The Amazon Experience for Self Publishing Authors

Amazon, the single largest book retailer, couldn’t be friendlier in helping self-publishing authors sell their books. Whether you’ve already published your book or are still in the writing or production process, prepare these Amazon options to maximize your books sales.

Amazon Look Inside the Book: This is the online equivalent to readers picking your book up off the shelf and flipping through the pages. An optional feature, “Look Inside” provides an icon over your book’s cover image and allows readers to browse through portions of your interior content. Amazon claims that books utilizing this option see considerably higher sales over those that do not.

Amazon Key Word Submission: Amazon allows readers to browse by category or key words. Imagine being transported instantly around a bookstore the size of football fields without having to use a map or ask an employee for directions. This is the experience Amazon customers find in typing in a simple keyword or phrase. (Few readers browse by titles or author; this is especially true for first-time authors.) The key is determining  the top ten keywords for your book.

Amazon Kindle: The Kindle is everywhere, and for good reason. It is a revolutionary digital reading device that allows individuals to instantly purchase books anywhere, anytime. One source noted that Kindle owners, on average, buy three times more books than non-Kindle owners. Kindle editions must be submitted through special formatting, which some self-publishing companies offer.

Amazon Reviews: Finally, email, call, and knock on the doors of everyone you know who can contribute a credible review of your self-published book and have them post their feedback on your book’s Amazon listing page. This will help convince readers that your book is worth buying.

I’d love to know, what is your favorite Amazon feature?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in   sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services   for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department   is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants;   together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the   book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your   career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist   seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you   on the right path.

Three Ways to Find Free and Low-Priced Books to Read on Your Kindle

One of my favorite things about reading books on my Kindle is finding free and low-priced books. As a book lover, my reading habit can get pretty costly, but these three awesome lists save me tons of money and help me find new books to read. To take advantage of all the free and low-priced books available on your Kindle, check out these three great lists on a regular basis as they are updated frequently.

Amazon’s Top 100 Free Kindle Books – This list is great because it is updated all the time, and it is based on what readers are actually downloading.

Amazon’s 100 Kindle Books for $3.99 or Less – While these books aren’t free, you still can’t beat the price! Most paper versions will cost you at least $10 to $15.

Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deal – Each day this list features amazing deals on Kindle books. When I was researching this post, I found a book for 88% off! It was originally $16.99, but for one day only you could get it for $1.99.

As you can tell by the number of available Kindle books, e-book reading devices are becoming extremely popular, and Kindle books aren’t limited to Kindle owners.  Even iPad users can take advantage of the great prices on Amazon by downloading the free Kindle app for iPad.  More and more people are choosing to read books on some kind of e-book reading device, and more and more self-publishing authors are realizing that offering a Kindle version of their books can help increase their overall royalties. If you are self-publishing a book, you must consider offering your book in Kindle format. By offering both hardcopy and electronic editions, you can increase the exposure for your book and reach a larger audience. This will ultimately result in greater sales potential for your book.

I’d love to know, do you plan to offer your book in Kindle format?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

The New Kindle Fire: The Next Hottest Thing in Publishing

In just two days (on September 14, 2012), the new Kindle Fire will be released. This handheld device will change the way people read and the way authors publish books. Here are a few of the details.

  • 40% faster performance, twice the memory, longer battery life
  • Perfect portability – thin, light, and durable
  • Over 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, and
    popular apps and games
  • Ultra-fast web browsing over built-in Wi-Fi
  • Free unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content
  • Kindle FreeTime – a personalized tablet experience just for kids. Set
    daily screen limits, and give access to appropriate content for each child. Free
    on every Kindle Fire.
  • Kindle Owners’ Lending Library – Kindle owners can choose from more than 180,000
    books to borrow for free with no due dates, including over 100 current and
    former New York Times best sellers and all seven Harry Potter books.
  • No Set-up Required
  • Read-to-Me — With Text-to-Speech, Kindle Fire can read English-language content out loud to you, when available from the publisher.
  • 1-Click Shopping

Readers are sure to love the convenience and upgraded technology offered by the Kindle Fire. Thanks to Kindle FreeTime, even children will be able to enjoy the hot , new device.

E-readers are already changing the way consumers buy and read books, and they are becoming increasingly popular. It is important that self-published authors offer a Kindle version of their books to meet the needs of readers who prefer using e-readers. By offering both a print and electronic version of your book, you can target a larger market and reach more customers. This will ultimately lead to more sales.

To learn more about the Kindle Fire, click here.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

The New Era of Digital Books

Not too long ago, if you wanted to read a book, you had to go to the bookstore, library, or online store and retrieve a print copy. Now, it is becoming easier and easier to read digitally formated books. Readers can purchase and download e-books on their computers or digital book readers such as Kindles or Nooks.  Even smart phones have digital book reading options.

Having a book published in print is no longer enough. Readers expect options, and successful authors are willing to accommodate different reading styles. If you only publish your book in a print format, you could potentially miss out on a large audience — those who prefer digital books.

Not only is digital publishing in demand, it is also a smart choice for authors. In many cases, it is less expensive to produce a digital book than it is to produce a print book, and the publishing option is eco-friendly because there is no wasted paper. If you are interested in taking part in this growing trend, find out what options  self-publishing companies offer and keep those options in mind when choosing a publisher.

I’d love to know, what questions do you have about digital books?

ABOUT WENDY STETINA: Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.

Quick Start Guide to Marketing Your Kindle eBooks Like a Pro!

Today’s blog post is by publishing industry expert, Dana Lynn Smith.

What are the differences between marketing a Kindle ebook and marketing a printed book?

The promotional methods used to drive traffic to your website and your sales page on Amazon are similar to that of printed books, but there are some differences in marketing Kindle ebooks:

  • There are fewer competing books in the Kindle store, so you may have a greater chance of your book standing out in search results. The Kindle publishing platform makes it very easy for you to enter appropriate keyword tags for your ebook.
  • Consumers expect ebook prices to be significantly lower than print books, especially for fiction. You can experiment with different price points, but for fiction books many indie authors report that they sell at lot more books at $2.99 than at higher prices. If you price your ebook between $2.99 and $9.99 (and it’s priced at least 20% less than the printed version) you can opt to receive a 70% royalty from Amazon, which is much higher than what you’d make on a printed book.
  • The audience for Kindle ebooks is smaller, because not everyone has a Kindle, but it’s growing rapidly. Remind potential customers that they don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle ebooks—they can download a free reading app to use on their PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry and other devices.

What are the best ways for an author to capitalize on Kindle edition sales?

  • Be sure to prominently state on all of your book marketing materials that your book is also available in Kindle format, and provide links directly to your Kindle page on Amazon. You can use a link shortening service to create a short, customized link to use for marketing purposes, such as http://bit.ly/AmazonEbook.

To make a customized link like this, go to http://bit.ly, paste the URL of your book’s Kindle sales page into the large blue box, click the blue “customize” button (beneath the blue box), enter a name for your link (such as AmazonEbook in the example above), and click on the “customize” button.

  • Make sure that your print book and your ebook are linked together on the Amazon website. For example, the reviews for your print book should be showing up on your Kindle page, and the sales page for your print book should indicate that the book is also available in Kindle format. If you don’t see that linkage within a couple of weeks, contact kdp-support@amazon.com.
  • Earn a little extra on each print and ebook sale on Amazon when you sign up for the Amazon Associates affiliate program at https://affiliate-program.amazon.com.

What are some common mistakes in marketing Kindle ebooks?

  • One common mistake is failing to write compelling sales copy and enter the right keywords. The great thing about the Kindle publishing platform at https://kdp.amazon.com is that it’s easy to make changes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different sales copy, keywords and price points.
  • Other mistakes include pricing ebooks too high, failing to promote them as much as printed books, and failing to take advantage of the promotional opportunities available on the Amazon website.

DISCUSSION:What difficulties are you experiencing in marketing your Kindle book?

 

Dana Lynn Smith ABOUT DANA LYNN SMITH:
Drawing on her 16 years of publishing experience and degree in marketing, Dana Lynn Smith helps authors learn how to promote their books through her how-to guides, one-on-one coaching, blog and newsletter. Learn more about how to promote your book on Amazon in her ebook, How to Sell More Books on Amazon, available at http://bit.ly/AmazonEbook. For more tips, follow @BookMarketer on Twitter, visit Dana’s blog at www.TheSavvyBookMarketer.com, and get a copy of the Top Book Marketing Tips ebook when you sign up for her free newsletter at www.BookMarketingNewsletter.com.