Freebie Marketing Experiment


Last week, I decided to break out of my rut and try a marketing experiment. I mustered up some persistence  and engaged in some boring butt-in-the-chair type freebie marketing. Because in the past I’ve felt this sort of thing wasn’t worth my time, (I would much rather be writing) promised myself that anything my books earned over the previous week, I would spend….and so I did. Last week my books earned about 30% more than the week before.

So, here’s what I did. I contacted these free sites about promoting my perma-free, Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent. I have no idea how many will actually promote my book, or when, but all of these sites were free.!about/c186c  email them the details at:  FREE only. Scroll down on the site to see the form.  only non fiction, christian and children’s books.   FREE only.  Put the promo details under ‘details’.   click submit button to inform about promo. If you can’t see the ‘edit’ etc buttons, click X to delete the ad to the right!   Put in the ASIN and the dates and click submit.   FREE & KCD. Send message to advise of promo. Sign on screen is a WordPress screen. Then ‘visit site’, then click ‘register’. Add promo details. FREE only.     Go to ‘submit freebie’   Recommended but there’s a fee.     Choose category ‘free ebook updates’ and put promo dates on comments!   Choose category ‘ebooks’ and put promo dates on comments!        Recommended but there’s a fee  To guarantee a listing, use the paid option of hotzippy below. hotzippy page that submits book to pixelscroll, bargain ebook hunter & romance ebook deals. There’s a fee.        FREE & KCD.  Add promo dates on ‘topic’.  FREE & KCD. Email to send promo details.       FREE only      FREE only    Doesn’t accept submissions at the moment.     FREE only.     FREE only.     FREE only.  Email  see what info to email on the site – copy paste.      FREE only.       (One hundred free books)   FREE & KCD. Add promo dates and link in the last field.   FREE & KCD. Email  Attach book cover.  Same owner as GenrePulse. May be a fee.    FREE & KCD  Can also submit a book for a new launch. Use a very short blurb.  Once in 4 months only.   They send an email & you must click the link to finalize the submission.       FREE only. Ignore what it says about 7 days. You can submit earlier than that. Request a listing early.      FREE only. Scroll down the page to see the form.       FREE only. Email them to advise of promo.  or tweet them on the day.  FREE & KCD. You’ll need to take the pledge first, before you can submit.     FREE only. Posts on an FB page.      DIGITAL INK SPOT      FREE only.       FREE only.      FREE only.     leave a comment with free promo details.

Then I did something that I found really eye-opening and interesting. I went to my Amazon author page and looked up the information of readers who had in the past left positive reviews on my books. I was able to find, on average, contact information on about 20 percent of the reviewers. But even those who didn’t post contact info, left a trail, because I could see what else they had reviewed. Often, it was other books–which told me what they liked to read–but it was also other products, like anti-aging eye-cream, or diaper rash medicine, which provided clues to their age. I was surprised that most of the readers of my young adult books were retired. And the dudes! I have a number of stay at home dads and retired veterans who read and like my books! After compiling a list, I emailed them this:

Hi all,

Thanks for reading and reviewing MY OTHER BOOKS. Your kind words and reviews have inspired and lifted me. I want to offer a pay back: Every new release FREE.

 I’m sure you’ve seen this disclaimer before: “I received this ARC copy in exchange for my honest review.” 

Why do authors offer this?

Review street teams have been a standard practice used by the big publishing houses for decades to help launch a new title. Since I’m self-published, my readers are vital to helping people find my books. I don’t have the millions of dollars big publishing corporations have to put books on billboards, so I rely on my readers to help spread the word.

In a few weeks, my latest novel, Menagerie, will be available on Amazon. It’s currently up for pre-order for the discounted price of .99 cents. I’m offering it to a select few for FREE in exchange for an honest review. I’m sending the first two chapters of Menagerie to tempt you. If you’re interested, just email me at and I’ll send an arc copy.

There’s no obligation or commitment. But I hope that if you do enjoy it, you’ll take the time to review it on Amazon or other online retailers and chat it up with your neighbors and friends.The nicest thing you can do for an author you like is to give a five star review and share that author’s name not just with your immediate circle of family and friends but also on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social media you use. Word of mouth is the most wonderful form of advertisement an author can have. And remember, a review doesn’t have to be a book report. It can be a simple, “Loved it!” “Made me laugh!” or “Couldn’t put it down!”

Thank you! I look forward to hearing from you.

I sent them my first chapter, cover image, and a buy link to the pre-order page.

Then I went to a New York Times Bestselling Author who writes in the same genre and looked up her reviewers. Interestingly, about 80% of her reviewers had contact information as most of hers were professional book bloggers (which suggested to me that her publisher most likely contacted them.) So, I also reached out to (some of) them. I sent this:


I read and liked your review of BESTSELLER and wondered if you’d like to read and review my soon to be released novel, Menagerie.  You can see it here.

If interested, please contact me at for a free copy.


I also sent them my first chapter, cover image, and a buy link to the pre-order page.

At the end of this week, I’ll be running a promotion on the third book in my Witch Ways series. I intend to contact all the free sites listed above, but this week, I’ll also include any sites that are less than $5. each. In the following weeks, I have lined up promotions with my favorites, Ereader News Today, Robin Reads, and Book Barbarian. Also, when Menagerie is released, my Bookbub and Amazon followers will be notified.

Why promote my perma-free, my Witch Ways book, and my soon to be released? Because I firmly believe that a rising tide lifts all ships. This means that if one book does well, the readers will spill over to my other books.

Since my book, Menagerie, will be released at the end of the month, I will email my own list (about 10,000) send out a Kindle Scout newsletter (where a bunch of other Kindle Scouters will also be promoting their books) and an Authors of Main Street newsletter (where anyone who would like to promote may do so. The more the merrier!) We’ve done this in the past with great success. The Authors of Main Street have a large following.

Want to participate? Just send your cover and buy link to:
by September 20th.
I’ll send out the email on September 28th, and ask everyone who participates to do the same.
Keep in mind, group promotions only work if everyone spreads the word through their own newsletter lists, blogs, and social media. Putting the newsletter together is a lot of work. If you want to thank me, please consider buying or sharing the link to my new release.





About Kristy Tate

USA Today bestselling author Kristy Tate has come a long way from small-town Washington. Her avid curiosity and love of reading have carried her to thirty plus countries. (She loves to travel to the places she reads and writes about.) She's the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling and award-winning Beyond Series and the Kindle Scout winning Witch Ways series. She writes mysteries with romance, humorous romance, light-hearted young adult romance, and urban fantasy. When she's not reading, writing, or traveling, she can be found playing games with her family, hiking with her dogs, or watching movies while eating brownies. She is also a popular public speaker and presents writing workshops for schools, libraries, and fundraisers. All proceeds donated to charity. References available upon request.
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5 Responses to Freebie Marketing Experiment

  1. E. Ayers says:

    Great list of sites for promoting free books.People do seem to like to read the first book before reading everything else.

    But as you said about the rising tide floating all books, I do see some crossover. Historical readers tend to stick with historical books, yet it seems that historical “cowboy” readers will read contemporary cowboys, too. And some of them will read almost everything.

    I know I tend to stick with certain genres but not always. If I like a story, I will often read other genres that author wrote. Hey, I’m a reader, too! And I have my favorites!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Carol says:

    Kristy, thanks so much for posting this timely promotion! Not only is it effective for the author and their books, but brings a wealth of writing friends together. I’m looking forward to the promotion!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. susanrhughes says:

    Very smart to think of doing that!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a fantastic and useful post. I’d only heard of about half of these places. The advice for submitting to reviewers is invaluable too.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. leighmorgan1 says:

    Thanks, Kristy! Wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

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