to get some guidance when branching into something new.

      My book “Crystal Bella” was up for four days free under the KDP select programme and I had 354 downloads in that time. One step at a time, and this was a nice first one. I have a good feeling about it, though I also have to be patient and be in the moment. I’ll pop back here in a week or so and state the progress. Sweet as 🙂 Marty

  145. Shondreka Palmer says:

    Hi Tristan! Great article! Congrats on the success of your book! I’m getting the hang of e-publishing and tried your tips out with my book “Independently Raising a Man” and moving in an upward direction! Looking forward to contiued learning and growth!

  146. Ralph Reels says:

    Haven’t published yet, waiting on my editor. Thanks for all the info of KDP. If you have any more pointers, please share.

  147. Leslie says:

    Trying to sell erotica and nothing’s working. My promos work, 500 free downloads in two days. Not one sale. Thanks for the article it was informative.

  148. Great article on understanding ranking and promotions.
    Just released my book, “So He Hurt You, Now What ? – Messages of Hurt for a Hurting Sister” last week. Thanks again for sharing 🙂

  149. Ashlee Cree says:

    This was a great article

    If I may make one addition. I have used the following site for my ecovers:

    The covers are really good. There are so many talented designers on there
    And only costs $5, but dont let the low price scare you away from trying it out


  150. Terry says:

    Hi Tristan,

    Great article thank you. I am currently formatting my book ready for kindle. It is a pretty large fantasy story and I was wondering whether it might be best to split into two parts and let the first part be continually free on Kindle, what do you think?

    Kind regs


    1. Andy Lamb says:

      Hi Terry,

      Good luck with your fantasy. Although there are examples of novels which have been divided and portions on perpetual giveaway, I.e. The Island by Michael Stark – a rather successful example, it really comes down to your novel. Does it work as a two parter? Is there a enough detail in the first part and a gripping cliffhanger to get people to read the second part? Is it in a position where you can split it into two parts?

      The beauty of indie is that you can have a go and if it works great, if not you can try another approach.

      what is your novel about?

      Best of luck

  151. Rich says:

    Any ideas on publishing outside of the U.S. Im based in Thailand and wandering if you can use amazon global with KDP direct and any policies regarding tax and payment. Its easy to set up paypal here but logistics and laws are a different matter.
    Thanks for the useful info….

    1. Hi Rich, I’m an author living in Thailand. Can you be a bit more specific with your question so I can help you out please.

  152. John Kuypers says:

    Thank you for an excellent posting. I appreciate how you shared the details of your results and the experiences you gained. As an author on Kindle myself, marketing is our number one challenge! You’ve made a difference and I pray your work will be rewarded! Ciao!

  153. Robin says:

    Getting reviews for your amazon books can be hard but they really do help sell your books on the marketplace. If you need an honest review in less then 24hrs of your book I can do that for you :).

  154. Tiki says:

    This is a wonderful technique, thank you!
    I had 900 downloads between two books, in just a few days, I was ecstatic! In just a few days one of my ebooks was on page 2 for search terms pertinent to the book!
    But the minute the free promotion ended no one bought the book. I am dumbfounded why. I have one negative review from some grumpy person, it seems he is ruining my e-book sales. I don’t know how to find reviews, this book had about 650 downloads (during the free promotion) but not one of them left a review.

    1. Peter says:

      I find that most people cannot be bothered to review books, even when they have enjoyed them. I don’t know what the subject of your book is, but why not offer it to friends, and others, asking them to give it a favourable review? I did this by looking at reviewers of similar books to my own. I picked one which had given an unfavourable review to a book I considered very poor, contacted the reviewer and sent a copy via e-mail. As it happened, I had contacted a professional proof-reader and editor, who kindly pointed out some proof-reading problems, read my book and gave it an honest review and 4 stars.

    2. Damion Monaghan says:

      What you should do is two things, firstly get the book edited. Secondly put a call to action right at the end prompting your readers to review your book.

  155. Enki Ruthven says:

    I have published my first eBook on KDP “Advance to Ataraxia” on 18 March2014. So far only one were sold, no reviews. Could you suggest some forums where I can promote this book?
    Regards and thanks for useful info

  156. Gordon says:

    Tremendous issues here. I am very glpad to peer your article.
    Thanks a lot and I am looking forward to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?

  157. Madge Williams says:

    Just want to that was great information that you shared. My book is already on Amazon in book form and on Kindle and I have not had a single sale. To me it is very discouraging but I trust that things would be better. Thanks again.

  158. Andy Lamb says:

    Hi All,

    I’ve happened upon an interesting little tool to keep track of your links (how often they’ve been clicked and roughly where) produces a shortened URL and keeps track of how often it has been clicked.

    Really very useful if you have been running any specific promotions – you’ll be able to tell how successful they have been in terms of getting your message across.

  159. Sue Edwards says:

    Thanks for an interesting article. Having sold a small amount (300) paperbacks nearly 4 years ago I’ve just revised my book with a smart new cover & uploaded it to Kindle. And now I promote and wait! Im not expecting miracles. Time will tell.

  160. Andy Lamb says:

    Hi all,

    One very good way of getting your name around is to do as many interviews as possible, especially if the topic is related to your book.

    Here’s today’s edition of the Spectral Times, a free downloadable Paranormal magazine. I’ve got an interview in there on page 18. Here’s the Link


  161. Clive says:

    Hi. Great article.
    Does exclusive to amazon also forbid paper copies?

    1. From what I read yesterday, it’s digital format only where Kindle wants exclusivity during the first 90 days.

  162. kimberley says:

    Great story and advice with regards to your success in publishing for Kindle through Amazon…Cheers!

  163. Angela Reuss says:

    This is great info for new authors like me. Thank you!

  164. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what does happen. I had 110 free downloads on the first day, 45 on the second & my book was charting at No 1 in both its categories. Just hours after the promotion ended it was nowhere.

  165. Abby says:

    I am hearing more negative results from the KDP 90-day giveaway than positive. Sounds to me like you are cutting yourself off at the legs in doing this. Have you ever thought that those hundreds of free downloads could have resulted in actual sales? To illustrate; I love a particular writer and was waiting for her next novel to come down in price. Even her eBooks were around $6.99. I was about to buy it anyway, when I saw it was being offered for .99cents. I immediately bought at that price. Had it not been reduced, I was going to buy it anyway. The author just lost out on $6.00 by reducing it. Most people buy books in rotation. In other words, they buy 5-10 books, read them, and then buy another group. If your book’s sales are slow, just be patient. As I said, people buy books in rotation and your book might be next in that rotation. But if you give it away for free, you’ve lost those potential sales. As an author myself, the only way I would personally do the KDP free giveaway, is if I had a series and was giving away that first book of the series. Then I could see doing it to get readers interested, which could result in sales for the rest of the series.
    Just my two cents.

  166. Amy says:

    Thanks for this great post Sean!
    To enrich the marketing strategies for authors, in addition to what it is mentioned here, I’d like to include the following which I could test with good results:

    1. Take advantage of the launch of a new site to give your work a shock of publicity tools and also obtain honest reviews on the platform where you have published your books. The platform has a paid membership but they are offering free memberships for a limited time. I can’t guarantee that they’ll still be available so you should try to take advantage while it lasts.
    2. Fill in your author information on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc. It’s really important that we connect to the reader, especially when they don’t know us.
    3. Regularly edit and improve the description of your book on those online stores. The description doesn’t just tell what your book is about IT’S ALSO THE READER’S FIRST IMPRESSION. A reader judges your writing based on your description. It’s important not only to inform the reader, you have to seduce them.
    4. Create visual support for your book through a website so that when you post on social media you have a visual connection. If you can’t afford the investment in a professional web page, create a blog. There are tons of tutorials.

    Well friends, that’s my mini summary of what I have experienced first-hand.
    I’m already putting it into practice daily with my book and I’m seeing my sales increase daily.

    Stay well,

    1. Peter says:

      Sound advice.


  167. Susie Mander says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m looking at running my first give away and found this useful. I’m also hearing a lot of negative results re the select program but am willing to give it a go.

  168. Alex says:

    Excellent article. I found that Amazon Kindle market is getting really crowded these days (there are more than 2,7 million titles). The guys from K-lytics did an excellent 10-minutes video on the Kindle market: in case anyone is interested. Definitely worth seeing before publishing the x-thousandth Paleo Cookbook 😉

    1. John says:

      Interesting. Just watched it. These guys provide great Kindle market insight.

  169. Steven says:

    This is a really good article thank you for taking the time to write it Sean. I was going to publish my book via Amazon’s KDP scheme – but I decided not to. A few reasons why this came about…

    1) If you don’t get your tax details right and fill in the correct forms Amazon can withhold 30% if your a non US citizen.

    2) The KDP publishing set up doesn’t allow you to have your book on other platforms such as ibookstore, Barnes & Noble, Google etc.

    I decided on publishing with another company located in where you are living now Sean(Thailand). You get the choice of platforms for your book to appear on and they pay monthly via pay pal. Actually for me this is more convenient than dealing with Amazon. If you’re interested just click my name to see.

    Anyways, great post and Khopkun maak!

  170. I published my book via KDP select and it’s not really sold much at all. I think the advice to give it for free for a little bit might be useful. I might try that and see if it helps my sales. I don’t really want to make much money from it, but I’d like people to read it. I didn’t write it to just sit on a shelf.

    1. Crazy Eyes says:

      “I don’t really want to make much money from it”–Maria Moldovan.

      Maria, you don’t WANT to make much money from it, or you don’t think you CAN make much money from it, so the thought of earning money is secondary?

  171. Wow EXCELLENT blog post on how to increase kindle sales. I started my Kindle Publishing career in June making $60 that month. I did not let that discourage me so I continued to learn and grow my “book inventory”. In the month of August I was able to generate alittle over $500+ from 14 good selling Kindle Books. Last month (September 2014) I gotten real lazy and basically slacked off doing nothing for my kindle business and guess what? Was still able to make $482 that month despite me slacking off.

    The income I’ve claimed to earn can be found on my website so that way people know that I am telling the truth about the little success I been having on Kindle. ANYONE can make money Kindle if there willing to put the work in.

    Again, thanks for the article!

  172. Dave says:

    I really haven’t noticed any uptick in sales post free days. I think it’s due to the free & paid ranking system being completely separate now.

    But, I have noticed my sales increasing by a few sales here and there for one of my books. It’s not a lot of course, but it is something. The other books still fairing the same and they’ve all had their run in a recent free campaign.

  173. Steven says:

    If this used to work, it no longer does. I’ve done 10 or so free promos and have noticed a rise in sales sometimes, but only by 1 or 2 books a week. And sometimes no rise at all. And sometimes a decrease.

  174. alison says:

    I would have to agree with you- the day of promoting free books is pretty out-dated now. It use to work but not so much any more. Instead the trend is towardss using subscription services like which Amazon uses to help you find readers for your book.

    1. Crazy Eyes says:

      I couldn’t find the “Kindle Book Promotions” website you just mentioned. It says “Server Not Found” :(( I wanted to see it. Oh well. I guess it’s day has come and gone too like the free Kindle giveaways.

  175. Marty Christopher says:

    I’ve had by book up now for just under a year. I know it will take off. Its patients, timing and getting that step up, that mini break where it gets viewed by many. I’m guessing the key is for the book to be pretty brilliant or innovative so it has a foundation and then it’s preserving until a small mass sees it.

    To get it looked at I’ve priced my book at .99 just to get it out there. The book was originally a film script that I’m trying to sell in LA, now a book, and I don’t care which one comes first! My book is below…

    1. Crazy Eyes says:

      Marty, I love the cover. That is beautiful. But I want to say it looks more like an audiobook cover than a book cover because it’s too wide. Book covers are usually longer with a shorter width. And then the title of the book is a little hard to see on the cover because the black lettering blends in with her black hair and some shadows sometimes. I think you might want to choose a lighter font so people can see the name. I didn’t look at the “Look Inside”. It’s a really beautiful cover though. Congrats to you on that.

      1. Marty Christopher says:

        Hey Crazy eyes, thank you for your wise comments. Funny I recently did adjust the cover as the previous one fell short of Amazon’s requirements when going into their new advertising campaign – the girl on my cover was a bit too naked! I was unable to place it/advertise it on amazon.

  176. Steve says:

    Interesting article, this but looking at some of the grammar and punctuation within it and that in some of the replies, I wonder if some people are cut out for creative writing.
    I don’t mean to sound negative but poor standards can often make the difference between a good, bad or mediocre book.
    Good luck all.

    1. Crazy Eyes says:

      Steve, I can appreciate what you’re saying as far as online material in general, but you should look at your own comment here. There are some odd sentence structures and missing commas. I’m serious. And my comments aren’t perfect either. This is all self published. This blog, our comments, some of these ebooks we’re discussing here. No editor has combed this page for errors, which are in your comment as well as mine. Cheers!

  177. Trawling through the dross on Fiverr until I found a great combo of an illustrator who listens and a cover designer with a creative flair has been key for me (I’d buy the book anyway, let’s see who else will!). Have also signed up for Select, partly thanks to this post. Cheers for the advice!!!

  178. Suren says:

    Goodness, Sean
    I was of the opinion, I had devoured everything on your site and now I discover this. My line of writing is poetry, and it does not sell well but I do have a few short stories and I think I need to try a shot at that. KDP is on my my mind now. So now I need to turn my thoughts from SEO to KDP 🙂

    It looks like I am going to be not only an LR but also a publication rebel! KDP is my my goal.

  179. Lisa Biesiada says:

    Thanks! I just published my book on Amazon two days ago and have been racking my brain trying to figure out the best way to promote it and I saw the promotions, but wasn’t sure anyone else had been successful.

  180. Very useful, I agree… thanks for sharing!

  181. Jim Liston says:

    You can also list your free eBook promotion on

    1. Angela Tuck says:

      But can you do this Jim, if you belong to KDP Select? I thought you couldn’t advertise anywhere else?

      1. Jim Liston says:

        If you belong to KDP Select you can’t have your book for sale anywhere else. You can advertise it everywhere.

  182. Angela Tuck says:

    Wow thank you so much for writing this. My book a thriller called ‘A Son to Die For’ went on Amazon last week and I did join KDP select, I was beginning to wonder if I had done the right thing, but after reading your post I’m glad I have, my free 5 days is in a few weeks time. Thanks again.
    Angela x

  183. Abel says:

    I heard about kindle self publish and just published my 3 books on kindle select. Yet to make any sells. What do you advice? Thanks

  184. Gary Weston says:

    Rule number 1, 2 and 3. NEVER go exclusive with anyone. It is possible to get a book perma free on Amazon without going select and that it is to get it price-matched free by putting it free on other sites. Then use the “tell us of a lower price” thing on Amazon for your book pasting the other sites URL in it. Not guaranteed but stands a good chance. Putting a book out free does not mean it will get picked up and if it does, it might not be liked and even if it is it probably won’t get reviewed. If your ebook is ok, you could get about one review per 300 hundred reads.
    Assuming your book is an ok read with an ok cover, etc, there is little point doing all this if you don’t have at least one other book hanging onto the coattails of your flagship book. Two or three would be better still.
    Get your book on smashwords. Don’t “dream up” reviews off your mother, son or the bloke down the road. Be grateful if any reader gives you their time not just to read your book but comment on it. If the review is scathing but genuine, learn from it.A few sad reviewers love to dis a book just because they can. If you have a book you feel has been held back by a rubbish review, just un-publish it and then republish it. Reviews go away and it kicks off all over again. But if it was crap before, it will still be crap. It is sometimes hard for us to accept that truth. Happy writing.

  185. mission says:

    Awesome post.

  186. Dave says:

    Do you think that higher priced books in the lending library would increase lending? It seems like it should – which could be a win win for authors with books that aren’t selling at lower prices.

    I tried it and saw an influx of lending over buying which pays me more than I was making per sale. I raised the price of a .99 cent book that wouldn’t sell to 7.97 and although I’ve sold a few copies at the higher price, lending went through the roof. What is you’re take?

  187. J.S. Harbour says:

    Selling for FREE is not a “sale”, it’s a marketing expense and tax deduction.

    So, any REAL advice for increasing sales by 600%? Or even 100%? That doesn’t involve a lousy gimmick?

  188. Love says:

    I’ve written about 29 books so far. The best way to get tons of traffic is, go to traffic section. There is one seller who will help you reach 4.5 million facebook people… it worked I got about 200,000 hits. Also, there is a seller who will post your book to 101 pages on backpage. That worked for me as well. In one week I had about 400,000 hits for $10, not bad.

    1. J.S. Harbour says:

      Thank you for the suggestion, Love.

  189. GiryaGirl says:

    Do you know if Amazon allows Kindle-only publishers to maintain an Amazon “store” ? If so, how do we set-up/edit it?

  190. Mark Cairns says:

    I sold a 1000 hard copies of my book and people seem to love it. I put it up on Kindle ages ago and have NO sales! Its totally flat lined. Not one! As far as I can see its available. Could you take a look and tell me if I’ve done something horribly wrong? Its called the The Glass Trumpet.
    Any advise gratefully received!

    Mark Cairns

    1. Melita Joy says:

      Your book seems fine to me. Have you tried lowering the price? I just mentioned in another post that the cover can make all the difference. The blurb on your book sounds interesting. The cover is nice but not very reflective of a mystery/thriller. Maybe revamp it and I think you’ll find better sales. I had my daughter teach me the basics of Paintshop and I now purchase pictures from sites such as Shutterstock. To be honest it takes me hours upon hours to complete but I feel that the effort has been worth it.

  191. Melita Joy says:

    I ran a free campaign and it did boost sales slightly over the next few weeks. However, the game-changer for me was revamping my cover. I don’t think I really believed what a difference it would make until I tried it. I’m not earning enough to live off, but I’m getting between $500 and $800 USD p/mth. I’ve now used that money to invest in an editor. Something, I should have initially done as a few bad reviews on grammar can impact sales.

  192. Emma says:


    Great article. I released 3 ebooks a year ago and they did no good. I promoted it on Facebook and and got a few sales. Sales are still going after the promotion ended. but it hasn’t done miracles.
    I would say new authors should not expect miracles. Because it hurts when hopes are shattered.

  193. Jonathan says:

    Great read, thanks for the info.. I will be trying to publish a few books on amazon soon!

  194. Rob Buckman says:

    Hi: I read your article about Amazon KDP with great interest. I tried the ‘free’ giveaway for a weekend, and did see a jump in downloads of my book ‘A Thousand Time’. After that it slumped back down to one or two sales a day or week sometimes. All told, I have eight books on Amazon at the moment, some doing well, others not so much. However, an interesting thing happened after I published my first book on Amazon, ‘He Who Dares’. Being a newbie, I made all the classic mistakes, didn’t get it properly edited, wrong format, bad cover art, priced wrong, too long, you name it I did it. After several months, I sat back and took another look at my book. The first thing I did was split the 900 hundred-page book into two, Book One and Two. I found a much better book cover art on line, re-edited (haha) and reposted the books. Surprise, surprise I started getting sales, and a lot of bad good reviews, or good bad reviews, I’m not sure which. One reviewer said that I failed high school English, but I wrote one hell of a story. Much motivated I did get an editor for the next book ($3,500 worth) and posted that, again with an off the shelf book cover art (bad mistake). I also made all three KDP Select, but more of that a little later. Right now, Book three of ‘He Who Dares’ is selling well, and over the last nine months I’m averaging about $5000 a month, with some months as high as $10,000. I now have my book proofread/edited by several reader/reviews that do it for free, just to read me books and new works before they come out. Getting your reader to help you edit your works is a great way to get free editing services. The trick here I think is selecting the right, eye-catching cover for your book, then the blurb to catch your readers interest, price it in the medium range, say about $5.oo (depending on your particular book) as that seems to be the break point for many readers. You can always increase the price for your next book once you have a following. I’ve been told by some of my reader that they’d buy my books even if they were double the price. Also, if you get a review on Amazon, for goodness sake, use the ‘comment’ to reply to your readers, even if it’s a bad review and tell them you appreciated them taking time to write a review in the first place. Readers appreciate that. Many of them will them revise their review and/or stars, and even offer proofreading services for free.
    As to KDP Select. After seeing the number of books downloaded under this service, it’s a bit upsetting to see the number of sales lost, as the amount Amazon pays for KDP sales is pitiful, penny on the dollar. All in all, if I could find a way to do direct sales to my reader through my own website and not have to give Amazon 70% for US sales I would, especially when you consider I sold 1500 copies of my new book ‘He Who Dares’ Book Three just this month at $4.00. of which I get 35%. That’s a hefty bite out of my profits. In addition, I did not enroll it in the KDP Select program. On Book Two of ‘He Who Dares’, I sold 371 copies this month while Amazon gave away for free 194,000 pages (that’s about 485 copies of the book). So, there are good and bad points about using Amazon KDP, but for a new author just starting out, it’s a way to get your books out there. One further words of advice. Even after all this time (18 months) people are still downloading that original story. It never goes a way, so be careful what you post on Amazon, as no matter what they say, it’s still out there haunting you till the end of time. (lol)

    Rob Buckman

  195. Annette says:

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful tips!

  196. Patrick says:

    Hey dude,

    I don’t understand why you bought the extended license for $80?

    You actually don’t need to get the extended license unless you are selling over 500k units.

    All the covers I purchase are no more than $15. I use fiverr for the design (usually $5) and paid stockphotos sites for the image (which I never pay more than $10 for.)

    All my publishing friends stick to this as well. Even Stefan Pylarinos buys the covers for $5-15 (last time I looked inside his course that is what he was teaching).

    I’m not sure when you published this article so this could be some new information of some strict policy changes you received. Curious to hear your response. Maybe my friends and I are misinformed? That’s why I’m asking. Lemme know. Thanks for the article. It was really helpful. Cheers.

  197. Alex says:

    Hello self-publishers,
    there has been a lot of discussion about how to market the books after publishing.
    Facebook has changed its targeting features available to the the general public. Here is a video on it. It could perhaps change the game for author and publishers and make FB ads viable for low priced items such as books.

  198. Belatrela says:

    Awesome Tips!! For my book cover designs I use this gig:

    This guy is the bets by far!! I was comparing other sellers with this alerrandre, you can’t even compared his work with other designers in the fiverr for eBook category.

  199. What an great article for a newbie in the indie-publishing experience. Thank you for the good information and the great links.
    I will share this with my writers group.

  200. Sam says:

    anyone come across any restrictions on promoting your kindle e-book on your own blog…and linking to the Amazon site to purchase? I have a kid’s book I’d like to promote on my Blog…I’ve researched but not seen anything prohibiting it

  201. Ashish k says:

    It’s really helpful for newbie on kdp thanks for such a post

  202. saimcheeda says:

    Unfortunately for me it has been a huge waste. It’s been 7 months and I have had no sales. Self publishing was a failure.

    1. ATUL KAUSHAL says:

      If you want your book to be a bestseller, write it with dedication and passion if the story so deserves. No point cursing other people if you yourself are not gonna bear the necessary pains of writing. My experience speaks. Also, the sphere of eBooks is not such a popular domain. Printed books will always remain the readers’ preference.

      1. Oscar says:

        I too have felt this. That e-books aren’t as popular as people or websites say they are and that people still like printed books they can hold. That is why libraries still exist and people still go to them. But there is still a market for e-books and I’m still going to try my hardest to put out sincere works in hopes they will reach someone.

      2. Claude says:

        I agree. I am a self-published author, and my print books far out-sell eBooks, even in light of the fact that the eBooks are few cheaper. Readers “generally” still prefer an actual book.

  203. Rob Bucjman says:

    I see several posts on here saying that their experience with self publishing was a failure, or a complete waste of time. That made me think why my story is different. Last year I earned $65,000 self publishing on Amazon, and I can only put this down to the type of books I write, SciFi. So, could it be that SciFi sells better than any other type of book? Not so I have read. Children’s books, romance, self help books all have good sales records. Exposure and following also have a lot to do with sales, as do book covers. My first attempt at self publishing on Amazon was a failure and after six months I took the book down and took a step back. I then went at looked at some of the best selling SciFi authors to see if I could figure out why their books sold and mine didn’t. Apart from the great writing I came to the conclusion that the book cover itself had a great deal to do with it. I found myself skipping over dull covers and going onto the more interesting ones. Bight colors, interesting actions and so on, so could it be that potential readers were doing the same? I’m not the greatest of writers, and before I got someone to edit my books I probably received more reviews complaining about the editing than anything else. As one review put it, and I quote:

    Failed high school English: October 20, 2014
    The story is pretty good if you like stories about “Superman.” The hero can do no wrong and always saves the day. I actually enjoyed reading most of it though as he does know how to tell a story.
    With that endorsement ringing in my ears I went back and looked at my book cover with new eyes and sure enough, I too would have skipped over it and gone on to the next book in line. I did change the cover, going for bight colors and an interesting view, as well as getting an editor before reposting the book on Amazon. Much to my delight, sales took off and in the first month I sold several copies. The next month the sales started to climb and kept climbing, eventually peaking out at a (at least for me) a respectable amount. Since then I have posted eight more stories, most of which have a nice bright cover and have been edited by a gaggle of volunteer readers/editors. Considering the steady sales since then I would recommend looking at what category you post your story in first, then the editing, and thirdly the book cover. Getting an freelance artist to do the cover for you isn’t as expensive as you might imagine. So, that’s my take on self publishing. Any comments?

    Rob Buckman

    1. Patience says:

      Hi Rob, thought you’d find this interesting in regards to your genre’.

      Complete with graphs and a break down of how the industry favors e-books economically and lots more cool info. Highly recommend anyone considering publishing check it out:

      1. Rob Buckman says:

        Patience: Great report and I agree with the conclusion. One think I’d like to point out about earning disparity is the Amazon 70% – 30% split in Amazons favor when it comes to domestic (US) sales. I’m assuming the author in other counties that self publish with Amazon in their country face the same thing, or maybe not. Maybe a reader can answer the question for me. Hopefully in the near future we authors can break that deal, especially if another epub platform comes along offering a better deal.

        Rob Buckman

    2. Joseph Revolg says:

      Hi Bob, congrats. Your story is encouraging. I also have two book on Amazon. It’s paranormal. I’m having difficulties in sales cos it seems it’s not visible.
      What’s the link to your book ? Do you have any other tips ? Thanks. Btw, I’m getting more reviews.

  204. Author Brenda K Winters says:

    After publishing many books, I find that articles like this one really encourage me and my sales.

    1. Claude says:

      Yes, Brenda, I feel the same way. I admittedly don’t apply all the strategies in each blog, but I will blend them and sometimes come away with interesting ideas. I find that the best plan of action for me is to follow three main rules when reading these blogs: 1, Do the task(s) that are prescribed by all or most of the different blogs (clearly because they work). 2, Do the task(s) that seem out of the ordinary. 3, Do what seems to be the most arduous; because nobody else wants to do it, and, by doing it, you just might stand out. This blog is definitely one of the more inspiring.

  205. Khardine says:

    This post is so helpful. I also found Rob Buckman’s post very inspiring.
    I’m about to self publish so this is all helpful. I’d love to hear more tips. Did anyone use any of those book promotion companies? What about Twitter and Facebook ? Are those helpful.

    1. Rob Bucjman says:

      Khardine: That’s me, very inspirational (lol) Getting your books(s) out there for people to buy and read is the name of the game when it comes to self-publishing, and even with Amazon’s reach they mostly sell to Kindle tablets. To promote your book on Amazon you have to pay or find other way to let people know about your book. With that in mind I went looking for another way to sell, and ran across another outlet which I am trying called BookBaby. Unlike Amazon they cost, but, as they say on their website
      …BookBaby is unique among self-publishing companies. Every author gets paid 100% of net sales from online retailers. We take no commission. After your net sales are collected from our retail partners, we pay you every last cent. No hidden fees. No charges. Nothing. Plus we pay every week, so there’s no waiting for your money. You set the payout amount and when your account has reached that amount we will automatically pay you on the following Monday, via the method you select. This is online self-publishing made easy…
      They distribute your book to:- iBookstore, Kobo, Baker & Taylor, Copia, Gardners, Scribd, Goodreads, Oyster, Flipkart, Ciando, EBSCO, and Vearsa…
      That’s a good spread and covers 99% of the other tablets, and I do like the idea of getting 100% of the earnings. Hopefully, between BookBaby and Amazon my sales will grow. The downside, if you can call it that, unlike Amazon where itonly takes days for your book to show up, it takes up to a month to get your book listed with all the outlets after you upload your book. How well my books will sell on all of these is open to question and I’ll keep you posted as to the results. I did look at Facebook but wasn’t encouraged by what I saw. To me it’s too general and full of garbage, but that just my take on it.


  206. Vivek says:

    Just wanted to check on mediums of paid book promotion. Kdp Select is good but what after that … just wait and hope for sales tp go up. Most sites or FB groups also only allow promotion of free books. Where do you promote while my book is not free. Arw there any sites where a book can be listed for promotion when its not free?

    1. Claude says:

      Hi Vivek: A great place to promo your work is on goodreads because you can participate in giveaways, and at the same time give your name and your (hopefully well-designed book cover) some exposure to truly loyal hard core readers. I’ve had good success with this.
      Good luck,

  207. Thank you so much for this article on KDP. I published my book a few months ago and chose to go with KDP at that time (for 90 days). After the 90 days, I never renewed it. I have thought about doing so off and on, but now I am definitely going to try it again. I started out the wrong way (so everyone tells me). I gave away over 45 books, signed, to so many people. They say I should have used that money to help promote my book through amazon. I have eight good reviews and two on Goodreads, but my book is not presently moving on Amazon. I do better selling it by word-of-mouth and in my community. So, I will try KDP again and hope I have your luck. Thanks again!

  208. Maxx Samone says:

    Great advice! I am a new fashion and lifestyle blogger, but I have a few ideas on how I can help people become more efficient in their everyday lives in regards to their wardrobes and confidence. I personally have downloaded countless free amazon kindle books, so this is where I would like to start and I think in the self-help category it has a great platform for beginners. Correct me if I am wrong, but do you think that if you don’t have a great following or means to a lot of promotion that your downloads will still achieve good numbers with this particular strategy? I just think that it would be a great way to put out awesome content and also get traffic to my blog at the same time if this strategy is effective.

  209. selena swift says:

    Invaluable article ! I learned a lot from the specifics – Does someone know where my business would be able to access a sample IRS 1099-MISC version to work with ?

  210. Cristina G. says:

    It’s 2018 and this post is still relevant.
    Inspirational and motivational that’s what I like.
    I have started self-publishing in December of 2016. Since then, I wrote and published a few books, but my sales only now are starting to go up.
    That’s because I am dreadful at marketing and I do it only out of desperation.
    I hope to get used to it and start earning something as I sacrifice everything for this.
    Thank you and good luck, everyone!

  211. Nora says:

    Interesting post and good tips! I just published my first book (Understand SEO Basics and Get More Traffic to Your Website or Blog) and I’m looking for great advice on marketing. I’ll check out the author central and discount options you mentioned. 🙂

  212. Steve Williams says:

    Just to let you guys know that 99% of free books downloaded never get read. Folk just download them because they are free, they sit on their Kindle for years and never get read until, eventually, reader has a clear-out and simply deletes it.

  213. Mike says:

    Article is still dead on and current. I put my book on sale in both Amazon and Nook.

    My sales went up by exactly 600% in 5 days on Amazon, but 0% on Nook.

    Agree with the article that Nook is probably a waste of time.

  214. CA Arun Valera says:

    Absolutely useful information.
    I came across this post just after publishing my first book last week.
    Will surely try your recommendations.
    Thanks a ton.

  215. Cyblance says:

    Fantastic post! Very helpful, thorough, and inspiring as well. I wish you the best with your book.


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