Hi my name is Nick Brodd and I am here to tell you that as a self-publisher, you are up against a serious challenge. You see, publishing houses are corporate marketing machines. They can get shelf space in book stores, organize big book tours and more. So if you don’t hit your market hard with your launch strategy, your book is nothing but a dead fish in the sea. And if it doesn’t sell, all the hours you spent writing was nothing but a waste.
So in today’s and a few coming posts I’ll be arming you with some strong weapons for your book launch. I’ll be sharing case studies from our own upcoming launch of Hard CORE, Soft Cover and will be explaining a number of the different tools we are using.
Amazon owns 70-80% of the eBook market and sells about 50% of all books sold online. So to start with, the key to your success lies in understanding Amazon’s business model.
In a lot of regards Amazon is absolutely brilliant. But it’s also pretty much just a search engine (with a shopping cart). As such, just like Google, Amazon tends to favor showing search results of what is already getting traffic (read; what’s selling).
Not good news for someone who just wrote a new book, with a title that no one is searching for… But if you can prove to Amazon that your book has mass appeal, they’ll help you promote it by ranking you better in searches and presenting you on best seller lists. The question of course is how to get there?
At Writers Rise we believe that the dead center of your launch strategy should be KDP Select. What Amazon’s KDP Select program does for you is to enable you to promote your eBook and give it away for free for 5 days every 90 days.
To be clear, this is not a long-term strategy. It’s a promotional tool to jump-start the downloads of your Kindle book. A strategy that can increase your search and bestseller ranking by the time your 5 days are over. That’s why we think it makes sense to swallow some pride and give our exceptionally valuable books away for free (for 5 days ONLY).
Because during these 5 days you can gather reviews, prove that the book will create traffic and can also get a share of the fees paid to authors who allow their books to be shared for free with Amazon’s Prime members as well as Amazon partners such as public libraries.
In return for the 5 day promotion period you must promise Amazon you’ll stick with them as the sole distributor of your eBook for at least 90 days. While I’m sure it will feel a little bit bad to give away all that value for free, I don’t consider this such a big sacrifice especially considering the potential and Amazon’s market share.
But please beware. The most common mistake we see is that people expect their book will automatically sell, just because it is given away for free. You must create demand through marketing and you have to make the most out of your 5 day launch. You must let people know the book exists!
But with the right book and a well crafted launch you can get Amazon’s traffic coming your way for a long time after your 5 free days. Here are 7 critical steps that will create Amazon traffic.
- Get reviews from friends in different cities
- Join Freebie Forums and Interact
- Join Social Media Groups and Interact
- Join Free Kindle Websites and Interact
- Issue Press Releases
- Join Subscription Based Forums and Interact
- Advertise on Facebook & in Ezines
Step by step this will even out your playing field with the marketing machines of the big publishing houses. In future posts we’ll share how we today leverage each of these tactics for maximum results. We’ll also share how we manage the launch step by step.
So today my encouragement to you is to evaluate how hitting the market hard would increase your sales the first days of your launch. What would it do to you and your books’ lifetime revenues? Then I want you to let go of any pride that would stop you from giving your book away for free (I for sure had some!). Analyze what work patterns has worked best during your previous launches. Continue whatever is working now!
Then consider taking further control by joining KDP Select. Awaken the dream of being a bestseller. Put hope in the first room today. Then start your preparations and hit the market hard with the advice that will follow.
Question: Which is your best book launch tactic?
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net