A couple of weeks ago, a new book "Empowered" hit the store shelves. They also included free downloads during the premier week for U.S. Kindle users. I was made aware of this promotion through my Forrester enewsletter subscription (which I signed up for after reading Groundswell). In this past year, using free ebooks, whitepapers, research data, etc has become the norm for companies looking to increase leads by using this inbound marketing technique. However, I haven't seen anyone give away a Kindle book like this before! Even if you don't have a Kindle, why not download the book and read it on the Kindle App for your iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Mac or PC?
So, why did they do it? The authors made sure they targeted their free book to people they knew would read it, discuss it, talk about it and share it with others. They actually have data that shows that people who own Kindles are more likely to share what they are reading with others. They also realized that by only giving the book away for free over a one week period that people were more likely to spread the word. Because of these efforts, the book became the only business book in the top 10 (made it to #2) of Kindle's free book list during that week!
By targeting people who use social media platforms like twitter they are hoping to build some chatter and get people to do some "marketing" for them - which with the buzz online seemed to work very well. Amazon reviews also were part of the strategy. By sending out books early to some powerful bloggers, the authors are hoping to get some solid reviews on Amazon to also hype the book.
We definitely agree with their strategy and love how the authors focused on getting people to talk about their book through the online channels that give them a huge reach. They ended up having 14,000 people download the free Kindle version last week (myself included) and I am looking forward to reading the book in the coming weeks.