Archive

Archive for August, 2012

Where to go from here…

Well, our time together has been great fun!  It is time now to put all of this knowledge into action (for you and for me!).  But before I go, I want to point you in the direction of other people and places who can help you on your quest to becoming a best selling author…

G&F’s own Karen Baney:

Also Karen’s Site Everything Author:
Melissa Foster’s site:
Be aware that most of Melissa’s stuff is fee based.  There is very little free information available thru her program.
Jeff Bennington often has good marketing info:
Bob Mayer has a lot of publishing / self pub related blog posts:
Michael Hyatt
Rachel Gardner
Good luck & Godspeed!
Staci Stallings

FREE ON KINDLE TODAY!

August 16

Staci’s “Amazing!” novel:

To Protect & Serve

“Reading To Protect & Serve, I’m taken away to another world, a world I want to be a part of and never leave. Staci’s characters are real with real everyday problems. I love that.

Oh, and the firemen in this story, they’re smokin’ hot! Especially the hero!”

–Debra, Amazon Reviewer

When control freak Lisa Matheson falls for handsome but shy firefighter, Jeff Taylor, it’s possible that life might just be going her way for a change. The only problem is she can’t control Jeff or the death wish he seems to have…

Available as a free download from Amazon!

Click here to get your Free Kindle Copy TODAY!

Click here to get a free Kindle App to read “To Protect & Serve” on your computer.

Advertisements

KDP Select

August 14, 2012 1 comment

Amazon’s KDP Select program is one that helped propel several of my books (not just the ones that were free) onto Category lists and Popularity lists… i.e. it helped me sell a lot of books.

The idea is that you put your book for free for a couple of days, promote it like crazy to various websites, blogs, on Twitter and on Facebook.  The free downloads propel the book up the Best Seller charts vastly increasing visibility and resulting in sales afterward.

I have an ebook available if you are interested in this type of promotion.  It will walk you through step-by-step exactly what I did that helped my ebook go to #1 on the Free list and then hit #86 on the Paid list.

$4.99

At Amazon!

Amazon Lists

August 9, 2012 2 comments

I must make mention of one of the best things you can do to sell ebooks and books, which will also prove the most frustrating — Amazon’s lists.

There are several lists to be aware of (and use if you can) on Amazon.

Best Seller’s lists — there is an overall best seller’s list (which you can see how your book or ebook is doing by looking at the “Rank” in the Product Details portion of your book’s buy page).  Sales + sales history will make a book move up or down on this list.  So if you have a spike in sales over a short period, this rank will climb.  But it can be very volatile, and unless you make it onto the Top 100, the only place you can see your book’s rank is on your book’s page.

Category Best Seller’s lists — These are smaller best seller’s lists derived from the categories you put your book in when you upload it to KDP.  So for example, my book went to #86 on the Best Seller’s list (yes, the big one), but at that time it was #1 on four category lists:

Now, one of the uplists (I think it was Religious Fiction) was the fourth list it was #1 on.

Basically when you hit a rank on a category list, your book is ON ever list listed.  So you can back track up the lists to see where it ranks on each list (each uplist gets progressively bigger).

When you make it onto a Best Seller’s Category list, you are a best seller.  Take a screen cap and save it for proof!

Popularity Lists

When people go to Amazon with no set book in mind, they will often search.  The popularity lists can be a very powerful way to get books to people who might otherwise never see your books.  The trick is how to get on them.

Before May 2012, this was relatively easy in that the popularity lists were devised pretty much the same way the Best Seller’s lists were (sales + sales history).  However, in May, Amazon changed the system so now they’ve added the revenue brought in by a title to the ranking order.  So if I sold 11 ebooks at 99 cents and you sold 1 at $11.99, my book would have outranked yours on the popularity lists.  However, now your one sale (because of the higher revenue) would now outrank my 11 sales.

So to get onto the popularity lists, you have to sell a lot of books at a higher price.  Needless to say, that’s a lot tougher to do.

To see this type of list click here.

Off-lists

These are like the popularity lists in how the ranks are determined.  There are many of these on Amazon such as Hot Releases and Top-Rated in each Category. These are fun to watch and can be good landing pages if your book ranks highly.

Tagged lists

Finally, there are lists based on the tags on your book.  Simply click on the tag on your book page (toward the bottom–you should have your books tagged!) and see where your book ranks.  These can be great landing pages especially for those just starting out.

For an example of that kind of list, click here.

Lists will really help you sell.  It’s getting on them that’s the tough part, and staying on them is even tougher.  But being on a list will definitely increase sales so it’s something to understand and work toward.

Cross Promotions & Joint Ventures

August 7, 2012 5 comments

We are now slowly winding our way to the end of marketing course.

After you’ve set up your landing pages, gotten your promo chain going on Twitter (and Facebook, etc.), you are now ready to do some out-of-the-box thinking.

Setting up cross promotions and joint ventures for big marketing pushes takes time but mostly a good group of authors willing to participate–and by participate, I mean doing something other than saying, “I’ll do a guest blog” and then getting it to you the day before.

Ideally for a cross promotion or joint venture you want somewhere upward of ten authors, some newbies but not all.  You will need to map out the strategy and get everyone going in the right direction.  You may need to offer advice on how to use Twitter and FB, etc. (feel free to direct them here for the basics).

The idea is that instead of you promoting your book, you get 10 people promoting the venture.

I’ve seen several of these now, and they can all work if you are willing to put in the time and effort.

** 99 cent sale (or just a sale) ** in which all ten books go on sale at the same time and are promoted for say 3 days or so.

** Book launch ** Several authors get together to promote the launch book while promoting their own work as well.

** Blog Events ** Such as Penny Zeller’s Christmas Memories Event.  Many authors participate and direct traffic to the blog for that time period.

** 30 Days: 30 Books ** This is one I participated in during January.  The blog offered a different book for a giveaway every day for a month.

 

The problem I’ve seen with book giveaways is that it gives no one an incentive to go buy your book.  If you’re looking for increased visibility, this can work.  If you’re looking to increase sales, not so much.

In each of these ventures, the participating authors created landing pages via guest blogs and blogs on their own sites.  They did interviews and tweeted and posted like crazy about the event.  They got their friends involved in helping them cross-promote.

So setting these up and running them can be a very good way to raise your visibility.  Participating in several throughout the year can also help if you get into the right ones.

Twitter: A Spreadsheet Strategy

Before we leave the topic of Twitter, I want to touch on two things.

The first is how often to tweet.  When I first hit Twitter, this was not a problem because there are only so many hours in the day.  Then I realized with Hootsuite that I could schedule tweets rapidly over the course of say an hour or so.

Watching both my Twitter feed and my sales, I realized there was a correlation for my stuff with what I tweeted to what I sold.

As I was doing this research, I started learning to bulk upload.  At first I did a spreadsheet a day, which ran from around 6 a.m. to about 10 p.m. and focused on one book, with blog posts thrown in as well.

Then I began helping others with promotions on what they were marketing–a group promoting their books together for example.  I began to understand that tweeting could not be inconsistent.  It needed to be focused and well-thought-out to be effective.

(Let me also throw in here that it makes a difference what your books are about.  Some genres sell better via Twitter than others.  I know one person who has sworn off Twitter because when he posts, his sales go down.  I don’t know why.  I don’t have any explanation for it.  But I’m taking him at his word.  So please understand that I’m telling you what has worked for me.  If it doesn’t work for you, try something else!)

What I eventually got to was having spreadsheets of 50 tweets at a time (the max Hootsuite will let you upload).  They are a mix of posts about my blog, about my books, and about my site ebookromancestories.com

At first I sent them out about 3 an hour.  Then I expanded that to every 15 minutes, then every 10.  I now put out tweets every 5 minutes.  I have about 12 spreadsheets prepared that are a mix of tweets to different landing pages for my things.

Each morning I choose 3 to 4 of them (depending on how many of my 200 I have left).  I reset the dates and times and upload them.

Now that everything is set up, I can do this in about 10 minutes in the morning, and tweets are done for the rest of the day.

Every so often, I write up a new spreadsheet or two just to keep things interesting, but I think the variety in what I’ve got works very well.

Oh, and my followers have increased since doing this too.  So don’t think you are going to chase people off–so long as you literally have 100’s of different tweets to different landing pages and are not sending out the same or almost the same one all day every day!