You’ve taken the first step and made your book available as a Kindle ebook, but how do you generate interest and, most importantly, sales?
Many successful authors keep their marketing techniques a closely guarded secret, but there are plenty of ways to increase the visibility of your book and attract potential readers.
Remember the Basics
Before you start promoting in earnest, make sure you’ve checked the basics – the format of your book, the cover, and the blurb. An intriguing blurb and a stand-out cover can be the making or breaking of a sale, so ensure they’re the best you can possibly make them. Similarly, it’s important that your book translates well to Kindle format and reads smoothly. Readers can download a free sample before purchasing, and if that first chapter or so is messily presented or full of errors, it’s unlikely they’ll pay to download the rest of the book.
Boost Your Online Presence
Before you start marketing, make sure you are as present and visible online as possible – start a blog, create a website, set up accounts on social networking sites and use these services regularly to provide updates on your work, make people aware of upcoming release dates, and generally get to know your readership.
Good reviews are another important factor in persuading users of your book to take the plunge and buy it. If someone mentions that they’ve read and enjoyed your book, ask if they would mind taking a few minutes to leave a review on Amazon. There are also several websites and blogs that are devoted specifically to publishing Kindle book reviews (just search online for ‘Kindle book reviews’ and you will easily find them) – take some time to contact the reviewers and ask if they would be interested in reviewing your book. If they agree, you will gain not just another review on Amazon, but a review that will be read by their followers and subscribers.
Try a Free Promotion
Authors uploading a book to Amazon have the opportunity to join KDP Select, which makes your book available for lending through the Amazon Prime program and also, most importantly, allows you to promote your book for free for up to five days. A free promotion can boost your book’s visibility and as AGW SEO experts suggest, every free copy counts as a sale and pushes your book further up the rankings, enabling you to target readers who may not have ordinarily come across your title in the Kindle store. This process can net you extra reviews, sales of any other books you have listed, and increased sales of the book you are promoting once the free marketing campaign ends. Use the online outlets (see ‘Boost your online presence’, above) to promote the book whilst it’s free and call in any favours you’re owed to help spread the word!
Yes, we are often expected to pay the same price as a paperback for titles published through mainstream publishers by established authors, but the fact remains that readers are unlikely to pay that much for a book by an unknown author. Whilst you’re still making your mark on the literary world, price your book relatively low – whilst you needn’t settle for 99c/99p (you won’t accrue many royalties this way), I wouldn’t recommend promoting a new, ‘unproven’ book for more than three or four dollars or pounds – at least not until you have some good reviews and a healthy ranking under your belt.
Another truism of Kindle publishing is that the more books you have available, the more you will sell. The reason for this is that once a reader has bought one of your books, they may recommend any others you have published on Amazon. You can also provide information on other titles you have available at the end of the books – if a reader has enjoyed their first foray into your writing, they may just follow the link and buy another title.