None of you knew me before I became an author, and I wanted to share with you some advice I have about marketing. To understand where this advice comes from, you should know what I use to do.
I built a small business online. E-Commerce which is one of the hardest website ever to build. It changes continuously and each page, each product, any description, keyword, tags went on everything. All of this was done for building ranking in search engines.
Now, there are many different ways to build rankings, and to get to the top, your need to learn to use all of them. As a new author or doing self-publishing, you may think your ranking is terrible but they can be useful. I hope I can show you how.
Take my ranking, for example. On Amazon I am listed as somewhere around 100,000, give or take, it is always changing, and that also can be a good thing (I will explain later). I love my ranking, it is just where I need to be at this point. And the reason why I am saying this because I am self-publishing, I have only one book published, and I have been testing out marketing for the last two months.
I have built up ranking and let them drop testing this on a smaller scale every three weeks. I am raising them up again, even now, in my ninth week. Its all about numbers, and if you can count them and understand algorithms of how those numbers play together, then you can make your marketing count.
I have broken this up into groups.
#1 A huge Promotion and high traffic should be done in a burst every three months to six months. You want to get as much traffic as you can within two weeks to read in the KU program and also to buy. This is great when planning new releases. It's always easy to build them in the beginning because you do most likely a massive promotional campaign.
#2 Small promotions that are more cost-effective should be done every two to three weeks. Think to spend no more than $40 to $100. Yes, I know that may be a lot for some people and not for others. I am going off my own model and from what I know about building rankings online. This is important because you want to keep your numbers fluctuating. Otherwise, they are just going to move down.
Amazon is a search engine. It takes every time you log on for purchase it is recorded somewhere. Then it goes through an analysis where they then send you emails or list you as products you might be interested in. Promotions and new releases go into unique pages, as well. All of which can build your rankings.
#3 Verified purchases of your book are ranked of the highest review status. You can get reviews all day long but what is going to build your rankings faster and better is going to be a verified review. It doesn’t matter how the book is purchased only that it can be verified. You see how I use that word a lot. Verified.
#4 Verified purchases can be easier to come to buy than you think. In fact, you can spend a good chunk of your marketing budget on it. This produces two avenues for you rank building and a good marketing campaign. Many of us might know this, but how to get it could still be a problem. I want to tell you how.
#5 Sell your book at a price. Don’t give it away! In general if you're going to give your book away, you want to do that in a promotion. Advertising is when you promote, so any other time, your book should be priced. The KU program is perfect to be in also. If priced just right and within the KU program you can make about the same as selling your book at cost.
#6 Put your book of sale but at a price. Still, you want to think about your bottom dollar. This is about making money by building rankings. Never put your book out there for free. The only thing you can build by offering for free is verified reviews. It is still claimed as a purchase when offered in a promotion for free.
#7 This doesn’t mean you don’t offer your book free. This is just an avenue you want to control. Social Media can really come into play here, but I am going to skip this for now.
#8 The first promotion you will want to do is put your book on sale. Market it however you like, spend what you like. But no matter what you do, buy your books with codes. Say you offer your ebook on sale for $.99. Your purchase 50 of them. That’s you spending $50, right? Wrong. In Amazon, your set up to make a profit on every dollar spent on your book. Must of us are in the 70%. Your purchase of your own book of fifty copies, really only cost you $16.50. Now you can only purchase it at this price during your own promotion. Amazon offers this just for this purpose, but not all people know this or how to use.
#9 I know the above part might sound good but don’t go jumping the gun here. This is a small marketing campaign and should utilize over time. You do have to watch your time table and your rankings. How they move is when you should market. When they are moving down and down over a two or three week time, then it is time to do something to build.
#10 When they start to drop, that is when you should use your codes and give your book away for free. Now, this just cost you $16.50, and no other money needs to be spent on promotions. Because what we are doing as I say is building rankings. Always focus on them, not your bottom dollar. When your ranking is at the top. This does only work with ebooks, and it is because of numbers. Links and codes are numbers, and that is what amazon platform will follow when they rank your book.
#11 Giving your book away for free, you have to be social. Finding people with groups, pages, blogs, newsletters, so many ways you can give those links away for free. In this time period, your marketing yourself and your work. People who like will purchase the next book. Something you should focus on doing every six months, at least if you can. Three months is my goal, but everyone is different. You are building a base of followers.
#12 This also comes back to verify reviews. Someone is going to review, and it will be a verified purchase. Something you paid $.30 for. And what does that do? It builds rankings. Just one can make a difference, 5 out fifty can make more. And if you market those codes just right and sometimes just ask, no telling the limits.
So there you go. How to market in an Amazon platform and build rankings. This process is continuous, as I said before. It is to build and keep over long term, but you have to work the system in other ways as well. You have to be a writer and publish new things.
1. Small Promotions and social marketing keep them up.
2. Large promotions will give them a boost.
This is just a few ways you can use Amazon’s platform, but there is so much more. I’m still learning my strategies, and I am taking my time to find them now and in the beginning.
For ten years, I worked online building from platforms like amazon. I was successful at it for nine. In that time, I found that the best way to market is keeping that as a second. Building within is better, and it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Only time and effort.
As I said before, my ranking currently is in the 100,000 mark. I like to keep it below 200,000. So when I hit that 100 mark, I want to do something.
In December, I will do a large marketing campaign. This is going to be tricky because some of the highest and most costly time is during the holidays. It has the highest chance at return also. So how do you market and build during that time frame?
That, I guess, will have to be in another article. Until then keep writing because… you need to keep publishing.
By Gina Manis
Sept. 1, 2019
Should we do paperback and hardback books?
Understanding sales and numbers are ideal when you are marketing but let's face it, not all of us are good with them. So I will try and explain this as simple as possible and hope that you can understand where I am coming from.
1- Ebooks have had a decline in growth in the last three years by 20% on average. They estimate profits of 1 billion per year.
2- Paperback books have been on the rise at 8% per year and they estimate profits per year on 2 billion dollars.
3- Hardback has also seen an increase in sales of 5% and an estimated 2 billion in sales.
4- Audiobooks are still a rapidly growing market at 34% per year and bring in currently about 1 billion in revenue.
So which ones should we do? Well, obviously you want to go where the money is and where there is growth. Growth is in paperback, hardback, and in audio, but not in Ebooks. in fact, they are declining.
If you want to be a serious writer and make money off of it, you are going to have to do more than just an ebook. Sure that is a great foundation to start with but you should look at it as just the beginning.
Let's put it this way. One author has one ebook listed online for sale. She does a great marketing campaign, gets the word around about her book fairly well and brings in say $1,000 a month in sales. Pretty good yes?
Author two has just published her first book. She has formatted her book for ebook and paperback. Same marketing but with her marketing, she is promoting sales for both the ebook and paperback. Her sales for the month are $1,700. If she had done hardback also she would have made $2,400
In the long run, Author one will publish three books, spend three times in marketing just to make the sales of one book in three formats.
We all write because we love it. But let's face it, if you can make twice as much off of just one product with one marketing campaign then you have to go big.
Think about that for a while and tell me your thoughts. Thanks for reading and until next time, keep writing.