“It recently came to our attention that you may have used the third-party site, www.FreeBookService.com, for your title, [My Book]. While we will always support legitimate efforts of KDP authors to promote their books, this site uses improper practices to artificially inflate sales ranking in the Kindle Store.We take activities that jeopardize the experience of our customers and other authors very seriously. We wanted you to be aware of the nature of www.FreeBookService.com’s offering and ask that you not work with them or other services that attempt to manipulate the KDP platform. If this activity continues, we will have to take appropriate action (which may include removing your title from Amazon and/or terminating your account).”
If you have been reading my stuff for any length of time, you ought to know that I “notoriously” do not write fiction. LOL
I also don’t read fiction, nor do I watch much fiction on the television (except for NCIS and Dr. Who)…
So, it should come as no surprise to you that I have never read anything written by Neil Gaiman…
However, I do know who Neil Gaiman is… He is one of those people who continues to influence me to see my role as a writer in a very positive light…
In May of 2012, he gave a commencement speech to the University of the Arts.
Do yourself a favor… Get out your headphones, turn on the sound, and give Mr. Gaiman twenty minutes of your time…
You will be glad you did!!
This video details the three most important steps in marketing your books online… No matter the marketing method you use to promote your books…
The most important goals that you need to achieve with a potential buyer include:
- Winning the attention of those people who are most likely to buy your books.
- Hold the attention of the reader long enough to convince them to keep reading your sales copy.
- Answer for the reader, “How will the reader benefit from owning your book?”
In other words, you must present your offer to the people who are most likely to purchase your offer.
Then you must be able to hold the attention of your prospective buyer long enough for them to read all of the pertinent information about your offer/product/book.
And, you must show the prospective buyer how they will benefit from owning your book… With fiction, you need to suck them into your story… With non-fiction, you will want to focus on how your reader will benefit from reading your book.
No matter the product we are trying to sell, these three steps apply to the sales process in all cases.
Last week, I picked up my little one from school.
As my child came out of the classroom, his teacher handed me a piece of paper.
The headline of this flyer read, “So-and-So Author Visit Is Almost Here“.
The introductory paragraph read, “If you haven’t already ordered books and would still like to do so, please return this form with payment by Date. Thank You.”
There was a list of 9 books with prices, and at the bottom of the page, it asked:
- How many books?
- Total Amount
- To whom should the book(s) be personalized?
Being the marketer that I am, I brought the paper to my desk and opened my browser to Amazon.
The prices marked on the books on the paperwork are all higher than what I could buy the same books for on Amazon, with a price difference of $0.75 to $4.73.
Think about this for a moment…
- The author sent out the paperwork in advance of her visit to my child’s school.
- She set the prices above what it cost her to purchase her books directly from Amazon at full retail.
- She is offering to “personalize” each book for the student.
All orders are paid in advance, and delivered on the day that she comes to the school to read a story to the children.
From a marketing standpoint, this is beautiful. She sells the books in advance, and she hand-delivers them to the school, with none of her own money invested in the process!!
If you create children’s books, please pay attention.
The author lives about 60 miles from where I do, and she has set this deal up with the local school system. She will be hitting all 4 grade schools in 2 days, going to one school in the morning and one in the evening…
She is getting direct access to several hundred children in two days, presenting a shopping list with 9 books on it, with a total marked retail value of $113 (books that could be purchased on Amazon for right at $96)!!!
If you ask me, this is brilliant… And, if you create children’s books, you should be drooling at the possibilities of doing this in your neighborhood…
I see people asking this question all the time:
Can I Link To My Website From Inside Of My Kindle Book?
Absolutely YES, you can…
The only real restriction regarding links in your Kindle book is that you cannot include Amazon Associates Affiliate Links inside of your Kindle books!!
It has also been suggested by others than you cannot link to any Affiliate Links from within your Kindle book, but I have yet to locate a prohibition within the Amazon Terms Of Service that specifically prohibits Affiliate Links, except for the Affiliate Links associated to the Amazon website.
Whether you can or cannot link directly to an Affiliate Offer from within your Kindle book is immaterial in my mind, since I believe that you should always link to YOUR website from your Kindle books, rather than any other website.
I have always recommended against using Affiliate Links with any of your long-term advertising, i.e. article marketing, or within your books or reports.
I recommend not using Affiliate Links within those types of advertising vehicles, for a number of reasons, including:
- Affiliate campaigns from the vendors frequently change the landing URL, on a yearly basis;
- Some affiliate vendors will cancel specific Affiliate campaigns;
- Affiliate vendors might terminate your relationship with their program — sometimes through no fault of your own;
- Affiliate vendors sometimes reduce the commissions they offer to a point where you may not want to promote them anymore;
- You may change your impression of a particular vendor or product and decide at a later date that you no longer want to support the Affiliate vendor or its products;
- You may discover another Affiliate offer that you would prefer to promote over what you were promoting previously;
- You may decide that your original copy for the offer fell short of its potential for sales conversions;
Instead of linking directly to an Affiliate Offer, I have always recommended that folks should link to a web page on their own website, then when something changes, they would only need to change one page on their website to ensure that they could continue to profit from the traffic reaching the offer page that they have promoted.
For more detailed information about how to profit from links within your Kindle books, please consider picking up a copy of my report, “Dynamic Kindle Marketing“.
In the dating game, they say that we only get one chance to make a “good first impression” — our window for opportunity may be only 30 seconds.
But as a book seller, our window of opportunity is far less!! In fact, we generally get no more than a glance to make a “good first impression“.
What do the following four Amazon book titles have in common?
If you didn’t catch it, all four books are strong sellers in the Amazon marketplace, and all four have book covers that beg you to read more about the book.
Often times, the only chance you have to convince someone to buy your book is the book cover that will convince someone to read your book title and your book description.
The fact is that you can have the best book title in the world, and you can have a really compelling book description that will convince people to buy your book, but if people never see your book title or book description, those items will fail to deliver an audience or buyers for your book.
Think about how you navigate the book sales pages in Amazon…
Your future customers likely navigate Amazon in the exact same way that you do…
As for myself, I try to look at the book titles alone, but I would be lying if I said that attractive book covers help seal the deal for me.
How about you?