Finishing your eBook is just the beginning of another ride.
Last year the global eBook market was valued at $18.3 billion and Amazon held 67% of the market share.
These two pieces of info tell us that:
- There’s quite a hype for eBooks worldwide (which will continue to grow at a 6,8% annual rate according to Research and Markets’ prognosis).
- If you want to sell your eBook, Amazon is where you’ll most likely get people to see it (and buy it!).
So once you’ve finished a decent eBook you want to know how to be effective at attracting people to buy it, right?
Now, you can always watch Amazon’s 28-minute webinar on how to promote your book, but let’s be honest here.
We all want the summarized version and get the main tips right away, right?
There are millions of strategies to promote your eBook and if I did a list it would be endless, so let’s focus specifically on what Amazon has to offer to its authors.
#1 Make your ebook description a keyword beacon for readers to fly into
Think of your target audience, which strong keywords will help you capture their attention?
There are a bunch of Medium articles on SEO and ways to define the right words to increase traffic to your webpage, article, or post. But there are also online tools that can help you find the right keywords for your book:
By looking for related words around your topic, you can generate more search traffic and rank higher on your digital content. This means that you should use those keywords in the description of your eBook and the product keywords section.
Besides targeted keywords, you also want to focus on making a killer description. You first draw your audience’s attention with the title and cover design of your eBook, and then you seal the deal with the book description.
It’s your chance to lure them into wanting to read more about your book, but don’t just leave them in suspense without giving them a clear idea of what the book is about.
Here’s an example of a highly recommended marketing book: This is Marketing by Seth Godin:
A game-changing approach to marketing, sales, and advertising.
Seth Godin has taught and inspired millions of entrepreneurs, marketers, leaders, and fans from all walks of life, via his blog, online courses, lectures, and bestselling books. He is the inventor of countless ideas that have made their way into mainstream business language, from Permission Marketing to Purple Cow to Tribes to The Dip.
Now, for the first time, Godin offers the core of his marketing wisdom in one compact, accessible, timeless package. This is Marketing shows you how to do work you’re proud of, whether you’re a tech startup founder, a small business owner, or part of a large corporation.
Great marketers don’t use consumers to solve their company’s problem; they use marketing to solve other people’s problems. Their tactics rely on empathy, connection, and emotional labor instead of attention-stealing ads and spammy email funnels.
No matter what your product or service, this book will help you reframe how it’s presented to the world, in order to meaningfully connect with people who want it. Seth employs his signature blend of insight, observation, and memorable examples to teach you:
* How to build trust and permission with your target market.
* The art of positioning — deciding not only who it’s for, but who it’s not for.
* Why the best way to achieve your goals is to help others become who they want to be.
* Why the old approaches to advertising and branding no longer work.
* The surprising role of tension in any decision to buy (or not).
* How marketing is at its core about the stories we tell ourselves about our social status.
You can do work that matters for people who care. This book shows you the way.
Okay, Godin is already a world-class writer, I give you that. But think of it as an inspiration to start writing your own awesome book description. Let your readers know what to expect from your book and how does it help them. Always think of it as if you were that reader searching for an amazing ebook, what kind of content would make you want to buy that book over another?
#2 Rather than looking for the right price, look for the right royalty deal
According to Statista, the average price of the top 10 bestsellers on Amazon in 2016 where:
- NY Times Bestsellers (USA): $12.44
- Spiegel Bestsellers (Germany): $19.79
- Open Book Bestsellers (China): $1.02
This means that there’s not one ideal price for your eBook that will make the best deal for both you and your audience.
But don’t be discouraged by it.
There’s another way to think of how to set your price tag. Think of it in terms of the percentage you get for every sold eBook.
If you set your price between $2.99 and $9.99 Amazon takes 30% of your revenue. Anything outside of that range, they will take 65% of the profits.
That’s a huge difference!
If you’re a new author in this virtual world you might want to use a low price strategy. More readers can take a chance on you, especially since they don’t know you (yet!). More downloaded books, more chances of escalating the rank list, which means more visibility to other potential readers. This approach can get you more readership.
If you’re an established author then you might not need to read these tips at all. You can always test different prices by setting up discounts, time-limited price reduction, or having brief periods of free downloads.
Amazon also tells you that the 70% royalty you get by setting your price between $2.99 and $9.99 may be applied to time-limited discounts. So if you set your price to $2.99 and set a 50% discount for 5 days, you’ll still get a 70% profit on those eBooks. It’s a way to sell cheap and maintain a higher revenue share option.
Most of the Best Sellers in Kindle eBooks are in the range mentioned above, so that might also give you a hint.
Also, you can check out your direct competition for setting up a price. Look for the best-selling authors in your category and also look at the length of their eBook. Those two inputs can give you a nice point of reference.
#3 Set up your eBook for free (for a while) to encourage people to download it
There are two options on Amazon that can help you share your eBook for free either for a limited amount of time or share a few pages or chapters for free.
The Kindle Instant Preview is straightforward. You select the pages you want to share as a free sample and you embed it on a link and use it on your webpage, blog, or email.
Just like drugs but in a good way. You give your readers a taste, and they come back for more.
The Kindle Select lets you share your whole eBook for free…but for a limited time. It’s part of the Free Book Promotions Program and you can schedule one or multiple free promotion periods (5 days every 90 days). But every time you schedule it, you can put it up to 5 days and then back to price mode.
Giving it away for free for a certain time gives you some benefits:
- Increase in the number of downloads: people like freebies and since it’s for a limited time, it makes it more appealing (“I’ve got to do download it now!”). People like expensive freebies even more. If they see a crossed-out price of $12.99 they’ll be more likely to download it than the one for $5. People feel they’re getting a better deal even if the quality of the book is similar. But don’t set your price too high since you’ll get less royalty on it. If your eBook is outside the $2.99 – $9.99 range, you just get a 35% profit on each sale.
- Getting more email subscribers: you can leave a section in your eBook with a link to subscribe to your email list. Each of these subscribers is an opportunity to sell other products in the future. More downloads will lead to more people clicking on it.
- Recommended section: since others have downloaded your eBook, it will appear on the Recommended list either as “What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?” or “Recommended for you” list which helps boost your visibility.
- Plus, you might even get a review from these readers. Hope for it to be a good one!
#4 Share your eBook on different online platforms (especially when it’s free) to get more visibility on your content
Let’s say you’ve got the 5-day free access to your eBook, what do you do? Storm the hell out of it on different platforms, but wait!
Focus your efforts on groups that welcome this kind of self-promotions. Especially if they encourage free eBooks. For instance, search for “free ebooks” on Facebook groups and look at their policies. They’ll allow you to post your link to Amazon and that way you redirect these audiences to your stuff.
You could write it like this:
“If you like [your eBook category], I think you might enjoy a book I just published on Amazon that’s free until [date]
It’s called [book title]
The main thing you’ll get out of it is [contribution to the reader]
Here’s a link to 30 Facebook groups for promoting your free (time-limited) eBook. Go on and make your content visible to the world!
#5 Thank your reviewers publicly and you might encourage someone else to review your eBook
There’s an interesting phenomenon that when you praise certain behaviors in other people, more people will want to take part in that action.
So you can remind people to review your eBook (expected positive action) by thanking all those that already have contributed with their reviews.
You can both thank people in general that they’ve downloaded your eBook and individually praise and tag those that left a review.
And you can repeat this after several days with additional reviewers and maybe change the beginning of the note. You might say that you’ve reached a milestone (500 downloads), or you’ve hopefully got ranked higher in your category, or some other reason you want to share with the world.
# 6 Analyze your strategy and change if necessary
Don’t be a mindless self-publishing author that grabs the first thing that comes to mind. I know that you want to focus on the writing part and leave the rest to your (fictitious) publisher, but until you don’t get the budget for one, you are your best or worst publisher.
Therefore, look at the results after some time and see what’s worked for you and what’s a total failure. Don’t just focus on your initial strategy and think that if people didn’t bite you’re screwed.
Make a change and take another highway to your destination. You can be impressed by what it might offer!
You can change the categories you’ve initially labeled for your eBook and see if a new market niche grabs the hook.
Finishing your eBook is just the beginning of another ride but take it as another learning adventure on becoming a successful author.
When you self publish you can be your best or worst publisher but these 6 tips can help ease your book promotion phase:
- Spend time on the description of your eBook to seal the deal: you lure your audience with a nice title, cover design, and targeted keywords (also embedded in your description). Then you finish the deal with a description that will make your readers want to read the whole thing.
- Instead of looking at one definitive price, look for a good royalty plan: there’s not one price that fits all needs, but Amazon points you towards a range that can get you a better deal. Look for setting up a 70% royalty payment by stating your price between $2.99 and $9.99.
- Use some form of free access to your eBook to hook people into reading it: Amazon offers to give your eBook away for free for up to 5 days every 90 days (Kindle Select) or give your audience access to a limited number of pages/chapters (Kindle Instant Preview).
- Share your eBook on social platforms, especially inside sections/groups that encourage self-promotion: with a simple 5 line post template you can announce your latest product to people that are more prone to read it. These audiences like freebies!
- Thanking people openly for reading/reviewing your eBook inspires others to take action: it’s another way to maintain the buzz towards your book and your audience will be more inclined to help you in your quest.
- Review your initial strategy and don’t be afraid to change it: you don’t have to be stuck with what you thought would be the best approach to selling your eBook. If it didn’t work after a couple of weeks, it’s time for a change.
It’s time to put things into practice. Go on and see what happens, but most of all think of it in terms of a learning curve. Like with everything else, you’ll get better with time, and the more you work on it the faster you’ll fail and pick yourself up to keep going!
As Elon Musk said:
Stop being patient and start asking yourself, how do I accomplish my 10-year plan in 6 months? You’ll probably fail, but you’ll be a lot further along than the person who simply accepted it was going to take 10 years!
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