It’s not because there aren’t enough people who love to endlessly devour one book after another. There are plenty of those.
It’s not because it costs too much to publish or sell your eBooks on Amazon. The cost for doing so is minimal, if anything.
So what gives?
The problem is pretty obvious, actually. Writers and authors are not inclined to take on the role of marketer and they tend to shy away from promotion most of the time. Can we blame them? They just want to make some money by writing books that people like to read, so what valid argument can be made for trying to sell their creative works?
I can’t think of any to be honest. BUT — there is always a but attached to statements like that one…
Authors do not need to be full fledged marketers in order to effectively promote their books without feeling like they’ve “sold out,” or like they are trying to be someone other than who they truly are.
You’ll be relieved to hear that promoting your own books hardly demands anything so outrageous. Thanks to all the resources available to self-published authors, it’s not such a painful process after all.
So where do you start then, you’re probably wondering? Today we’re going to take a quick look at my top 5 book promotion ideas for Kindle authors and why you need to give each of them a try starting NOW.
KDP Select Free Days
This one has been around for a while now, but it is still highly effective when done right. If you don’t mind making your book exclusively available on Amazon for a while, I recommend enrolling it in their KDP Select program and reaping the rewards.
Basically, you get to pick five days each 90 day period that your book is enrolled and you are able to offer it free on those five days. Schedule wisely and keep in mind that you want to use this as an opportunity to gain momentum rather than limiting yourself to a single day of free downloads.
This enables you to reach a massive number of new readers and can be especially useful for authors who are working on a series of books within the same genre, as many readers will sample your first book and then be ready to buy the next one by the time it’s available.
I recently blogged about some of the top places to promote your free days and I also recently told my readers about the software project I’m working on with my partner Rob Howard. It’s called KD Promo App and it helps you maximize your KDP Select promotions by submitting them to dozens of websites without having to fill in forms all day.
Kindle Countdown Deals
This book promotion idea is the newest addition included in today’s post and it also comes straight from Amazon. You can think of Countdown Deals as the cousin of KDP Select free days, with a few differences.
Personally, I think the only real difference between the two is that Kindle Countdown Deals employ techniques such as scarcity and perhaps even some hard-selling, if you will. They remind me more of the tactics used on internet marketing sales letters, which I don’t think is a good or a bad thing really.
I’ve yet to really test how effective they are, especially in comparison to KDP Select free days. However, they are the newest option from Amazon and so you will be seeing plenty of them in the near future I’m sure. It can’t hurt to try one out and test it for yourself, that’s for sure.
In a nutshell, your book must already be enrolled in the KDP Select program in order to be eligible and you basically choose the dates for your Countdown Deal and then decide on how many price increments you want, the duration of the deal and a starting price for the promotion.
Once your deal goes live, there will be a little timer clock on your product page next to your book that tells visitors how much time is left for them to purchase your book at the discounted price. It also shows them when the price will be bumped up again from the current price, which is of course intended to encourage more sales while the discount is going.
Free Book Giveaways
But Amazon is not the only place you can do this, of course. It may be among the most powerful, but there are other avenues as well. A while back now, I blogged about five sites where you can hold a free book giveaway and each one has some unique features so I suggest you take a look at each of them before deciding which one is going to work best for your book.
Some sites only allow print copies for book giveaways, while others are willing to list eBooks as well. There are even widgets you can get for under ten bucks a month which will allow you to host book giveaways on your own website as well. Another option is to do guest blogging or author interviews on blogs which allow you to mention your giveaway in your author byline.
The possibilities are endless. Just be sure to let the winners know that you welcome their honest feedback and appreciate Amazon reviews, if they are so inclined. You may be surprised by how many readers are willing to do this if you simply ask.
Create a Press Kit
When it comes to book promotion for self-published authors, this is one idea I don’t see many people using. It is far more prevalent in the traditionally published world, but because of that it gives off a more professional and trusted vibe than some other techniques you might be more familiar with.
What I’m referring to is a digital press kit for your books. What is a digital press kit anyway, right? It’s essentially just a kit that is made available for download on your website and is meant to help journalists, bloggers and other media outlets learn more about your book in a short amount of time.
The reason this is useful to you as an author is the possibility of free publicity that may be offered to you as a result. If a reporter is doing a story about a topic you have expertise in, then they may find your website when doing their research. They notice you’ve written a book and want to know more about it to see if you might be a good fit for their story.
That’s where a press kit comes into play. It includes things like a brief synopsis, highlights from book reviews, any awards you may have won, a professional head shot, short author bio, high resolution cover image and other essential info about your book and your credentials.
Have one of these and you will put yourself in the big leagues and may land yourself in the New York Times before you know it.
Virtual Book Tours
Last but not least is the virtual book tour. It may sound a little cheesy, but for indie authors it’s a hell of a lot more practical than the more traditional book tour that requires traveling from one city to the next for book signings at venues that likely sneer at the self-published community.
There are plenty of companies out there offering to organize a virtual book tour for you, but the truth is that you really don’t need to hire one if you can put the time in to do this yourself.
I did this for my first book without even realizing that there as a term for it. All it really means is that you reach out to and organize appearances on different book blogs, coordinate some free book giveaways and bust your ass to promote your book right before or immediately after its release date.
There really isn’t much more to it, but if you want more tips on how to do this on your own then check out the blog post I wrote on how to plan your own virtual book tour.