Many people starting out in self publishing ask how to promote an Amazon eBook. Amazon is a great resource for publishing and selling your own work, however, it can be kind of intimidating trying to compete with all the authors and publishers out there. It can feel like after putting so much work into writing your book, it's not going to go anywhere as it's lost in the vast library of amazon eBooks. This is where promotion comes in. The key is to get your work seen and that can't happen without some clever promotion strategies. Below are some of the best tips for those starting out.
Engage readers with a compelling preview
The first section preview on amazon is a very important step to getting people to buy your book. When a user clicks or taps on “Look inside the book” they are already interested in your book based on the cover and description. What they are doing now is looking at your writing style and story structure to decide if it's worth buying.
Your goal is to show the reader that they will not be disappointed by their decision to purchase your book. This is why a strong introduction is imperative. Just like a library book you pick up and glance through, if the first preview does not hold your attention, you are not likely to try and finish it. The thing about Kindle books is that if a customer is not impressed by the preview, you won't get paid. Of course there are great stories with a slow build, but in the modern day of short attention spans, instant gratification and a wide web of opportunity and competition, you have to grab the reader on the first page.
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Use Amazon's promotional tools
Amazon provides both free and paid promotion tools for Kindle Direct Publishers. We will discuss the free ones here. If you are going to spend money on advertising there are better options to consider when starting out.
#1 Free book promotion. This may sound like an odd way to make money off of your eBook, but giving away free copies can help build your audience and generate new customers. Kindle books can be made free for up to five days at a time. During this promotional period, you will not generate income, but you will get your work seen by a lot more people then if you just let your book drown in the sea of work by self published authors on Amazon. This is not about generating fast income, but rather about cultivating an audience and creating name recognition for yourself as a writer. It is also a great way to get reviews!
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#2 Countdown deals. Similar to the free book promotion, countdown deals run for a select number of days. You set the starting price of your book which is at a discount from regular price. Each day the price goes up until it hits normal retail price. Essentially it is a limited time sale that encourages customers to take advantage of the good deal and and buy your book during the promotion. With this method, you are still generating revenue while building your audience.
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Use your personal resources
Promotional resources are not limited to online promotions and paid marketing professionals. Consider your extended family and friends and how you can utilize them to spread the word about your book. Remember, gaining exposure is one of the most important thing in successfully selling your book. Any resource you can find to get your product in front of more people is one worth pursuing.
Market with social media
This is probably the best promotional tool available to those trying to market a product or service. Recently a Facebook ad brought one blog post from less than 300 views to more than 21,000 in a very short time. Why is this so effective? Think about it. Almost everyone has Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are extremely popular. People get their news, entertainment and information from these platforms. If you want to reach a lot of people, you need to be visible where a lot of people are. If thousands of people get up in the morning and look at Facebook and see your ad, you will generate a significant amount of traffic. Ad space on Facebook is not free, but creating a page to promote your work is. Once you have social media posts in place, you can promote them to a larger audience for $1-$2 dollars a day on Facebook or share them with your contacts for organic marketing.
Search Engine Optimize
This is closely related to online marketing. If you want people to read your book, you have to market it to the right people. Someone looking for Doctor Suess is not going to read Stephen King. This is where SEO comes into play. Using strong keywords in your social media posts and advertisements helps to increase your google and bing rankings and places your product in front of the right people. The fact is that what you are trying to sell, someone is looking to buy. SEO and keywords are all about making that connection.
Things to remember
Think about your intended audience and how to reach them.
Think from the perspective of a reader, not a writer. Instead of thinking about how you are going to sell copies of your book, think about how your book will entertain, inform or inspire readers and market it that way. The audience knows that you want them to read your book. Your job is to tell them why they want to read it.
Be honest with your audience and be careful with word choice in advertising. As mentioned above, it is important to present your work as a value to the reader, not just a way for you to make money off of them. Many advertisements fail because they are clearly geared toward sales and ignore the customer perspective. These set off the BS alarm in readers. This primarily comes up with nonfiction works that make ridiculous promises. If you are scrolling through Facebook and see an ad that says “Lose 10 pounds a day without diet or exercise!” or “Read this book and learn how to make $50,000 a month from home!” you will likely keep scrolling because it's obviously self serving nonsense.
Don't get lost in the pursuit of success. Remember your inspiration for writing, your passion and what you want to create and share. Marketing is vital to successfully selling your book, but don't get so caught up in promotion and sales that you forget to be a writer.
Love what you create, create what you love and find others who will love it too.
Also read this:
How to write an eBook that sells