Making The Most From Your Free Ebooks For Kindle

Kindle eBook Promotions

Anyone who is publishing with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) knows about free ebook promotion.

You can offer your ebook for free for five days during your ninety-day enrollment in KDP Select.

What some may not know is that free ebooks for Kindle have now become another little industry in itself.

There are many, many sites on the internet that are listing and promoting free ebook offerings.


Giving away ebooks is not easy

When KDP Select first started, it was enough to book your free days and then promote it yourself via your social networks.

Now, however, there are so many free ebooks on offer every day it’s getting more and more challenging to get noticed.

On the Kindle Store, it is not easy to find free ebooks anymore.

On top of this, for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, free ebooks are of little interest or value.

To get good value now from free ebook promotions, you really need to get your book listed on as many ‘free Kindle ebook’ sites as possible.

It is the only way to get the traffic you need to give away enough copies to move your book up the rankings.

This is the whole point, of course.

Getting your book up the Amazon rankings where book buyers can notice it after the promotion has finished. I gather that this has now been called the bounce.

KDP Free Kindle Ebook Promotion

I have tried a lot of ways of using the free days for my books.

From merely booking a couple of days with no promotion at all, to carefully planned and promoted offerings.

I have also experimented with different days of the week and of the month.

In general, promotions in the first few days of a month are worth avoiding, as are Fridays and Mondays.

Another element I have noticed through my trial and errors is that luck can also have a hand in how successful a free ebook promotion is.

I’ve had carefully planned promotions flop, while ones with almost no promotion have skyrocketed. No idea at all why.

But in general, better-promoted ones have fared far better.


KDP free ebook promotion works best with a plan

Without a doubt, my most successful promotions have been when I have planned weeks ahead and notified as many free ebook listing sites as possible and then be picked up by some of the bigger sites.

As they all tend to pick and choose what they will promote, I would suggest contacting at least fifteen sites, and even more, if you’re really keen.

It is also important to have at least eight to ten reviews as very few will list books with fewer reviews than this.

Another crucial element is to have your book listed in the best keywords and categories on Kindle.

If your book is under the category of Fiction-Romance, your book will be competing against many thousands of other titles to get a decent ranking.

But if it is listed under Fiction-Romance-Romantic Suspense, there are far fewer titles in this category, so it’s much easier to climb to a decent ranking and then profit from ‘the bounce’ after the promotion has finished.

Good luck with your next KDP free ebook promotion, and hopefully, you get the desired bounce to sell a million copies.


More reading: What is the difference between KDP and KDP Select?

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

6 thoughts on “Making The Most From Your Free Ebooks For Kindle

  • May 8, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    I Always pre-post a Free book on my (Main)-blog, where I have a Special post up for updates on free titels, Long before they are actually free. ;)

  • November 26, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    When the 5 days of the free promotional period is up, should we take the books off these sites?
    Thanks for the info! :)

  • August 9, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Wow! this was a fantastic article. I am so happy to find another avenue to promote my books. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Good luck with continued sales and promotions,
    Jade D. Hart aka Ronna Gage

  • July 26, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Agree with previous comment…..what is your experience of the free and paid promotion sites? Seems like they are over saturated to me… people really scan the daily free offer emails and feeds?

    • July 26, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      Free Kindle ebooks used to work well, say five years ago, but now, there’s little value unless you plan a heavy promo campaign to support it. However, perma-free series starters can still be useful. Then of course, there is Bookbub, but it’s an awfully expensive way to give away ebooks..

  • July 20, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with using free ebooks to promote actual sales through KDP: they will help me with my approaching book release.

    Would you, perchance, be willing to share a list of your favorite/most ‘profitable’ 15 free Kindle ebook sites? (Possible fodder for a new post?)

    Thanks again for all you do to help us indies!


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