Friday, November 8, 2013

How do you take advantage of your free days on Kindle? || Cynthia Harrison || BLUE HEAVEN

Free Spree by Cynthia Harrison

I’ve recently had the experience of five “free” days on Kindle. What this means is my publisher allows Amazon exclusive rights to my novel for three months, and in those months, I agree to give my book away for free for five days. It’s a marketing thing. I am not good at marketing.

Also, I’m deep into a semester of teaching college freshman how to write, so there’s not a ton of extra time to promote my other career as a writer.  Friends pitched in with advice. One said I should RT (retweet) more. Another said I “must” buy a Book Bub ad. My publicist gave me a three page list of websites to contact for free and paid promotion.

I did some of this, but not everything. Teaching takes priority when I’m working the day job. No way could I publicize the way I needed to. This realization gave me new respect for how hard authors and publicists have to work to get noticed in the e-book market.

I love Twitter, so it was easy to RT and tweet a bit every day the month of September. My free days were October 1-5, so I front-loaded the increased Twitter time. Not a problem! Like I said, Twitter is fun for me. Some reviewers and bloggers, like Missy, offered to host me on their websites. I didn’t have to ask them, they generously offered, which was a bonus, because I really don’t like asking for things. Especially free publicity. Writing guest posts and answering interview questions are fun. I love to write, be it tweet or blog post or novel.

The only thing I don’t love to write is the begging letter, in which I ask for favors. I don’t even like to ask my friends to buy my book. But giving it away for free, that I like. I asked Book Bub to consider advertising Blue Heaven, and they agreed. I paid them to advertise my book because I didn’t have time to do everything myself. Their fee was about equal to two hours of teaching pay. Worth it.

The day before Blue Heaven went “free” I checked my stats. Blue Heaven had been out for a month and was at approximated 600K on the paid lists. My stats in the “free” realm were decent. Nothing to get too excited about. I got up to #125 in romance and somewhere close in contemporary novels while hovering in the low thousands for all free books.

Book Bub publicized my novel on October 5, my last free day. After Book Bub stepped in, Blue Heaven shot to #1 on all three free lists: #1 Kindle Top 100. #1 Romance novel. #1 Contemporary novel. Woo hoo. The day after the free spree my stats went up and down, but I’ve gotten several new reviews and am still in the Top 100 “paid” Romance. My “free” adventure, because that’s what it felt like, was a blast. I’d do it again in a minute. And if you’re a reader, keep checking those free Kindle lists. You might find a new favorite author. 


With a tight budget and two months, Eva Delacroix has to turn six dilapidated cottages on Lake Huron into a shabby chic tourist destination. Fulfilling her father's renovation dreams and her own needs for family, Blue Heaven is Eva's last resort.

Daniel Bryman will do anything in his power to stop city girl Eva from destroying the integrity of the historic structures his ancestor built. But as they work together to rebuild the main cabin, Eva's determination makes him question his own life choices.

Despite their opposing views, they do agree on what to do with the attraction between them. When everything they've built threatens to crash down around them, will love be enough to save Blue Heaven?

Author Bio:

The big news here now is The Wild Rose Press release of my third romance novel, Blue Heaven.  This is the first in a series of tourist town novels set at a resort on Lake Huron. The resort is in shambles when Eva sets out to find a new career and rehab her family’s vacation spot. She gets a little help from some new friends, although one of them will betray her. I like exploring the idea of community, particularly small town life and the tight bonds that hold these folks through good times and bad. Putting my final touches on the second in the series, aiming for a May 2014 release.  The Paris Notebook is my first novel available in paperback (eBook too!)  I also have a free short story on my website site–the love story of minor characters from The Paris Notebook. Click to read or download Sarah’s Survival Guide.

A while back I took the indie train to publishing my first novel, Sister Issues. And incidentally got hooked on Twitter. I seldom remember to plug my novels but find the site informative and addicting:) Follow me @CynthiaHarriso1. I follow back!

I’m currently hard at work on the next in my Blue Lake series.

My very first book, Your Words, Your Story was published in December of 2007. It’s non-fiction, part creative memoir, part how-to writing manual, inspired by the creative writing classes I teach at the local community college. I have been a staff reviewer for Romantic Times and Publishers Weekly and written features for popular magazines, including Woman’s World.  My short memoir “Snow Day” was anthologized in A Cup of Comfort for Divorced Women in 2009.

In 2010, my poem “Africa” and memoir ”Snow Day” both won awards in the Detroit Working Writers annual writing competition.

My life might seem like it’s all about reading and writing, and increasingly these days, tweeting, but I love my family and friends. I’m into stargazing, gardening and yoga and am married to Al, sweetest man on the planet. We have two grown sons, Mike and Tim, both blissfully married to their soul mates. That’s Mike’s wife Jessica on the cover of Sister Issues with her sister Meg. I love that picture!

Email me anytime at Or catch me on Twitter: @cynthiaharriso1.


  1. Excellent post. Congratulations on your success, Cynthia!

    1. thanks RoseAnn. It is fun being #1, isn't it?!

  2. Melissa, thank you so much for hosting me. The presentation is great! And you are too:)

    1. Hi Cindy! You beat me to the punch. I had the comment box open, cursor positioned, when the very needy Snark family called me away. ;-) You're welcome, and thank you for sharing with us today. The topic is relevant to so many authors. I really appreciate your insights. :-)

  3. Great article. Congrats & best of luck with sales!

  4. Thanks for the wonderful advice, Cindy! I have a story in KDP Select now and haven't done any free days yet. Don't have enough reviews to get an ad with Bookbub yet but I've taken note of your success with this strategy. Wishing you ongoing sales success. I love the premise of your story and will check it out.

  5. Hi Cynthia,

    I'm still trying to learn the ins and outs of the Kindle freebie program, so this post was very timely. I've had one experience so far which put me in to top 20 in contemporary romance and garnered me some great reviews. My latest goes free in a couple of weeks, and I'll be sure to check out Book Bub. Thanks for the advice!


  6. Thanks for your insight, Cindy. Your attitude is right what's fun! Happy sales to you and Blue Heaven! Rolynn