Welcome to Week 11!
This week we take a deep dive into what will mean the greatest success of your book writing endeavor.
In fact, as this course has gone along, we continue to learn…therefore…we are moving some of our classes around because we feel that this is vitally important to your success.
We all most certainly want to make money from all of our efforts of getting our book into the Kindle store.
The truth is, that many people DO NOT make money with Kindle books…and we will teach you what to do to avoid that problem.
You will not become an overnight millionaire after you have published your book. We have studied this quite extensively and know that if you implement these well thought out strategies, you will see the results you deserve.
Why You Need a Kindle Monetization Sales Funnel
Here’s how it usually plays out for many new Kindle writers: All their effort goes into writing the book and formatting it. They may or may not know about Kindle Select, and how joining KDP gives them five “free” days, allowing them to offer their eBook for free so people can download (and review) it.
And almost every Kindle author happily announces their book on social media. Some even send an announcement to their lists. But that is not a Kindle monetization plan!
That is better known as “winging it and hoping for the best”.
When preparing to market your Kindle eBook, you need plan every step of your Kindle eBook process, which should include the following sections:
- Long term post-launch follow up
These are the specific time periods you need to systematically plan, if you’re going to keep sales from declining and petering out after your is over.
To make sure you monetize your Kindle eBook as completely as possible, you will need to create a sales funnel, complete with:
- An entry point
- Controlled leak points
- An exit point
But most of all, you need a goal. You need to decide what you want your Kindle eBook to achieve.
You can focus on having your Kindle eBook…
- Help people solve their problems
- Entertain your audience
- Reinforce your niche authority
- Widen your market
- Help you create celebrity status
- Build an active community
- Supplement your income
There are subtle differences you can create to further tweak your monetization, depending on your focus and goals. For example:
- If you want your book to reinforce your niche authority, you will want to concentrate more on increasing your reach.
- If you want your book to build an active community, you need strong follow-up strategies to keep engagement going.
- If you want it to help you create celebrity status, you have to make sure it is a knock-out, promoting a really unique idea, method or system – your “signature” eBook outlining your “signature” method.
- If you want it primarily to supplement your income, it’s a good idea to create a highly recognizable signature series, so that people not only come back to see what other guides you have available, but so they can graduate to a paid membership or course; or to coaching.
In fact, no matter what your goal, you’ll find that creating a series is the best way to monetize your Kindle. You’ll gain more prominence with and attention from Amazon itself plus each book in your series will reinforce the authority of its neighbor. This might sound overwhelming right now, but once you’ve successfully monetized your existing (or first) Kindle eBook, your second—and third—and fourth ones will feel like a stroll in the park.
Millions of not just Americans own Kindle readers, but people all over the world too—plus Amazon makes it easy for those who don’t own a Kindle reader to read Kindle eBooks online on their PCs, via the free Amazon cloud reader.
It all boils down to this: If you don’t take the opportunity to intelligently monetize your Kindle eBook, this can be quite accurately compared to taking one dollar out of the bank when there are thousands of dollars just sitting there.
So how do you create a powerful sales funnel for your eBook? Let’s start with your entry point: How are you going to get your audience to click on your particular title and not someone else’s?
What will make them choose your book, and not your rival’s?
- Identify your exact target reader. Who are you writing to? What is she looking for, right now, on Amazon? Is there a market for your topic?
Checking out Amazon categories and best seller lists will help decide if your idea is viable. If there are even two or three books on your topic or niche on the Amazon best-seller list, your chances of creating your own best seller have just dramatically increased.
- Create a professional cover photo. If you are going to spend anything on your Kindle eBook creation, invest your money in a professionally-created cover that creates ambience, conveys your topic, speaks to your audience and focuses its message.
The cover photo alone is what many readers cite as the deciding factor in whether or not they bought a book.
- Make sure they trip over your book. Be aggressive with strategies to get the word out there, when it comes to your eBook. Have not just one, but multiple strategies lined up—and coordinate their release so that maximum buzz gets created… and if someone misses your announcement through one channel, they see it on another.
- Grab them with your title. It doesn’t have to be the most brilliant title in the world: It just has to make them say “that’s exactly what I need!” (If it’s a fiction title, it has to make them curious enough to look inside.)
- Use repetition. It’s a fact of human nature that begins in infancy: Human beings are reassured by repetition. (Just look at your toddler, clamoring for the same story night after night – usually one containing repetitive phrases.) Repetition feels safe.
So how do you use it in creating Kindle eBooks? By creating a series and making sure the first half of the title is repetitive.
For example, let’s take a look at Kristen Eckstein’s “Author Quick Guide Series as an example:
It looks pretty impressive, doesn’t it, when you see an entire series, book after book, on the topic your reader is passionate about.
Each book leads to the next. If your reader loves your first guide, she’ll automatically want more. And here’s the important part: She will search your name (or the repetitive part of your series title, like so…)
Instantly, the page will be filled with your series—not your competitors.
But you don’t want just to rely on Amazon reader searches, powerful though they are and skillfully though you’ve positioned and presented your series:
- You also want to be driving them towards your sales corral via other strategies for maximum monetization. We’re going to take a closer look at three of these shortly, but think of it this way…
You’ve driven all the way across Arizona to sell your horses at a big annual auction. Are you going to arrive with just one horse… or are you going to round up as many as you can—thousands of them, if you can swing it—and make maximum profits?
If you are going to arrive there with just one animal, it had better be a proven, prized mare or stallion. One stallion with a proven blood line can bring over a million dollars; but if your bloodline hasn’t been proven yet, the more horses you can sell at the market, the better, since each one will likely bring in less than a thousand dollars.
That’s the principle behind starting out with a series—and making sure that every book is a prize-winning gem.
To continue our auction analogy: Your book may be a prize stallion indeed, but unless people know about his impressive progeny and bloodline, they’re not going to want to pay top dollar.
That’s where strategy comes in. That’s where you set up strategies to get the word out about your eBook to as many people as possible in your niche or field at the same time.
And the biggest mistake new Kindle authors make? Not actively working towards this, and relying instead on Amazon’s search engines.
It’s true: There are millions of amazon readers out there—but do you really want to leave it to chance whether or not they discover your eBook?
It’s not “millions of Amazon readers” who will buy your book: It’s your ideal target customer in your niche—so since you already operate within this niche, spread the word there! Make sure that the readers who actually open and finish your book leave enthusiastic reviews.
Ignorance of Kindle marketing really is no excuse when there are so many resources available online to help you strategize and laser-target towards your particular Kindle goal.
Now let’s take a look at three sound strategies you can use to monetize your eBook…
Strategy Number One:
Be a Guest!
One of the best ways to become known and sought after is to become everyone’s dream guest. Contact potential hosts and either suggest a joint venture (JV) webinar or radio interview or simply let them know you are releasing a book on [your topic] and you will be available for interviews during the month of [your release month].
Suggest spots you have open, tailoring them to suit:
- Hosts whose interests and audience best matches your pre-launch stage
- Hosts who are most likely to be enthusiastic about joining you in promoting your eBook at the actual launch time
- Hosts whose interests and audience best matches your post-launch stage
(There is nothing wrong with giving potential hosts a nudge towards your own ideal time slot—particularly if you can show how this can be an advantage.
No matter who you approach, make sure your book is a perfect fit—released at the perfect time—for your potential host’s own audience.
And make sure also that you put effort into knowing how to be the perfect guest. This involves:
- Tailoring each “appearance” to your host’s exact audience and their most pressing interest
- Focusing on helping them—not on promoting your book. (Your host should do that.)
- Making your host look good. Know all about your host; what she specializes in; what her best talents are and so forth
- Sending your host an advance copy of the book, so she can read it herself if she has time
- Familiarizing yourself with the technology and equipment; having a professional-quality set-up at your end. This means making sure your phone is turned off, there’s no “white noise”; you have a good quality microphone et cetera.
- Getting comfortable with public speaking
TIP: You’ll overcome ninety-per-cent of your public speaking difficulties if you are truly enthusiastic about your topic and focus one-hundred-percent on helping your host’s audience learn what they most want to know.
When your focus is on others, there’s no room for shyness or nerves, though it is perfectly normal to feel nervous right before air time. (Reframe this in your own head as “I am excited. I am going to help people today” rather than thinking “I’m so nervous!”)
But even if you’re the perfect guest, there’s one more mistake to avoid: Do make sure you arrange in advance for the host to promote your eBook – and ask her to mention it and give the URL:
- When she introduces you
- At least once during the interview
- At the end of the interview
Be up front about this. And be sure to thank your host after the interview too.
Even one interview with the right person can boost sign ups to your list, sales of your book—and help spread the word that you are the Real Deal.
Strategy Number Two:
Optimize your Free Days
A quick way to gain exposure, if you’re relatively new to your niche (or to Amazon’s marketplace) is by joining KDP Select program.
When you enroll in the KDP Select program, you promise to “make the book exclusive to the Kindle store”; meaning you cannot market it anywhere else—even on your website—during your 90-day enrollment in the program.
You can still set a price and sell the book (in fact, if you designate your book price as free you will be rejected for the program. And you get higher royalties from KDP Select.
The more people download your book (even for free), the more reviews you have the potential of receiving. And reviews are what will rocket your book to the top of your category and maybe even to the top of the best seller list.
The real advantage is that you are allowed five days during which you can designate the book as “free” during each 90-day period. (Yes. You can re-enroll.)
You can split these days up – but be sure to offer the first one at least five to ten days after you hit “publish”: Your book has to be accepted into the program and released, and that will most likely take a minimum of forty-eight hours.
When you do use your free days, make this part of your promotion planning. Coordinate your free day with notification and announcement to:
- Your list
- Your book’s Facebook Page (or your Author Facebook page)
- Twitter (create and use a hashtag so you can track it)
- Other social media you and your desired audience interact within
- Relevant forums or mastermind or Facebook Groups you belong to
- Local newspapers, magazines and press release directories like PRWeb (send a formal press release to these publications)
- Notification to free directories such as Indie Author News, Goodreads Listopia and eReader Utopia
Check out these resources:
Last but definitely not least, finish informal announcements to your list and to social contacts with something like “if you enjoy my eBook or find it useful, I’d appreciate it if you’d leave a short review”.
The key to making the most of KDP Select and your free days is two-fold: Coordinating your announcements to all the online and offline venues—and tracking your results.
Strategy Number Three:
We’re not just talking about others promoting your book here. We’re talking about:
- Recommending products within your non-fiction books
- Being an affiliate for those products and using your affiliate links for those products
If you recommend only the best—products or resources you truly believe will work well for your audience—people will look for your recommendations eagerly, and actually thank you for them. (Well, silently, within their own heads, most of the time. But they’ll remember you and be grateful.)
These recommendations/affiliate links should be used only as part of the natural organic flow of whatever you are trying to teach through your non-fiction eBook. Never, EVER try to “squeeze” extra affiliate links in just so you can make extra cash—this strategy will backfire on you and your reputation.
You never want your reader thinking: “Oh, it’s just another excuse so she can sell stuff and make money”.
Your focus is on being there for your reader. That’s how you gain her trust—and her business.
This is not the only way to use affiliate marketing in conjunction with your Kindle eBook—but it’s a quick and easy way to monetize it: And many a JV partnership has happened because an author effectively recommended that future partner’s product in a Kindle eBook.
We’ve covered three easy and powerful ways to monetize your Kindle eBook. If you do nothing but what is suggested here, you might be excited to see a measurable improvement in sales compared to your first (unnoticed) effort in monetizing your book at launch time. But why not take it even further? Why not learn how to monetize your book every step of the way?
Leverage your Kindle eBook to:
- Become known online as an expert
- Become better known, period!
- Help your ideal readers
- Impress your niche peers
- Become a local celebrity
- Open doors to teaching gigs, speaking gigs and creating workshops (online and off)
- Be the JV partner everyone wants to attract—instead of being one of the one sending out queries
- Create a steady flow of sales, instead of having all your sales within the first two weeks of your launch and then seeing your book sit in limbo, all alone
- Become a published author… one who actually makes money.
There are multiple “how to” books on dominating the Kindle market. What you will get here is a realistic, practical system for making the most money possible from your Kindle eBook. You can adapt the methods outlined in the four modules to your own strengths and skills and to your target reader’s preferences without missing any of the steps it is truly essential to take.
This is especially true for you if you already have a Kindle eBook sitting like a little ghost on Amazon, or as I like to call it…getting LOST in the COBWEBS of CYBERSPACE…
virtually ignored by all the world.
Now we are going to deep dive into our “Kindle Profits Treasure Map: Discover the Hidden Cash in YOUR Books!” We are going to teach you to put these tactics to work for you today, one step at a time. If you are new to publishing…this training will set you up to win right from the start. If you already have a book published and you have not see the results you want—it’s really not too late to start making passive income from your lonely little eBook even now.
Here’s what we will now cover in more depth from this special training. “Kindle Profits Treasure Map: Discover the Hidden Cash in YOUR Books!” will cover:
- Lesson 1: Planning Your Kindle Book Funnel
Focuses on setting goals and setting up a strong sales funnel. This module also includes successful case studies and strategies that will help you not only sell a lot of books, but get you on the best seller list; as well as how to set up your pre-launch, launch and post-launch steps so you don’t accidentally block the flow.
- Lesson 2: Design Your 24-7 Kindle Book Sales System
Focuses on selling books on the front end while monetizing them in multiple ways—while keeping affiliate money profits in your own pockets, using your own products and services. You’ll learn how to create a successful special offer. But most of all, you’ll learn how to have all these set up and firmly in place before you actually monetize your book.
- Lesson 3: Money Up your Kindle Book for More Cash, Now and Later
This module will show you how to format your book for profit. It is the real “how to” engine that drives the methods discussed in Modules 1 and 2.
- Lesson 4: Launch Your Kindle Book for the Greatest Impact and Profit
All about your actual book launch: The steps you need to take (so you don’t omit any) and how to market and promote your book like a pro.
There are so many benefits and rewards from not only writing but expertly monetizing your own Kindle eBook, including:
- Increasing your prominence in your own niche, field or industry
- Giving your unique audience a resource they can refer to every day
- Dominating a new market you can transform into your primary money-maker… or use as a powerful supplemental tool for your preferred products or services
- Give you reach and authority within your local market
- Open up new doors to money-making opportunities such as presenting online and offline workshops, teaching, consulting—and becoming a much-valued guest speaker
- Increasing your brand power (especially if you write a series)
- Endow you with a credential more powerful than any degree (that of being a published author
- Providing multiple streams of evergreen passive income
- The opportunity to gain strong reviews that increase your public prominence and niche status even more
- Gaining inspiration and energy from feedback, interviews—and those whose lives you touch
Are you ready? Buckle your seat belt and let’s take a dive into this amazing world of successful book publishing…and product creation!
Planning Your Kindle Book Funnel
If you want to make the most of your Kindle eBook’s potential profits, it is crucial to plan not just for your launch, but for pre-launch and post-launch marketing and promotion too.
At the broad end of the funnel (your entry point) you have all the thousands of people who check Amazon’s Kindle and KDP Select offerings for something to read. But of course you don’t want so many people jumping into your funnel that they instantly become all jammed up: You want to attract only people who are genuinely interested in your eBook’s topic and who could genuinely use the help it offers.
Let’s say half of these genuinely interested people decide for some reason not to download your book: They have not yet reached the final exit point. Instead, they have “leaked” out of your funnel.
Only those who check out your book, download it and are actually ready to read it have flowed all the way down to your narrow exit point. Your “sale” is completed. Whether or not you captured them through a KDP Select free promotion day, through the Kindle Lending Library or through an actual purchase of your book, you were successful… weren’t you?
They bought one book from you.
And now they’re gone. (Well, that was a waste of time, wasn’t it?)
Why was it a waste of time if someone actually downloaded your eBook from the Kindle lending library or even bought it?
Your big mistake was thinking like an author, mentally selling your book to one reader at a time, with the download or sale being the ultimate goal. That’s short-sighted thinking, if you care about monetization. Instead, you need to truly capture your reader, introduce her to your community, gain her loyalty and trust and get to know her before she jumps into your sales funnel.
You also want to keep her happily loyal and wanting to stay in touch with you (and your future books) after she makes her purchase; and exits.
If she jumps into your sales funnel knowing something about you; what you are all about; how you can help her and most of all, whether or not she likes your “voice”, she will be highly motivated to complete her transaction with you—and less likely to find a reason to exit through one of the “leak” points.
A reader who trusts you and believes you can help her in an easy and interesting way will ignore common leak points such as a book price she feels is out of her budget or the fact that she really has “no time to for reading right now”.
Instead, she will often make time to download or purchase and at least read enough of your book to convince herself she made the right choice before putting it aside to enjoy later at a better time. (And if you’re a really great writer, she will read it through anyway!)
So how do you create a reader who not only ignores valid “leak” points but who continues on all the way to purchase, download and reading?
- By planning and taking action before your book ever hits Amazon’s Kindle catalog.
When you plan your book launch—and the earlier you start planning it, the better—you need to be aware of, and plan for, each stage of a successful, traditional sales funnel:
You should know exactly what you need to do at each of these three stages (the goal of each stage will be different).
Let’s take a look at these stages in visual format…
Let’s take a look at someone who has “done it right”…
Jon Gordon is a high-energy self-help guru. Says the bio on his Author page: “His principles have been put to the test by numerous NFL, NBA, and college coaches and teams, Fortune 500 companies, school districts, hospitals and non-profits.”
What Gordon Does Right:
- He has completed and personalized his Amazon author page.
This is something you can only do when you upload and publish your book, so be ready with a well-written bio and a photograph that supports the image your books create – as well as with all your social links and buttons.
There are four important things to remember about your Amazon Author Page:
- Amazon will create it for you, if you don’t. This is not a good thing: What they choose to feature about you is liable to be impersonal, insipid or even incorrect—with no links other than to their own site. (Plus another author with the same name may claim the URL, if you don’t get a move on and claim it yourself!}
- An Amazon Author Page will list all your books below the bio blurb. This gives you a huge advantage: Interested potential readers can look through all your titles at one glance and choose what to read next. (Plus it acts as strong social proof.)
- You can use the link to your Amazon Author Page in “your email signature, blog posts, Facebook posts and Tweets”.
- If you enable them, you can also display social sharing icons—and updates—in your Author Page right-hand column.
Include a call to action for sign-up to your list, showcase your active, current blog posts and engage with your community—as Gordon does here, with his response to a reader question.
Your Amazon Author Page is a wonderful resource containing instant options for connection with your target reader, so put it to maximum use, as Jon Gordon has done and let it help sell your books!
2. Another thing Gordon does right: He has created a professional, well-branded website, with the header showcasing his successful-looking, upscale photograph (in a relaxed position, but dressed for business)… and an array of his books.
The website focuses on readers with tips, resources, his latest blog posts and above all, his books.
He also uses the element of interactivity to get the reader to engage with his books: (“CLICK A BOOK TO LEARN MORE!”)
3. He maintains active social profiles on Facebook and Twitter, where he shares:
- Inspiring, relevant quotes
- Photos of his sold out events
- Photos of himself being relaxed and friendly with fans
- Links to useful articles and blog posts
- Small excerpts from his latest book (Note: You are allowed to do this with KDP Select)
In short, a strong mix that feels active, conversational and current.
4. He maintains an active career in public speaking and personal appearances—essential to a man with his audience and premise.
5. He places his books within the best category–the one visited by his target reader.
His success in this area is reflected in his rankings.
So let’s take a moment to recap what moves an author out of the fifty per cent category of authors who make under $500 per annum. (The results of a study of 1007 published Kindle authors, whose results were tabulated by Alison Flood and published in “The Guardian” in May, 2012.)
Let’s see what authors such as Jon Gordon, who regularly top the best seller lists, do that far too many Kindle authors don’t. Let’s use Gordon as an example…
- He maintains an active, professionally designed website with a sign up incentive
- He maintains active social media presences with a good mix of content types
- He is consistent in his branding throughout all his online presences (graphics and focus)
- He indulges in pre-launch activities such as sharing excerpts from near-release book
- He maintains a weekly Newsletter
- He creates giveaways at the right time during his launch sequences—always with an outward focus on helping others
- He seeks out or accepts public speaking and teaching engagements (good for both pre- and post-launch)
- He is consistently active on the net
- He has, if not quite a branded series, an impressive catalog of business self-help books he has written, all for sale on Amazon
- He has completed his author Page and included opportunities to sign up and engage
- He has placed his book in the right Amazon category and sub-categories
- He uses YouTube to increase his Google search-ability and authority (and display himself—in real time—at his funny and inspirational best)
- He outsources non-essential or behind-the-scenes author activities and concentrates on publicizing his books and sharing his knowledge—what he is passionate about. (He has a “team”)
In short, if you want a six-figure income from Amazon Kindle books, don’t limit yourself by “thinking small”. You may not yet be able to afford a team and you may not yet be sought out by the “Today” show—but follow as many steps as professionally as you can, and you will position yourself—and be ready—for success through your Amazon Kindle eBooks.
In Lesson 4, “Launch Your Kindle Book for the Greatest Impact and Profit”, we will go through actual pre-, mid- and post-launch steps so you can create your own blueprint for Kindle success.
Meanwhile, do take action and complete the Action Plan and Exercise sheets that accompany this module to get started on your own smoothly-flowing sales funnel for your Amazon eBook.
Below is the Video Recording for Lesson 1
Design Your 24-7 Kindle Book Sales System
Don’t think of it in the lonely singular, as “my book that I am going to sell”: Think of it as “an important component in my 24-7 sales system”.
If you have already created products that you sell elsewhere, that’s great. You’re going to monetize your Kindle eBook by including links to your own products as a natural tool in whatever your reader is learning from your book.
(Include links to other people’s affiliate products ONLY if:
- You don’t have any other books or products to promote: Your Kindle eBook is your first and only product
- You are JV-ing with a niche expert and promoting her product
- It is highly relevant to your readers and actually makes using your own products easier)
Whenever possible, however, promote your own products via links within your Kindle book!
Also include in your Kindle eBook—at appropriate points—links to:
- Your blog or website
- Your social pages or profiles
- Your Amazon Author page
- Your Speaker Profile Page
- Your Resources website page
- Your FAQ page
And finish off your post-body-content pages with an invitation:
- “Like the book or have something to say? Leave a review at Amazon.com [include your Amazon catalogue page URL] or comment on my [link to Facebook Page] or [link to blog].”
This is not carved in stone: Word it any way that feels comfortable, but project confidence and cheerfulness. Phrase things in a positive manner, like so:
- “I would love to hear your feedback so I can tailor my next book, [“book name”] to match your needs even more closely.”
These are just some of the top ways to monetize your actual Kindle book. But before you ever get to that, you need to make sure you have set up a sales system of other methods that will accomplish pre-launch, mid-launch and post-launch goals.
Let’s look at other, effective ways people have used to monetize their Kindle books…
- Selling or Building your List through YouTube
One of the quickest way to make a personal connection with a potential reader lies in creating YouTube videos.
The personal connection can either be for you (non-fiction)… or for your book (fiction).
There are two well-validated approaches for boosting your non-fiction book sales and sign ups through video. Decide which approach would appeal the most to your intended future reader.
- Method # 1: Giving a full class or workshop on video
You can either speak directly to the viewer or have someone video-record an actual lecture, class, speech or workshop you are giving.
- Method # 2: The “single tip” approach
Make a series of short videos—you can do this in a morning or even an hour or two. If you are promoting a non-fiction book, especially in the business, marketing or self-help categories, create a series of tips relevant to your field.
Generally the rule of thumb is: The more well-known you are, the longer the video can be. For example, if you already have a hot career as a motivational speaker and have a few national TV shows or radio interviews to your credit, people will perceive your 1:25 minute lecture as a huge, free bonus. But if you are barely known outside your Facebook profile and page, Method # 2 would be the way to go.
(And if you are well known, combine both methods!)
It doesn’t have to be dramatic, but it does have to make the reader ask themselves questions such as: “Why does that girl look scared or sad? What’s going to happen next?”
(Author Linwood Barclay does an excellent job of this with his YouTube trailer for his suspense novel—available on Kindle—“A Tap at the Window”.)
Combine your Teaser Trailer video for each book with other types of author video: For example, videos of you being interviewed; or simply explaining your lead character’s quirks and complexities. (Make sure these are ones the audience can identify with.)
But no matter what types of video you shoot to promote your book—for pre-, mid- and post-launch goals and purposes—or what type of book you have written (fiction or non-fiction) there are four elements all your videos should have in common:
- Create a searchable, strong title for your video. Be sure to include strong keywords: Ones your audience is searching by and ones that will also bring up your book (when it is released).
- Include the words “teaser trailer”, if you are planning to create a trailer for your book
- Include Amazon and book keywords in your description. For example, add “Available in the Amazon Kindle store October 31st, 2014” or actually spell out in your blurb that your book is a “dark mystery”.
- Have them professionally made, edited or formatted. You wouldn’t watch a home-made trailer with a wobbly camera on TV, would you? And if a video hits you with unprofessional graphics or a rambling author who is so busy trying to be natural, she forgets to get to a point, you’d click away right?
So ask yourself: “How would I react if I was watching this trailer?” while you are making and reviewing it.
Notice top authors like Stephen King and Jack Canfield all heavily use YouTube videos to help promote their already-best-selling books on Amazon. (Enough said!)
- Creating Special Offers
In fact, mastermind forums are the perfect place to create some pre-launch feedback, so create a special offer just for them.
It can’t be an offer for your book (unless you are offering it to professionals as a legitimate review copy). So make it for another product you have—one that can perfectly position the purchaser to sign up to be notified when your book is released, for example.
You can get creative here: Offer a “free gift” to Facebook and Twitter followers who purchase your book from Amazon. (“Send a copy of your receipt to my Customer Service email account, and I’ll send you ten sewing templates you can use when you begin to create your patterns using the methods I’ve outlined in “A Stitch Through Time: Creative Anachronisms in Costuming”.)
Just make sure you remember your goal in creating a special offer—and whether or not the ROI is worth it. For example, if all you want to do at the pre-launch stage is to widen your audience, you may not mind offering a report that costs more on your website than your book costs in the Kindle store.
Focus on creating special offers that make perfect “go-withs” to your Kindle eBook, such as a set of flash cards people can use along with your “Teach Yourself to Read Music in Six Days and Nine Hours” eBook.
Look at factors that make the effort of creating special offers worthwhile—such as the fact that you’re physical, already-created flash cards are actually $27.99, whereas the book you’re promoting is only $2.99.
Post-launch:Include this special offer in your book as a “thank you” for purchasing it. (“It’s no longer available at this price to the public, but as a thank you for downloading…”)
- Including your Book with Enrollment to your Membership Site
(NOTE: You can only do this once your book has finished its 90-day term with KDP Select 90-day program. It is the perfect strategy for the post-launch phase.)
It doesn’t matter whether or not you do this the day your book comes off KDP Select or a year later. Just make sure your book is a selling asset to your membership site—a perk that may tip the scales towards “purchase and download” in your potential member’s mind.
By increasing the number of memberships your membership site landing page captures, your book is adding money in your pocket. (And do remember to track and see if memberships increased after you added this perk or included all your books in your membership site’s “Resource Library”.)
- Throw a “Launch Party”
This is definitely one for the mid-launch phase… but you can start to create a buzz in the pre-launch phase, to build up excitement.
A Launch Party should be like a real party: It should be a fun event that includes giveaways, “door prizes” and “party favors”.
You can use your launch party to:
- Acknowledge your team—and that goes whether or not your team consists of six slick business professionals or you’re Uncle Jim and the “Saturday Night Writing Bee” writing group.
- Get to know new potential fans in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. You can answer questions, chat about shared passions, ask them questions and generally hang out together, which can all be very bonding.
Don’t be shy about asking attendees to share your Kindle book link—both during the party and before, when they register (if you make them register). People know why they are there: To celebrate your new book. They are expecting you to ask them to share the links.
And of course you will also want to use it for the most important task of all: Letting your market know you have written a book they may love—and that it is about to debut!
- Create and Launch an Author Newsletter
Start with news about your new book, and containing tips, articles and resources for your subscribers.
Author’s newsletters also allow fellow would-be writers in your genre or field live vicariously through you, so be sure to honestly share your challenges, learning curves and failures with them as well as your successes. (If you share nothing but success after success, I guarantee you’ll create resentment and jealousy, we humans being the horrid little creatures that we are. Sharing your honest challenges only makes subscribers root for you all the more enthusiastically when you do report a success—such as your next book launch!)
- Submit your Book URL to Writer’s Directories
(We will cover submitting directories in greater detail in Module 3, “Money up Your Kindle Book for More Cash Now and Later”.)
- Include Offline Promotion
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because your book is Kindle-only, you can’t promote it offline. Hold a local workshop. Send press releases to local publications. Teach a class. Create a local writers group and include mention of your book in news you send out about that too.
- Create a Facebook Group
If a Facebook Group doesn’t exist around your topic, create one! All you need are four or five loyal friends or subscribers to help you get it started.
A Facebook Group is a great author resource, because you will hear more honesty there than on people’s profiles, where they feel they have to be more careful with the general public (even their “Friends”, many of whom most people don’t even know or remember).
You can also ask questions, listen to complaints, get and give feedback and gauge their interaction level with you.
- Create an Author’s Blog
You do have one, don’t you?
If you already do, tighten its focus. Stop blogging about anything that distracts from you as a writer. If you don’t, then decide how you want to position yourself. Will this be a “writer’s journey” type of journal? Will it be from the viewpoint of seasoned pro, providing readers with publishing tips and insider information? Will it be a creative writing course?
Think about it carefully and work this into your overall master plan.
There is no one “bag of tricks” (or list of methods) that is the “right” one for every author. Your strategies should depend on your readers and their preferences and needs, as well as on your own strengths, resources or limitations.
The important part lies in making sure your promotions are all integrated components in your master plan, targeted towards specific goals—and that you track your results during and after each promotion.
What you need to do is two-fold, while keeping an overview of your sales system and business plan always in plain sight:
- Sell your book (and subsequent books) at the front end, as a self-contained and prominent strategy
- Set up monetization channels within and surrounding your book
Always track what worked and what didn’t. Don’t spend your time chasing after methods that didn’t work. If you can’t see an easy tweak, choose one of the following strategies…
- Hire a professional to go over your results with you, using an objective, seasoned eye
- Scrap that method and concentrate on more of the methods that did
Once you’ve decided on your promotions, you’ll want to schedule and coordinate them. We will look at how best to do this in Module 4, “Launch Your Kindle Book for the Greatest Impact and Profit”.
Remember, choose the methods that work best for your audience and you. But no matter what you choose as your promotional tools, make sure you have all these set up, created and in place before you release your eBook. (It’s a little trickier if you try to lock the door after the horse has bolted!)
It is scheduling, co-ordinating and tracking that turns a bunch of “methods” into an effective sales system – one that will help provide maximum reach, publicity and profits for any future Kindle book you release.
Below is the Video Recording for Lesson 2
Lessons 3 and 4 coming soon.