The-Lafayette-Campaign-800 Cover reveal and PromotionalOver the last several months I’ve been trying, and reporting on, my success with various paid promotions. This week I’m running a blitz of promotions with the book available for free. Why not download a copy right now here? If you’re so inclined, I’d be most grateful if you would also Tweet the news or otherwise spread the word to your book reading friends. Here’s more on how the promotions will run, and on what I hope to achieve.

As a rule, I don’t really believe in free promotions, so this is by way of an experiment whose results are (in my mind) very much in doubt. The concern with free, as compared to discount, promotions is that people who sign up for free book daily emails and visit free sites tend to download masses of books that they never get around to reading. On the other hand, those that pay for a book – even if it’s only $0.99 – are likely to download fewer books and read more of those that they do.

The counter argument is that a free offer may result in ten times (or more) downloads, and that the reduced percentage of reads will be more than offset by the much higher number of downloads. My hope is that by doing a blitz of promotions that at least some of the dominos that fall over will start chain reactions.

Since I’ve already done a number of paid promotions and observed the results, I’ll be able to get some idea of whether that happens – as well as which sales after the week is up seem likely to be attributable to the free reads, higher rankings in the listings, possible promotional support Amazon’s algorithms may give, and so on.

My first promotion (through Book Butterfly) is running today, and several additional ones will run through October 1 (and possibly 2). Unfortunately, I made a major mistake six weeks ago when I failed to realize that my KindleSelect period will end on September 29, and that I will not be able to reset the price to zero until 10/1. My two strongest promotions, of course, are set to run on 9/3o, and will cancel if the book is not at $0.00 that morning, so I’m trying to reschedule those dates now.

The moral to the story is that before setting a free promotion date for a book in the KindleSelect plan, be sure to check your renewal date first, even if you have your participation set to automatic renewal, because you are not allowed to schedule a promotional day for the following period. Since you have to set a promotional day, at the latest, on the day before, that means that the first day of each 90 day participation period will never be available. Argh.

Oh – you wanted the free download page again? Well of course – you can download The Lafayette Campaign here right now. If you don’t already have the Kindle app on your mobile device, tablet or computer, you can download it here.

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