Free E-book Promotion, or How My Book Went to #2 Beside E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades Darker” in 3 Days

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Actually, Sister of Silence sat in the #3 free spot on Kindle for most of the second day—right next to E.L. James’ third book in the best-selling trilogy, Fifty Shades Freed, before climbing one more notch to #2, where it sat beside Fifty Shades Darker.

Which is why I’m asking: Readers, can you help me get it to #1? In just over 48 hours, the Sister of Silence e-book (which is also available in paperback for traditional book lovers like me) will be free. Again. This time I’m hoping we can send it straight to the top. And I’m pretty sure we can at least equal the 33,703 downloads that occurred in late May. Except this time, we only have two days.

That’s why I’m asking everyone I know, and who knows me, to please download the e-book if you haven’t already. And ask your friends to do the same: send them an email with the link, post it on your Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler or even Pinterest pages, and let’s see what can happen with such a concerted effort.

Last time, even the number of Amazon reviews increased: there are currently 75 reviews, with an average of 4.5 stars. Prior to the May giveaway, there were 47. Now there are 28 more! I’m hoping the same thing happens this time, because reviews are key to selling books for authors like me.

A quick word about the Fifty Shades trilogy. Last week I was writing (on speculation they would accept it) a piece for The Daily Beast about the books and what I think their incredible popularity says. It initially looked like the Beast was going to take the piece, but then the editors nixed it. At the time my book (also about sexuality, among other things) was sitting beside two of E.L. James’ books, I had no clue about their similar connection. Otherwise, I would have included something about it in the blog I posted just after the free promo ended.

Since then I’ve done my research. So I now realize the significance of that ranking. (At the time, as I commented on Facebook, I thought it rather ironic since Fifty Shades of Grey, the first book, is about a fictional woman who wants to be dominated; mine is about a real woman who wants anything but.)

Not coincidentally, the first promo occurred Memorial Day weekend, as a tribute to the women and children who end up as prisoners of war—the domestic kind—in their own homes. That’s domestic terrorism at its worst.

The promo I’m asking you to participate in this time is different. It starts at 12 a.m. July 24 because that’s Amelia Earhart Day. While many readers know my book is about overcoming abuse and empowerment, people who haven’t read it yet won’t know it’s also about the huge role aviation played in my life.

While one Sister of Silence reader remembered that my dad promised to teach me to fly but then didn’t, that isn’t the most important aviation element: it’s that the lure of flying was so strong, the desire to reach that goal so intense, that I eventually accomplished it myself. That isn’t in the book, of course, but reading between the lines, the reader might realize that that’s exactly what I would go on to do.

A male friend told me he believes the Shades of Grey trilogy ultimately finds its fictional heroine, Anastasia Steele, “progressively empowered.” Perhaps that’s something these two books have in common—a progressively empowered heroine—and the deeper reason Sister of Silence found a spot beside Fifty Shades Darker.

I’m happy to give readers something more than fantasy and an unrealistic view of female empowerment. And personally, I’d take a real-life empowered heroine over a fictional one any day.

* * * *

Daleen can be reached at

Editor’s note: Daleen Berry is the first recipient of the Pearl Buck Award in Writing for Social Change, for her second book, Lethal Silence, to be published sometime in 2012. Berry speaks about overcoming abuse through awareness, empowerment and goal attainment at conferences around the country.

Her memoir (paperback and as an e-book) can be found at bookstores everywhere, or ordered online. To read the first chapter free, please go to Goodreads. Check out the five-star review from ForeWord Reviews. Or find out why Kirkus Reviews called Berry “an engaging writer, her style fluid and easy to read, with welcome touches of humor and sustained tension throughout.” To read her award-winning memoir, Sister of Silence, in e-book format (or any other e-book), download a free app from Amazon for your phone, tablet or computer.

If you want to read more than 70 reviews, go to Amazon. To view the Sister of Silence book trailer, go to her VintageBerryWine Youtube channel.


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