It's been a devent run, but it looks like Kindle Scout is coming to a close. It's been hard to judge the overall success of the program that Amazon began in 2015, but it looks like it wasn't successful enough to keep investing in. I'm not tremendously surprised by this news, because Amazon has been shuttering quite a few companies and projects this year as they re-evaluate the business and push forward into different territory.Read More
All of the sites listed here come from my personal experiences using them as well as things I've heard from other authors. In this case, everything is going to be devoted to sites that promote paid promotions (there is another post for free promotions here) but that doesn't necessarily mean how much the actual book needs to cost to be promoted.Read More
I sort of stumbled onto the OnlineBookClub website about two years ago and didn't really know what it was all about. I decided to try out some of their services, starting with reviews, and have ended up working with them quite a bit to promote some of my books.Read More
So, you are an indie author who has spent a lot of time writing your book and you released the kindle version on KDP. That's a great start, but you went the extra mile and also released a paperback version (using either KDP Print, CreateSpace, or IngramSpark, right?). Way to go, and you deserve a lot of applause because that isn't an easy thing to do. However, don't applaud yourself for too long, because you've only just begun.
Marketing a book is arguably as important as writing it. There are countless astonishingly good books out that there that have sold less than a dozen books ever, and there are countless more horribly bad books that have sold millions of copies. What separates them? Marketing.
However, herein lies the problem: how do you sell your paperback book on Amazon when KDP only allows you to market your e-book?
Sign up for a Selling Account
The good news is that you can do it. You can get access to the AMS features that you might not even know exist. The problem is that KDP forces you into an 'author-only' version of Amazon Marketing Services that only gives you access to a couple of features that have been vetted for you, and they hide the rest away for other marketers. This makes marketing your paperback almost impossible and puts you into a pool throwing away your money along with other indie authors. Sure, you can do great with KDP's marketing services, but wouldn't you like more?
The trick is to become an Amazon seller in addition to being a KDP author. The good news is that you can use the same account and be both. Amazon has multiple selling methods and KDP is only one of them, and through KDP your account gets forced over into a specific tuned version of Amazon Marketing Services for KDP only.
Each Amazon Marketing Services account exists as an ENTITY. Keep this in mind because it is a pretty important concept toward selling your paperback.When an entity is created it gets linked to your account. KDP marketing services creates an ENTITY for you, and the url looks like this:
if you log into your KDP marketing account, it will have some trailing number for the entity. When you made your account, that entity was assigned, and that entity takes you to your dashboard to run ads.
Make a New Entity
How do you bypass that, then? It isn't actually that hard. If you open a vendor or seller account outside of KDP (Vendor Express is an option if you aren't sure where to start) you can create a new marketing services entity as an Amazon seller. The difference is that this entity won't be locked to your KDP account and books. You don't actually need to sell products to get an account.
The catch? If you use the same amazon account to create this new entity that you used for your KDP entity, then clicking on AMS will always default to sending you to the entity of your other KDP AMS account when you log in. The KDP version (for reasons only Amazon knows) actually removes the links to swap entities.
However, if you save the entity URL for this new AMS account you created (bookmark it) then you can go directly to the new entity anytime you are logged in (this entity will even show you a list of other entities and let you jump directly over to your KDP entity ... however, once you are on your KDP entity it still won't give you a similar path back to your amazon entity ... they removed the 'switch entities' option for authors, so you need that bookmark!).
Market Your Books
You can do a lot of cool things when you are on this vendor entity of AMS, including some new options that authors don't normally see. It still has product display ads and sponsored ads, but also header ads where you can market a landing page of books you want to promote. Basically, with this option you can pick 3-6 of your books and your ad will show in the placement when people first search a term. When they see the list of results on the page, yours is at the top as a full length bar featuring three of your cover images and a tag line.
More importantly, it also *dun, dun, dun* let's you promote your paperback books (which KDP doesn't). You can't promote audiobooks through this, though, but that's only a small limitation. It actually lets you promote just about anything, but I'm guessing you only want to promote your stuff! Another feature is that you can just build a blanket sponsored ad that uses automatic targeting and then add all of your books. No more creating twenty ads to promote twenty books: now one ad can do it all! There are more features (such as enhanced bidding) that you can play around with as well.
One last catch with this route: you no longer get to add the little blurb text to your ads since this system builds ads more generically. you also can't microtarget as well as the KDP version (genre specific) which means when picking categories you have less options. You are using the centralized amazon marketing system now and not the KDP enhanced version just for authors, so it has both more and less features available.
That's it! Go out and market your books!
These are two extremely powerful social media companies that have enormous audiences and can be used to help promote books, but they vary wildly in their results, user experience, and the quality of the services they offer.Read More
Amazon allows you to host giveaways of just about anything. You can give away your book (as an E-Book or Paperback) or things like new kindle devices or anything people might be interested in. It's incredibly easy to set them up, and there are some really cool features involved that authors can take advantage of to help drive sales.Read More
ACX is a constantly evolving platform, and along with Audible they are a couple of companies that haven't really managed to find their niche in the Amazon universe. The problem is that even though the demand for audiobooks is intensifying, it is still a very small market and doesn't really seem to have a clear direction.Read More
These can be one of the most powerful tools an author has at their disposal. For most self-published authors, there aren't a lot of good ways to get your books into the hands of readers. Not only are Goodreads readers willing to take copies of your book, they are usually more invested to read it than other readers as well.Read More
Communities can make a big difference for an author just starting out in finding their way, meeting likeminded people, and getting useful guidance. Here are a couple of great communities that can really help for a struggling indie author or someone just beginning their career.Read More
This one doesn't come with a signup bonus, which means that you are giving away copies of your book purely for reviews, but it also means that it functions more like a NetGalley type of website than having a cross-over benefit like on Goodreads or Amazon.Read More
This is an up and coming company that is trying to make a name for itself in this overloaded market. It has done a decent job up to this point of building an audience, and it has actually been working very hard recently on bringing in new readerships that might be interested in hearing about free and discount books.Read More
This is a company most people have heard about for giving away things through sweepstakes or other systems. The thing about it from an author perspective is that it can be expensive to get all of the features you want.Read More
My Rating: This one falls low with a 2-star rating but with some caveats. They are expensive, though they do put in a lot of effort. However, the constant rebranding and diminishing results make it feel like a waste of money. They are off my regular list of go-to promotional companies.Read More
I've been working on and meaning to write this post for a while, and now that the book is close to launching I figured I would finally get it ready to go! I'll keep adding to it over the next couple of weeks as I add to my launch strategy, but in the short term this should cover most of what I'm planning to do to generate buzz and launch The Everett Exorcism.Read More
All over the internet you can find posts about how great and idea it is to make a book permafree, or even temporarily free, on Amazon. It is the quickest way to push your career into the stratosphere, and there are no downsides, right?Read More
Indie Author Podcasts can be a great source of information about writing, but they also seem to have a short life span and end earlier than anticipated. Some of the podcasts listed below are still running, but some stopped.
The good news is: the back catalogs are still available, and they are a treasure trove of good information!Read More