This is a post on ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors) by Jyolsna Ramacham dran that every author should read. It’s is a step-by-step process of how to pick your best key words on Amazon using Google keyword planner and Amazon’s search engine and how to use those words in your title, subtitle and description (or “About” section on Amazon). Plus she gives you a few “ideas on sales conversion.
Great post, Jyolsna!
“Here’s a handy checklist of pointers to help you optimise your book’s visibility on Amazon – make sure you’re not missing out on any of these valuable tips to help you make your book more discoverable and to sell more books!”…
Source: 6 Top Tips for SEO on Amazon | Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality
Very important information from Valerie Biel and her wonderful writer’s blog about book contests. It’s a must read or listen to (youtube video/voiceover) for any author thinking of entering any contest.
Award contests can be a good way to promote and market yourself and your work!
At the University of Wisconsin Writers’ Institute in April of 2018, I presented a session called “The Winner’s Circle: Are Writing Contests Worth the Fees?”. I discussed the ways to check if a contest is reputable, which ones are good to enter, and what to do if you win. Later, I took my PowerPoint and narrated it before uploading it to YouTube. You can watch it here.
Source: Shady Writing Contest Rules – from the ALA? | Valerie Biel
Were Publishing Dreams Become Reality
The ongoing debate goes on – and for good reason. Like everything in life, the book market changes and so do the companies that service that market.
In the post link below, David Kudler explains various reason to go the free route and various reasons not to. As with most things, it really depends on what works for you at this moment in time. He also explains how to get Amazon to set your book for free, even though they don’t want to. But I wouldn’t go to that effort unless you’re going with perma-free. If you want free on Amazon and you’re not part of their Select program – just do an Amazon giveaway.
Personally, I think the perma-free thing only works if you have A LOT of good reviews for the first book in a book series before you even set it at FREE. (How much is A LOT? – not sure there is a magic number. How many reviews would it take you to pick up a book from an author you didn’t know?)
There are so many ways for readers to get books for free now a days, a free book from a completely unknown (and unread – if you don’t have many reviews) does very little to make a shopper click that button and pick up your book.
That is not to say free for a week or free for a day or book giveaways aren’t a good thing. I think short-term giveaways associated with some other promotion you might be doing aimed at readers you know is a good idea. You do want to get more reviews. But keep in mind, just because you give a book away doesn’t mean you’ll get a review. I’ve given away a lot of books on Amazon and Goodreads and the Fussy Librarian but gotten very few reviews from those. Hopefully I’ve gotten a new reader or two. And it only takes one or two people who read your book to decide they like you and will tell others about you and your book to help get your name out there.
What you can do is set the price for the first book in a series (or a first book in a collection of books you have) at a lower price than the rest. If someone really wants to try your book, $.99 or $1.99 or maybe $2.99 isn’t going to stop them.
And remember, pricing also depends on the length of the book and the genre your book is in. So check out what other unknown authors are charging in your genre to help you decide what to do.
Source: To Free or Not to Free: Giving Away Your Ebook – The Book Designer
Writers tend to be shy people (not all, of course), but being interviewed for a broadcast of some kind might be just the things for a shy person.
Getting on a local radio station, podcast, association website… There are various places to get yourself and your writing in front of others. Tom Corson-Knowles offers writers a step-by-step process to getting interviewed.
I was interviewed once on a local radio program and had a great time doing it. Did I see any change in sales after? It was quite a while ago but I don’t remember any changes in my sales, but then the station broadcast reach was quite small. I still enjoyed it and would do it again.
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality
Short of getting your cat to persuade your readers to leave a review of your book, how do you get people to review your book?
Of course, this is the first step. Anyone who buys your book in front of you, or someone you hand your book to, you need to sincerely ask for a review. Look the person in the eye and let them know how helpful it is to you if they can leave you a review. If you are mailing a book to someone, put a personal note inside the book asking for a review.
Of course, you have that same request (and easy link in your ebooks) in the back of your book. That’s a given.
It’s important not to get upset when these people forget or they just aren’t comfortable leaving you a review. It may not even be about you or your book. Just be happy when reviews show up.
- Book Giveaways
I think these things are good to do, but not for getting reviews. I don’t find people who get free books automatically leave reviews. I think book giveaways are better for connecting to readers. And this can eventually lead to word of mouth sales or at minimal, word of mouth reads. Maybe it will lead to a review, but don’t hold your breath.
So what is a author to do?
We can help each other!
I am aware of two facebook groups of writers through BooksGoSocial where authors read and review other authors.
BooksGoSocial Book Buying Review Club
This group requires you buy a book on Amazon and post the official review before you can ask for a review for your book. This is because Amazon will post reviews that are verified purchases. They don’t always post reviews that are not verified purchases. They will only allow a certain percent of non-purchased reviews.
In this group, you pick a book with the same price point as the book you will want a review for yourself (and you are only allowed to pick the last on the post list) – books that cost e.g. $.01 -.99 or $1.00 – 2.99 etc.
There is also a post for shorter books.
Then there is the BooksGoSocial Book Review Club
In this group, you are not required to buy a book, but you are required to prove you have reviewed another author’s book on Amazon.
Both of these groups require you to be accepted into the group and that you participate in the group, plus you can’t do review swaps – you review my book and I’ll review yours. Amazon can find these and they will take down these types of reviews.
Both of these groups are for middle grade through adult novels – fiction and non-fiction.
BooksGoSocial also has a group for children’s authors. Though this is not specific for reviews.
Hopefully all authors review any book they read, but these are 2 ways to guarantee you get reviews that are so helpful to you.
Good question! I had never heard of it, but it makes sense, even more so with the upcoming generation who are used to multimedia interactions.
So what is it?!
From what I gathered from Tom Denver’s interview with Houston Howard (and I’d encourage any storyteller to read it – not just screenwriters), it’s using different ways – different forms of media – to engage your audience in your story. Some of the engagement is to make money and some is to engage your audience. And which forms of media or interaction you use depends on what works best for the story. The skies the limit!!
Source: Interview with Houston Howard, Transmedia Instructor at The Los Angeles Film School – The Script Lab
Pushkin Press, a UK publisher, “was founded in 1997, and publishes novels, essays, memoirs, children’s books—everything from timeless classics to the urgent and contemporary.”
One of their “editors-at-large,” Sarah Odedina, is opening up her email for children’s books submissions for one day, Monday, January 8th.
I couldn’t find what they define as “children’s” books but last years pick was a YA novel, so she must be looking for books, including YA. And Sarah’s bio states that one of the types of books she likes to read is board books. So there you have it. Come to your own conclusions.
So pull that synopsis out, your bio, and send your first 10,000 words of your children’s book along to Odedina, like I am!
Best of luck! And let me know how you fair!
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality