Perma-free on Amazon, 2015 version


Perma-free is a controversial method of getting your work out there, but it still works as a promo tool for some, especially if you have a series of books. I will not be discussing here whether it’s a good or bad thing to do; but if you do decide to do it, here’s how. I just did these steps, so I know they work.

Step one, of course, is to ensure your book is free elsewhere. This one remains the same as always, and has been described countless times. Just to refresh your memory: use Smashwords. Even if you have publisher accounts on Nook or iTunes already, these won’t let you set up a price of zero. Only Smashwords can do that for all channels – as far as I know (still not sure about Draft2Digital). Kobo is the only publisher that lets you set up a perma-free book directly, and that will come useful later, but Amazon doesn’t see Kobo as as much of a competitor as Nook or iTunes in US, so that alone may not always work.

All your other books, you can sell directly through retailers, if you so wish. But the book you want perma-free, has to be distributed through Smashwords (or equivalent).

Once you’re sure your book is free on as many other stores as possible, you have to inform Amazon. The old way was to simply get your friends to report the price match from the book page, through the “tell us about lower price” link. But this no longer works as well as it used to. In fact, it didn’t work for me at all. I waited and waited, and the price remained stubbornly as it was – until I’ve discovered the truth. So here’s what’s changed: right now, the best and most reliable way to ensure your book is price-matched to other retailers, is to write Amazon a letter.

Log in to your KDP account, click Help, then Contact Us. From the list of topics, choose Price Matching. Fill out the form with the following information: your book’s Amazon info (title, link, ASIN), and all the channels where your book is currently free that need matching to.

The Shadow Third Cover 250The turn-around on this is almost immediate – for the main Amazon regions at least (see below) – as opposed to the “Tell Us” button. A day or so later, your book will be price-matched – plus, you get an e-mail confirmation, which is always nice. But there’s a trick to it. Amazon now wants you to inform it of EVERY COUNTRY your book is free in, to match it to its own regional stores. Linking only to .com versions of the retailers will only match your book on Amazon.com.

This isn’t easy, since some stores don’t have regional versions, so I had to do some digging. I used the following list of links to make sure I covered all possible regions for “The Shadow of Black Wings”:

(The only one I’m missing so far is India, but I never had any success selling books there, so it’s something I will have to live with for now.)

Just search for your own book at each of these links, and you will have the contents for the letter ready. Click send, wait no more than a few days for a reply, check if the books are really free everywhere you wanted them (you may need to clear cache or view in incognito mode to see the change) – and start promoting! 🙂

Note: it may still take a few weeks for the effect to trickle down to the more obscure Amazons, like NL and BR – and they might revert to full price at any moment without notice. Just another down-side of the silly way in which KDP manages regional websites.
Thanks to the good folks at Alliance of Independent Authors, who first taught me this trick!

Promoting a stand-alone novella: Dragonsbane #free #kindle


Dragonsbane

The hardest task of a self-published author is promotion; the hardest books to promote succesfully are stand-alone ones, and out of these, the most notorious must be novellas.

A stand-alone book cannot be used as a loss-leader. It can’t be offered free or cheap, in an effort to guide the readers to your other work. A novella, especially a new one, without reviews or ratings, is a terrible thing to promote: most of the big sites will not accept a work like that, or if they do, it will cost you more than you can usually hope to get back from sales.

It’s a conundrum. It helps if you’re an established author, with large following, and plenty of fans that will buy anything you release; but even they may not be willing to spend money on a short work with completely new characters in a completely new world.

So what is there to do? Well, bugger me if I know! Today, I’m doing a one-day free promo on my latest novella, Dragonsbane. It’s not quite a stand-alone, as in, it’s set in the same Mirror Worlds multiverse as Dragonbone Chest; but that is meaningless, as the multiverse is vast, and the only thing the two works have in common are dragons.

I’ve used my list of book promo sites to find the ones that accept freebies without reviews on short notice (this, incidentally, is why it’s important for readers to leave reviews – any reviews – on Amazon books: we need those stars to get advertising space). There aren’t that many, and most of them don’t have much following. I’ve scheduled a few tweets, and a reddit post. This blog can hopefully bring in a few downloads, too. It would certainly help to have a big mailing list that I could now bomb with the promo information – but despite my best efforts, I could never get more than a couple followers (it’s here, by the way). So yeah, I did all I can think of. Will any of that work? And what will be the effects of the free promo on what matters – ie. sales? We’ll just have to wait and see…

For now, click the cover above, or go here, for a free download of Dragonsbane, the second Mirror Worlds novella! It’s short, it’s fast, and it’s more action-packed than anything I’ve written so far 🙂

Ennaki’s Master is a dragon slayer. But not just any dragon slayer: each beast he slays is greater and more powerful than the previous one, and each fight brings more woe and damage to the innocents around. As the knight proceeds with his murderous scheme, Ennaki begins to doubt and wonder. Is his Master’s secret plan really worth the slaughter? And is this really the best way to win the everlasting War against the Shadow that threatens to engulf all Mirror Worlds?

Back to Kobo, this time for good? (and for free :)


kobo With the last period of Amazon’s KDP Select finally expiring, I am now able to put “The Shadow of Black Wings” back on to Kobo Books. So now you can finally buy all four of The Year of the Dragon books (with more coming 🙂 from there.

To celebrate the return to the other online store, the “Shadow…” is now FREE to download for all Kobo users!

Also, for the first time, the entire bundle, “The Year of the Dragon 1-4” is also available on Kobo.

The platform is right now experiencing huge growth. Hopefully having all my books finally available will help some way towards using this potential.

Here are all my currently available books on Kobo in clickable form 🙂

The Shadow Third Cover 250The Warrior Third Cover_250 2The Islands in the MistTide Cover_250TheYearBUNDLE_250px-3Dragonbone_v2_small

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS: Don’t forget, if you’re an author who wants to advertise their Kobo book, or a reader looking for some good reading, head over to kobobookhub.com for a once-every-few-days update on what’s new in the world of indie Kobo.

90 sites to advertise your book


kindle

As far as I’m aware, this is the most comprehensive list of book promo sites anywhere on the internet. The list was compiled from various online sources, most notably – Rachelle’s Window (go there and thank her! 🙂 she also lists Alexa rankings for the sites) and my own research. As of updating this on April 17th 2016, all the links below are working. Note that I can’t guarantee that the sites themselves are still working, that the forms lead anywhere, or that you will actually get anything for your money.

Majority of these sites advertise books when they’re free, as part of KDP Select or Smashword promo. If you want to promote a paid book, you usually need to pay extra.

Don’t forget you can also promote your tweets and Facebook posts on Twitter and Facebook, though that is known to be not very effective unless you know what you’re doing.

Also, make sure to follow Lindsay Buroker’s blog, as she always has the most up-to-date notes on what works and what doesn’t in advertising.

If you think I’m missing something, let me know in the comments.

As always, you can express your gratitude by purchasing one of my books 🙂

URL Free Ad Paid Ad Comments
100 Free Books $75-100 $75-100
Amazon KDP Advertising CPC min $100 CPC min $100 Amazon’s own marketing
Armadillo eBooks Guaranteed Guaranteed $25 boost available
Addicted to eBooks Guaranteed registration required
Ask David  $15 one-time “promotion pack”
Author Marketing Club Membership + listing
Awesome Gang Guaranteed $10
Bargain eBook Hunter – now Hot Zippy Guaranteed
Best Indie Books $8-$30, free to premium members Requires registration
Book Butterfly free option also available various options, $50+  (reportedly not working, see comments)
Book Deals Daily $5 $5+
Bookpinning Guaranteed “Pinterest for Books”
Book Daily Membership + samples
Book Goodies Guaranteed
Book Goodies $5
Book Goodies $25
Book Goodies For Kids Guaranteed Children only
Book Matchers Listing + search service
Book Tweeting Service (now Tweet Your Books $59+
BookBrowse $2-7 pm
BookBub Various options. $60+ probably most effective right now. Novels only.
BookGorilla $40+ May also post deals from other sites
BookSlut $175-$450
Daily Free Books Guaranteed $7.5
Digital Book Today Not guaranteed 4 stars minimum
Digital Book Today Various options, $15+
eBookSoda $15 Flat Fee
eBooksForFree $12
eBook Daily Deals Guaranteed
eBookLister Not Guaranteed Not Guaranteed
Eat Sleep Write Book plugs from $50+
eBook Impresario $20+
eBooks Habit Guaranteed
eBooks Habit $10
eFiction Finds Guaranteed $5+
eReader Girl Guaranteed $20
eReaderIQ various options, $25-$180 BookBub model, claim 150,000 subscribers
eReader Cafe Guaranteed
English Books XTME $9-$30 No longer guaranteed. For Amazon.de
EReader News Today Not guaranteed Various options Very limited selection, 4 stars minimum
Fiverr $5 per service individual people advertising your book
Flurries of Words $4+
Free Books Hub $10+
Free Books Guaranteed
Free eBooks untested
Free eBook Dude Guaranteed
Free Kindle Books&Tips Not guaranteed,$25 $30+ 4 stars minimum
EReaderUtopia (Free Kindle Fiction) Not guaranteed Needs registration
Free Kindle Giveaway $10+
Freebooksy Not guaranteed $50
Frugal eReader Tweet package $15+
Frugal eReader $50+
Frugal Freebies $3-$8
Fussy Librarian Guaranteed
Get Free Books Not guaranteed
Good Kindles $10-$20
Goodreads custom budget largely ineffective
Hot Zippy Not guaranteed $15 own several other websites
Humanmade Guaranteed Boost your listing – prices vary
iAuthor UK £0.6 per click
Ignite Your Boook Guaranteed
iLove Ebooks various options, $25-$300
iLike Ebooks $0.99-$9.99
Indie Author Anonymous $5 $10-$20
Indie Book of the Day Not Guaranteed
Indie Book Promo Guaranteed Four options, $25+ or small options, $8+
Indies Unlimited Freebie Friday, 99c Thursday
International Book Promotion $30 a month social media burst One-off promotional events
Jungle Deals Guaranteed
Just Contemporary Romance Romance only various options, $10+
Kindle Book Promo Guaranteed
Kindle Book Promos Various options
Kindle Book Review Not guaranteed $5+
Kindle Mojo Not guaranteed $25+
Kindle Nation Daily Guaranteed
Kindle Nation Daily Various options, $100+ number of options, effectiveness reduced lately
Kindle Romance Review various options, $25+ Romance only
KUF Ads various options, $7.50+ several websites, incl. DailyFreeBooks
Kindleboards various options, $35+
Lendle various options, $35+
Lovely Books KDP Guaranteed, Permafree $7.99
Many Books $25
My Book and My Coffee Guaranteed On Hiatus
My Book Buzzing Guaranteed Requires registration
New Free Kindle Books Free only $5
Pixel of Ink Not guaranteed Very limited selection
Pixel Scroll – NOW HOTZIPPY $5+
Reading Deals Not Guaranteed $15
Reddit Guaranteed On the day. Must have account.
Robin Reads $25
Snicks List Guaranteed On the day
Writerful Books Free Manuscript assessment and reviews
YA Book Promo Central Same as Indie Book Promo YA only

Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 14 – Shadow of Black Wings FREE


XIV

Today, last Friday before Yalda, I have the most straight-forward gift to give so far:

A free copy of “The Shadow of Black Wings” – FOR EVERYONE!

That’s right, I’m on the KDP Select bandwagon again. For a while. And there are so many new market opportunities! You can now get my books on Kindle if you’re in Canada, or Brazil, or Japan, or – soon – China. Amazon is almost everywhere these days.

So click on any of the links below, to get the free copy, if you haven’t read it yet – or gift it to someone you know who’d like it 🙂

The Shadow of Black Wings
(The Year of the Dragon #1)

Top 10 Bestseller in Alternate History Amazon US

ebook ISBN: 978-83-935529-0-0 ASIN: B008FS5RPC
Published: June 2012 by Flying Squid
paperback ISBN-13: 978-83-935529-1-7
ISBN-10: 8393552915
Published: July 2012 by Flying Squid

It is the sixteenth year of Queen Victoria’s enlightened rule and the world trembles before the might of her ironclad navy and the dreaded Dragon Corps. The largest ship ever built sails from the Brigstow Harbour on a journey to the mysterious lands of Orient. Its load – a regiment of the Royal Marines and one Bran ap Dylan – freshly graduate in Dracology at the Llambed Academy of Mystic Arts.

In the empire of Yamato, sealed from the rest of the world for the last two centuries, a wizard’s daughter Sato witnesses her father joining an anti-government conspiracy. Her friend Nagomi, training to be a priestess, is haunted by dark visions that she must keep secret. Neither of them is aware that a change is coming to Yamato… on the wings of a dragon.

A detailed and fast-paced historical fantasy based around the turbulent opening of Japan to the West in the middle of the 19th century, “The Shadow of the Black Wings” is the first volume in “The Year of the Dragon” saga.

Kindle Edition:
Amazon US |Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Amazon ES | Amazon JP | Amazon CA | Amazon BR
Paperback:
Amazon US | Amazon UK | ペーパーバック | Barnes&Nnoble Junglee.com

 

Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 3 – A Gift of Kobo


III

今週!
今週!

Today I have something on offer for my oft-neglected KOBO audience: “The Shadow of Black Wings” is FREE for Kobo users, for  a whole week, starting today!

 

And you don’t even need to have a Kobo e-reader – just grab an Android or iOS Kobo App, and you can download my books! And since they are DRM-free, you can then read them on any device capable of reading epubs.

The Shadow of Black Wings
(The Year of the Dragon #1)

Top 10 Bestseller in Alternate History Amazon US

Genre: Historical Fantasy
ebook ISBN: 978-83-935529-0-0 ASIN: B008FS5RPC
Published: June 2012 by Flying Squid
paperback ISBN-13 978-83-935529-1-7
ISBN-10: 8393552915
Published: July 2012 by Flying Squid

It is the sixteenth year of Queen Victoria’s enlightened rule and the world trembles before the might of her ironclad navy and the dreaded Dragon Corps. The largest ship ever built sails from the Brigstow Harbour on a journey to the mysterious lands of Orient. Its load – a regiment of the Royal Marines and one Bran ap Dylan – freshly graduate in Dracology at the Llambed Academy of Mystic Arts.

In the empire of Yamato, sealed from the rest of the world for the last two centuries, a wizard’s daughter Sato witnesses her father joining an anti-government conspiracy. Her friend Nagomi, training to be a priestess, is haunted by dark visions that she must keep secret. Neither of them is aware that a change is coming to Yamato… on the wings of a dragon.

A detailed and fast-paced historical fantasy based around the turbulent opening of Japan to the West in the middle of the 19th century, “The Shadow of the Black Wings” is the first volume in “The Year of the Dragon” saga.

Available at: Amazon US |Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Amazon ES | Amazon JP And: Kobo | Kobo 楽天 Paperback available at: Amazon US | Amazon UK | ペーパーバック | Barnes&Nnoble Junglee.com

Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 2 – Transmission


II

Today I offer for FREE my short Sci-Fi stories anthology, Transmission.

Transmission: Six Short Stories

Genre: Science Fiction
ASIN: B008E7RUJA
Published:
1st Edition June 2012 by Flying Squid
2nd Edition November 2012 by Flying Squid

The first television broadcast signal is now almost 90 light years away from Earth. What would human colonists on distant worlds feel like receiving these ancient transmission for the first time?

TRANSMISSION has first been published in eFiction magazine in June 2012, and received Honorary Mention in On The Premises magazine in November 2012

A journalist tracking the last survivors of the most infamous Martian War massacre discovers the gruesome truth – and more…

KING MIDAS’S BARBER has first been published in Polish as “Kosci Chudych Dzieci” in Science Fiction magazine in February 2002

This time the aliens did not come to destroy us – but to employ us…

FACTORY BLOCK S3 has not been published before.

A day in the life of a member of the RSPD – the Royal Society for the Protection of Dragons.

THE TWITCHING has been first published on Wattpad in July 2012

In a world of the luckless, the Lucky Men are kings.

O LUCKY MAN has been first published in Polish as “Szczesciarz” in Fahrenheit magazine

Every God has to start somewhere…

TEOPHANY has not been published before.

Kindle Edition:
Amazon US |Amazon UK | DE | IT | FR | ES | Kindle版

Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Countdown to End of Days, Day 1


I

On December 21st, the Winter Solstice, the Zoroastrians and Mithraists celebrate Yalda, the Birth of the Sun/Mithras.

Yalda is the main winter holiday celebrated in the world of my “Year of the Dragon” novels, rather than Christmas, therefore this year’s Advent Calendar counts down only to December 21st. The world ends after that, anyway, so there’s no point going further 🙂

 

Dragonbone ChestAs the first treat of the month, I offer you a fantasy novella: the Dragonbone Chest is FREE all day to day for Kindle Owners.

We do not know where the Forgetting had come from, what causes it and how exactly does it work… all we know is that nobody is safe from its dark touch, nobody knows where and when it will strike. A prince, a pauper, a wizard, a child… it can happen to anybody and there is no way to prevent it.

Duke Ayaris is a dragon slayer. He’s the only one left in the world, and he is hunting after the last of the dragons. He is about to fulfil his life’s destiny.

A dying old man asks him to take care of his beautiful daughter. But the girl has a secret – a secret that will cause him to set sail where no man has willingly sailed before: to the Dragon North, in search of the fabled city of Eden.

Kindle Edition:
Amazon US | Amazon UK | DE | IT | FR | ES | Kindle版

“Transmission” revamp; Diwali Free Promotion


Transmission

A lot of things to cover today!

First off: my short story collection, “Transmission”, has just DOUBLED in size! That’s right, there are now SIX stories, not three! Three new stories are: The Twitching, O Lucky Man! and Teophany.

To celebrate the relaunch, the collection is FREE all day today on Amazon. If you bought the book earlier, a free update is coming your way.

Oh and by the way – “Transmission” got honourable mention in this month’s On The Premises magazine, so be sure to check them out.

And Transmission is not the only thing FREE today! In a ONE DAY HAPPY DIWALI PROMO, two more of my books are FREE right now: Dragonbone Chest (fantasy novella) and The Shadow of Black Wings (1st volume of “The Year of the Dragon“)

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY DIWALI!

Halloween Surprise – Dragonbone Chest FREE on Kindle


Amazon US | Amazon UK | DE | IT | FR | ES | JP

We do not know where the Forgetting had come from, what causes it and how exactly does it work… all we know is that nobody is safe from its dark touch, nobody knows where and when it will strike. A prince, a pauper, a wizard, a child… it can happen to anybody and there is no way to prevent it.

Duke Ayaris is a dragon slayer. He’s the only one left in the world, and he is hunting after the last of the dragons. He is about to fulfil his life’s destiny.
A dying old man asks him to take care of his beautiful young daughter. But the girl has a secret – one that will cause him to set sail where no man has willingly sailed before: to the Dragon North, in search of the fabled city of Eden.

“Dragonbone Chest” is a stand-alone fantasy novella and it is now FREE on Amazon Kindle up until November 2nd:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | DE | IT | FR | ES | JP