Sunday, July 10, 2016

Ask PZM: July 2016 - Free eBook Promotions

Q: Any recommendations for getting out the word about a free ebook promotion without spending a lot on advertising?

In June I ran a 5-day KDP Select free promotion for my Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS (written with my husband Mitchell R. Miller). I decided not to spend a lot of time and money on the promotion and just see what happened.

Google Plus:

I discovered that on Google Plus I was a member of communities on which I could post information about the free promotion.

Why did I not remember this?

Here is the tricky part. Whenever I go to Google Plus to post an update, my account opens in my feed, where I post the update. I rarely go to my Google Plus profile. But I needed to go to the profile to check something, and lo and behold, scrolling down the page (on the right-hand side) I found I belonged to a few communities. And checking these out, I learned I could post my free ebook promotion to some of them.

Here are the three on which I posted and there are surely more that would be appropriate:

Cap'n Joe's #FREE #Promo:

Kindle and eBook Writers And Reviewers:

Kindle Ebook Promoter:

Now will this result in any additional downloads? I have no idea. But it is worth keeping in mind.

Note: Yes, there are tons of Facebook groups on which you can post your free ebook promotion, and I assume many of you know about these groups. I wrote here about the Google Plus communities because I suspect that fewer people know about these posting opportunities.


I wanted to be able to post an update on Goodreads about the free ebook promotion as I had posted such an update on membership sites such as (screenwriting site — see my profile at

Yet I couldn't find a place to post an update on Goodreads because an ebook promotion clearly didn't fit into the "Ask the Author" section.

Then I realized that, although my author blog posts automatically feed into my Goodreads author account, there is the option to add a post right on the account.

So that's what I did — I wrote a post directly on Goodreads announcing the free promotion — see

I found this option on my Goodreads Author Dashboard under “Your Blog” — scroll down to “Write a New Post.” This new post then appeared at the top of the automatic blog post feed from my author blog.

Note: I could have written this post on my blog and had the post automatically feed into Goodreads. But I didn’t want to write the post on my blog for various reasons, so being able to just write the post on Goodreads was very handy.

P.S. And I pinned the LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS book cover from the Amazon Kindle page onto one of my Pinterest boards with the announcement of the free promotion.

Q: Have you tried the Amazon Giveaway program for any of your books or ebooks?

Yes, I have tried the program, choosing to give away ebooks rather than books so that I did not incur shipping costs.

I made a huge error the first time I tried this program: I gave away an ebook to everyone up to my designated number of giveaway ebooks (what Amazon Giveaway calls “First-come, First-served”). This meant the promotion ended almost immediately. I should have done what Amazon Giveaway calls “Lucky Number” (every X entrant wins).

Now, if I were doing a private Amazon Giveaway &dmash; privately sending the URL link only to people whom I wanted to redeem the giveaway — the “First-come, First-served” method would make sense. But this isn’t the right choice for a giveaway whose purpose is to publicly share the giveaway URL in order to get publicity exposure for a book or an ebook. This should be a “Lucky Number” Amazon Giveaway.

FYI — You can use an Amazon Giveaway for almost any product sold on Amazon, not necessarily your own books or ebooks. But obviously for us authors it makes sense to give away our own books. And as we have to buy the ebooks or books via Amazon for the giveaway, we do make back part of the expenditure, depending on our royalty percentage on a particular book or ebook.

Learn more at and, if you have tried an Amazon Giveway, do add your feedback in the comments below.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) blogs on book-related topics at and her fiction ebooks on Amazon can be read for free via a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription at and her nonfiction ebooks on Amazon can be read for free via a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription at


  1. None of my books have ever been free, but I bet Google+ Groups would be good for advertising discounted books as well.

    1. For sure they would be. Hi Alex. Thanks for visiting.

  2. Those are great tips! I'm bookmarking for future reference :)

  3. Hey Joylene,

    How's it goin', eh? Once again, loads of informative stuff from Phyllis. As I've stated many a time, although the info is gobbelty goop to me, I know that the stuff Phyllis mentions can be great for established and aspiring writers.

    Thus, consider this post shared!

    Take care,


    1. Hey Gary, always nice to see you. Thanks for your support. Can't say it enough.

  4. This is very helpful! Bookmarking this for future reference. Now what would I do without you two? Thanks so much. Have a great week! :)

  5. I hadn't thought about Google communities before, and I think I belong to a few. Plus I hadn't realized I could write a post just for GR. Thanks for the tips! I can't imagine buying my own books from Amazon. They make enough money as it is. LOL!

    1. Great to hear you enjoyed Phyllis's post, Lexa. That's our aim here at JNB! Have a great day!

  6. Thanks for this great information. I'll be hosting a giveaway in the near future and will be bookmarking this page.

  7. Fantastic information. I have never thought of Google Plus either. I'll have to try that out. :)

  8. Thanks for this informative post. I'm making notes for future use.

  9. I Bookmark blogs for future reference. I have found free giveaways are good but not great. I receive reviews on Amazon and Kindle and that is worth the price of giving my books away for free.

  10. Nice lot of information! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Great information as usual. I have a question that I can't seem to find the answer to. Every once in a while a I receive an email from a goodread's author. In that email they have a book description, a cover with the Want to Read link below and buylinks at the bottom. How can I do that?

  12. I recently stumbled across that Amazon giveaway thing, when a friend shared a giveaway link...and they signed me up for 3 newsletters because I entered the giveaway. With no disclaimer. Ugh. BUT, it made me excited to try it myself.


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