I've published three ebooks through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing and have more projects currently in the works. While I'm not claiming to be the most successful seller of ebooks out there, I've certainly learned a thing or two during the times I've spent publishing my works. With advancements in publishing and publishing platforms seemingly changing and evolving all the time, but here are a few tips that I've stumbled across over the past year of publishing and promoting my personal ebooks.
Links, Links, Links
Just as with linking to a blog or website, linking to the site upon which my books are listed for sale is a great way to drive business to them and push sales higher. Whether it's in an article like this, or on one of my blogs or just about any site where linking to these items is allowed, if the site has relevance to my books or it makes sense to insert a link to them, I figure, why not? If I can increase awareness that my books are out there and available for purchase it's one thing, but if I can make it simple for those interested in purchasing or just finding out more about them to get to them in one click, I might as well.
I've played with pricing a little bit over my time as a self-published ebook author. I of course want to earn some money for my efforts, so at first I set my book prices higher. However, being a relatively unknown author, I soon realized that in most cases, people weren't willing to pay more than $5 for my work. Sales stagnated and I wasn't increasing my exposure through sales. Therefore, I dropped my prices to .99 cents, thinking I would expand my readership and then be able to increase prices later or make up profits in numbers versus price. Sales still didn't take off like I expected though, and I think that at this low price, people probably figured that if I didn't believe in my books enough to set a reasonable price, they probably shouldn't waste their time reading them. Therefore, I moved the price to a $2.99 (a happy medium of sorts), and in the process, I've sold more books than at either of the other two prices combined.
With Kindle Direct Publishing I can set a certain number of free promotion days in which my books are available for e-readers free of charge. I didn't really make use of this type of promo right away though since I only had one book published at first. However, once I got my other works online and available for purchase, I started using these free giveaway days to cross-promote my works. My reasoning was that hopefully readers would enjoy the free copy of whatever work I was giving away enough to purchase one of my other books. While this strategy has been mildly successful, I've learned a few things about selecting these promotional dates.
Picking promo dates isn't always as easy as it sounds. I tend to shoot for weekend days or times around holidays for such promotional periods since I figure that these are the times when people will tend to have a little more free time on their hands for reading. However, this isn't always the case. Sometimes there can be conflicts. For example, I had great success with one promotion right around Christmas, and therefore thought spring break would be another good time when students and teachers would be off from school and looking for something to do. Therefore, I scheduled a three day promotion toward the end of March. It was not a success. Why? Two words…college basketball. I had failed to consider that a large portion of the population would be watching college hoops rather than reading my books.
So while there may not be a magic wand to wave and magically market my ebooks, there are certain tips and tricks that can help push sales of my books higher and enable me to cross-promote my works more efficiently.
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The author is not a licensed financial or publishing professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or publishing advice. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader's discretion.
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