- Books, Literature, and Writing»
- Books & Novels
Promoting your Amazon Kindle Book
Amazon Kindle Publishing
Over the last few years there has been a massive surge of people self publishing. Amazon Kindle has become an increasingly popular platform for writers to publish their ebooks.
One of the big reasons that writers are publishing through Amazon is that it is the worlds biggest book retailer and gets millions of visitors per day browsing the increasingly large array of books. If you are going to self publish then choosing the worlds largest ebook market place is a very sensible idea.
The other main reason why so many writers are publishing through Amazon is that it is free to do. You can write a book and publish it and it doesn't cost you a thing. Then once it is published it is available for purchase within 24 hours. 24 hours and millions of potential buyers get a chance to see your book.
Amazon also offers very generous royalties. There are two percentages that writers can choose based on the price they set their book for. A book priced $2.99 - $9.99 will earn the writer 70% of each sale (that is a very nice percentage). If the book is priced outside of that price range the writer will earn 35% of each sale (this is still quite a nice chunk of change).
There are a great many people earning a very nice living by publishing their books on Amazon. Both fiction and non-fiction writers are making quite a good wage through this platform. Although as it stands self published fiction writers are selling more than self published non-fiction writers.
What writers are doing wrong
A good portion of the writers who self publish using KDP are falling into the same trap. They are assuming that because Amazon is the worlds largest book seller that they can just publish a book with them and leave it. This 'set it and forget it' mentality is no good. If the writer is brand new to the scene then they have no reputation and next to no chance of making a good profit from their books without a bit of self promotion.
It is true that Amazon is basically 'Google' for buyers. Wherein thousands of customers per day will use Amazon to search for products that they wish to purchase. Publishing on Amazon does mean that there is a higher chance of people searching Amazon, finding your ebook and purchasing it. The problem is that there is a lot of competition out there and you must promote your book in order for it to get spotted by customers.
Most new writers fail to realise this and believe that publishing their ebook on Amazon will mean that thousands of customers are going to search for the books topic, find it and buy it and that the writer will earn a great living off this. It would appear that the more successful self published books are written by people with some experience of online marketing, social media and SEO.
If you are a Hubber or if you write for a similar website then you will have some experience with:
- Social media
- Online Marketing
and all the other nifty tools that can be used to get your article (or Hub) noticed.
Many new ebook writers do not have a clue about this sort of stuff and end up spending a lot of time praying that their book will get noticed and become a number one, best seller.
Amazon provides some nice tools for getting your book noticed, but the competition out there is very stiff, especially in the most profitable ebook topics. Learning about online marketing techniques and self promotion is a must for your ebook to be a profitable success. Online marketing is tedius and frustrating at times and can take up a lot of your time, but it is worht it and can mean the difference between a couple of buyers and a hundred buyers.
I think the main reason that people believe that they can just write a book, publish it and then leave it to make a decent passive income is because Amazon themselves make it seem that way. Everything they say about self publishing with them is true, but not 100% accurate. It is true that they have a massive market and a massive number of consumers globally. It is true that it is easy to publish with them and that your book can be seen and sold across the world. The problem is that there are thousands of other writers out there with the same drive to publish a book and the same idea of making lots of money for it. The competition is high.
When publishing an ebook through KDP there are some ways of making your book stand out. Mark Twain once said, 'there is no such thing as a new idea'. This is a quote that should be kept in mind when deciding to publish a book with KDP. All the original ideas have been taken and used. So you must put a new spin on an old idea. This is something that people have been doing for generations. Books have been around for thousands of years. Ebooks have been around for a much shorter time. An ebook is still a book. It is just the evolution of the book.
When a new writer publishes their book with Amazon they must makee it stand out. It must be eye catching. It must be bold. It must say to the customer, 'hey. Look at me! I am here', it has to basically wave at the customer and grab their attention. The first and most important thing for a self publisher to consider is the book cover.
People often say, 'you can't judge a book by it's cover'. This is true as a metaphor and is even pretty true when it comes to books. I have read many a fantastic book that has a poorly designed cover. The problem is that when you are a self published author the first thing that potential customers are going to do is judge your book by it's cover. We live in an age where companies spend millions on advertising campaigns trying to convince you that their brand produces superior products to their competitiors. Take ketchup for example, when you think of ketchup most of you will think of Heinz ketchup. It is one of the most popular brands of ketchup available on the market. It has been around for a long time and has been advertising for a long time, on TV, in magazines, newspapers, online ads etc. It is a well known brand and many people buy it when they do their grocery shopping because the adverts have convinced them that this is the superior brand of ketchup. The thing is there is very little taste difference between Heinz ketchup and the next leading brand. Even supermarket own brands can taste very similar (if not better) than Heinz. Heinz has spent many years promoting their product and that is why they are a leading brand in the ketchup market. When self publishing you do not have the millions of dollars that Heinz does to promote yourself but you do have cheap, even free, tools available that can be used to get your book noticed.
The cover is the first one of these tools and can be the most powerful. If you get the cover right then you have a much better chance of selling your book. If you are a great graphic designer then you can make your own cover and use that. If you are not then you can get a proffessional to design your book cover. The problem is that these all cost either a lot of money or time. There is also the opportunity to hire somebody from Fiverr.com to design your cover. This is a cheap way of getting a decent book cover designed. The important thing is to make sure you use a reputable designer when you buy from fiverr.
When you have your cover designed you must make sure of a few things. When looking at the cover ask yourself a few things:
- Is the cover readable (can people clearly see the title and other text on the cover)?
- Do the colours stand out (does the cover make an impace when standing next to other books in your chosen topics)?
- Is it eyecatching (does your eye stop on that particul;ar cover when scanning the covers in front of you)?
- Does it look professional (the cover must look like it has been done proffessionally otherwise the customer will just skip over it)?
If the answer to all these questions is yes then the self publisher is well on their way to making their book a success.
Title, Keywords and Book Description
The title of your book is the next most important marketing essential. The writers book title must tell the customer what exactly the book is about. This is fairly easy if you are writing a non-fiction book. There are plenty of non-fiction books with the exact content of the book in the title. The problem is if you are publishing a fictional book.
With fiction it is important to come up with a title that grabs the customer. Give the customer something to mull over. Tease them. Make them want to click through and find out more about this book. It is important for the author to come up with a title that makes the customer ask, 'what is this book about?'. Game of Thrones is a great title for a book, it makes the potential customer wonder what it is going to be about. It conjures up images of epic battles, exotic far-away lands and political intrigue. A self published writer of fiction should strive to conjure up these sorts of images and emotions. Creating and amotional impact from the title is a fantastic way of tempting potential buyers.
An eyecatching book title is a good way of enticing customers to buy an authors book. There are a couple of thousand books about children and solving bedwetting problems. A fair chunk of those ebooks have titles like:
- Bedwetting solutions
- Children and nocturnal toilet training
- How to potty train your children at night
These are all good titles that explain what the book is about. The problem is they are all a little bit generic. D A Loftus, however, took a different route by titling his book, 'Help! My three year old is a bedwetter.' This is a title that makes the potential customer ask questions and a fair few of them click through to the book description to find out what the book is about. It is different and it is eyecatching. This is a good techinique to follow.
Keywords are a very important part of the self publishing process. Choosing the correct keywords can make or break the 'findability' of a book. The author must choose keywords that match the content of their book and must choose keywords that people are searching for. The closer to the books content and the more people there are searching those keywords the better the cance of that authors books popping up in the search results.
The book description is, in my opinion, the most difficult to get right. The author must sum up the content of their book in a few sentances. The problem is the sentances must make the reader want to buy that book. Self published authors must write a book descrition that explains what the book is about and what the buyer will get from the book. How will this book improve the readers life? Will it show them how to solve a problem? Will it transport them to an imaginative world that they can lose themselves in for a few hours? These are the sorts of questions a self published author must ask themselves when writing a good book description that sells.
Social media and marketing and reviews
Telling people about your book and letting them know that it exists is the start of making lots of sales. Once an author publishes a book promoting it on Facebook and Twitter is a good start. It lets their friends and family and their followers know that they have published a book. The average number of Facebook friends that a person has is 338. This means that when a self published author posts that they have written an ebook on Facebook the average guy has 338 potential customers ready to buy the book. Obviously not everyone has that many Facebook friends and not everyone of those friends will buy the book. But you can see that Facbook is a powerful tool for self promotion. There is always the chance that the authors friends will repost the post and that it could go viral making the potential for a sale go up exponentially.
There are a plethora of Facebook groups where budding authors can go to post about the latest ebook they have published through Amazon. This is also a great place to get in touch with other new writers who can offer advice and even critisism on each others ebooks. Friends and family are a great place to start when promoting a book. If you can pursuade them to buy a copy of your book and leave a review then that will help to build confidence in that authors name and brand. The more reviews a book has on Amazon the more likely Amazon is to put it at the top of search results, which in turn means the more potential buyers there are.
Blogging about a book that an author has written is another good way of getting the book noticed. If the author has a blog with lots of followers they can put a link to that book in the blog and maybe get some sales from that. It can also boost the rank of that book in Google. The more links there are to a website the higher Google ranks it. The same rules apply for a kindle book. The more websites and blogs linking to that book, the higher Google ranks it.
Hubpages and other article writing sites can be a great way of getting attention to a book that an author has written. Websites use article marketing regualarly as a way to promote themselves. The same can be done for an ebook. Any author who can create a book about a specific niche can write several articles in that same niche and leave a link to their book in them. This is a method that has been utilised and still works.
Reviews are another way of getting a kindle book noticed. Every person who buys an ebook through Amazon has the ability to rate and review that book. The more reviews and the higher the rating of said book the higher the ranking that book gets from Amazon. Placing a page within an ebook that encourages a reader to rate and review that book after reading it is a great idea. If the book is well written and is full of quality information then the reviews should reflect that and should boost the books ranking accordingly, making it more likely to be spotted by customers. Customers look at how many people have reviewed a book and what rating it has before they decide to buy it. If the authors book has an average of 4-5 stars with plenty of well written reviews there is a good chance they will buy it and then review it themselves. This will make more money from that book.
Kindle marketing secrets
As you can see it is important that a self published author promotes their book themselves. Amazon likes to promote the books in their market place, but with so many titles available they will only heavily promote those that are making them money. This may seem heartless but it is a great business strategy. What is the point of Amazon promoting books that nobody seems interested in?
A clever self published author will create a demand for thier book by writing a high quality book that stands out and gives the reader something they cannot get anywhere else. They will also shout about it across the internet and will get people interested in the book they have written. They will spend hours blogging about it. Telling their facebook friends and twitter followers that they have published a book. They will encourage people to review and rate their book.
The one thing they will not do is publish the book and leave it all to Amazon because clever authors know that there is next to no chance of their book being seen.