The question, 'how do I give a free copy of my Kindle book?' pops up here a lot. There are various reasons that an author may opt to give a free copy of their Kindle book. Your book may be Perma-Free (permanently priced at $0), free temporarily due to a promotion, or maybe you want to know how to gift an ebook to a winner of a promotional giveaway.
Whatever the reason, figuring out how to get this done on Amazon can be a struggle. Luckily, we have explored all three scenarios in the article below to help take the guesswork out of it should you find yourself in any of these scenarios.
- Can I Give A Free Copy of My Kindle Book If Enrolled in Amazon KDP Select?
- How to Set Up a Free Book Promotion When Enrolled In KDP Select:
- How Do I Run A Free Promotion If My Book Is Not Enrolled In KDP Select?
- Is Giving Away Free Copies Of My Kindle Book Worth It?
- Why Give Away Free Copies Of Your Book?
- How to Give an Ebook as A Gift on Amazon
Can I Give A Free Copy of My Kindle Book If Enrolled in Amazon KDP Select?
Of course, you can, but it does have caveats.
Amazon will allow you to run a Free Promotion on your book for a short period if your title is enrolled in KDP Select. You can offer readers a free copy for five days out of every 90-day enrollment period.
The five days can either be used all at once or spread out over 90 days by using one day at a time until all five days have been used. However, you will be unable to do a free promotion on the very first day of your enrollment period.
If you are unaware of how to set up these free promos, here's how!
How to Set Up a Free Book Promotion When Enrolled In KDP Select:
- Log into your KDP dashboard, and locate the book in which you would like to enroll in the program.
- Click on the ellipsis button (which is the three dots) under the Book Actions.
- Select "KDP Select Info."
- Choose "Free Book Promotion" under "Run a Price Promotion." By default, "Kindle Countdown Deal" is chosen.
- Create a new free book promotion by clicking "Create a New Free Book Promotion."
- Click "Save" after entering the desired start and end dates. Avoid ending on the final day of your KDP Select term.
How Do I Run A Free Promotion If My Book Is Not Enrolled In KDP Select?
When your book isn't enrolled in KDP Select, you have to rely on Amazon to price match it if you'd like to promote it for free. Unfortunately, Amazon does not allow you to list your book for free directly from their website. The lowest price they accept is $0.99. So, if your book is only available for sale through Amazon and not in KDP Select, you cannot offer your book for free in this manner.
If your book is sold wide (on multiple platforms), however, you can use price matching as a workaround. This involves three main steps.
Step 1: Create Your Kindle Book On Amazon
To get started, follow these steps after logging into your KDP account:
- Navigate to your Bookshelf.
- Choose a book type under the "Create a New Title" section and click the "+" button.
- Fill in the fields accordingly and click Publish.
Step 2: Make Your Book Available At All Other Retailers For Free
You can do this by logging into your author accounts on Kobo, Google, Apple, and Nook and setting the price of your book to $0, or by using a wide eBook distributor like Draft2Digital.
Step 3: Contact KDP Support To Request A Price Match
You can submit a price match request to KDP support via their support portal.
You should know that Amazon is under no obligation to change the price of your book. As a competitive retailer, it is in their best interest to match the lower price, but they may do so either not at all or slowly. Consequently, you should start this process well in advance of any paid promotions you have booked (like a Freebooksy or BookBub promotion).
Is Giving Away Free Copies Of My Kindle Book Worth It?
Why do people still give away their books? Most do it for good reasons, but it is best to try it with only a small number of your titles.
Although free eBooks were all the rage a few years ago, they seem to be much less effective now as a means of marketing yourself or your book. Amazon maintains separate rankings for free and paid eBooks; the boost you get from giving your Kindle book away will disappear once you charge for it again.
Moreover, there are two distinct populations of buyers - those who pay for books and those who do not. It's less likely that people who only "buy" ebooks when they are free (or worse, download pirated copies) will pay for them, so you're not targeting the segment of your audience who might be most profitable. Usually, we want to target the most profitable audience.
That being said, there are some good reasons for you to consider making your ebook free anyway (whether temporary or permanent).
Why Give Away Free Copies Of Your Book?
Here are just a few reasons:
Get More Reviews
Reviewers should still be marked as "verified buyers" if they download the free version from the Kindle Store. This makes their reviews more credible. But, this is an intelligent marketing tactic to increase the number of reviews for your book.
The more reviews you have, the higher your book is ranked in Amazon's search results, and the more likely people are to find and buy your book.
Introducing New Readers to A Series
By giving away the first book in your series, you are potentially marketing all other titles in that series and your remaining backlist (this is what's known as a loss leader in retail - make sure to include links and blurbs at the end of each eBook to make it as easy as possible to purchase other titles or perhaps upsell to a bundle).
Once you have them hooked on your story, and if you've done a good job of delivering a quality book, they are likely to come back for more.
Drive Traffic To Your Website or Blog
If you include links to your website or blog in your eBook, you can increase traffic to those sites. You can also include opt-in forms to capture leads and make some sales while you're at it.
For further visibility
Giving free copies is great if selling the ebook isn't your end goal. This can aid in establishing yourself as an expert in a field (like to advertise your services or speak at conferences, for example).
Gaining Social Media Followers
If you include links to your social media profiles in your eBook, you can increase your followers on those platforms. You can also use this opportunity to promote other titles or products that you have available.
You can also give away a free copy of your book (or an excerpt) as an incentive on a website like InstaFreebie or to encourage readers to sign up on your website. Many authors use free books (Reader Magnets) to attract new readers. This remains the best method to grow your own newsletter/mailing list organically.
How to Give an Ebook as A Gift on Amazon
If you would like to know how to give an ebook as a gift or promotional prize, here is how:
The Amazon website has a feature called "Give as a Gift" that lets you email someone a Kindle ebook. Authors can use this feature to promote their books. Giving your Kindle edition as a gift will increase the rank of your book's sales page, which will ultimately improve your visibility on Amazon and lead to more sales.
Consider the following scenario: you agree to speak at an event or conference, and you ask the event host if they will be willing to distribute your book in Kindle format to attendees. The event host agrees to do so. Using the Give as a Gift feature on Amazon, the host can then email each attendee with their redemption code individually.
The attendees then get an incentive (free book) while you increase sales, gain new readers and improve your Amazon ranking!
It is also possible to deliver Kindle ebooks to your audience using this feature, perhaps in conjunction with a special promotion. If you plan your campaign well, the benefits can be worthwhile, even if you need to spend money buying your Kindle book to send to your audience.
🌟 Key Tip: If you have a huge promotion that requires you to give multiple books away as a gift, consider dropping the price of your book temporarily to $.99 so that you won't have to pay full price to send out the free copies.
Are There Any Drawbacks of Giving Away of Your Kindle Book Using The Give as a Gift Feature?
Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks! This program does have some caveats. The Amazon gift sale only affects your sales rank if the gift is redeemed within 24 hours. Moreover, the gift option works like a credit, and the recipient can exchange the ebook for something else on Amazon.
In the experience of others, they have done many of these campaigns, and most recipients are thrilled to receive a gift like this and gladly accept it. However, the possibility is still there.
Generally, this can be an effective way to raise awareness for your book and gain new readers, which can then lead to more book reviews on your sales page. Just beware that it may not always work in your favor.