Welcome back to our Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years. What’s stayed the same? And what’s changed? We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.
[ Originally posted: March 10, 2011 ]
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
– by Dana Lynn Smith.
Quite a lot has changed in the world of Kindle ebooks since 2011, including the percentages and the eminence of Amazon Associates and even which devices we use these days (cue the Blackberry exit, stage left). But many things have remained the same, such as Dana Lynn Smith’s admonition to write compelling sales copy, and pricing books perfectly to sell.
Most importantly of all, since Dana Lynn’s original post in 2011, print books have seen a resurgence in popularity. These days, it’s more important to view ebooks not as an end to their own means, but as a part and component of a much larger, much more fully rounded-out sales strategy encompassing print as well as digital. Ebooks aren’t the only answer you need, although they certainly enrich an author’s portfolio.
For more on that, I recommend checking in on Small Business Trends‘ annual report on the situation and balance between print and digital, available here: smallbiztrends.com/2017/02/printed-books-vs-ebooks.html.
Once you know your place in the “future of books,” you’ll know how to structure your sales and marketing strategies to take advantage of these trends.
Thanks for reading. If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them. Drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll respond as quickly as I can. ♠