What is the number one task indie authors fail to do?
We are a week into the New Year and if your mail box is like mine, it is in a frenzy with indie service providers and promoters begging for your $$$. This before we have even earned five cents in 2016. Hand over your money, honey and we’ll show you how to get more readers, more reviews and spy on your competition. None of which will actually sell books.
Here is a list of tasks many indie authors don’t do. Not in any particular order but none is the number one overlooked task.
- Fail to link book covers to a buy page.
- Fail to make at least two mentions of a title in a blog a live link to a buy page.
- Fail to allow comments on blog pages.
- Fail to have visible Share buttons on blogs and webpages.
- Fail to network with like-minded authors.
- Fail to use bitly or another short book link when posting on Facebook pages.
- Fail to use Hootsuite or another twitter helper to schedule tweets or auto retweet.
- Fail to promote wisely.
- Fail to hire professional editors or cover artists.
- Fail to correct minor mishaps in their books.
The NUMBER ONE task most indie authors fail to do is: Master Amazon.
Visit any Facebook page supporting indie authors and you will see a raft of questions about Amazon…Golly! ASK AMAZON. Most indie authors don’t study, check out or even read their Amazon book pages. Some sites are still encouraging ‘Like my bio page’ on Amazon. ‘Like’ an Amazon author page was replaced last year with ‘Follow’ beneath the author’s photo. If a reader follows an author on Amazon, when the author launches a new title, Amazon sends a dedicated email to those followers. That is huge.
On your print edition book page below the first page of reviews is this: Set Up an Amazon Giveaway.
Until a month or so ago, entrants were asked to follow the author on Twitter. I emailed Amazon and said: Hey! I spend hundreds and thousands of dollars to send readers to my book buy pages on Amazon…and Amazon offers a giveaway that sends the entrant to Twitter? Are you kidding me? That marketing director eats stupid for breakfast! Fire the sucker. Somebody listened. Now authors have a choice–entrants can follow on Twitter or Amazon. IMO Tweets don’t sell books–very nice for exposure. Also, an entrant is less likely to unfollow on Amazon.
Here’s the thing: You can’t kill Amazon by exploring everything on your book page inside KDP. You will hear: Amazon is vague about the new rules for reviews. No, it is not. It is clear as a bell. Reviews garnered via a paid book blog tour may not be posted except in Editorial. Paid and traded reviews may be posted in Editorial on the book page via Author Central. Read Amazon’s Terms of Service. If you don’t understand anything…ask Amazon to clarify. You can alway ask that your query be booted to a second tier responder. I do.
Once you upload a book on Amazon, use the proofing tool right there on line. You can see if your book is formatted correctly and find those misspelled words or dropped articles such as of, the, a or an. Often overlooked: Their/There/they’re. If Amazon tells you it found errors, check to see if so. Sometimes Amazon does not recognize a foreign word. If it is an error, repair it ASAP.
Do not ignore emails from Amazon. This happened recently. An indie author moved all of her books into Select. She failed to remove a few from another sales venue. Amazon pulled her account and all of her books. The author now has to wait an entire year to reinstate her account. Oops. Tip: If you are removing books from other sales venues to enroll in Select, double-check the books are NOT on those venues before enrolling the books in Amazon Select.
Few indie authors use the Share buttons on their Amazon book pages. When eNovel members have a new title, or a book in promotion, I always tick those share buttons on Amazon. Here is a tip: You can edit those Tweets. Add #FREE, add SALE! Add Superb! Add a hashtag. Easily done.
Find the Share buttons on the lower right hand side of your book page. See that envelope? Open it and a nice short link for your book appears. So easy to use. Copy and paste when you are promoting your book on Facebook pages. There are now one million books available for Kindle Unlimited and Prime subscribers. For success in 2016 we must use all of the tools we can to get our books visible. Start with Amazon. Promote Wisely. Review your book description. Tweak it. Consider a new cover. Keep those reviews coming in: Put this gem right after THE END in your book…
Thank you for taking the time to read [title]. If you enjoyed it, please consider telling your friends or posting a short review. Word of mouth is an author’s best friend and much appreciated. Thank you. [author name].
Inside Author Central, build an interesting Author bio page. A wealth of tips here. The do’s and don’t’s. Here is what I know: Only one percent of indie authors reading this blog will tick the links to learn ehow. For a blog on Amazon Select and KENP, go here. Yep, it is time consuming to read this stuff…but it is the only way to become a savvy indie author. Did I mention that there are now one million books enrolled in Kindle Unlimited? That is a nice selection of books for readers. It is up to the us to use every tool available to get the reader’s eyes on our books. The best place to start is learning to use all the tools Amazon provides for an indie author.
Wishing you and yours a prosperous and successful New Year. For extra good luck or to ward off bad luck or no luck at all, save all of your pennies and spare change in the kitchen. Works for me. A savvy indie author told me I need to add something to my posts so readers find me human and engaging. Okay. I despise doing interviews. Here is why: I don’t ride in rodeos, I don’t bungee jump, I don’t sing or dance or act in community theatre. I was once a Go-Go girl…and filled in for Jayne Mansfield when she couldn’t make the show in the nightclub I cleaned for extra $$$. I was so skinny I looked like a leafless twig. Past glory. I wash clothes, take out the trash, cook when I’m hungry. Boring. I write romance books. That is all I do.
Comments welcome and if you have a tip for indie authors, please share it. We learn from one another. When time permits, do visit our author pages. We have some stunning books for your reading pleasure. Sign up for our newsletter. It is always full of FREE and discounted books and new releases. Sometimes special events and Rafflecopters. No spamming. It will land in your mailbox 9 or 10 times a year.
@Copyright 2016 by Jackie Weger