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Authors: 9 steps to make Amazon’s KDP Select your friend

kindle kdp select


Amazon KDP is the service that allows authors to sell their indy books on Amazon. KDP Select is another tier of the service that offers tools to the author in return for 90 days of exclusivity. The tools include five days where you can give the book away for free. Why do that? Because you can get exposure to thousands of people and reap sales from that higher visibility.

Success rates vary. Especially since Amazon changed the terms of the perk and made free books tougher to find on their site. But in my own experience I can still get a 1000% boost in sales from a 2 day free promo (you can spread the five allotted days around as you like)

Here are five steps to follow when you want to run your own free promo on KDP Select.

1) Decide why you’re doing the KDP Select free promotion days.

Do you want to boost sales of the book? Do you want to boost visibility on Amazon search results? Do you want newsletter sign-ups? Don’t just do it to see what happens.

If you want to get reviews for the book, be sure to put something like this in the back matter of the ebook. (lifted straight from David Gaughran)

“Word-of-mouth is crucial for any author to succeed. If you enjoyed the book, please leave a review on Amazon. Even if it’s just a sentence or two. It would make all the difference and would be very much appreciated: [link to book on Amazon]“

Whatever you want to get out of the promo, write it down. Make it specific. The only way you can do better next time is to measure how your efforts paid off.

2) Decide how long you want your promo to run. Two days is best in my experience. You’ll see a spike in the second day as more sites pick up your promo. You want interest to peak right before the book goes back to paid. That way you’ll get a lot of people who are interested in your book and who feel like it’s worth paying for.

3) Buy one guaranteed spot.

You have to spend a little to make a little (or a lot). Here are some popular places to advertise your KDP Select free promo.

Bookbub (tough to get in their newsletter, but worth trying)
Free Kindle Books and Tips

Choose one and snag a date that works for you.

4) Bug your friends!

Draft an email to send out a day or two before the promo.

Dear friends!

I apologize for the group email but I want to reach as many people as possible for this. I’ll be giving my ebook [book name] away for FREE on [date]! Why free? It’s a limited time deal on Amazon that will expand my readership and give me a chance to find some new fans.

I could use your help on the promo day. Please keep an eye on [Facebook, Twitter]. When you see my announcement, please Like and Share. The sharing part is important since it will help more people see the deal.

That’s it! I appreciate any help you can provide to get the word out. I’ll let you know how it goes!


5) Tell the following sites about your KDP Select free promotion days.

Best websites for marketing your Amazon KDP Select free days 

6) Now head in and set your free days on Amazon’s KDP Select site.

7) Next, head to the social networks of choice.

Twitter. Schedule six tweets for each day of the promo. Make them intriguing, not salesy. You could include dialogue from the book. You could set up the dramatic moments to give people a taste. You could include images, riddles, videos. The more valuable and intriguing you make the tweets, the more likely you are to snag people’s attention.

Facebook. Two posts for each day of the promo should do it. If you have a Facebook Page (for businesses and brands) then you should think about spending 5 bucks to boost a post.

Make sure you take advantage of the targeting that FB includes. It’s simple to set up.

Write the post and include an image of the cover, or something else visual.

Click the Boost Post button at the bottom of the post.

Facebook Boost your free Ki Prepare your book for its KDP Select free promotion days

Choose “People you choose through targeting”. This will show you a bunch of options that will let you find people who would be interested in your work. Choose countries, gender, age and interests. You can enter any interests that you think apply to your work. Folks on FB with that same interests will have your ad served to them.

8) Monitor!

The day of your promo, head to the sites you paid to be on. Make sure you got your money’s worth.

Send out an email to your friends, reminding them and offering some new details/news that will make the email worth a read.

Hi all!

As I mentioned, my ebook is free for today on Amazon! Please share the post on your timeline. If you don’t see it, here’s the url.

[insert url for shared post, tweet, etc.]

Thanks so much! I checked my dashboard and have [number] downloads so far. So excited.


Watch the downloads pile up on KDP dashboard.

9) Evaluate 

Check back on the goal that you set out to achieve. Did you nail it? Did you miss? Just by paying attention you’ll spot some places where things didn’t go as planned. Write down the results. Don’t expect you’ll remember lessons learned, because it’s likely you won’t.

With all of the data you now have in your hands, plan the next promo!

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” – Steve Jobs

Good luck to you!

By Ben Zackheim

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