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How do you market a book on Amazon effectively?

Metzge

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Apr 12, 2019
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As the title suggests, I just published my first book on Amazon though I'm unsure how to market it. Granted, I'm used to reading over analytics and doing keyword research and SEO... so I've done my homework for when I set up the listing, including categories, specific keywords, and then the product description text and subtitle. But Amazon doesn't really seem to give much in the way of traffic analytics unless you set up an ad campaign through them (which I did a $100 campaign over the next week just to test those waters and see what that info even looks like). I've also announced on my Facebook, Twitter, and Discord which has a reach of at least 1,300~ people which is certainly small but still a nice group to seed and try to get reviews and hype which will hopefully propel search algorithms in the short-term... but I feel like I can be doing more. Problem is, I don't know what.

Any ideas for how to spread my reach beyond just Amazon? I was thinking Facebook ads too but I still feel like I'm not thinking big enough.

If it helps to answer the question, I can post what the book's about too; I just don't want to seem like I'm self-promoting here though I still do want help with marketing to others.
 

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MTF

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Generally speaking, using paid ads to promote one book is a bad idea. The reason is that your book is priced most likely no higher than $9.99, which means that at most you get $7 per sale. It's very, very difficult to be profitable with paid ads if you're selling a $7 product.

The only exception is if this book is your lead generation tool which then leads to more expensive products. If it's not leading to more sales (whether it's fiction or non-fiction), I'd focus on writing another book instead of wasting time with paid advertising.

If you have more than one book and ideally, they're a part of a series, then paid advertising might make sense because the lifetime value of each reader will be higher. Otherwise, you have few options.

Amazon Ads used to be good about a year or two ago. Now it's so expensive it's IMO not really worth it. Bookbub Ads are pretty good, but only for discounted books. Same for any other book promo sites—pretty good, but only for discounted books. You might get good results networking with other authors and asking them to feature your book in their newsletter, but most authors will probably not respond to your cold emails unless you provide value first.

All in all, book marketing comes down to building a catalog. When you have only one book out, trying to turn a profit makes little sense. Focus on building your audience and writing the next book.

Also, read this post: Your Book Marketing Plan Won't Work
 

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I agree with @MTF.

If it's fiction, working on your next book and keeping it in series is your best bet.

If it's non-fiction and you're using it for lead gen, then work on optimizing your conversions. Assuming your goal is getting them on your list and/or getting them to purchase your product/service/software. Optimizing your lead magnet, landing page, copy, etc...

Also check out Chris Fox's work on writing to market and marketing to market: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074CJPMZ1/?tag=tff-amazonparser-20

Fox has a new book about paid ads. He discusses Amazon, Facebook, Bookbub, and Reddit ads.

Paid ads are the fastest way to get sales now. But, the future of book sales will be in community building. So, you might want to start building a community around your fictional world or your non-fiction topic.
 
OP
OP
Metzge

Metzge

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Apr 12, 2019
12
9
18
NW Washington
rocfeathermedia.com
Generally speaking, using paid ads to promote one book is a bad idea. The reason is that your book is priced most likely no higher than $9.99, which means that at most you get $7 per sale. It's very, very difficult to be profitable with paid ads if you're selling a $7 product.

The only exception is if this book is your lead generation tool which then leads to more expensive products. If it's not leading to more sales (whether it's fiction or non-fiction), I'd focus on writing another book instead of wasting time with paid advertising.

If you have more than one book and ideally, they're a part of a series, then paid advertising might make sense because the lifetime value of each reader will be higher. Otherwise, you have few options.

Amazon Ads used to be good about a year or two ago. Now it's so expensive it's IMO not really worth it. Bookbub Ads are pretty good, but only for discounted books. Same for any other book promo sites—pretty good, but only for discounted books. You might get good results networking with other authors and asking them to feature your book in their newsletter, but most authors will probably not respond to your cold emails unless you provide value first.

All in all, book marketing comes down to building a catalog. When you have only one book out, trying to turn a profit makes little sense. Focus on building your audience and writing the next book.

Also, read this post: Your Book Marketing Plan Won't Work
Soooo.. super happy you told me this because it makes a lot of sense and my campaign was barely two days deep so I paused that indefinitely. I've already sold a few dozen copies but it would've only been enough to *just* cover the ad costs if I went with the full $100 I budgeted for it but still.. that's no longer a problem and I have you to thank. So thank you. :D

Admittedly, it's a loose autobiography; a short coming-of-age type story that details my struggles after my grandma passed away, I dropped out of school, and was stuck in a food service rut. Topically here, it was my FTE and how I used it to propel myself forward, dealing with the depression and anxiety, starting my freelance writing career, and finishing school. I'm not intending the book itself to make me money (though the royalties so far are nice) but I felt the story was of value to share and a few of the people I used as a sample group (both who knew me and didn't) all were like "holy shit, share this."

Though that brings me to the other response...

I agree with @MTF.

If it's fiction, working on your next book and keeping it in series is your best bet.

If it's non-fiction and you're using it for lead gen, then work on optimizing your conversions. Assuming your goal is getting them on your list and/or getting them to purchase your product/service/software. Optimizing your lead magnet, landing page, copy, etc...

Also check out Chris Fox's work on writing to market and marketing to market: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074CJPMZ1/?tag=tff-amazonparser-20

Fox has a new book about paid ads. He discusses Amazon, Facebook, Bookbub, and Reddit ads.

Paid ads are the fastest way to get sales now. But, the future of book sales will be in community building. So, you might want to start building a community around your fictional world or your non-fiction topic.
I already have a community I've built through my video game and entrepreneurial websites and I'm currently leveraging both to build my Twitch channel. I'm a slut for gaming and business stuff and content creation so all of this folds together nicely (my Twitch channel's whole theme is highlighting process of improvement so I don't necessarily play to win as a primary focus, just to get better and then if I win, I win. XD but I use it as a means to show my philosophy with entrepreneurialism and the whole process > event stuff Millionaire Fastlane and Unscripted talk about too).

Because of the way the book is written (and especially because I think I'm too emotionally drained to write another non-fiction piece based off my life) as a series of letters, I was going to continue building a community around it on Instagram, continuing the letters and attaching different pictures since I love nature and landscape photography.. which can also then be used as a marketing piece for the book, me as a writer/content creator, and to hopefully help people since the whole point of the book was to help others realize they're not as alone as they think they are and that uncertainty, sadness, aimlessness, and loneliness aren't unique to them.

But yeah, thanks for the ideas, friends. This is certainly validating. I guess I'm just trying to find ways to seed the book in the short-term and see what happens from there. I'm not trying to rely on it to be a main source of income but it's certainly a nice feather in my cap now to say I'm a published author when people are interested in hiring me as a writer.
 
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Alexj

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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May 3, 2019
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Soooo.. super happy you told me this because it makes a lot of sense and my campaign was barely two days deep so I paused that indefinitely. I've already sold a few dozen copies but it would've only been enough to *just* cover the ad costs if I went with the full $100 I budgeted for it but still.. that's no longer a problem and I have you to thank. So thank you. :D

Admittedly, it's a loose autobiography; a short coming-of-age type story that details my struggles after my grandma passed away, I dropped out of school, and was stuck in a food service rut. Topically here, it was my FTE and how I used it to propel myself forward, dealing with the depression and anxiety, starting my freelance writing career, and finishing school. I'm not intending the book itself to make me money (though the royalties so far are nice) but I felt the story was of value to share and a few of the people I used as a sample group (both who knew me and didn't) all were like "holy shit, share this."

Though that brings me to the other response...



I already have a community I've built through my video game and entrepreneurial websites and I'm currently leveraging both to build my Twitch channel. I'm a slut for gaming and business stuff and content creation so all of this folds together nicely (my Twitch channel's whole theme is highlighting process of improvement so I don't necessarily play to win as a primary focus, just to get better and then if I win, I win. XD but I use it as a means to show my philosophy with entrepreneurialism and the whole process > event stuff Millionaire Fastlane and Unscripted talk about too).

Because of the way the book is written (and especially because I think I'm too emotionally drained to write another non-fiction piece based off my life) as a series of letters, I was going to continue building a community around it on Instagram, continuing the letters and attaching different pictures since I love nature and landscape photography.. which can also then be used as a marketing piece for the book, me as a writer/content creator, and to hopefully help people since the whole point of the book was to help others realize they're not as alone as they think they are and that uncertainty, sadness, aimlessness, and loneliness aren't unique to them.

But yeah, thanks for the ideas, friends. This is certainly validating. I guess I'm just trying to find ways to seed the book in the short-term and see what happens from there. I'm not trying to rely on it to be a main source of income but it's certainly a nice feather in my cap now to say I'm a published author when people are interested in hiring me as a writer.
I am profitable with Ads on Amazon for books. The profit margins are less, but it's a nice source of passive income.
 

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