SPQ 006: Perma-Free vs. KDP Select – What’s the Best Way to Market a Book Series?
Is it better to sign up with KDP Select or make a Kindle book permanently free? Find out in this episode of Self-Publishing Questions.
Antara wants to know Steve’s opinion on whether it is better to make a Kindle book permanently free or sign up for KDP Select and run free promos every 90 days. Steve has only used the “perma-free” strategy once, but a lot of fiction authors do it successfully. There is a way to get Amazon to list a book for free, but it does take a little bit of work. When publishing the book on Amazon, do not sign up for KDP Select. Set the price to 99 cents on Amazon; then publish it on Smashwords and other platforms.
Here’s the process for creating a perma-free book…Set the book’s price to free on other platforms. Once your book is live, tell Amazon the book is free on another website. When Amazon sees that your book is free elsewhere, it will match the price for Kindle readers. It will take a few weeks before the price match goes into effect. KDP Select allows authors to give their books away for free for five days during every 90-day period.
The below image shows how to let Amazon know about the free book:
Steve says fiction authors should absolutely use the perma-free strategy, especially to promote a series of books. It’s hard to get visibility on Amazon, so having a permanently free book is a good way to get people interested in a series. For nonfiction, it’s probably not necessary to make one of your books free.
Steve believes it is important to build up a catalog, but you might want to consider using the permafree strategy after publishing at least three books. Your free book doesn’t have to be very long – around 10,000 words should be fine – but it should solve a problem for your audience. Make sure the free book has good content and provides value so readers have a good experience.
Smashwords Style Guide: Learn how to format ebooks for the Smashwords platform
HabitBooks.net: Steve’s catalog of books on habit development