Amazon kdp select and Advertising
Some people don’t rate Amazon, a friend of mine has stopped buying from them due to their tax evasion policies… however, let’s face it, Amazon is a book lover’s paradise and they are, after all, the world’s number 1 book seller. So as indie authors we really are losing out if we don’t use them as at least one of the places we sell our books.
The author’s dream is normally multi layered but I suspect, like me, that the biggest part of that dream is that readers would enjoy our stories.
Some people only dream of holding their book in their hands and having that reality come true it therefore doesn’t matter that they only sold 50 copies – probably all to family, friends and work colleagues, but that’s OK because for them their dream is complete.
There are a plethora of reasons why people sit down day after day and slave over producing a book, but honestly we’re fooling ourselves if we don’t acknowledge that we hope to sell lots of books and make an income from doing so.
So here’s why I recommend putting your books on Amazon, putting them into kdp select (so that people can read them through kindle unlimited), and why advertising is so important.
I might be the only crazy author around… although I doubt it, but when my first book went on Amazon I scrolled through 400 pages of sword and sorcery books trying to find my book. Needless to say I never found it. Now if I couldn’t find my book when I was looking for it how was anyone looking for a book in that genre going to find it?
The average person will scroll through the first 10 pages of a certain genre trying to find a book, if they haven’t found it then they either give up or try searching through a different category. Our aim then as indie authors is to get our books onto the first 10 pages of our category/genre. This is hard if the only thing you do is put your book up for sale, because you are waiting to sell approx 75 within a day to get your book into the top 100 of your category, but hold on, once there you need to maintain 45-75 sales a day to stay within those top numbers. Now I wish that was happening to us author-preneurs but unfortunately unless your famous we have to work to get our books there.
As it turns out making our book visible on Amazon isn’t that hard after all, hallelujah I hear your cry. To make our books visible we need to do only two things.
- Enroll in KDP Select
- Create an Ad Campaign
- Enrolling in kdp means that two things can happen, the first and the most important is that people who have bought into Amazon Unlimited can read your book for free – hey hey you cry, we’re supposed to be talking about making money – trust me, we are. Remember the fact from the last post? If your average monthly earnings are around $500 then at least $200 of that will be from KENP which basically is the number of pages that have been read through kindle unlimited. This is a great income, but there is something else to consider, and that is your ranking. The higher your ranking the further up the scale your book travels. Let me give you two examples from my books.
a) One of my books was ranked 1,298,428, I had 1 sale and my ranking instantly ascended to 120,148. b) Another one of my books was ranked 1,108,847, I had one person rent it on kindle unlimited and my ranking instantly ascended to 161,020. So, the thing to take from this is as far as ranking goes – and we need to get as high as we can, then it is almost as valuable to have someone obtain a copy through kindle unlimited as it is through purchasing a copy.
- Create an Ad Campaign, honestly unless your famous or have thousands of friends willing to support you this is the only way you are going to obtain sales. I have attended seminars and read and researched the ways people can sell books. The biggest ‘seller’ seems to be having a mahoosive mailing list. If that’s what you want then go for it, good luck to you. But it’s not for me. I am hoping in time that as I bring out more books people who enjoyed them would be likely to buy another one from me, but I am patiently waiting for that list to build up organically, I don’t think having thousands of people on an email list just for the sake of it is the way to go, but I am fully aware this is just my opinion and you must make your own.
There is a reason that advertising has been around for years and is not going anywhere. The most common way to learn about a product is through seeing an advert. Obviously, some adverts like the one above (although funny) just should not happen, however, on the whole advertising serves a purpose and if we stick within acceptable boundaries there is no reason why anyone would think our book adverts are derogatory.
Now if you are like me and you’re on a budget you might say ‘this isn’t for me’ but hold on, before you go let me tell you that if Amazon Ad Campaigns are run correctly you should be making money and therefore getting all your advertising costs back. I think I should also mention here, I am an indie author and I am in no way connected to Amazon as in I am not an employee etc and there is no financial gain from Amazon to me for mentioning them. I am doing this blog solely because I wish to help and encourage other indie authors.
My next blog will contain step-by-step guide to setting up an advert on Amazon that will hopefully make you money. (Just realized I made this post too long to include the guide.)