When it comes to a general understanding of book marketing and sales, most authors don’t associate “discounts” or “free” with generating more revenue.
If done correctly, discounts and freebies can definitely help boost sales. Support this with other effective book marketing strategies and it will feed your machine.
Understanding Price Changes and Amazon
In general, price changes, even small ones, will help to boost your book on Amazon.
Why? Because any kind of change in price triggers the internal algorithm and spikes the book’s sales rank with each purchase.
Even if it’s just a few sales, it keeps the book active in their system. You need to stay on Amazon’s radar at all times. Don’t get complacent.
So I often recommend changing the price of your book semi-regularly.
You should support these price changes with other marketing efforts though, and eBook promotions are a great way to do this.
If you have a publisher be sure to chat with them about your pricing options, you want them to be as flexible as possible so these great book marketing strategies aren’t closed off to you.
The Power of eBook Promotions
Coordinated eBook promotions are a great way to gain new readership and get in front of people you’d never reach through other, often more expensive, methods.
I always recommend doing several of these a year, especially if you have multiple titles.
You don’t have to do big, expensive paid promotions for this to work, either.
Because while it’s awesome to get a Bookbub deal, they’re notoriously hard to get, so look to other sites that are more of a sure thing.
There are also a number of free sites as well and you should for sure take advantage of these once you’ve got your dates and pricing set. Here’s a lengthy list of free options.
All that being said, just because BookBub is hard to get into, it doesn’t mean you should write them off as a lost cause. Keep trying, submit every month, it just takes a few monutes, and eventually you’ll get a yes! Seriously, we see it happen all the time.
How Freebies Can Help
Goodreads giveaways (and ones you host on your site or through a book blogger) are another fun thing you can do to dramatically boost your book’s exposure.
And remember, you can’t get sales without exposure. They go together. So don’t be stingy and limit your book’s potential.
I recommend doing giveaways several times a year. I know one author who does these monthly, giving away one book at a time and really does a fab job of playing it up as a special event.
If you have multiple books, you can do more of these, just one at a time, and it’s a great excuse for staying in front of current fans and drawing in potential new readers.
Permafree Titles & Book Teasers
A lot of authors talk about “permafree” like it’s the holy grail of gaining more exposure on Amazon. To some authors it sounds like a doomed business plan.
But it’s definitely true that having one book free always helps to boost your exposure.
The caveat is, if you only have two books, making one of them free doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But if you have three or more, then making the first book in a series free, for example, can work exceptionally well.
It even works for non-fiction. I have a lot of books published (17 total) and I always make one of the free. Usually it’s an older title that’s still got good content and is appropriate for a broad audience, that introduces people to my work for zero monetary commitment on their part, and they take that opportunity.
Another good option is a teaser book.
It contains the first seven chapters and it states clearly that it’s only a teaser. Meaning, if you do this, be 100% clear with your audience that it’s not the full book. And don’t forget at the end of the book you’ll want to thank folks for reading and send then to the full book with an active link!
Keep it Up
The idea is to always be discounting or giving away something. Always have a promotion in the funnel that gives you an excuse to get people’s attention.
If you have three or more titles, this gets easier. If you have one or two, it may be harder and not ideal to discount one each month. Do one every six to eight weeks.
The important thing to remember is that one discount or giveaway may not knock your socks off and it definitely will be less effective if you don’t support it with some self-promotion on your site, on social, in your newsletter, etc.
Don’t judge any book marketing strategy in a vacuum.
But First, Put Your Book to Work
Before you put any more time and equity into promotion, make sure you have a letter in the back of your book. Invite readers to contact you. Build your mailing list. Ask for reviews.
Include a clickable link to the book page on Amazon. Include an activated email link so they can easily make these things happen.
Many folks are reading on mobile devices and if you don’t get them to write you or write a review on that first opportunity, you likely won’t get a second chance.
You Can Do This
Yes, discounts and freebies can sound like you’re taking two steps backward.
But department stores have been doing sales for as long as we can remember. Amazon regularly discounts its prices across the board. Why? Because it works – believe me, everyone wants to make money.
The key is to doing it smartly, and promoting the hell out of your deal. You won’t see Nordstrom keeping their Half Yearly sale under wraps, or Amazon just hoping you’ll stumble across Prime Day.
So grab a calendar and start making a plan! Need some additional ideas and advice on making the right book marketing decisions? Contact us today for your very own customized coaching.