If you have always wanted to be an author, then it may appeal to you to publish your manuscript online. A lot of people are making a good living out of e-books that they publish on Amazon’s Kindle services, using what is called KDP – that is, Kindle Direct Publishing. If you are thinking about doing this, however, you may be wondering how to market that book you have worked so hard on.
You can publish a book very easily using Kindle Direct Publishing, but how to market it is an entirely different question. Here, we are going to look at what you will need to do to make sure people can find your book.
In order to have the book you have written found by the relevant people who are likely to be interested in your work, you will need to ensure you can make the Amazon search engine find it. You will be prompted to add some keywords when you first upload your book, and this is where you will need to use some savvy and make sure you are using the search terms your audience use when they look for books to read that fit with their interests.
You are only given seven boxes to fill out with search keywords, however, this doesn’t mean that you can only enter seven words. You can enter phrases in these boxes, and it is generally considered the best thing to do to enter as many words as you can think of. Within the character limits, you can write a lot more than one word per box, and these are all things that will help you get found when people on Amazon search for a book like yours.
In order to decide what search terms to use in your keyword fields, you should be thinking about what people will search for, but you can get some help by typing in relevant words into the search bar on Amazon and seeing what it auto-suggests. Amazon’s search engine is different from Google because it is a marketing engine rather than a pure search, and so keyword research techniques you may use for Google are liable to return different results than when you search on Amazon. This is only a problem if you are tied into Google SEO techniques, however. For most people, learning the right Amazon search terms to use is as simple using the auto-suggest feature.
There are a number of promotional newsletters that advise people about new books in a given niche. You can use these if you submit your book to them. You don’t have to really do any more than adding your book’s Amazon ID number and a brief synopsis, as well as a bit of an author profile. Depending on your field of writing, you may find dozens of promo newsletters like this, or just a few. Popular fields like romance tend to have the most, but even niche non-fiction areas tend to have promo newsletters you can join for free.
You may also want to consider paid promos. This may well be necessary for some fields of fiction where the market is very competitive and the book you are releasing will really need to get seen to outperform its competition.
You will find that paid promo newsletters cost different amounts depending on the niche and how many subscribers they have, but they can often be a good source of readers.
Advance Review Copies
Advance Review Copies or ARCs as they are most normally known in the publishing industry, are a big part of book marketing. Essentially, this means giving away free copies of a book you are about to release or have just released to people likely to give it a review so that your book will have good reviews attached to it. Reviews differ in how much of an impact they have on sales, depending on what niche of writing you are in, but in fiction, they can make a huge difference, and many readers do not leave organic reviews. You can only really expect about 1% of people who read your book to review it, and that is why it can be good to encourage reviews through ARCs.
There are paid ARC services that will distribute your book to reviewers, but if you don’t want to do that, then you’ll need to look for ARC reviewers yourself. You can often find them by engaging with readers in your genre of work on things like Twitter and Goodreads. If you do this you may feel like you are cannibalizing your sales because the people you are giving your book to are likely people who would have bought a copy, however, the good review can pay dividends and make it worthwhile. If you plan on writing multiple books, then putting together an ARC team can be a big help.
In some fields of writing, paid advertising can be a real boon. You can set a budget and have your books advertised on Amazon as a sponsored book, or on other commonly used sites like Facebook. This can make a big difference to how much you sell, but you have to learn about the different ways of targeting ads and also work on trialing different adverts to see which have the best impact. A lot of people recommend not using the book cover as the main image for your ad, for instance, though you may have different results. You need to prepare a couple of different ads and make sure that you are analyzing the results to see what offers the best ROI.
Saying that, however, not all of these approaches are essential, and you may be able to have a good launch without doing any marketing at all in some sectors. It does, however, pay to know all of your options and learn a bit about different types of e-book marketing, so that you can decide how much you want to put into launching your new book