Advertising and Marketing

Is self-publishing success easier or more difficult on Amazon these days?

By: Ginger | Posted on July 16, 2021

I’ll admit that I’m guilty of occasionally reminiscing about the “good old days” of writing, back when you could spend more time in your author hat than all of the other hats you have to wear to achieve self-publishing success these days. But I also recognize that we can’t live in the past, and we have to deal with the here and now – which is why so many of our blogs are focused on the skills and tools you need to succeed as an author TODAY. Much has changed over the years, but different doesn’t necessarily mean better or worse. That’s why we thought it would be interesting to look at the question about whether or not all of the changes Amazon has made to self-publishing have made things easier or harder for authors.   Writers are nostalgic. It’s in our DNA. While regular people remember birthdays and anniversaries,… Read More >

From the Mailbox: Amazon Advertising Questions

By: Ginger | Posted on July 9, 2021

Our Friday blogs aim at helping self-published authors by covering broad topics to do with writing, marketing, and advertising their books. Sometimes authors send us questions via email as well, and one of the most asked about topics is Amazon ads. So this week we’ve rounded up some of the most commonly asked Amazon advertising questions that we’ve recently received, and Ginger has put together some answers that will be useful to many of you.   Question #1 I’ve followed all your advice about generating keywords and setting your bid – but my ads aren’t getting any impressions! What am I doing wrong? Advertising is elegant in its simplicity. Normally, there are only three variables you need to worry about, and impressions is one of them. Impressions refers to the number of people who see your ad – and when it comes to Advertising on Amazon, if you’re not getting… Read More >

How the writing career blueprint has changed

By: Ginger | Posted on June 18, 2021

There’s no doubt that the self-publishing landscape has changed a lot in the last few years, and it will undoubtedly continue to evolve. When I first started publishing back in 2013 or so, the rapid release/high volume strategy was definitely the most reliable path to success, and that was without any sort of advertising at all. But as more books started to fill out the digital shelves, it became harder to get noticed. At that point many of us pivoted to using ads, which at first were wildly successful for very little spend, but as competition grew, so did ad prices even as their results became less impressive. Still, many self-published authors continue to earn a living with their writing, but simply having the ability to tell great stories isn’t enough anymore. As Ginger points out, you also need to be willing and able to not only formulate a plan… Read More >

Market to your genre, but write for your audience

By: Ginger | Posted on June 4, 2021

One of the benefits that self-publishing has brought to the book world is a breadth of genres and sub-genres that were previously underserved (if not completely nonexistent).  While those sub-genres may not have been profitable for a big publishing house to chase, due to their smaller overall size, they can still be profitable for an author making the much higher commissions that self-publishing brings. That’s why it can pay to write to your audience if you’re passionate about a type of story that isn’t typically the biggest sellers. The trick is finding that audience that shares your interests and wants to read those stories, which means that even though your story may be unique or different than what’s expected within your genre, your marketing efforts should still continue to conform to norms. Otherwise you may not be able to find and attract that core audience in the first place.  … Read More >

The Logistics of Selling Signed Paperbacks

By: Ginger | Posted on May 28, 2021

I love eBooks, and I admit that it’s been a while since I’ve cracked open a paperback, but there’s no denying that I sometimes miss the feel of holding an actual physical book in my hands. Of course, there are plenty of other readers that prefer hard copies over electronic. But regardless of which end of the spectrum you fall on, there is still something special about getting a signed copy of a book you love. Often these copies are handed out, or sold, in-person by the author at a conference or bookstore signing, but just because you’re a self-published author that never attends these things doesn’t mean you can’t also get in on the action.   Here are the steps that Ginger uses to sell signed copies of his books, but you can also use them to send out free copies as gifts, prizes, or even rewards to valued members… Read More >

Designing Covers by the Numbers

By: Ginger | Posted on May 21, 2021

There’s a reason we keep circling back to the importance of a solid cover. It’s the first thing readers see when confronted by a sea of other choices, and if it can’t entice a click to your product page, it doesn’t matter how great your book is.  I see it all the time with the ARC program as well, because readers are even picky about the books they get for free. Covers that fall flat end up with way fewer sign ups than similar books in the same genre with well-designed covers. Not only should a cover look like it was done by a professional instead of homemade, but it needs to contain the right genre-specific elements to sell the reader on the idea that this book is the one they’ve been looking for. So just as we argued last week in terms of using data to plan your ads,… Read More >

When it comes to your ads, don’t trust your gut!

By: Ginger | Posted on May 14, 2021

Often, the quickest way to fail when it comes to promoting and marketing your book is to make decisions on how you feel. Feelings are great when it’s time for writing, but only cold, clinical data can truly guide you forward after publication – or talk you off the ledge when you’re ready to quit. It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur, a billionaire, or an author looking to market your latest novel – numbers don’t lie!   A few months ago, we published a blog about how to calculate the value of your advertising spend. Since then, I’ve worked with several authors who’ve benefited from a deeper dive into the subject, since it’s one of the biggest and most deadly stumbling blocks for those authors hoping to make a living out of writing. The Importance of Data Billionaires become so through fractions of a percentage. An increase of a… Read More >

Scaling your ads means thinking outside the box

By: Ginger | Posted on May 7, 2021

Any author who has tried to scale their book’s advertising campaign has probably experienced the pain of a corresponding drop off in ad performance. Unfortunately, simply increasing your advertising spend doesn’t mean your sales will also increase at the same rate. In fact, in some cases they may not even increase at all, you’ll just spend more money for the same results! Ginger explains why that is, and offers up some alternative ways at scaling ads up on the different advertising platforms.   I hear the same questions from authors again and again when I do consulting sessions with them – and I’m painfully familiar with them myself, because they normally involve challenges I’ve also encountered on the path of self publishing success. One of the biggest is the issue of scaling your ad spend. Facebook, Advertising on Amazon, or BookBub, it doesn’t really matter where it is – the… Read More >

The Power of Defensive Advertising on Amazon

By: Ginger | Posted on April 23, 2021

There’s nothing worse then spending money on advertising, only to have the readers that land on your product page get distracted by someone else’s sponsored book and click through to that one instead. Even if they don’t buy that book, they might never remember to return to yours, and consequently you may have lost that customer and potential new fan of your work forever. To combat this, there are certain tips and tricks you can use with bids and keywords that will ensure that you own a lot more real estate on your Amazon product pages. It’s called defensive advertising, and Ginger is going to tell us all about it.   One of the most frustrating things about Advertising on Amazon is the fact that the website is almost designed to drive people away from your products. On the product page of your book, you might have multiple competing ribbons… Read More >

Newsletter Promotion Sites deliver bang for your buck

By: Ginger | Posted on April 16, 2021

When it comes time to plan for your new release, if book promotion newsletters aren’t a part of your marketing strategy, you’re missing an important trick!  Newsletters can blast out the details of your book to thousands of customers looking for their next read, which makes them almost as useful and important as Facebook or Amazon ads. There are plenty of newsletters to choose from, which is good because most authors use more than one per release, stacking them for even greater effect. Today, Ginger is giving the low down on these promotions, as well as some of his own top newsletters to try.   In addition to my best-selling romance penname, I recently began publishing books under my real name – which presented me with a unique challenge. After having published 25 books and selling 65,000+ copies in the last few years on that romance penname, I was suddenly… Read More >