Some of you on Twitter may have noticed a few tweets go out early in the morning announcing RISE OF THE DIBOR was on the Kindle for free.

It was all true.

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) has added a new program (“Select”), which allows ebooks to enter an exclusive 3-month minimum “borrowing library,” in which the readers get to borrow the books and the authors split a pot of funds.

It’s a great way to get titles circulating.

But KDP Select also allows you to promote each of your titles for free up five times during their 3-month stay. The catch is, you don’t make any money on sales during those particular days. So why would an author want to do that?

Perhaps a better question is, why wouldn’t an author want to do that?

After gleaning insights from numerous authors on the subject, I decided to commence a little experimenting of my own.

I pulled The White Lion Chronicles from all other retailers (part of KDP Select’s exclusivity policy), and have scheduled a few “free days” in the upcoming three months. Yesterday was merely an attempt at seeing how many downloads would be generated from being listed on Kindle’s free books page without any major marketing push on my end. Granted, in looking for a “control” in my experiment, I shouldn’t have tweeted anything; however I forget I’d previously scheduled a few tweets targeting a handful of free Kindle ebook Tweeters.


How much traffic those tweets generated I’ll never know. Except I may or may not have another free ROTD coming up which I won’t be saying anything about (if in fact there was something to announce, which there may or may not be), in the hopes of comparing numbers.

Future free days lay ahead for all three books. And those will be accompanied with larger marketing campaigns, and yes, more Tweets.

What’s the logic behind giving books away for free when I could be making money off them?

Glad you asked.

I think it’s safe to say that by now most of my fans who wanted ATHERA’S DAWN, or any of the other books in the series, have already purchased them. They’ve been out for a few months either as a gorgeous print edition, or as a low-priced ebook available on all formats.

Yet the Kindle reading audience is in the millions.


Yesterday ROTD went into the hands of about 1,000 people. Assuming there are a few fans of mine out there who haven’t pulled the trigger on the already low price of $2.99, most of those downloads are new people. And potentially new fans.

Two things happen:

1.) They start talking. If the book is truly good – and capitalism has a way of weeding out good from bad stories and good from bad writing – then it will spread. And so will future sales.

2.) The book’s ranking, ratings, and reviews have the potential to increase, all actions that beget more activity and get the book in more peoples’ hands.

I’m hoping the next big push gets free copies into the hands of thousands of readers – perhaps tens of thousands of readers. Because even then I have only begun to scratch the surface of just how many eyes are on the other side of a Kindle enabled reading device.

Keep your eyes peeled.



Gabe · 11 Apr ’12 at 10:04 am

Wait…. So it’s not free anymore???
I own all three books, but ebook versions of the first two sounds great 🙂

    Christopher Hopper · 11 Apr ’12 at 10:16 am

    The free promo days last 24 hours.

    Just keep watching my blog, Twitter, or Facebook for more free days.

    Gabe · 11 Apr ’12 at 11:02 am

    Will you say when it’s a free day on your blog? I check your blog every day (sometimes multiple times a day :))

    Gabe · 12 Apr ’12 at 11:06 pm

    Thanks! 😀

Lisa Bergren · 11 Apr ’12 at 10:33 am

Interested to hear what the other days generate. Really wrestling with KDP since I’ve done half as many sales on Nook and my Nookites are going to get super cranky if I make ’em wait. But I’m curious as all get-out about the program!

    Christopher Hopper · 11 Apr ’12 at 3:20 pm

    What I tried to do (unbeknownst to all my readers) was give my core fans ample time (2 months) to download their copies on their preferred device. Which they did. NOW I’m free of the unspoken obligation to meet their expectations (because I already did due diligence) and can dive into Kindle-only world.

    I’ll update you as I have more data. 😉

Gabe · 11 Apr ’12 at 2:37 pm

Bytheway, when do you think you’ll release your 99cent ebook on self-publishing?

    Christopher Hopper · 12 Apr ’12 at 4:34 pm

    As soon as I get some time to wrap it up. Ha!

Comments are closed.