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How to get free books seen on Amazon?

I have several of my ebooks priced as free, so that they act as promotion for both my print books, and also for my paid ebooks. So, I want as many downloads of those free books as possible. I have them set to distribute through all the available outlets.

But they are being downloaded exclusively on iBooks. I've just checked back through 8 pages of download data, and all but one download was on iBooks. 

There hasn't been a single free download through Amazon, or Kobo, or Nook. So I'm figuring that there is some way that free ebooks are listed or show up in searches in iBooks that is different from the other platforms. At the moment, it seems as though having them listed as free on Amazon, Kobo and Nook is a waste of time.

I don't care so much about Nook, but it would be great to get some free downloads happening on Kobo and Amazon.

So here's my question -- has anyone worked out a way to encourage free downloads, and get them going on Amazon and Nook? If there was a button that said "Make the other platforms work like iBooks" I'd click that, but weirdly enough, it's not there...

Comments

  • I am basically doing the same as you, in putting some books up for free in the hope that readers will buy my other non free books.

    Of the free books, i only get sales on itunes and amazon. Seldom do i get a sale on nook, kobo and scribd. Google play sales do not show up and amazons sales only show up the sixth (or thereabouts) of each month.

    The other thing to remember is that there are literally millions of books out there so it is hard for one book to take off. 

    If i am going to "make it", which i doubt i will, it will be a long way down the road before i do. You are talking twenty five to thirty years. And the self-publishing landscape will have changed by then i feel.
  • HULSEYHULSEY UK Publisher
    I went down the same route but Amazon is my prime distributor with 9,699 downloads to date. Not sure why your books are having problems with Amazon. I published the book with Lulu the same I would with any other but listed it as free. Not sure the scheme helped in the sales of my other books though.    
  • oncewasoncewas Librarian

    I hate to disappoint, but free books don't lead to sales. People just load up their reading devices with free books in the hope that they might get around to reading them one day, and never do. I have done the same with paid books because I found them being sold cheaply. Do I buy another book, having read and enjoyed one by a particular author? No. Why not? Because there are simply so many books available, so easily and so cheaply; and that is even before you start downloading free books. No doubt there are many people who do not behave this way. If someone follows you as an author then the chances of making another sale are good because Amazon will send them an email when you publish new work.

    Just because a book is available free doesn't mean that people will download it. Once I thought I would download some free books so I went onto Amazon, found a category I was interested in, set the criteria to price from lowest to highest, so that free books showed up first. I found that I didn't really want to download any.

    If people talk about your books that is how you will get your free books downloaded, or make a sale on your paid books. Word of mouth is the best sales driver there is.

    This might sound like a silly question but have you checked that your free books are actually available on Amazon?


  • oncewas said:

    I hate to disappoint, but free books don't lead to sales. People just load up their reading devices with free books in the hope that they might get around to reading them one day, and never do. I have done the same with paid books because I found them being sold cheaply. Do I buy another book, having read and enjoyed one by a particular author? No. Why not? Because there are simply so many books available, so easily and so cheaply; and that is even before you start downloading free books. No doubt there are many people who do not behave this way. If someone follows you as an author then the chances of making another sale are good because Amazon will send them an email when you publish new work.

    Just because a book is available free doesn't mean that people will download it. Once I thought I would download some free books so I went onto Amazon, found a category I was interested in, set the criteria to price from lowest to highest, so that free books showed up first. I found that I didn't really want to download any.

    If people talk about your books that is how you will get your free books downloaded, or make a sale on your paid books. Word of mouth is the best sales driver there is.

    This might sound like a silly question but have you checked that your free books are actually available on Amazon?


    This makes me feel good. I am driven to write, yet i fear being a success much more than a failure. 
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Never stop writing just for the creative fun of it.
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile

    I went down the same route but Amazon is my prime distributor with 9,699 downloads to date.

    Gosh that's excellent Hulsey. I have about 1000 for all my free eBooks so you're doing really well. Most of mine are from Amazon.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    No offence, but people will grab anything that's free. It's always been one of the problems with the internet, including people getting things for free even though it was illegal to do so.
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