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Advertising and Marketing

Stretching Your Ad Budget (Part 1) – Selling Books

By: Ginger | Posted on October 11, 2019

As an independent author without a large publisher with deep marketing pockets bankrolling your book, how you spend your limited advertising budget is something you have to think carefully about. Not only do you need to consider how and where to spend your money, but what your overall marketing goals are in the first place.  Sure, selling more books is the obvious one and certainly provides the most immediate results – but there are some longer term strategies that advertising can also be used for, such as growing your mailing list or promoting free copies of your book (which itself can increase sales). In this three part series, we’ll go over how to get the most out of your advertising dollar for each of these strategies, starting with the one all of us are most interested in – selling more copies! (And don’t forget to take part in the survey… Read More >

Getting Started With Facebook Ads

By: Ginger | Posted on September 13, 2019

There’s no denying that Facebook advertising gets results, but with so many options a lot of authors are left confused at how to begin or what types of ads they should be spending their money on. Advertising expert Ginger is back this week to help guide you through the options and give you some examples to help make the process easier to understand and get started on. Because after all, if you aren’t advertising your book, you’re unlikely to achieve the level of success you’re probably hoping for. Understanding Facebook advertising can transform the trajectory of your book – but only if you do it right. If the Russians can allegedly skew the results of the US election through the power of Facebook, you should be able to sell more copies of your books on ‘the social network.’ With nearly 2 billion active users, there’s perhaps no quicker or easier… Read More >

The Author’s Guide to Facebook

By: Ginger | Posted on September 6, 2019

One of the most important but misunderstood tools for an author to use is Facebook.  Do you set up an account, or a page?  What can you do with it once it’s set up? What do you post? If any of these things have kept you from using Facebook to promote your author brand, our resident advertising and marketing expert Ginger has the answers you’ve been looking for to get started. Don’t hold off on using this powerful marketing platform any longer! Facebook is a powerful tool for authors – here’s how to get started with it. Love it or hate it, but Facebook is here to stay – and as an author, it’s one of the most powerful tools you have for connecting easily, accessibly and meaningfully with your readers. In fact, as an author, if you don’t have an active Facebook page, you’re missing a trick – and,… Read More >

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Sticking with Amazon’s KDP Select, or Going Wide?

By: Ginger | Posted on August 30, 2019

One of the most frequently asked questions about self-publishing is whether or not to sell your books on Amazon exclusively, or to ‘go wide’, sending them out to a multitude of different online bookstores. There’s no one right answer, just like there is no one right way to write a book – so today Ginger is diving into the issue to give you some of the pros and cons – and also on what his choice is, how he made it, and some ideas on how you can decide for yourself. Of course, this is just one author’s opinion – and if you have one of your own, please let us know via the comments below. This is definitely a conversation that benefits the community most when we hear from many different sources… What are the benefits of ‘going wide’ when it comes to your books? So, let’s not beat… Read More >

Getting the Most Out of Amazon Advertising

By: Ginger | Posted on August 16, 2019

There’s more to advertising on Amazon than just finding a bunch of great keywords and plunking them down, waiting for the money to roll in.  Amazon advertising is a complex system, and the key to squeezing the most profit out of it is in truly understanding how it works. This long and detailed breakdown by advertising expert Ginger does just that, giving you the how and why the system works the way it does, as well as a number of tips and examples to help you get the most out of your keywords and Advertising on Amazon in general. I paid my money – where’s my profit? Like many authors, when Amazon launched their Amazon Marketing Services – now Advertising on Amazon – I was stoked. FINALLY, I’d thought – a way for me to throw money at my books and get them in front of the readers who want… Read More >

Sell More Books with an Optimized Author Central Account

By: Penny C. Sansevieri | Posted on August 9, 2019

If you publish on Amazon, understanding the importance of your Author Central account and what you need to do to keep it updated is essential. Author marketing expert Penny Sansevieri spends her days helping authors sell more books, and so she knows all about how to optimize Author Central to help do just that.  We’re grateful she’s agreed to share a number of tips and suggestions with us on how to make your book stand out from all the others! As an author you’ve no doubt spent a lot of time determining the most lucrative keywords and categories on Amazon, but too few overlooking the juice you can get by optimizing your Amazon Author Central Page with all the free features that come along with it. First I want to point out that technically every author on Amazon is represented by Author Central, but it’s really doing you no good… Read More >

Successful Self-Publishing – It’s All About the Conversions

By: Ginger | Posted on August 2, 2019

Advertising expert Ginger is back this week with some more thoughts on what happens after you’ve written and published your book – specifically how to advertise, promote and hopefully sell copies to eager readers! Today, he’s talking about the cornerstone of any successful promotional campaign – conversions. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article about how to make sense of your Amazon Advertising facts and figures – and I had a few questions from readers about one important aspect of that: Conversions. Conversions are the technical term for when you ‘convert’ a visitor to your Amazon product page to a paying customer; or, in short, when they buy your book! In terms of successful self-publishing, any promotional efforts you make to drive potential customers to your product page need to result in a good percentage of ‘conversions’ – otherwise you’re leading horses to water, but none of them… Read More >

Making Sense of Amazon Advertising

By: Ginger | Posted on July 19, 2019

Amazon Advertising – until recently known as Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) – is an increasingly important part of any self-published author’s strategy but many authors are confused by how it works and how to interpret their results. Fortunately, Hidden Gems advertising expert Ginger is here to walk us through the basics – how to get started, what some common problems mean and how to solve them, and how to make it all work for you! The ability to have your book displayed as a clickable link on the product page of similar authors – presented to Amazon customers already searching for books to read – is a game-changer. However, Amazon Advertising has a notoriously steep learning curve, and successful advertisers need to keep a constant eye on their campaigns. In this post, we’re going to try to answer some of the more common questions would-be advertisers have, and help translate… Read More >

Is Amazon taking Author Advertising too far?

By: Ginger | Posted on May 24, 2019

Amazon has been experimenting with their ‘sponsored’ adverts for books – placing them in ever-more prevalent positions throughout a customer’s shopping experience. The question is – have they taken it too far, and have these Amazon advertising spots begun to negatively impact both the success of authors and the reader experience?  Ginger gives his opinion on the issue. What do you think? Recently, I was on Amazon organizing my catalog of books – and like I’ve done a thousand times, I typed my pen name into the search bar expecting to see all the books that come up related to it, independent of my Author Profile page. What did I get instead? Two ‘Sponsored’ books, neither of which were mine. My books were there – but ‘beneath the fold’. This means I actually had to scroll down before I’d even get to see any books relevant to the terms I’d… Read More >

The Hidden Gems Amazon Blurb Tool

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on May 10, 2019

When it comes to selling your book, the importance of a strong cover and blurb cannot be overstated, which is why we keep coming back to the topic.  The thumbnail of your cover is the eye candy that will draw readers in to click, and a strong blurb will convert that click into a sale. But merely knowing what to include in your book description isn’t the only step.  Just as a cover needs to draw the reader in from just a thumbnail, your Amazon blurb has only a few lines to grab their attention and make them want to click through and read the whole thing. And if you confront them with a big block of text, you’re much more likely to lose the sale than if your description is a well formatted, easy-to-read masterpiece. Headers, bold type, underlining, italics… …they’re not just for blogs anymore!  Your Amazon blurb… Read More >