What you don’t do can hurt your book…
This is strange thing. Most of my posts get a lot of traffic, but NOT my blogs about simple ehow to make our Amazon author pages and book pages more effective. Here is what made me sit up and take notice: Roger Packer’s blog that shows Amazon sells above one million ebooks a day. Peeps, that is a vast amount of book buying traffic. I want a few of those folks to pause on my books pages. Don’t you? Ten or dozen a day would suit me just fine. At the moment I see hard sales of right at 135 books a month [4.5 sales per day] when I have no overt promotions, and between 60,000 to 100,000 KENP, which bring in about 15 new reviews a month on my titles. If tweaking a blurb increases sales by only 2 books a day, I’m in the $$$.
In January 2014, I set a goal of earning $500 a month in royalties. I have yet to fall below that in spite of all of the changes and flux in the market. I expect I shall fall below that a month or two now and again. I’m good with it. I reinvest what my units earn in new covers or promotion. Every little bit helps.
My most recent blog on Mastering Amazon is here. I’m curious. When you read blogs with live links, do you tick those links to get a better handle on the content? I always do. Here is a flat out fact. I do not always get it right, but I try. I don’t work on my Author pages every dang day, but I do review those pages before I engage in a promotion. More often than not, I find some little something that I can tweak. Sometimes it is the last line in a book description, or I discover an especially catchy review that I can quote and put in Editorial.
I’m on a mission now to revise and delete rhetorical questions in my blurbs. As time permits, I’m also putting descriptions in bold. I’m also tightening descriptions to rid them of all of that white space. White space stops the eye. You don’t see it in newspapers do you? Printers have been onto this for centuries. Don’t believe me? Check your Bible.
Know this: Your book description is THE HOOK. It is the teaser that will encourage a reader to download your book to a Kindle. I don’t put filler in my book descriptions such as reviews nor mention awards because I’m not looking for applause. I want a book sale. Here’s an Amazon TOS: One may NOT put “award winning author” on a cover or in a book description. IF you mention a book made a list in a book description, you must tell when. i.e. No Perfect Destiny. USA Today, February 2015.
In August 2016 Amazon suspended the account of an indie author who had ‘award winning author’ on all of her covers. She won a contest. Yep. The author had to resubmit corrected covers before her account was reinstated and her books were up for sale again. I love Amazon, but it is the elephant in the room. It’s bigger than I am and makes the rules.
I’m also upping my game. Here is why: Amazon pulled the rug out from beneath promoters who were using their affiliate codes on books in newsletters. Using affiliate codes on any book or product other than on a web page is against Affiliate’s Terms of Service. Promoters are scrambling to replace that lost income. Guess whose wallets they’re gonna tap? Yours and mine. Notice some promoters have already stopped offering free slots or have disappeared all together. Read what Nate Hoffelder has to say on The Digital Reader.
I’m networking with other authors more often. I’m joining in cross promotions. I’m engaging Rafflecopters to grow my newsletter subscribers. I’m not paying a promoter $15 who has less Twitter followers than I do to tweet my books. Nor will I pay a promoter with less newsletter subscribers to pump my books. These are not instant solutions, but they’re a start.
Here is a warning: Some indie authors engaging in cross promotion are using affiliate codes on the books in their newsletters. ASK first before joining a cross promotion. Amazon says: “Publishers [indie authors] are responsible both for adhering to the KDP Terms and Conditions and ensuring that no tactics or third party services manipulate the Kindle platform or Kindle programs. For example, we advise against using any sites that “guarantee” a return on your investment.”
Here is a heads up: I encourage you to know who you’re talking to on the Web, in Amazon Community forums and on Kboards. One indie author had her Amazon account suspended and her books removed because she perhaps inadvertently engaged an author/promoter event that Amazon deemed manipulated the Kindle platform. Author/promotion events are easy prey for the unscrupulous who often piggy back a promotion to engage or hide clickbait download farmers of scam books. If your book is targeted by the scammers and hijacked, Amazon deems you are responsible, however innocent you may be. Your KDP account will be pulled leaving you D.E.A.D. in the water. Done.
Once you’ve uploaded your book, do you revisit your Amazon book page? If not, why not? Do you find ehow suggestions helpful? Have you ever put into action a tip you read in a blog? Once your book is live, do you Look Inside as a reader might to check how the font looks? I often see books with paragraph indents to seven spaces–once even 9 character paragraph indents. Holy Smokes! Impossible to follow the story arc. Or double spacing between paragraphs. Do you scour for those tiny errors we often miss? My formatter once accidentally formatted one of my books entirely center spaced. Discovered the snafu in the online previewer. Oops.
I’m Jackie Weger, Founder of eNovel Authors at Work. As always comments welcome. You are welcome to mention your book in your comment. Add to the discussion. We love to learn from others. Be nice. If you can’t be nice, be articulate. And before you leave, do visit our author pages or the Useful Links page. Might be a post there that can help you find a promoter, an editor or a cover artist. Resources you might need are HERE.
Leaving you with a couple of tips: This one from #eNovAaW member Effrosyni Moschoudi. If your books or story arcs are built around a location anywhere in the world, add them to yonndr.com. It’s free. Read Frossie’s blog to see the value and popularity of yonndr. Next tip: I’m adding Genre Pulse to eNovel’s list of promoters. Here is why: Genre Pulse displays instantly your book’s click through download numbers/sales. Transparency is wonderful. Once you have access to those stats, you can compare how your book performed with others in the same genre or other genres. IMO, that is invaluable data. You can look at book covers, blurbs, etc of titles that outperform your book–or don’t. Promo slots cost $16 or $40. Thus far, I have NOT seen the value of a $40 slot. If you have, share the stats and the genre of your book.