Posted on 2013-Mar-06
eBook Promotion Challenges
The detailed analysis of what works and what doesn’t in the realm of independent self-publishing has grown massive over the year. Formerly, you went to the web with blank eyes and a vague perception of what you might expect from the information related to the topics you were researching. Oftentimes, you were dazed by dead links or pages under the wrong impression of being under construction. Fortunately, 21st century bloggers are gifted with prolific conscience to guard against their sources of information and at the same time encourage their visitors to participate in brainstorming what they may find relevant to their quest of pursuing search results. In the case of independent authors, their cognitive ambition always centers around cooking up good materials to cater to their readers, keep in touch with them and establish a solid fan base, and connect the dots to find out where the industry is heading. Although I emphatically praise the work of the authors who constantly blog to educate readers, it goes without saying how the smooth transition of words refer to their structured culmination of informative discussion.
Thanks partially to SEO, blog posts are well laid out and planned ahead of your visit to the extent that the bloggers seemingly adopt the medium’s telepathy to see visitor’s face and read their mind even before they stand in front of the doorway. Keywords are one of the most vital essences written all over the place to imbue your writing with more integrated enhancement to boost your discoverable status. If you have written stories, you could tell pretty clearly the connection within or between paragraphs that have been woven to present a story.
What You Shouldn’t Do
Lindsay Buroker took to her blog to reveal several strategies of what indie authors can do to promote books more effectively on Amazon. However, there are also other strategies that you should not spend so much time exploring the chance to be disheartened by Amazon’s discontinued support. The first and foremost advice against book promotion on Amazon as of March 2013 is book tags. Tagging did not seem effective enough for book promotion since it can be manipulated by authors to benefit their fellow colleagues by exchanging tags according to Lindsay’s speculation. Amazon seems to have subdued this service altogether since “it wasn’t as popular as it had been in the past.” Instead of putting keywords behind algorithm, she proposes that they be featured right into the title and/or book description. Giving Lindsay’s defining term ‘steampunk’ a try on Amazon search box, one of her novels appears alongside with several others including Cory Doctorow’s. She believes that her novel makes an appearance here in the courtesy of all things considered e.g. title, blurb, sales rank, and reviews.
Free downloads will not be considered as a significant counter to improve your sales rank. With the aid of external bargain sites, the massive number of downloads can be was counted as sales by Amazon and automatically upgrade the author’s greater visibility. For emerging authors, external downloads could help skyrocket their unpublished works to wider reception.
As previously mentioned in our blog about Amazon’s latest policy on its affiliate program, several blogs, mailing lists, and forums will be unavoidably affected by this change. Affected affiliates include ENT, Pixel of Ink, and Kindleboards just to name a few. They will then have to rely less on promoting free eBooks and focus more on non-free books. Again, this translates as a bigger challenge for emerging authors to count on promoting giveaways.
What You Can Do
Traditional success formulae are brought back to discussion. They all boil down to simple routines such as releasing good books, solidifying a fan base, setting up mailing list of your fans, and promoting the next book. Lindsay seems to point out a clever sense about maintaining the good relationship between authors and readers before committing to become a full time author.
As far as your free policy is concerned, you have your work available in as many places as you want. If you are already familiar with major vendors, look for other alternatives to promote your book. You might want to rerelease your novel as an audio book on Podiobooks, iTunes, and Audible. Wattpad is another suggestion that simplistically works as a web-based solution. BB eBooks has long implemented the HTML5 reading system for our clients to sample our works. BookBub’s paid advertisement service can ensure you that your book promotion will be heard by many. According to their listing guideline, free books or 50% discount ones can be handpicked by their editorial team to accept and feature in their newsletter.
This might not come as a surprise for you as Lindsay told you to write more books. Having one book published, the value of advertisement is limited to one. When you have more materials out in the market, the raw advertising benefit covers all of the books penned by you. More books in the market stimulate your fans’ loyalty to buy more from you. Lindsay approximates author’s income by calculating your rough sales estimation each month. From here, you can see how independent authors can earn their living quite comfortably.
Innovative Guidance on Promotion
Joe Konrath commences his latest blog by revealing the numbers that refer to his decent income based purely on writing and selling books. He knows how aspiring novelists want to achieve by detailing informative promotion in the following paragraph to convince his readers that they can also achieve this goal.
Promotional details of his books receive major attention in this blog entry; however, what we can learn from is to convert motivation regardless of how old it was and work with a fellow colleague. His idea of Spree came years ago when he wanted to invent a female James Bond. With his collaborator, Ann Voss Peterson, the book is shaped and refined to its completion capturing reader’s must-read details. Not only that, Joe delineates how the combination of his survivors in his thriller books allows him to come up with a sequel, Haunted House. This sequel draws a lot of influences from its three predecessors, Afraid, Trapped, and Endurance. Based on this cross-work combination, endless possibilities arise to require readers of his works explore other similar genres in the catalogue. The author himself might toy with the old characters in his new book to bring something new to the reader or promote the chance for readers to solve the historical mystery presented in the book. Due to the fact that he works closely with Ann, Joe’s characters are also not hesitant to make guest appearances in her book and vice versa.
Apart from the collaborative effort, Joe also seeks further help from Amazon to lower the prices of his backlist titles. His extensive catalogue includes more than 50 books to entice general readers. He might even consider offering a bulk order deal or give them all for free just so that they are on the discoverable radar. To answer a question whether heavily discounted or free books might jeopardize the author’s career, Joe stresses the importance on being read rather than getting lost. To fear that your works might get lost in the Tsunami of Crap, read his advice in capital letters towards the end to feel more confident in getting your works out there. Apart from your typical knowledge of book promotion, the use of intertextual references inside and outside your works might give you an edge over your linear creation. Instead of writing one character for one book just to eliminate their presence in the next volume, you can endlessly look for ways to expand your ideas and therefore promote their existence as a brand. If you collaborate with a fellow author, you will be likely to step into another existing fan base that is similar to yours and attract new fans.
Towards the end of his discussion on maximizing the profits from his existing products, his self-confessed revelation about free eBook websites tends to give free advertisement a go. In addition to Lindsay’s list of book promotion, Joe adds EBookBooster into the list of free eBook websites for your information.
Afterglow of Advertising Incentives
Giving all promotional efforts laid out for your consideration how you can promote your book steadily and unorthodoxly, there is one more element of truth I would like to point out. Each time the blogger-cum-author exemplifies their model of success, self-promotional efforts are incorporated into the writing for a number of good reasons. One, they use direct experience to reveal the bets practice of marketing strategy. If there are any mistakes, take precaution and possibly learn from the comments what to avoid. If there are success stories, learn the lesson and adapt those to your writing or marketing. Two, a blog becomes a thoughtful place for authors to share ideas and experience so you must grow accustomed to it. Regardless of how many websites you have promoted, do not overlook the significance of your virtual home to introduce your readers to your works. Three, the more books you expose to public paid or free, the more likely you incentivize your readers discover your storytelling style more and more. As usual, you are most welcome to leave your comments. You can share your promotional methodology or eBook promoters that work best for you in order for other authors to boost their discoverability.
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