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"Roundheads and Ramblings"

September 2012

How To Promote Your Free Kindle Select Title

This list originally appeared in a LinkedIn discussion group for writers and publishers.  The compiler is Delin Colon.

Kindle Freebie Day Promo Places

1. Sign up for KDP Select.
2. Schedule your free days. Consider scheduling on a Wed / Thurs or just Thurs to capitalize on the exposure. Big sales days in a week are Fri, Sat, Sun. So don’t give it away free on those days.
3. Send requests to following to get your free book listed. Do this a few days ahead of time to give the site owners time to post your book.
A WEEK BEFORE YOUR FREE DAY:

·         All Things Kindle (FB) http://www.facebook.com/allthingskindle?sk=wall (stepartdesigns@hotmail.com)
·         Pixel of Ink www.pixelofink.com
·         Kindle Boards www.kindleboards.com (under Book Bazaar)
·         Digital Book Today www.digitalbooktoday.com
·         World Literary Café www.worldliterarycafe.com – does monthly lists of Kindle freebies
·         Add a Goodreads event and send it to all of your Goodreads friends.

ON YOUR FREE DAY:
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Post on Facebook pages on your free day(s):
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Your FB Fan Page
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Your FB Wall
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Post on these websites
:

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(Fiction only)
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 (on Author Self-Promotion thread)
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Add “Kindle Freebie” and “Kindle Free” “Fre eEbook” tags to your book on Amazon page.
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Post about your free book on your other social networking sites (Linked In, Stumble Upon, Triberr, Google+, etc.)
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Tweet like crazy:
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@kindlebookpulse                    @kindleebooks                                     @writersRT
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@kindlebookblast                     @Kindlestuff                             @indieauthornews
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@kindlenews                             @KindleEbooksUK                   @FreeEbooksDaily
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@KindleBookKing                     @FreeReadFeed
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@KindleFreeBook                     @4FreeKindleBook
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@DigitalBkToday                      @kindle_promo
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#FreeKindlebooks   #freekindle        #freebook        
#FreeKindleBook
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#FreeKindleEbooks             #ReadThis         #Kindle             #authorshelpingauthors
¨
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Get authors in your cross promotion group to tweet like crazy (and thank them for it).
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Send email newsletter.
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Post about it on your blog.
After Your Free Days
1. Don’t lower your price. You just did a lot of hard work to generate sales by offering it free. Keep your book at regular price and enjoy the higher royalties on the new wave of sales.
2. Keep up the momentum for a few days. If your free days ended before the weekend, keep up strong promotion efforts (through social networking) through the weekend.
Christian Genre Specific sites:

·         Inspired Reads www.inspiredreads.com – Christian bargain ebooks
·         Family Fiction http://www.facebook.com/FamilyFiction – Christian Books
·         Christian Books by Indie Authors http://www.facebook.com/pages/Christian-Books-By-Indie-Authors/188636394517963

Advertising:
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$5 for guaranteed listing on
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Social Media Package
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for their social media mania promotion, the two days after free promo, to      keep the momentum going.
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Digital Book Today Social Media Buzz package –
to keep momentum going.
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Wishing I Could Be Two Places at Once


Lately my world seems full of amazing coincidences and ties between the present and the past. Take this one, for example.  In this morning’s email I received an announcement of an important conference:
 

Abolition, Past and Present: Scholars, Activists, and the Challenge of
Contemporary Slavery

Gilder Lehrman Center's 14th Annual International Conference
November 8-10, 2012
Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Avenue
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

“In order to put past and present in lasting dialogue, this conference
combines some of the world's most distinguished historians of slavery
and abolition with many of the most important activist-leaders in the
current movement to counteract and abolish modern forms of slavery.  The
gathering will be one effort toward forging a field of study about the
origins and nature of current human trafficking and bonded labor systems
in the world.

By use of rich historical analogies, comparative perspectives,
international contexts, and real world examples of intervention, we will
explore and use the past in order to see deeper into the challenges
faced by governments, non-governmental organizations, scholars, writers,
and concerned citizens.

We further hope to place the complex problem of contemporary slavery
within the history of modern ideas and regimes of human rights.  This is
a conference where the worlds of scholarship will connect with local and
international activism - as eighteenth and nineteenth century
abolitionists attempted in their own time - to curtail and fight this
ancient, and very current, problem of human exploitation.”

 
My first reaction was “Oh, I wish I could be there! What they’re doing has major connections to my upcoming book, The Road to Frogmore: Turning Slaves into Citizens.
 
Then I looked at the date again, and realized what I would be doing at that very moment. November 8-10 is the weekend of the “Heritage Days “ Celebration at the Penn Center on St. Helena Island, South Carolina. The Penn Center seeks to preserve the cultural heritage of the Gullah people, who were enslaved on St. Helena until 1862 and the coming of Abolition.  And I will be there as part of the celebration, to talk about my new book, The Road to Frogmore: Turning Slaves into Citizens – the story of Abolitionist Laura M. Towne and the founding of the Penn School on that very site.

Still, I am excited and pleased that these ideas about human freedom are getting renewed interest.  Surely the fact that these kinds of meetings are going on in places as far removed as Connecticut and South Carolina is a good sign.

Getting Ready for a Conference--Awards Edition

What else must I prepare for? Well,  of course there’s the suspense over the book awards that will be announced on Saturday night at the Military Writers Sociey of America banquet. Somehow I managed to garner two different nominations. The first is for my The Second Mouse Gets the Cheese: Avoiding the Traps of Self-Publishing in the category of Business and How-to  Books.  There are lots of nominations here, and our topics have wide-ranging differences: from losing weight to handling security clearance issues.  I’m glad I’m not a judge! It’s hard to pick the best bite out of a fruit salad.
 
And the second award nomination is even worse – Author of the Year.  How in  the world  can  anyone pick such a thing? The rules mention “a body of work” based on “literary excellence.”  What does that mean? The best book? The best series of books? The best variety of books? Work from the past or work projected into the future?  Best in terms of sales or reviews? Somehow I can’t imagine that title – Author of the Year – applying to me in any case, but I’m sure I’ll be nervous as the time approaches.
 
The whole affair gave me a new appreciation of awards shows as I watched part of the Emmy Awards the other night.  I fully understood all those crumpled and damp pieces of paper with notes on them for an acceptance speech.  What does one say?  How blank can your mind go? Should the winner announce that he’s “not worthy” in an imitation of the required ritual for a new pope? Does he do a Julia Dreyfus imitation and say it’s a shame someone else didn’t win?  And is there any purpose in thanking all those people who helped – starting with one’s first-grade teacher and  including the mailman who delivered the acceptance letter from the publisher?  And what do you say when you don’t win? Oh dear! At least we won’t be tussling in the aisles like John Stewart and Stephen Colbert. At this point, however, I’d rather be in the back row, watching others trying to be gracious and humble.

Getting Ready for a Conference--Amazon Edition


 
Then there’s the second session at MWSA, in which I am expected to be the ultimate source of advice on how to use Amazon’s Kindle programs to sell books. Again, this is something I’ve done in the past.  Last year I managed to sell 47,000 copies of Beyond All Price through Kindle. But recently Amazon has started changing the rules. I was all set to explain how a writer could offer one of her books for free on another book site and force Amazon to make the same free offer.  I’d done it.  It worked.  Readers flocked to get their hands on the book, and ratings soared. I decided to test it one more time, just to make sure.
 
Then I received the ominous letter from Amazon.  They no longer will tolerate writers doing free or other low-price promotions on other websites.  It is now a violation of the Kindle agreement (You know, the one where you checked the “I accept the terms”  button without ever reading the fine print?) They gave me exactly five days to correct my transgression or face permanent banishment from all Amazon sites. I backed off; I couldn’t afford to do anything else! And once my sinful free offer disappeared, Amazon welcomed me back like a prodigal child. But now I had to re-write my PowerPoint presentation from the ground up.  
 
And that’s only one of several changes that Amazon has made in the past two weeks.  Others involve the way they handle royalties, the addition of a new Kindle Serials list, and the revision of standards that determine best-seller rankings.  I’m re-writing as fast as I can – and keeping my fingers crossed that they don’t make any other major changes this week, while I’m on the road.
 

Getting Ready for a Conference - Software Edition

 
I have an extremely busy week coming up. Plans include a Lions meeting  and then a trip to Ohio, where I’ll be attending the Military Writers Society of America annual conference.  No vacation, that! I’m scheduled to participate in two discussion panels, one on using primary sources for historical research and another on marketing. Those two don’t require a great deal of preparation, since they’ll be based on an open format and there are several other participants in each one.  We’ll just let the discussions lead us.
 
The other two sessions, however, require advance preparation. (I feel like I’m prepping class lectures again. ) The first involves a demonstration of how to use Scrivener, a software program for writers. At first I thought it would be easy.  I’d just put one of my old book manuscripts up on the screen and point out how I used the program. But no such luck! First, Scrivener put out a new edition, which meant I had to relearn some of the commands.  And now my old manuscript didn’t demonstrate the very best features of the new program.
 
What to do? My solution was to take the time to set up a program for my next novel. Again, not as easy as it sounds! I could have just faked it, I suppose, but I figured that as long as I was doing it, I might as well end up with something I could really use in the future. So I’m chin-deep in my genealogy files and distracted by old family pictures that reveal qualities I didn’t know my characters had.  For example, I never realized that one cousin was an alcoholic until I started noticing that in every family get-together, she was passed out in a corner. She could have had narcolepsy, I suppose, but from the other evidence of glasses and bottles, I don’t think so. Interesting stuff, but a distraction from the original purpose.