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Free Tips for Increasing Kindle E-book Sales
The Problem with Self Publishing
Self publishing isn't the pipe dream that a lot of authors seem to see it as; at least, it isn't anymore. In the past you may have had to save to put up the money for publishing, printing, binding, and promotion, but modern times brings us modern advantages, namely online e-book publishing. It's free, it has the potential to reach a wide international audience, and it barely takes 30 minutes to publish an entire book. What's not to like?
Online self publishing is certainly a huge stride forward for indie authors, but there's still one problem with the whole system: Promotion. As great as it is to have your book featured on Amazon, one of the world's largest online marketplaces, you still have to jockey with tens of thousands of other titles for your chance in the limelight.
This module is about one thing: Promoting your self published e-book.
Intro to Self Promotion
Using the Amazon Kindle
There are a lot of different ways you can promote your e-book online. Some of them are free, and some of them aren't. In my experience, it's completely possible to get the word out about your e-book without spending a dime. With a little bit of ingenuity, you can feasibly write, publish, and promote your book to a wide audience without spending a single nickle out of pocket. That's something that only the internet can provide. Love it or hate it, modern technology certainly makes things easier.
That guide deals with Kindle specifically, since it's the only service I've used so far, but these promotion tips will work whether you publish on Kindle, the Nook, or Smashwords.
If you aren't sure how to physically publish your e-book using Amazon Kindle, here's a quick guide on Hubpages that takes you through all the steps
- Guide to Self Publishing Your E-book on Kindle
Step by step guide for self publishing on Kindle
Market Your E-book with SubReddits
Reddit is an excellent online community for finding helpful information, meeting like-minded groups, and the occasional dirty joke. Among the various communities, or subreddits, on the site, there exists a large community for authors and self published writers. In fact, this is an incredible place to become involved with the community, even if you're not going there to promote a book. Try http://www.reddit.com/r/selfpublish/ for starters, but there are plenty of other communities just like it.
If you are trying to promote a book, don't just jump in, drop a link, and disappear forever. Reddit really rewards those who ingrain themselves in the community, respond to other questions, start interesting discussions, and basically act like they care.
When you're promoting your own e-book on Reddit, make sure you establish that this is indeed a promotion. In front of the link title, use the indicator [PROMO] to let other people know that this is shameless self promotion in the works.
Great Stuff on Amazon
Market Your E-book with Free Kindle Promotions
Kindle has this thing where it lets you choose 5 days out of every 90 day period to promote your e-book for free. It will be available on the Kindle marketplace, just like usual, but visitors will be able to download it with One-Click without spending a penny. Without a doubt this is one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal.
Now, why would you want to give your e-book away for free? Basically, it lets you build the buzz around your e-book, which leads to more recommendations and more reviews. When you're browsing the Kindle marketplace and you come across a book with no reviews, what would make you want to try it out? The majority of Amazon sales are made based on reviews, so it makes sense that you would want as many as possible on your book.
In the same pattern, giving your e-book away for free for a few days also helps you come up in the “Customers who bought this item also bought” list. You know the one I'm talking about, and if not here's an image below. Surveys show that most people use this recommendation list to make purchases. The more times your book shows up down there, the better chances you have of making a sale.
Market Your E-book with Backlinks
Despite all the changes we've been going through lately with the Google Panda updates that happened last year, backlinks are still an incredible way to boost a page's popularity. In this case, you want that page to be your e-book's Amazon page. Use a keyword tool like Google Keyword Tool to research some keywords that may pertain to your e-book.
For example, if it's a book of horror short stories, you might come up with a list of keywords that looks something like "short horror stories, dark short stories, horror story, horror ebook, horror kindle, kindle thriller."
Then, take those keywords and write articles online using the keywords. On one keyword in each article, place a link back to the Amazon page of your book. As these backlinks build up, search engines like Google will begin to rank your page for searches involving those keywords, making them easier to find.
Where can you add these articles for backlinks? Article directories work well, and so do blog posts, websites like Triond, Hubpages, and yes, even Squidoo (you caught me).
The most important thing with these articles is that they aren't up just to serve the purpose of the backlinks; they should also be high quality, informative, and educational.
Using Triond to Build Backlinks to Your Website or Blog
Market Your E-book with a Review Exchange
Remember, you aren't the only person looking for more publicity for your e-book. There are plenty of other people just like you who only need a little attention before they're ready to take off. In a situation like that, you can't ignore the power of a review exchange.
A review exchange is simple, and it's just what it sounds like: You review their book, they review your book. It's an even trade, and everybody wins. When you're doing this, try to avoid making the other person pay for your book, especially if you aren't willing to pay for theirs just to review it. You should always have a backup document on your computer, so you can exchange the books that way.
You don't have to purchase the e-book on Amazon to write a review for it, so do an email exchange of the books. Just make sure you can trust the person, or if there's no way to be entirely sure you can send them a PDF file with the text locked so they can't copy/paste and steal your work.
If you set up a review exchange in a reputable location (for example the Self Publishers subreddit) you shouldn't have anything to worry about as far as copyright infringement.