A Thank-You for Writers: My New Productivity eBook — Free

Carol Tice

This has been a pivotal year in my freelance writing career.

It’s the year I published my first print book. But more importantly, it’s the year I crossed over from mostly working for freelance clients to spending most of my time on this blog and its adjacent community, Freelance Writers Den.

I’m so excited and grateful — I never imagined I would be able to devote so much of my time to doing one of my very favorite things, sharing tips to help other writers earn more money.

It’s still surreal to me that I’ve been able to create this lifestyle, where I’m able to make my living from one of my big passions.

Even my freelance clients are shifting now to places like Freelance Switch, where I write articles that build on what I’m doing here.

I know Thanksgiving has come and gone…but I’m just getting started giving thanks to my incredible reader community.

Actually, the give-backs start today. Here are the details:

Why the next step is free ebooks

I’ve had a project in the works for a while — taking some of my podcasts I’ve done for Freelance Writers Den and turning them into ebooks.

My thought was that these could turn into a new income stream for me. People who didn’t want to commit to an ongoing community membership might purchase one of my ebooks and just get a quick hit of learning.

Then I hosted Danny Iny from Firepole Marketing on a recent call…and he said something that changed my thinking.

He said really, all ebooks should be free. (Lots more on Danny’s story of creating a wildly successful bestselling ebook coming up in a post in a few weeks, so stay tuned).

Why?

  • Ebooks all have low prices, anyway. They’re not meaningful money-makers, for the most part. So why not make them free?
  • When they’re free, people are more likely to share them.
  • They’re also more likely to write rave reviews on Amazon, which helps your ebook rank well, get more attention, make more sales, and get you even more readers for your blog.
  • People really appreciate your helping them with tips that cost them nothing, so it builds loyalty.
  • Your free ebooks have links to all your paid stuff, so they become lead-generation machines.

Well, that all made a lot of sense to me.

So I decided to go for it. I’m going to do a bunch of free Kindle ebooks.

My Kindle Adventure

Regular readers will recall my shame at how my first ebook was only a PDF and wasn’t available on the Kindle.

I vowed to learn how to publish on the Kindle and start tapping the enormous power of Amazon’s huge traffic and its recommendation machine.

So, I’ve plunged in.

Renegade Writer Linda Formichelli and I did a podcast together recently about how we speed up our writing process so that we can earn more. And we turned it into an ebook, 13 Ways to Get the Writing Done Faster.

Why My Ebook is Only Free for 5 Days

Here’s what I discovered about publishing on the Kindle — while it was fairly easy to learn how to physically create my ebook and get it into their platform, it’s not that easy to make the ebook free!

They want it to be at least 99 cents.

But…if you submit it to Amazon’s Kindle Select program, you can promote it as free for five days each month every 90 days.

The big catch: To get your ebook included in KDP Select, Amazon’s ebook promotional machine, you can’t sell it anywhere else. So it’s not for sale here on my blog, and no, I can’t send you a PDF of it. It’s only on Amazon.

(I gather if you sell it free somewhere else it may cause Amazon to make your ebook free…but not ready to play that game of brinksmanship with them on this one. We’ll try that experiment in the future, likely.)

UPDATE: The freebie offer for 13 Ways to Get the Writing Done Faster has now expired, but lately we’ve priced it at a big $.99. We may change that in future, so if you want it you might want to grab it while it’s so cheap.

If you read it and would be willing to leave a quick review of it on Amazon, we’d super appreciate it.

Enjoy!

 

44 Comments

  1. Tracy Oeser

    Hi Carol,

    Great job on the book. I just downloaded it and it was quick and easy to get. I can see why people get addicted to Amazon (don’t tell my husband, ha ha).

    I posted your link onto Twitter as well as Facebook. FYI, I couldn’t leave a review on Amazon because I don’t have a purchase history with them.

    Have a great day!

    • Carol Tice

      Glad it’s working! Had to come stick my head in early and check.

      I’d think downloading it from Amazon would enable you to review it??

      • Tracy Oeser

        I would think so too, however, when I clicked the button to do a review I received the following message, “To submit a customer review: you need to use an Amazon account that has successfully been charged for the purchase of a physical or digital item. Free digital downloads don’t qualify.” Since yours is my first purchase from Amazon, I’ve never been charged by them before. So, if you get comments from other people saying they couldn’t review it for you, that may be one of the reasons.

  2. Barbara

    Carol, I am definitely downloading! I need to find ways of getting more work done in less time, especially now that I’m writing novellas for a client every week. Thank you!

    • Carol Tice

      Fascinating — novellas for a client! Sounds like an interesting gig.

      Enjoy the ebook —

  3. M. Sharon Baker

    So Carol,

    If I don’t have or want a Kindle, I can’t buy it on Amazon, meaning you’ve only published a Kindle version?

    (Yes, yes, saw the can’t buy here on the blog or get a PDF.)

    It’s a little unclear as to whether Amazon only has a Kindle version or if you can purchase without a Kindle from your post…

    • Tracy Oeser

      I don’t have a Kindle either. When I “purchased” Carol’s book, Amazon gave me the option of installing Kindle for PC and then the book downloaded into that. No charge for the Kindle app.

    • Carol Tice

      You can download the Kindle reader for your computer…which is actually how I read Kindle stuff. Could try to wrest my son’s Kindle Fire away from him but it’s not worth the smacktalk I’d get… 😉

  4. Debra Stang

    Hi Carol, I just downloaded my Kindle version free–thank you very much–and I’ll definitely leave a positive review!

    • Carol Tice

      Appreciate it, Debra! I’ve learned reviews are critical to spreading the word and building credibility as an Amazon author.

  5. LindaH

    Hi Carol — Just downloaded your book to my Kindle for PC, which I love, and will read it through then post a review. I use my Kindle for PC a lot and truly enjoy it. It’s free and once I buy a Kindle Fire I can transfer my entire library to the portable Kindle and read anywhere. Novel concept!

    Truly appreciate all your writing and look forward to your upcoming projects. You’re truly inspired my writing and that’s been shared with others. You’re a true asset to the freelance writing profession and your value adds are exquisite. I’m so glad I found you and have continued following you.

    I’m looking forward to your upcoming success with ebooks and all the avenues it opens for new writing adventures.

    Linda

    • Carol Tice

      Aw, shucks! Just a bitty free ebook.

      And I can already see why Danny recommends doing these. Wild fandom is mine…and thanks to everyone who is already leaving reviews!

  6. Karyn

    Thanks! just downloaded.

    For those without Kindles and don’t want to read kindle books on the computer, another option is a program called Calibre which can convert to other formats for other ereaders.

  7. Flora Morris Brown

    Carol,

    I just downloaded your book from Kindle and am looking forward to reading it shortly.

    I need clarification about Kindle’s free days. You say that Kindle Select Program allows you to offer the book free for 5 days per month. When I signed up with them they said 5 days per 90-day period. Has it changed recently?

    Another question: how do payments work when there are 2 authors? Does Amazon take care of the split?

    Thank you.

    • Carol Tice

      I don’t know if they would split it for us, Flora — haven’t looked into that. Our current system is that Linda hates accounting and trusts me. 😉

      I thought it said 5 days in a month…but now I’ll have to look. You could be right. In case you haven’t surmised, I am a serious Kindle-publishing newbie.

      Ooh — I checked and you are correct Flora…revising post above.

      • Tracy Oeser

        hmmm, Carol…”serious Kindle-newbie”. Sounds like a Den workshop 😉

        • Carol Tice

          We’ve done a couple in the past…and I am actually planning another…turns out Jeff Goins has a training on this and he’s doing well with Kindle, clearing like $3500 a month on ebooks.

  8. Hillary

    Hi Carol,
    It worked .
    Thank You
    Hillary

    • Carol Tice

      Excellent! Appreciate your leaving us an Amazon review if at all possible.

  9. Jenn Flynn-Shon

    Kudos on getting your first KDP Select eBook up for free! I published my first fiction eBook with KDPS last month and just set my first free dates the weekend following Thanksgiving. I’m a small-time Indie Author (for the moment!) but still managed close to 1200 downloads. And since it went back to full price I’ve seen a slight uptick in sales. It was more than I ever could have imagined & I am so grateful. I wish you the same kind of success!

    Amazon will crawl sites for your book and if they see you’re selling anywhere else (free or otherwise) you risk being kicked out of KDPS. The big advantage of being in the program is that Prime members can take your book out of the lending library for a short time for free. You share in a revenue profit program when this happens. The bigger advantage is more exposure and reviewers pushing you up the rankings. I hope you have great success with this & I look forward to checking it out!

    • Carol Tice

      Thanks Jenn — I’m fascinated by the Lending program and can’t wait to see how that works for me.

  10. Carol Tice

    Just checking in here this afternoon to say so far a big TWO Amazon reviews.

    I just KNOW more of you than that have downloaded it…really appreciate your feedback on there!

    • anne grant

      Dang! I was surprised at that low count as well…It’s up to 4 now.
      If you’ve downloaded it, it’s a quick, easy read. Hurry up and post your review so they’ll write some more for us!

  11. Sally Jones

    Just wondered if anyone else is having trouble opening the book after downloading? I use the Kindle for Mac and when I click on the ebook in my library, I see the message “Unable to download the book, please try again later.”

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Sally

    • Carol Tice

      Haven’t had any others…maybe just try again later, like they say?

  12. bina joseph

    hey carol,
    how can i get this ebook?
    i dont have kindle and dont want to buy it.

    cheers & good luck

    bina

    • Carol Tice

      As mentioned above, Bina, you can get the free Kindle reader for your computer, and then read it that way. You can download it off the Amazon site.

  13. Kristi

    Thanks so much for sharing all of your wonderful tips and secrets. Happy Holidays.

    • Carol Tice

      Please send us an Amazon review! So far a big 4 reviews…and I’ve gotten notes from many, many more who said they’re reading it.

      If nobody will leave us an Amazon review on our freebies, we may not do freebies again in the future folks…so please leave us a review!

  14. anne grant

    Thanks to both of you for sharing this. Already read it,tweeted it, shared a quote, reviewed it…and ready for more. Oh, and already saved me some time on a current project with the tips on research.

    • Carol Tice

      Awesome. Thanks for reviewing it Anne!

    • Carol Tice

      Reading it now! But having a few tech problems….it doesn’t want to let me sign into that page. Working on it.

      • Ali

        That’s weird, what’s the error message? And unfortunately, your book is “not available in my area” ;'( Any alternative to Amazon?

        • Carol Tice

          No…guess it’s only in the Amazon site countries, darnit!

          I have a call into their help-desk people…smells like it may take a few days but I’ll get it up! Fascinated to see if that becomes an income stream, people paying to get the blog on Kindle.

        • Carol Tice

          I’m cracking it…I gather you have to start a new account to do the blog even if you already have a KDP account. Next I have a Mac compatibility issue where it won’t let me upload my graphics, so off to borrow a PC. But I’m gonna get it up there!

          Coming soon to the Kindle for $.99c – my blog!

          • Ali

            And that’d be a good news for many MakeALivingWriting lovers who own a Kindle… but bad news or me on account of your ebook.

          • Carol Tice

            Can’t you just buy it from Amazon in the US and read it on your computer? Guess the can tell where we are now…sort of creepy/annoying.

  15. Heather Chadwick

    Hey Carol! I did need a new book to read too! Thanks so much! Just bought it on Amazon for my Kindle.

    • Carol Tice

      Excellent…appreciate your review, Heather!

  16. Karen J

    Hi Carol ~
    Hey, could you include the cut-off-date (including the year) for this In The Article? The only place there’s a date at-all here is in the fine-gray-print at the very bottom… and that makes it hard to tell, later when archive-diving, when exactly you’re talking about.
    Thanks for the reminder that we can get this on ‘Kindle for PC’, too – my Fire isn’t set up yet, but I do have that app loaded.

    Thanks!

    • Karen J

      ahhh – Today, they’re calling it “Kindle Cloud Reader”; I just got it; and you’ve got 6 reviews now…

      Bright Blessings ~

    • Carol Tice

      Karen, I periodically go in and purge time-sensitive offers off the blog, so if you come back in a year, it will likely have vanished. But good point that I don’t have dates on my posts…but you can usually suss it out from the comments. 😉

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