Promotion and Marketing Tips

Promotion and marketing strategiesIf you’re like most Indie-authors, you’re confused by the marketing and promotion process necessary to get your book in front of the millions of people visiting Amazon every day.  Do you need help writing your book’s description? Are you trying to determine which categories you should use? Do you understand the process to determine the best keywords to use?

Sell More Books will clarify the promotion and marketing process used by all the successful authors.

Here is some of the information you’ll find inside:

 

Writing Powerful Descriptions

Start with the strapline or the hook for the story. Imagine you’re talking to someone who asks you, “So, what’s your book about?” Give them the important information. Tell them how the book will make them feel instead of telling them what it’s about. Make it exciting. Don’t say, “It’s about a guy living on the streets of downtown Denver in the middle of the winter.” Instead say, “Imagine you’re homeless, in the middle of a bone-chilling winter. Hungry and broke, not knowing where your next meal is coming from. What would you do?” Get to the real meat of the story, right away. Don’t be afraid to be original, this may be your only chance to get someone interested in your story. There are literally thousands they can choose from. Let them know why they should spend the time and money on yours.

 

Choosing Categories

Categories on Amazon are confusing, to say the least. But understanding them and placing your book in the correct one is essential. Imagine Amazon as a gigantic bookstore with over two million books. Walking in the front door, you head for the section, or category, that interests you.

Navigate through the Amazon departments to find a category that’s suitable for your book, but not very competitive. Amazon allows you to pick two categories. Let’s pick our first category:

Kindle Store › Kindle eBooks › Literature & Fiction › Action & Adventure › Mystery, Thriller & Suspense › Crime

If you use Amazon’s “Browse /Categories” function, you’ll be able to see how many books are in a category. Currently, there are over 600,000 books in the Literature & Fiction section. We don’t want to have to compete with all of them! In Action & Adventure, there are only 76,000. That’s better, but it’s still a lot. If we drill down one more layer, we see there are only 17,000 eBooks in the Mystery, Thriller & Suspense category. That’s more like it!

 

Finding Competitive Keywords

The next thing we’ll work on is your keywords. These are search terms your potential buyers use when looking for a book. Amazon keeps its actual algorithm secret but it says that your book’s title and description is already used as search terms so you shouldn’t repeat them. If you’re still writing your book and haven’t determined a title yet, you might consider doing some keyword research first and adding the result in your title.

You’re allowed to use seven keywords or keyword strings for your book. To determine what buyers are searching for, you can use Amazon’s database.

You might not realize that much like Google, Amazon has a fantastic keyword tool.  You may have typed in a keyword in the Google search bar and seen suggestions come up. Amazon has the same function. Go to the search bar on the Amazon site, navigate to the “Kindle Store,” from the dropdown arrow, and then start typing something. Let’s say your book is about a man whose wife is murdered. If you type in “murder,” Amazon’s look-ahead feature gives you its first suggestion, “Murder Mystery.”

 

Amazon Author Page

The Author Page is your chance to tell readers something interesting about yourself, so make sure you include any details about your background, awards you have won, and other books you have written. You should include any personal details customers might want to know. Think about which blog posts or “tweets” you’ve written which have gotten the most interest. This is who you are; share your information with your readers.

Your author photo doesn’t need to be professionally created, but should be a high-resolution image for quality display. I suggest having a good head shot of yourself and using it on all of your social media accounts. After seeing the picture on the internet, people will eventually recognize you and instinctively trust you. You can add up to eight images, and choose the order in which they appear.

 

Receiving Reviews

Having friends and relatives review your book may seem like a good idea at first, but in the end, it isn’t worth the trouble. Either they won’t do it or the review they leave sounds fake or paid for. So, how do you get reviews? I’m glad you asked. Here are a few ideas that have worked for me including links to Facebook groups dedicated to review swaps, author/reader groups to join, and information about a search engine that searches for professional book reviews.

 

Kindle “Free Days” Promotion

If you’re using KDP Select, you can determine whether you want to have your book go free or use the new Countdown Promotion.

Included is a list of 50 websites that will list your free or discounted eBook. If you’re using Select, coordinate with your free days, giving them at least a week in advance notice. Most of these offer their services free, some for a small charge.

So, if you’re new to eBook promotion and marketing, or looking for some new tips, let’s

Sell More Books!