Author Promotions


#1

I have spent a small fortune on promoting my books from Amazon -over 70 of them with no results and I know many are well written. What can I do?


#2

Are you saying you wrote them yourself? What kind of promotion did you do?
Or you bought 70 reviews?


#3

Yes, because I would like to know as well… i. too am in the market for selling/promoting my own literature and every piece of experience-based knowledge helps!

–I.C.E.


#4

You learn how to market yourself. It isn’t difficult.

If you purchased reviews, then it will be obvious to anybody looking at your books on Amazon that you have purchased them.


#5

Use better keywords, ensure your covers aren’t ghastly, if you’re in the fact market make sure you’re targeting profitable niche categories that aren’t over-saturated, send your books to promotional FB/TW/etc pages, create a website to market them from, hit up relevant niches to see if they accept guest posts without pay so you can slot a book in them, use kindle free books to promote the rest of your catalog (use a GOOD book to do this), join ku if you haven’t already, do some ARCs especially if writing fiction (romance in particular).

You can also tie in promotional paid for stuff like bookbub, but if you want to make $$$ these days, the days when you could just shove any old rubbish off and make thousands a month are long gone. Not that I’m saying your books are rubbish–but they are lost in a sea of other books, so the onus is on you to promote yourself. I speak as someone who could never quite break the code and got bored with all the work for old rope, but I do know people making $10,000+ a month, and one who really has cracked the code. The above is all a part of that strategy. And always, always keep your ear to the ground on what Amazon is doing, which means actively participating in forums where these strategies are discussed.

This will save you a lot of money and get you exposure, but you’ll have to decide whether you want to put the time in.

EDIT: forgot making your own list. Email marketing matters too. Make sure you’ve got a link to your autoresponder email in the backmatter and frontmatter of your books and send out an email every time a new book comes out, send snippets, tips/short stories every so often. AWeber and MailChimp are good for this but you need a US postal address, I think (get a PO Box if you don’t want weirdos camping outside your home). You can also put an author email in your about author page on Amazon to get fan mail to easily up your ARCs etc (which means reviews I think the Zon is OK with, as long as they mention they got a free book).

At the end of the day, as a self-publisher, you’re responsible for your own marketing dept. Once the $ flow in you can consider hiring a good VA at a decent rate p.m to take care of all of this. And I mean a decent rate–good English speakers in third world countries are a blessing for successful self-pubbers)


#6

Great tips!


#7

I looked at your Amazon page and I can see why you may have had trouble. You say that many are well written, but that’s a bit of a stretch. “Trump Verses Carson” instead of “Trump Versus Carson,” a book with “Marriagee” in the title, etc. No amount of Fiverr-purchased promotion is going to make up for that kind of thing. I’m not a perfect editor either and I haven’t read your books so they might be better on the inside, but good idea or not, people do judge books by first impressions if not literally by the cover.

It might not be a bad idea either to use pseudonyms for books in such a wide genre variety. You’ve got “The Life of Jesus” and “Hot Kitty” under this name. Some of the book covers look like they may be taken from Windows wallpaper. I think you might be throwing money away on gigs that aren’t going to help in the areas where you really need it.

Promotion could take a back seat for now while you might need a good proofreader, maybe a copywriter to come up with some pseudonyms and better book titles, and re-do some of your covers with a strong well-rated cover e-book cover designer. I also see that you’ve been trying hard to make multiple posts in the Fiverr forums hoping to sneak in some more promos for your books and gig under the guise of questions and rants. That’s not going to fly here, so I don’t recommend it as a marketing strategy.


#8

You could release a book called “JUSUS ATE MY PRIZE HORSE IN THE NAME OF CHRIST” as a book of anecdotes.


#9

Sugarcubes, by the way.


#10

yes no reviews


#11

Thank you


#12

Je vous en prie. You could make a book about frosty politesse. Go on, I’d buy it.


#13

That or the grand prix.


#14

Oh dear, dear, dear. I read a lot and I actually dared to think one of these books looked interesting.

Edit: Due to the fact that I decided to make a direct comment to the Fiverr user about this thread, I also decided to eliminate a comment I made here. It’s not to change my opinions in any way, just a judgement call. I will say that I cannot recommend the books in good conscious.


#15

Oh dear, Brenda. You’ve been pretty casual with those Amazon rules, haven’t you? After giving you some chances (as a reader and a Fiverr user) I think the only gigs you might need on Fiverr could be ones for legal advice. I mean, like, something involving a real lawyer too.

I almost feel bad for you except that it isn’t fair to take people’s money for books that aren’t what you say they are. It makes Amazon look bad, it makes other indie authors look bad and it’s downright not cool.


#16

Branda, I’ve read your few existing “book” reviews on Amazon. Those are some deeply unflattering reviews. And the even fewer glowing 5-star reviews read as though people were paid to write them. And, as much as I hate to say this, I don’t think you can consider a 5-page product to be an actual book.

Perhaps you have some other skills – other than writing – that might be more marketable? I don’t think your writing gig is going to be a good fit for Fiverr. And Fiverr isn’t the place to be promoting your “books” on Amazon.


#17

Oh dear, Brenda. I do have to join the chorus here. Following my tips above won’t help you at all. In fact, you have gone to significant lengths just to break just about every rule in Amazon’s KDP TOS.

Two of your books are carbon copies of each other (at least, from the free preview) with the names changed. This is a massive no-no. Amazon hates mirrors like this, and its poor practice.

Another book, focusing on a distinct American cuisine, has this review: “I have not read the book but in order to be allowed to go father I have to give a review.”

Another book is so short there is no sample. The preview literally shows a picture and that’s it. Given that Amazon shows 10% of any given book in the preview, this indicates the shortness. For example, a short story of 5000 words would yield a 1000 word preview. However, none of yours appear to exceed this length. That’s not exactly against KDP rules, but enough complaints will get your account into issues.

As others have noted, it’s really quite obvious when you have paid reviews.

Really the list goes on so much here that no amount of help will get your book sales to improve. People will buy books and borrow them in bucketloads on Amazon–but they still want well-written books that actually help them. Yours fail on both fronts, and in some cases are simply duplicates, or even feel like they’re quick copy-pastes from forums on a subject.

All in all, 70 books is impressive, until you look under the hood. I have over 200 books, and they’re all 5000 words minimum, so I do know what I am talking about. They’re not selling so well now because they’re old and I’m inactive as a publisher at the moment. You are at high risk for having Amazon investigate your books and blocking them–an action that usually comes with an account termination. you may or may not be aware that this will result in Amazon keeping the last 3 months of your profits.

Your best bet is to remove them all from the store when you still have a choice–and an account.


#18

Final point–you boast about your “hot topic” Trump/Carson book in your Fiverr profile. It looks to me like someone else wrote it. Jumps in quality are also not great. A consistent style is. Anyway, I could pick apart a lot more, but you’ve a lot of work to do.

EDIT: and what’s up with the preview of your abortion book? It appears to be two tech businessmen using fragmented taglines for computer chips. Hmmm?


#19

Brutal, Brutal, Brutal!


#20

I like the price on Amazon of your books, $0. I looked at the preview for the book Cybercriminals and it’s just a picture of someone’s bedroom. I’m a little confused.

I’m not sure that any amount of promotion will help books that were written with a text generator. I’ve seen lots of books like that on Amazon.
I’m not saying this is true of your books but in general. My point is that well written books that people will pay for seem to do pretty well.