Step 15: Run Free and Discount Book Promotions

How to using Amazon free and discount book promotions to generate sales.

One of the benefits of entering an ebook into the Kindle Select program is the ability to run free and discount promotions for the book on the Amazon website. Such promotions can not only generate revenue at a 70% royalty, but they will also add readers, which often leads to reviews.

There are two forms of Kindle Select promotion: free and discount. The following sections explain how these promotions work, how to promote your promotions and offer a suggestion on how to utilize them.

Amazon Free Promotions

Amazon Kindle Select promotions can be accessed either on the KDP Bookshelf via the "Promote and Advertise" button to the right of your Kindle ebook or via the Marketing page. Once select, KDP will display a form allowing you to select either a Kindle Countdown Deal or a Free Promotion under the heading "Run a Price Promotion". To run a free promotion, click the radio button to the left of Free Promotion and click on the "Create a new Free Book Promotion" button.

Next, a form will be displayed asking you for the start and end dates of your free promotion. Your free promotion can begin no earlier than the following day and can last at most a total of five days. Note that you can run multiple promotions during your 90-day Kindle Select enrollment; for example, you can run a two day and a three-day promotion. However, I prefer to run my free promotions for five days to give my potential readers plenty of time to find my deal.

During the period of your free promotion, everywhere your book is displayed on Amazon will display the original book price crossed out and the word free below it.

Free promotions are a great way to get readers and reviews.

Amazon Countdown Deals

The other Kindle Select promotional option is the countdown deal. To take advantage of this option, select the Kindle Countdown Deal radio button and then click the "Create a new Kindle Countdown Deal Promotion" button.

After selecting your Marketplace (I always use the default of, you'll once again be promoted for the start and end date of your promotion. This day you can run a total of seven days of promotions carving this number into as many promotions as you'd like. Again, I prefer running a single seven-day promotion.

Below the date range is an option to select the number of price increments for your promotion and the starting price. For example:

If you run a countdown promotion on a $2.99 book for seven days with one increment starting at $0.99, your book will sell for seven days at $0.99 before returning to its original price of $2.99.

If instead, you run a countdown promotion on a $2.99 book for seven days with two increments starting at $0.99, your book will sell for four days at $0.99 and three days at $1.99 before returning to its original price of $2.99.

Note that you receive a 70% royalty on your discounted book sales.

Promotion Reset

Your promotion options, along with your number of promotion days resets when your book enters its next 90-day Kindle Select enrollment period. You can promote multiple books using different strategies (free or countdown) at the same time, though you must use the same strategy (free or countdown) for all promotions of a single book during its 90-day enrollment period. All of this resets at the start of your book's next 90-day Kindle Select enrollment period.

Promoting Your Promotions

The best way to get the word out regarding your Kindle Select promotions is to post your free and discount deals on free and discount deal websites. This can be a tedious process. Fortunately, there's a tool called KDROI that greatly simplifies the process.

KDROI runs as a Chrome or Firefox browser plugin. When run, the program scrapes the current Amazon book product page being displayed by your browser to gather the information required to submit your deal to sixteen free book promotion websites. The program displays a screen allowing you to modify the default information regarding your book and conclude by displaying a list of book promotion sites to which it can post your promotion. The following is a screenshot of this Site Selection display:

Notice at the bottom of their display that they submit to far fewer sites than they used to but that they're working on expanding their site offering.

I suppose that you could use the site list in the display to manually submit your promotion to all the sites listed. The other option is to pick up a copy of KDROI ( for $47 and perform the task literally in minutes.

My Recommendation

I recommend that you run free promotions for any new books and switch over to $0.99 single increment countdown deals after the book's first or second Kindle Select enrollment. I also recommend that you purchase a copy of KDROI to promote your promotions.