10 Places to Promote Your Free Ebook on Reddit

Running a free-book promotion for your self-published book comes with both risk and responsibility. There’s no promise the promotion will be successful, and it takes work to increase your odds.

Since you won’t collect any royalties, you have to focus on getting enough free downloads to make a difference once the promotion is over.

When things go right, the free-book promotion brings in new readers, a few reviews, and some traction in Amazon’s sales algorithms—all things that positively influence future sales. If your free ebook is part of a series, it can even increase the sales of your other titles.

KDP Select makes the technical aspects of creating a free-book promotion easy. But in reality it’s not as simple as just setting your book to free and seeing the downloads pour in.

To run a successful promotion, you need to find people to download your free ebook. And that means finding the places they hang out.

Let’s talk about one of the scarier ones: Reddit.

Reddit and your free-ebook promotion

First, a quick overview of Reddit for those who may not be familiar.

Reddit is a one of the largest communities on the internet. It’s organized into smaller communities, called subreddits—each of which center around a different topic. There are subreddits for fashion, technology, TV shows, hobbies . . . no matter your interests, it’s likely that there’s a community for you.

But despite the opportunity that comes with this massive, interest-driven platform, authors often hesitate to think of Reddit as a tool for building their audience and connecting with readers.

There’s good reason for this hesitation. The Reddit community has a strong aversion to advertising and self-promotion. Reddit users can act aggressively when someone breaks community rules, especially if the offender isn’t a regular contributor.

That makes the prospects of promoting a free ebook on Reddit extra scary—especially if you’re new to the platform.

You won’t be doing yourself any favors if your strategy consists of spamming some of the top subreddits with your free Kindle book. You’ll probably just be called mean names, banned, and fail to see any meaningful results. In other words, it would be a big waste of time.

Luckily, there are other ways you can use Reddit to drive downloads of your free book.

I put together a list of subreddits that allow self-promotion from authors—specifically authors whose books are currently free on Amazon. Instead of wasting your time angering communities with out-of-place self-promotion, focus on these 10 places that encourage it.

Submitting your book to these subreddits will gain you valuable experience with Reddit and can lead to some downloads and reviews. Since these communities are explicitly OK with self-promotion of free books, you don’t have much to worry about. Submit away!

Notice that I’ve included a link to the subreddit rules for each of these subreddits. Give them a review before submitting to make sure you’re following the community’s guidelines. There are often criteria for submission titles that ensure the subreddit stays organized.

10 places to promote your free ebook on Reddit

Before submitting your free ebook to a subreddit, review the general reddiquette document. It’s an informal collection of Reddit values, and following its advice can be the difference between a great success and a ban.

Free ebooks subreddit (/r/FreeEbooks)

  • Subscribers: 48,000+
  • subreddit rules
  • Description: This is the largest subreddit for free ebooks. There are fairly robust submission guidelines and rules that should be reviewed before posting. Posts from authors are especially welcome. (Authors, make sure you answer comments and private messages if they come in—that can make a huge difference in the number of people who want to download your book.)

eFreebies subreddit (/r/eFreebies)

  • Subscribers: 59,000+
  • subreddit rules
  • Description: This subreddit is dedicated to all nonphysical freebies. As long as it’s free, it’s welcome here—books included. It also has a fair amount of subscribers!

Ebook deals subreddit (/r/EbookDeals)

  • Subscribers: 3,000+
  • subreddit rules: See sidebar
  • Description: This subreddit is described as “a place to share ebook deals and discounted hardware.” It’s on the smaller side, but it’s relevant. There’s no harm in submitting here as well as the larger subreddits.

Kindle freebies subreddit (/r/KindleFreebies)

  • Subscribers: 15,000+
  • subreddit rules
  • Description: From the FAQs, “We love links to freebies. Free fiction eBooks, free erotic eBooks, free historical books, and all other genres of free eBooks. As long as it’s 100% free, it belongs here.”

Wrote a book subreddit (/r/WroteABook)

  • Subscribers: 3,000+
  • subreddit rules
  • Description: /r/WroteABook has a very friendly description for authors:Welcome! This is a place for Redditors to post links and descriptions of their finished magnum opi. All genres of literature and graphic novels are welcome with no length requirements, so long as it is a completed, published work. Shameless self-promotion is the entire purpose of this subreddit, so share your published stories without fear of being vilified as a spammer.”

Book downloads subreddit (/r/BookDownloads)

  • Subscribers: 4,000+
  • subreddit rules: See sidebar
  • Description: This is another subreddit dedicated to authors who want to offer free downloads of their books, through Amazon or any other site.

ShamelessPlug subreddit (/r/ShamelessPlug)

  • Subscribers: 7,000+
  • subreddit rules: See sidebar
  • Description: This subreddit isn’t specifically focused on books. Rather, it’s a place to share anything you’ve made—be it a website, some music, or a book.

Review Circle subreddit (/r/ReviewCircle)

  • Subscribers: 650+
  • subreddit rules
  • Description: Despite the low subscriber count, /r/ReviewCircle seems quite active—and it offers something super valuable to all authors, reviews. From the sidebar: “[/r/ReviewCircle is] A place for authors to garner open and honest book reviews from fellow Redditors, and readers to find new and exciting work for absolutely free in exchange for a well-written, thought out review.”

/r/Writing weekly self-promotion thread

/r/Writing—the largest writing-related subreddit (over 175,000 subscribers!)—has a weekly self-promotion thread. Do not submit a link to your book as its own post. Instead, post within the weekly check-in/self-promotion thread.

/r/SelfPublish weekly self-promotion thread

Like /r/Writing, /r/SelfPublish limits self-promotion to a weekly thread. Feel free to post about your book within that thread. (Also, I recommend perusing the subreddit—there are some good self-publishing resources that get posted from time to time.)  

Other ways for authors to use Reddit

While submitting to the free ebook subreddits are a great way for authors to get started with Reddit, they are just the beginning.

The best way to use Reddit is to build up social capital and goodwill within a community before even thinking about self-promotion, not coming to it for the first time after you’ve already launched your promotion. Offer a few reviews to other authors, give a bit of feedback, answer some questions, and participate in a community. In doing so, you will develop relationships, build up trust, learn what’s acceptable, and put yourself in a good position to get a solid response when you do have something to share.

To find relevant writing subreddits, check out the sidebar on /r/WritingHub. There you’ll find a pretty exhaustive list of writing-related subreddits. Of course, you might find it more valuable to participate in a community related to your book’s content or your area of expertise instead of sticking with writing subreddits. Find somewhere you can help or add to the discussion!

Did I miss a subreddit, or have you had a noteworthy experience with this platform? I’d love to hear about it—share in the comments below.   

KDP Select Ads: the most overlooked KDP Select benefit

Earlier this year, I realized that I could get a 10x return with KDP Select ads.

If you’ve self-published a book on Amazon, check out my step-by-step guide to the KDP Select ad platform!

 

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