In recent weeks, Amazon’s new Buy Box policy has received a fair amount of industry attention and blowback, leaving publishers and authors speculating about Amazon’s motives for implementing it. While some think the industry reaction is a tempest in a teacup, with publishers raising their hackles once again over an Amazon business decision, others see the policy—which allows third-party sellers to “win” the Buy Box, thus relegating publisher listings to the “Other Sellers on Amazon” section—as an aggressive move against publishers and authors.
Amazon has long enjoyed the widespread support of independent authors, who rightly credit the retail giant for their ability to be authors at all. Without Amazon, most indie authors would have no means of reaching a broad readership. Many will recall the 2014 open letter on Change.org endorsed by 27 authors, including J.A. Konrath and Hugh Howey, condemning New York publishing and championing Amazon, reading in part:
In order to become a successful self-publisher, you will need do devote a large part of your life to marketing. This will encompass marketing yourself, as well as your book. Understanding these five ingredients will insure that your book marketing efforts will be a success, and lead to more book sales, more fans, more followers, and more clients.
In order to become a successful self-publisher, you will need do devote a large part of your life to marketing. This will encompass marketing yourself, as well as your book. Like most self-publishers, you the author, and your brand, go hand-in-hand with that of your book. You will quickly learn that writing your book was only the beginning of a long and interesting journey.
So, with that in mind, always keep these five basic ingredients in your thoughts when you’re marketing and promoting your book. Understanding them will insure that your book marketing efforts will be a success, and lead to more book sales, more fans, more followers, and more clients.
Going through several promoting articles I started to build a checklist.
Beginnings would love this and intermediate can use this list as reminders.
Just share it or make special articles about your promoting checklists.
Checklist when publishing books
1. Make a great book cover
2. Edit your book well
3. Create a good description of book
4. Complete Amazon Author Page
5. Announce on all social media
6. Encourage reviews
7. Do a book trailer & video promos
8. Become an Amazon Affiliate
9. Get promo material for your book
10.Create a hashtag for book
11. Check out AmazonAuthorInsights.com
12. Blog – a least once a week
What is your promotion to do lists? Comment below
From Kristine Kathryn Rusch:
Just when I thought it was safe to get back into the water…
I’m editing a lot these days. I only edit short fiction projects. Anthologies, anthology series (Fiction River), the occasional nonfiction book, and some magazines. I’m also consulting with the fine folks at WMG Publishing, because they’ll be handling the contracts for the revival of Pulphouse next year. Dean’s vision for Pulphouse includes reprinting some of the older stories, which means we have to deal with estates.
Too often, estates mean agents.
But even some lazy-ass living writers give their agents control of everything. It took me one year—one year—to get my hands on a non-fiction reprint that I wanted for a project of mine. The centerpiece for that project was an editorial written more than 20 years ago by a writer who had forgotten they had even written it. This writer, a friend of mine, doesn’t do email, and mostly stays off-line. (I know, I know.) I didn’t know about their tech phobia when I started into this, and had sent five different emails before I asked another editor friend how to reach this writer.
The editor advised snail mail.
Before I resorted to that, though, I called. The author and I are friends, after all. On the phone, the author told me that their agent handles everything. I do mean everything. The author—one smart cookie otherwise—can’t be bothered to concern themselves with touching anything to do with business. I had no idea this author was an Artiste, but I guess I know that now.
I also know why most anthologists refuse to reprint this author’s work.
I was pretty excited about this non-fiction project when I started it. I missed the publication window because of this agent and this writer. Fortunately, my publisher pushed the deadline back. We’ve pushed it back again, and again, and again. And frankly, I’m not feeling it any more. I have completely soured on the project.
The big bad agent, by the way, negotiated a horseshit deal for the writer that essentially gave me more rights than I would ever need. I offered the usual fee, which the agent did not negotiate up (although he could have). By that point, I was too pissed to give a break to these people. The amount of money—on publication, if there’s a publication—to the agent and the author will be negligible.
Thank you, PJ, for inviting me to guest post on Bookbrowsing. I’ve been so focused on promotion that I haven’t taken the time to analyze my sales. The data I uncovered for this blog has been tremendously insightful. I’ll use it to shape my marketing efforts going forward.
In February of 2017, I published NO REST FOR THE WICKED, Book Three in my Nantucket Mystery series through my Indie imprint, Buccaneer. From the get-go, I’ve tracked the sales results of my promotional efforts to see what worked best. Here is the analysis of those stats.
I used Amazon’s CreateSpace to publish NO REST as a trade paperback, and as a Kindle (.mobi) edition. I did not opt for the Kindle Select program, because I wanted my distribution to be as broad as possible.
I used Smashwords to create the other retailer e-book files I needed (.ePub for Apple…
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Digital Rights Management (DRM) isn’t the elephant in the room; it’s the monster under the bed. We are afraid of it, and we hate it, but how much do we know about it? Let’s get our flashlights, look under the bed, and learn how it all works by watching an actual EPUB be encrypted! Knowing a bit about DRM will help our colleagues and customers better understand what might (or might not) happen to their books, and to make better decisions about such matters.
Download the presentation slides here.