Thumbs up for free marketing which is what this blog is all about.
When you upload your book on to the Amazon platform, you can choose whether to sign up for KDP Select or not.  By opting for it, your e-book becomes bound to Amazon for 90 days.  In other words, you’re not permitted to sell your book on any other platform like Kobo or Apple and that includes selling direct from your website.  It’s an exclusivity deal and this will continue until you opt out.  If you did plan to end the agreement after 90 days, ensure the auto-renew is turned off!
OK, if you sign up for KDP Select, what do you get? 
One of the biggest pluses for your e-book is Kindle Unlimited, a digital subscription service.
Subscribers pay $9.99 monthly for an ‘all-you-can-read’ service.  They can choose any book on any topic.  When you opt for KDP Select, your book is automatically enrolled in this programme.  Such is its popularity that it’s widely believed that not having your book in the programme may well affect your rankings.
The author is paid on a per-page-read royalty, which means the more pages people read, the more money you make.
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be looking at marketing your book on a budget.  When writers first start out they, generally speaking, don’t have large wads of cash to throw at promoting their books so free marketing is definitely appealing.  Yes!  I did say ‘free’!
Today, KDP Select is in the spotlight.  What is it?  How can it help you make an impact with your sales?  

Free Marketing with Kindle Countdown Deals

For the purposes of this article, we’re more interested in the marketing opportunities and these are available only for writers who sign up for KDP Select.
  • The minimum discount is $1 in the US or £1 in the UK
  • Your title needs to have been in KDP Select for at least 30 days. 
  • The price before you select a Countdown Deal must be between $2.99 and $24.99 (£1.99 and £15.99)
  • If your KDP Select enrolment is 14 days away or less, you won’t be able to set up a campaign.  For full details of Countdown Deals, click HERE.
The first one to take a peek at is Kindle Countdown which is available in the US and UK. 
It can be used for one week in a 90-day period and allows you to discount your book at a fixed rate that rises incrementally over a 7 day period.  Customers actually see the usual price, the discounted price and a countdown clock, which will show how much time is left at the promotional price.
A perk of using Countdown Deals is that you will receive a royalty of 70% even if your price falls below $2.99. 

Free Marketing with Kindle Free Promotions

This promotion can be used for any 5-day period within your 90-day enrollment and your Kindle book is offered for free to Amazon readers. 
  • You can run all 5 days one after the other or one or two at a time 
  • Only available once in a 90-day period
  • Can be scheduled just one day before the date you require your promotion to start
  • It will begin at 00:00 Pacific Time (what’s PT time now) which is usually 8 hours behind UK time so bear this in mind with your planning
 ‘Why would I want to offer my book for free?’ I hear you say.
The second book that I ever published on Amazon was ‘1001 One-Liners and Short Jokes’ and my marketing strategy at that stage was to use this free promotion method, which I still use.  By the end of the 5 days, I had amassed 10,000 downloads.  What you’ll find and what happened to me was that there was a spike in orders.  On this occasion, my book raced up the Top 100 Free rankings on Kindle.  However, no book since has reached these heights on a free promotion but, on saying that, they have all seen a positive effect on their Amazon rankings.
Ideally, because the Amazon algorithms prefer to see momentum in your sales, Countdown Deals and Free Promotions are best used in conjunction with other marketing strategies to ensure that orders are consistent over this period and not spiking on one day!  Next time we’ll look at Free Book Promotion websites along with ones on Facebook and Twitter.
Further down the road, when you have Reader Magnets (free offers in exchange for email addresses) available and you have your other titles featured in the back matter, these elements will be getting in front of your readers too.  Reader Magnets will be building your email list and getting you organic sales (sales you haven’t paid for).  So, it’s a freebie for your readers and it can start to get things moving for you too – a win-win situation.  

To access KDP Select from your dashboard:

  • First choose the book you want to select

  • Then click on the three dots to the right of ‘Promote and Advertise’

  • Choose ‘KDP Select’

  • Enrol (if you haven’t already done so)

  • ‘Run a Price Promotion’ – opt for the Countdown Deal or Free Promotion


Graham Cann is a #1 best selling non-fiction author and CEO of Chas Cann Publishers where we help authors publish and profit from their work

Alliance of Independent Authors

Affiliate Disclosure

I earn a small commission on some product links on my blog pages at no extra cost to you.  I only recommend products I use now, have used in the past or would use if there was a personal need.  The extra pennies help with the coffee fund.

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