Skip Kdp Select For Now
You can always add your book to KDP Select, even after its published. But once its in the program, you have to leave it there for at least 3 months.
KDP Select enrolls your book in Kindle Unlimited and gives you additional marketing options, like Kindle countdown deals, but the digital version of your book has to be exclusive to Amazon.
Make this decision as part of your overall book marketing plan.
Your Author Bio Matters
One thing that helps to get your book noticed on Amazon and actually sell more of them is the personal connection readers have with the author. Your author bio is one way to get personal with your readers and, your bio should reflect the tone of your book.
Did you write a humor book? Make your bio a bit funny, or a lot funny, depending on the nature of your book.
Did you write a book about cooking? Then its probably a good idea to tell readers why you loved creating these recipes or maybe where your love for cooking came from.
If youve written romance, for example, maybe start by telling your readers if youre a hopeless romantic, and why? Or why you love writing about strong female characters.
You get the idea. The thing is: every piece of content on your Amazon book page sells your book your about the author is no different.
The Amazon Ebook Market
To give some perspective, a couple of years ago, I looked at the total number of ebooks that were available on Amazon Kindle at that time.
Here is that result: Approximately 3.4 million.
A year later, it had jumped up to 4.7 million.
As of writing this post, there are now well over 6 million Kindle ebooks, and the number is rising fast.
To give some additional perspective to this number, Smashwords has an ebook catalog of around 400,000 ebooks.
Its a number that pales when you compare it to Kindles catalog.
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Can You Use A Traditional Publisher After Being On Amazon
Yes, so long as you retained the rights to your book. However, it can be difficult for a few reasons. If your book hasnt produced the kinds of sales a traditional publisher wants to see , theyre far less likely to be interested unless something unique convinces them it still has great commercial potential.
Team Up With Other Authors
One of the very best ways to build a sustainable writing career is to make friends in the community. You should be out there building relationships with other indie authors, especially in your genre. Conferences are a great way to do that, but if you dont have the budget for those yet, here are some cross-promotion hacks.
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Suggest A Newsletter Swap
The two previous hacks help you achieve two very different, but equally important goals:
And these are the two main requirements for one of the most powerful promotional tools any author can use: newsletter swaps.
The idea is simple: you promote one authors book in your newsletter, and they promote one of your books in return. This is generally done around special events and can be amplified through other channels: social media pages, groups, etc.
You should only approach authors with a similar size mailing list as yours and only once youve built a relationship with them.
Offer Your Book For Free On Amazon
There are several tactics for getting noticed on Amazon as a first-time author.
Perhaps the most tried and true strategy is to simply give away your book for free. Before you burn me at the stake, note that I don’t mean permanently. A free launch can help you get noticed and build up those all-important reviews on Amazon. Its vital that you have a good amount of reviews for your book . Many potential readers won’t even look at a book that hasn’t been reviewed yet .
As a side note, be sure to choose the right category for your book on Amazon. Some shoppers stick to genres that interest them and are more likely to narrow their book hunt by category. If you choose the right category for your book, youll have a better chance of getting found by your target reader.
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Make Your Book Start Showing Up On The Top Charts
Amazon ranks the eBooks they sell according to popularity. When a title is downloaded by a large quantity of people, it will show up on the Amazon Best Seller chart. Many readers come to these charts to discover new books, so if youre ranking here, youll be getting in front of plenty of new readers. Getting in front of new readers means that more people will buy your book, which means that ranking on the charts will help increase your sales rank, which is another input for the algorithm. You can wait for your book naturally to get on the Best Seller chart, but after working with thousands of authors, weve found concerted marketing is the best way to get on these charts.
At Written Word Media, were huge proponents of running price promotions. Its one of the things we do best, and we know it works. We recommend running a price promotion and promoting your title to our large audiences of new readers. With over 600,000 readers across Freebooksy, Bargain Booksy,Red Feather Romance, and NewInBooks, running a promotion on one of our sites will be sure to get your title into the hands of readers.
Focus On Getting Consistent Book Reviews
Reviews are the heart of your marketing strategy on Amazon. It doesnt matter how well you pick your associated keywords, if you dont have reviews, your book will be overlooked by the vast majority of potential reviews.
Most Amazon users won’t even consider purchasing an unrated book. Why should they experiment on a “newbie” author when they can spend their money on a trusted and well-reviewed book instead? Even getting one review is better than getting none.
Make it part of your marketing strategy to solicit reviews for your book. One way is to find reviewers for your book is to explore the review section of books that are similar to yours. Reach out to the people whove reviewed those books and ask if they could review yours it never hurts to ask.
What does hurt is buying fake reviews. Never do that or you will get banned.
Also, reviewing is not a one-and-done process. You should strive for a steady stream of book reviews. This is because every time your book is reviewed, it gets an update in the Amazon algorithm and increases its internal rank on Amazon.
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Create An Amazon Publishing Account
You need an Amazon account to publish with Kindle Direct Publishing. If you dont have one, thats the first step you need to complete to learn how to publish an eBook on Amazon.
- Go to and register your Amazon account.
- Sign in with your Amazon login credentials.
- Set up your tax details when prompted
The Amazon Kindle Publishing Wrap Up
Will this work for everyone? Im not sure yet. Your mileage may vary, and everyones book will be different. I do believe that KDP Select is, if nothing else, a fantastic way to experiment with price points, get your book out into the world, and have some fun.
Hopefully, your message will get into more peoples hands than it would have otherwise: thats the whole point, right?
Thats all, folks! Its not difficult to publish an information product onto the Kindle Store. Authors and information agents go make it happen!
Questions, or any other resources I should add to this post? Id love to hear from you in the comments.
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Enter Your Book Description
Amazon lets you enter up to 4,000 characters for your book description. This is the write-up that will appear on your books detail page.
Your book description is a sales pitch for readers.
Its a key part of your books marketing materials. Write it carefully. For guidance, read my step-by-step guide to writing a great book description.
Amazons description box accepts the old html tags for bold and italics. Use them wisely.
For even more control over your books detail page, join Author Central once your book is listed on Amazon.
What Authors Can Learn From Amazons Promotional Programs
Here are some key takeaways from Amazons 9 biggest book promotion programs every author should know about how Amazon helps readers find great books :
- All of Amazons promotional programs are designed with the intent to make it easier for readers to find books and products they will love. Quality counts!
- Amazon uses browsing behavior and purchasing behavior from customers to help determine what other books and products they might like to buy.
- The more readers actually finish reading your book, the more reviews you will get on Amazon and the more Amazon will promote your other titles to readers.
- Your book launch is the most important time you need to promote your book as much as possible in order to generate sales, attract new readers and prove to Amazon that your book is worth promoting to Amazons 200 million existing customers.
- Amazons main goal is to help their customers find great products. If you focus on creating a great product and follow the rules you will be rewarded.
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How Many Reviews Do I Need
For a minimum, you should try to get 20 reviews within the first two months after your book release date. That shows your book has traction with real readers.
At around 50 reviews, you are probably good to go. Around that point, you have solidified the book as reputable and should continue to generate reviews.
The Amazon Algorithm Explained
Before we get into the steps, lets explain the algorithm a little bit. The job of the Amazon algorithm is to best serve Amazon customers who are searching for something, AND to make relevant recommendations to Amazon customers on products they may like.
In order to do its job, the Amazon algorithm needs lots of data about each product . The more data about your book the algorithm has, the more it will surface or recommend a product to a customer. When it comes to books, the primary inputs the Amazon algorithm looks for are: Keywords, genres, reviews, sales, downloads, sales rank, and browse activity. To optimize your book on Amazon, you need to optimize all these inputs for the algorithm. In this article we will show you how to do that so you can sell more books on Amazon. Now lets get started!
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Secret : You Can Grow Your Author Email List Using Amazon’s Huge Audience
Amazon attracts more book readers than anyone else on the planet. Did you know those readers can be converted into email subscribers for free? It’s possible by using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service to set up permanently free e-books that drive readers to your author email list. I call these free resources “Bait Books,” because they serve as appealing bait that attracts new readers to you.
This secret has two simple steps. First, create an e-book using KDP and place it in Amazons Kindle Store as a free download. Inside your e-book, put a special offer for more free content that drives readers to a landing page on your author website. When they go to that landing page, they can join your email list to access the bonus content.
Once you set up a Bait Book, it will run non-stop in the background and help build your email list while you write your next book. The best part is that everything can be created for free. Plus, you can purchase inexpensive Amazon ads to help promote your bait book and make sure the right type of reader sees it.
How To Double Your Books Exposure In Amazons Bestseller Categories
One great tip for selecting the right categories for your book is to try to select two child categories that are featured in separate parent categories. In this way, you can double the amount of categories that feature your book on Amazon.
For example, a book about online entrepreneurship could be featured in both the Business & Investing parent category as well as the Computers & Technology parent category.
At TCK Publishing, we were spending so much time sifting through Amazons various bestseller lists and categories and trying to keep track of them all that we eventually created our own internal database of Amazon bestseller categories with detailed sales ranking data. We created this database so that we could spend more time actually working to help promote our clients books instead of wasting time fussing around with Amazons complex and frustrating category listings.
We now offer access to our custom database of all 19,669 Amazon bestseller lists organized by sales rankings and more with constant weekly updates for Bestseller Ranking Pro members. Access to this data also comes with a full suite of training videos and tutorials to teach authors the basics of how sales rankings work at Amazon and in-depth tutorials that show you how to improve your book rankings and sales at BestsellerRankingPro.com
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Get Reviews For Your Book
One of the quickest ways to get reviews for your new book is to approach reviewers of any of your previous books with a free copy and a polite request.
If you are a first-time author, you could look up and shortlist the ones who have reviewed books from your genre.
While Amazon does not support reviews for pre-order books, if you have released a paperback version of your book and linked it to your unreleased ebook, any reviews posted for the paperback will copy over to your ebook. This way, your book will be ready with social proof right from the day it is launched.
You can also promote your pre-release book among Goodreads network of over 65 million members through a featured giveaway. Goodreads allows reviews to be posted for pre-release books. Take note that even though Amazon owns Goodreads, reviews posted on one site cannot be migrated to the other.
As a rule of thumb, contact four times as many reviewers as the number of reviews you are aiming for. Follow up at least once, preferably a week or two after your first email.
You should also approach influential book bloggers, popular authors in your genre, and newspapers for editorial reviews.
How Much Will A Cover Design Cost
Book cover designs range in price.
Some designers offer a stock cover to which they add your book details. These usually range from $50100. If you are on a very tight budget and can find a pre-made cover that works for your book, this is a possible option. Remember that someone else may choose the same design.
Generally, beginner designers charge between $300 and $500. Experienced designers will charge between $500 and $800. Top-tier designers charge between $800 and $1,500.
As you can see, you have a wide range of fees. Choose a designer in the range you can afford to give your book the best stand-out treatment.
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Amazon Secrets Every Author Needs To Know
Amazon has always been a secretive organization. For example, Jeff Bezos never divulges how many Kindle devices the company actually sells. Instead, he makes cryptic remarks such as, “It’s the bestselling product in our store.” Also, Amazon doesn’t reveal how much money they make selling books. Those financial numbers are rolled into their “Media” division that includes movies and other products. In addition, Amazon keeps a lot of book marketing secrets hidden from the world. If you write and sell books on Amazon, here are 3 secrets every author needs to know:
Enter Your Book Title And Subtitle
Your book title is critically important:
Readers start judging your book the instant they see the cover, and the title is the first thing they read.
It has to be magnetic.
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Book Reviews That Prove Youre A Sure Thing
Amazons algorithm is designed to take notice of books that are getting purchased AND reviewed.
So be sure you have a solid book marketing strategy to remind people to review when you launch, and at regular intervals through other channels like email or social media for the life of your book.
Plus, people like what other people like, so when an Amazon shopper sees a bunch of good reviews for your book, they dont have to think as critically about buying. So never stop, theres no such thing as too many reviews.
And Ill tell you, the less thinking a buyer has to do, the easier it is to make the sale.
So take the guesswork out of it for your potential readers by having a really fantastic, easy to read cover, make sure you have a subtitle that sells, a description that proves you stand out from the competition, smart keywords and categories, and a boatload of reviews.
Getting In The Top Twenty Lists And Staying There After The Promotional Period
When someone downloads your book , it moves up the charts. My book was #1 in the Bilingual section for a while, even though most people downloaded it for free. This meant a lot more people saw it, compared to when it was down in the dungeons of Amazons search listings. Amazon does not kick you off the charts after your free promotion ends.
Being in the charts when it reverted back to a paid download meant more people saw it, and resulted in more sales.
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