Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Kindle Ebook Adventure Part 3: Who Doesn’t Like Free?

I’ve written about free copies of ebooks in the past, but this isn’t quite the same thing. Previously, I wrote about strategically giving away free copies to specific people. This post is about the benefits of Amazon’s Lending Library and KDP free promotional days.

Amazon’s Lending Library

I have been an Amazon Prime member for over a year now and I love it!
The thing to keep in mind is that there’s free and then there’s ‘free’. 
Amazon Prime is a membership program. You pay $79.00 for it on a yearly basis. However, I find this annual membership fee completely worth it because we use all of the benefits.

The primary benefit of being a member, for me, is the free 2 day shipping on orders. LOVE the FREE SHIPPING! With a new baby in the house I’ve used the free shipping a lot.

Also, as a Prime Member we have access to streaming movies and TV shows from Amazon. Amazon Prime members get some movies and TV shows for free and the free offerings change periodically. We stream it through both our PS3 and our Roku box!  I’ve watched the first season of Downton Abbey twice now for free.

The third benefit and the one that I think is of the most benefit to authors is Amazon’s Kindle Owner's Lending Library. It’s also an excellent benefit to Prime members who own a kindle. Prime Members can borrow one book for free from the Amazon Lending Library each month.

If a Kindle EBook author chooses to participate in the KDP Select program with one of their kindle ebooks the book is offered to be borrowed for free to Prime member who also own a kindle through the Amazon Lending Library. As an author the participant in the program receives a flat rate per book borrow per month based on the amount in the KDP Select fund.  You can read more about it on their page.

KDP Free Promotion Days = Free Ebooks

If an author participates in this KDP program they are also offered 5 promotional days to offer the book for free for a 24 hour period. Authors don’t directly make money from this program. They do get some free publicity, though. I think this program is most beneficial if the author has multiple books available and wants to offer one of them for free the draw in readers/buyers for their other ebooks.  Readers love free content and free books. I think your free book promotion abilities should be used, but should be used judiciously if you are interested in making money.

Any reader can take advantage of the free Kindle ebooks if they have an amazon.com account. No Kindle? Not a problem! Amazon offers apps to allow readers to download ebooks to a multitude of devices. If you have the app you can take advantage of the many and ever changing list of free ebooks available. If you like to read, I highly recommend taking advantage of the free ebooks.

Authors often publicize their free ebook offerings on their blogs. But a little know way to find the free ebooks is to search Twitter using the search terms #freekindle, #freeebooks, #FreeKindleBooks, or some variation. Authors can also use these hash tags to publicize their free offerings.

For writers or readers, Free or ‘Free’ ebooks are, to me, very beneficial! If nothing else, explore these services!