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Free to Succeed

Guest Blogger Karen Magill

Please welcome Karen Magill to our blog this week. She is going to talk about a freebie promotion she ran this past weekend on Amazon. The amount of work it takes to put it together as well as how she did with it. She was extremely organized this time around and very impressive with her planning and goals. It was a pleasure to help promote her. Look for a review of her book Mystique Rising here in the near future. Now I hand the blog over to Karen:

Free to Succeed

by Karen Magill

Most authors by now have heard of Amazon’s KDP-Select program and have heard of those who are making masses amount of money through it. An author has to make their book exclusive to the KDP-Select and Amazon for a period of ninety days and readers not only buy the book but can also ‘borrow’ it as if it were in a public library. Part of the KDP-Select program is that an eBook can be listed as free for a maximum five days during the ninety day period. On July 9 and 10, I tried the free promotion.


The first thing I would like to point out is that getting organized for one of these promotions – even if it is only for two days – is lot of work. For this one I started three weeks before so that I could notify places like Pixel of Ink because I hoped that they would list my free eBook. That site, as well as Ereader News Today are two of the bigger sites for listing free eBooks.  The exposure that an ebook promotion can get from those two sites is invaluable. (Pixel of Ink didn’t list my book though Ereader News did.) As well, I wrote out numerous tweets and postings so that I could just copy and paste the information over the weekend.


(You know all of this would have been a lot easier if I didn’t have to deal with fatigue, sleep, tendonitis in my wrists, food – normal things we humans deal with. If I were a machine that could just keep at it for hours, I could have notified the world and exploded on Amazon. Maybe next time I will work that out.)

The week of the promotion is the time to notify most contacts – the day before in many cases. Any earlier and the person may forget. Therefore, that was a busy week for me. I started to direct message everyone on my twitter followers list. At that time, I had over seven hundred and that takes awhile even if I am copying and pasting the message. I worked on it for two days and I notified everyone I thought would be interested and might help.  After that, I sent the same message to anyone new who started following me.


Friday the 8th came and I had to do more notifying. I had researched groups on Facebook that advertise free eBook days and I started copying and pasting my message about Mystique Rising being free on them. If you are going to do this, be careful. It didn’t take long to get a notice from Facebook saying I was ‘spamming’ people and if I didn’t quit they would block my account. Next time I will do it over a few days and be sure that I word the notice differently for a few of the groups. I spent much of that day tying up loose ends and doing another push to get the notifications into different places.


Finally, the first day of the promotion arrives and I am up bright and early. I had a couple of places that would only take the information the first day of the promotion so I did that first thing, created an event on Facebook and invited all my friends (the first time I did this I tried to contact everyone individually but that was tiresome). I also checked to see the number of downloads since midnight.  There were a few hundred. Then I got onto Twitter and started posting tweets.


That is what I did for most of Saturday. I tweeted, I posted on Facebook, I thanked people who said they downloaded the book, I posted notices repeatedly. Saturday evening Mystique Rising was number two in fantasy/contemporary and number four in action/adventure. I was ecstatic! I was sure it was going to go to number one.


Sunday morning I woke to find the numbers the same as the night before. I tweeted, posted, emailed and gently nudged people to download the free book. However, in the late afternoon, the eBook started to slip in the rankings and I was getting tired. The eBook never reached number one.


That’s all right though, I’m not upset. Number 2 is not a bad position to be in. I am waiting now for the exposure I hopefully got to translate into sales. I haven’t made massive amounts of money on this program yet but I am going to keep working on it.

Have you got your copy of the Amazon Kindle Bestseller, Mystique Rising (formerly Let Us Play, A Rock ‘n Roll Love Story) http://amzn.to/Jr4GoZ?
In paperback it is known as Let Us Play, A Rock ‘n Roll Love Story http://goo.gl/mqHSq
Have you read The Bond, A Paranormal Love Story in eBook http://goo.gl/EtzSs or in paperback http://goo.gl/6lDxf
Travel the city with The Vancouver Vagabond blog, http://karen-magill.blogspot.com
Look for Missing Flowers, my next book, to be released soon by Saga Books.
pixel Free to Succeed

About the author

Tasha Turner

I am a writer and a one-on-one social media coach. I teach people how to brand themselves and how to use social media effectively.

Currently I am co-authoring a short story about a Jewish vampire to be released in 2012 as an e-book. This will be my 1st fiction. I have written a number of computer manuals and managed a tech writing group as well as editing others work for 20 years. Tasha Turner is my Pen Name and has become my professional name by default.

Permanent link to this article: http://tasha-turner.com/free-to-succeed/

  • Brad Fleming

    A great piece of work Karen. It makes one realise just how much work is involved in a project like that. A big well done to you!

    • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

      It really is a lot of work to make a free promotion go well and to keep the momentum going afterwards so you make sales.

  • http://www.janecarrollauthor.com Jane Carroll


    Great post! Thanks for the useful information. I know I will be doing a free promotion soon and will benefit from your advise.

    • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

      When I asked Karen to share her experience with us I had no idea just how much useful information she was going to share. She is great about helping others learn from her experiences which is a key component in building relationships. And she does it because she genuinely cares and wants to see others succeed.

  • http://cathybrockmanromances.wordpress.com/ Cathy Brockman

    Great information Karen!! thanks for sharing. I learned a lot from this Good Luck!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

      We will have to make sure to refer back to this when we run free promotions for your books.

  • http://www.karenmagill.com Karen Magill

    Thanks everyone. Everytime someone new starts following me on Twitter I cringe thinking of how many more people I will have to notify next time! LOL

    • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

      I can understand that. Most people get excited when they hit 1k followers, me I wondered how I was going to build meaningful relationships with that many.

  • http://beverlymahone.com Beverly Mahone


    Your strategy is very interesting. I didn’t do what you did at all. Perhaps if I had read this first, I might’ve had greater success.

    I put teams in place—people I knew who knew people who would support the cause plus some other stuff.

    Congratulations on making it to #2. My free promotion also landed me at #2 but I was more concerned with the number of downloads because that told me how to proceed for the next promotion—which I just completed and did hit #1.

    • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

      There are so many right ways to run a promo. What I’ve learned is that if everyone does the same thing then it stops working. The best way to do things is look at a variety of successful promos and pull parts from each but add your own spin and do something different that helps you stand out. The organization part is critical. Knowing who you can trust to promote you so Facebook does not consider you a spammer is also helpful. Sounds like your promo went fairly well. Did sales pick up afterwards?

      • http://www.karenmagill.com Karen Magill

        Hi Tasha, sales did not pick up afterwards and I am taking a step back this week and looking at everything again.

        • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

          Sorry to hear that

          • http://www.karenmagill.com Karen Magill

            no problem Tasha. It will all work out, just takes a while to figure out the right way for me.

  • http://www.karenmagill.com Karen Magill

    Thanks Beverly. The first time I did a promo I made it to #82 – the categories didn’t set in time – but I am happy with this result. Congrats on making it to number 1! You deserve it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

    Fantastic guest post Karen. Thank you for sharing with us.


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