J A Konrath, John Locke, Amanda Hocking, E L James and many others have sold one million+ eBooks on Amazon Kindle. But for every personal media star with 100,000 followers, there are probably 100,000 authors who have invested 1000 hours to sell five books each.
What do these successful authors have in common that majority don’t?
If I’m to pick one of several reasons, it is because they avoid doing everything like most people and focus on few things they can play to their strengths.
While the common advice you can find is, be everywhere. Start a blog, create a Facebook page, twitter, Google+ and even linkedin account. Interact and engage with your fans. And all that stuffs. The honest authors will tell you that that is not usually the case.
In this guide, you will learn how NOT to waste your time to promote your eBook and simple ways that works.
If you have not yet published your book on Kindle, first get the complete guide to publish your eBook on Amazon kindle – Do it yourself. It’s my free gift to you.
Let’s consider things you should have in place before you publish your book on Kindle
- Compelling cover
Your first impression is your last. Believe it, book cover plays a part in the decision of a reader to buy or not. You don’t want to leave anything to chance. Make sure your book cover looks professional. If you can’t do a good job, hire a book cover designer.
- Edit and proofread your book
Your book will create a negative impression if filled with typos and grammatical errors. You are the worse person to do a final review of your book because you are already familiar with the content. Consider hiring an editor and proofreader. If you cannot afford it, ask your friend or relative to help.
- Write a compelling description of the book
This is like a mini sales page for your book. People want to have a clear idea of what they’ll get from reading your book. Your description should convince them to get the book
- Add your book to the appropriate categories
This can make a lot of difference. Take the time to select the most appropriate section to list your book.
- Introduce yourself to your readers
In many occasions, readers don’t buy because of great cover, or great description. They buy because they feel a connection with the author. Introducing yourself does not start and end with an author bio. It’s a lot more than that. This is where your blog and social media account will work for you. Some meticulous readers will research a book author before finally deciding to buy their book or not. If you don’t have a visible online profile, you should start creating one now.
With all these in place, and your book published on Kindle store, your next step is to start promoting your book.
3 Ways NOT to Promote Your Kindle Book
Let’s consider some ways that hardly works;
- Online Banner ads
Purchasing ad space on blogs, news websites or online magazines to promote your book is one of those ways to lose a lot of money. Why? Because, eBooks on Amazon Kindle are relatively cheap. And just sending cold prospects to your page will not do a good job of making sales. And the few sales that occur will not even break even let alone make profit.
Let’s do some mathematics. You buy a 230x60 ad space for N84,400 per week (that’s the least placement on Punch website). By Google’s DoubleClick statistic, your ads have the potential to be clicked 1 to 3 times out of every one thousand times it is displayed. And considering that your ad will be competing with several other ads and content on the site, that figure is likely to decrease. The result; few people end up seeing your kindle ebook page. How many people will end up buying? Let’s assume 4 out of hundred visit. You’ll be lucky if you earn up to 10% of your investment.
- Facebook ads
Facebook ad seems like the ideal option. But guess what? People don’t come to Facebook looking to find and read a book, especially of an author they’ve never heard of. So even if you create an ad at $0.04 cost per click, why would anyone want to buy your book? Another failed strategy.
Facebook ads works best for niche-focused eBook at a reasonable price. I have used Facebook ads to sell N7500 eBook and it worked fine. I’ve also used it to sell N900 eBook and it worked fine too because the eBook was targeted to a specific group of people. These where not Kindle eBooks by the way.
But of course in this case, you don’t send prospects directly to the sales page. You take them through a sales funnel.
So advertising your kindle book to drive direct sales on Facebook is very likely to be a wasted investment. Your conversion rate will be horrible for sending prospects directly to a sales page.
- Press release, print ads
John Locke, the first man to sell one million self-published eBooks, says he spent $25,000 on paid-for publicity and sold not a single book. John Yeoman, owner of Writer Village wrote, “In 2003, my local newspaper gave one of my books an awesome half-page review. I couldn’t have written it better myself. It even contained precise order details. How many books did it sell? Two.”
You’ll get the publicity and credibility for featuring in print media or press releases, but does it really amount to sales? I’m open for a counter-opinion if you have had success with this method, as regards making sales.
How then can unknown authors sell their books online?
5 Way to Promote your Kindle eBook
Let me be frank with you. I did not use all of these methods to promote my previous Kindle eBooks because the target audiences were mainly Nigerians and Africans who cannot purchase kindle books. So I sold most of the book on my own platform. That disqualified my book from enrolling for KDP Select.
- Leverage Kindle Select free days – if you enroll your book for Kindle Select, you’ll get 5 days of your choice in 90 days to give your book away. This is an opportunity to promote your book in Kindle free eBook sites and get lots of downloads. People who get your book for free can decide to write you a review. I have listed some of the places to submit your eBook during those free days below. Most of them are free as at the time of compiling them. But there are few paid services.
- If you most advertise – Advertise your free download. I know many people will have a problem with spending money to give something away. Let me tell you something. No one cares about a book they don't know about. If you are not willing to let go off a few copies to create the buzz and get lots of eyes on your book, you might as well go home. I built my first online business by giving away an eBook (not on Kindle). The eBook that was created in 2010 has now been downloaded over 13,000 times on my site. This helped spread the word about my online platform and attracted a lot of loyal readers and contacts. It was well worth it. Getting as much people to get your book for free is one of the best strategies you’ll ever apply.
- Start a Blog – let me guess. You’ve probably heard this advice over and over again before. And you are wondering if it’s really worth it. Most successful authors will tell you that starting a blog was one of the best ways to develop reader loyalty and word of mouth. I will not go into the details of how to start a blog here. Read this post to learn more.
- Begin building a blog reader list – Having a blog is not enough. Another great thing you have to do is to ask people to join your email list to get something from you; most likely to download your book for free. This people will become your future loyal readers if you treat them right.
- Submit guest posts – Guest posts are a great way to reach a specific audience that may be interested in your book. What you do is to identify blogs with sizable audience, related to your niche. Offer to write them an engaging article/post that will establish you as a good writer or someone who is knowledgeable in your field. At the end of the article, you add a link encouraging readers to get your book.
18 Websites to Submit your Kindle Book for free giveaway
These sites allow authors to submit Kindle eBooks during your free promotion days. Some of the descriptions are copied from the websites.
Note that we are not affiliated to any of these sites.
- Addicted to eBooks: Is your book free today on Amazon? Post it here! You will have to log in with a user name to do so. No erotica allowed.
- Digital Book Today: Includes both free and paid options for writers looking to promote.
- eBooks Habit: Each day we will bring you 20-30 great ebooks that are free at the time of posting, as well as some bargain ebooks with reduced prices!
- eReader News Today: Features bargain Kindle books and free Kindle books.
- Free eBooks Daily: I love to hear from authors and readers! If you have a comment, suggestion, or free ebook you would like listed or if you just want to say hello, feel free to send me an email.
- Good kindles: we are a place where you post your own article about your title and can reach the readers. We do not review your book – we give you a platform to tell everyone what do you think is most interesting about your book and what you think will interest readers so much that they will go and buy your book.
- Meet Our Authors Forum: A place on Amazon where writers can talk about their work.
- Pixel of Ink: If your book will be listed as Free ($0.00) on Amazon.com in the next 30 days, then please let us know by filling out the form below. Pixel of Ink may attempt to feature your book on the day it is free, time and space permitting.
- Every Writer Resource: This site is for Self-published AND Small Press books. If you are interested in promoting your book, the listings are free. They tweet and promote your book for you. Simply click the ‘Submit your Book link and fill out our form.
- Hotzappy – Today’s readers for tomorrow bestsellers. This single form now submits your title to Bargain eBook Hunter, Pixelscroll, and Romance eBook Deals!
- Free Book Dude – List your free Kindle eBook here
- Free Booksy – we love free books. We help you find them. Do you have a KDP Select Promotion coming up? Our editorial submissions are a great opportunity to promote your book for FREE to our audience of over 150,000 readers.
- Snicks List - Only advertise a book that is currently free on Amazon or it will be removed. Do not choose a listing duration that is longer than your book will actually be available for free. Do not list any erotica or erotic book covers.
- Indie Book of the Day - Do you have kindle books that are free? Or are you in KDP Select and about to use your free days? Whatever the reason, if your book is (or going to be) listed free in the next 30 days ($0.00) on Kindle then we can help you reach more readers and get more freeloads.
- Free books hub – requires donation of at list $8 for priority listing
- Ask David.com – To submit books for promotion you need to buy a "supporter pack" for $15. it's valid for 12 months - during this time you can submit as many of your books as you want at no extra cost
- Author Marketing Club: No longer do you have to dig up your links to the best places to submit your books. We’ve put them all together here for you in one spot. Just click on the logos below to load each site’s form, fill in your details, and you’re done.
- Free Digital Reads – “We are 100% supporters of free speech. We firmly believe that everyone has the right to say/share/write whatever they please. However, we do reserve the right to pass on posting a book if we feel that the subject matter would offend our readers. Don’t be hurt okay? We still think it’s awesome that you wrote a book!”
If it seems like a lot of work for you, you can check out fiverr.com for gigs that offer services to help you submit your kindle eBooks in multiple platforms.
In the end, you have to have faith that your work will speak for itself. If not, probably, the book is not worth writing.
What is your favorite way to promote your kindle eBook?
Which method has worked best for you?
Got questions, comments? The comment section is open.