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Advertising and Marketing

Combining Entrepreneurialism and Self-Publishing – The “Billy Houston Method”

By: Ginger | Posted on March 27, 2020

Recently, we interviewed Australian entrepreneur and author Greg Holman, and one of the nuggets he shared in his debut novel, Billy Houston Rags to Riches, was the secret to a successful business. And while you may be one of those authors that embraced storytelling as a way to leave that world behind and be your own boss, you would be making a mistake by ignoring it completely. There are many parallels between running a business and self-publishing your book, which means that a lot of Billy Houston’s advice can be used to make your own career more successful. In his novel, serial entrepreneur Billy Houston imparts some of Greg’s real-life wisdom (as the author himself is a massively successful entrepreneur) and it resonated deeply with me as a self-published author. Process, leverage, and distribution – the three guiding business principles that would guide my business endeavors. You might wonder what… Read More >

The 5 Golden Rules of Advertising Your Book

By: Ginger | Posted on March 13, 2020

When it comes to advertising your book, advice is plentiful – both on our site and elsewhere.  And while it’s vitally important to understand things like where best to spend your ad dollars, what type of ads to design, or how to figure out which audience to target, there are some much more general concepts that should be applied to all of that knowledge.  Because even if you’ve mastered everything technical about creating ads, if you don’t grasp these golden rules of advertising, you may still end up wasting a lot of money or letting opportunities slip through your fingers. When I’m asked for advice about marketing and advertising books, one phrase keeps returning to my lips – don’t be afraid not to spend money. It’s originally attributed to Warren Buffet – but I’ve found that world-class investing advice also extends to selling books! In an author’s journey, there are… Read More >

Using Amazon Affiliate Links to Promote Your Books

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on February 14, 2020

You want to sell more copies of your books? You want to earn a little extra money while doing so? Well, Amazon Affiliate links promise all that and more – but in addition to understanding what they are, it’s important to know the rules surrounding them as well; especially as it pertains to books. Since the dawn of time, salesmen have worked off commission. This is the little percentage of the purchase price they get when they convince somebody else to buy something. It’s a powerful tool, because it means manufacturers can focus on their product, and eager salespeople can focus on getting that product paid for and into the hands of eager customers. As the largest retailer in the world, it’s no surprise that Amazon is all over affiliate marketing. They have a powerful program you can sign up to at which enables you to generate unique URLS… Read More >

Stop Fishing for a Best Seller – Find Your Hook!

By: Ginger | Posted on February 7, 2020

With so many of the ingredients that go into a novel usually coming after actually writing it (like cover, blurb, marketing), it’s easy to forget about a very important thing that should be done first.  If you’re serious about becoming a self-published author, you’ve got to understand that the success or failure of your book often occurs before you’ve even written a single word – and it all depends on your hook. A little over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about the Fundamentals of the Successful Book – and I spoke about how the cover, blurb, and formatting of a book are so essential for your success as an author. Your book is important, don’t get me wrong – the most important thing – but unless you nail the cover, blurb, and formatting you’ll find a serious problem actually getting people to read your book and find… Read More >

Why Your Back Matter Matters

By: Ginger | Posted on January 24, 2020

With any luck, the final page of your book has left your reader eager for more. But how do you make sure they find that next fix immediately, before their attention is pulled away to something else? This is why back matter – the material in the final pages of your book – is so important to the organic growth of your writing career. But you can’t, and shouldn’t, drop just anything back there.  The trick is including the most effective content needed to achieve your publishing goals without breaking any rules. There’s a long list of things I wish I’d known before I started trying to launch a self-publishing career, so even though I worry that I’m explaining the obvious when I make posts like this, I’m hoping somebody finds value in them – I know I would have, a few years ago. Today, I want to talk about… Read More >

5 Tips for Social Media that Sells Books

By: Ginger | Posted on December 13, 2019

The most successful authors I know have one thing in common, they not only spend time on social media, but they do it right.  For some, social media comes easy but for others, it’s a grind. There are ways to make it easier, though, and even if you just do a little it’ll be better than doing nothing at all.  But you can’t just spam them with links to buy your latest book, there’s more to it than that… There’s a lot of money in social media… apparently. But a lot of authors I speak to don’t seem to be seeing any of it, or don’t know how to leverage their social media platforms to generate engagement and sales. One common refrain is: “I don’t really know what to post” and for that reason, they don’t post anything.  Other authors spend time and effort posting links to their books and… Read More >

Are You Getting Your Categories Right?

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on November 29, 2019

Which category your book is listed under can have a massive influence on how well your book sells, so it’s worth making sure you get it right. Understanding how Amazon organizes their virtual bookstore – and more importantly what factors they use to determine what goes where – can help increase your sales by making sure more of the right customers are seeing your book. Before I write any author blogs, I’m always struck with a dilemma: Is what I’m going to write about too obvious? Does everybody know about it? Normally, if I take the plunge and write the blog anyway, it all becomes worthwhile when I receive an email from a reader saying: “Thank you! I never knew that before.” I face a similar dilemma with this blog post – which addresses the topic of categories. Categories are the silo your self-published book falls into in Amazon’s systems… Read More >

Stretching Your Ad Budget (Part 3) – Increasing Visibility

By: Ginger | Posted on November 8, 2019

In the first two parts of this series, we discussed a couple of different strategies you might want to use your marketing dollars for, but at the end of the day the goal of any author comes down to one of two things (and often both).  Selling more books, and getting more readers. In either case, increasing the visibility of your book is key – you run ads on your books so that more people see them, you increase your readership so more people know about you and talk about you, which also leads to more sales and more readers. Running ads to sell books or grow your subscriber base are great ways to do this, but there is another way you can make readers more aware of your book – by weaving its presence directly into the digital algorithms of Amazon itself. Each of the parts of this series… Read More >

Make Amazon’s Sales Rank Work for You

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on November 1, 2019

If you’re an author that ignores the Amazon Best Seller Rank (ABSR or Sales Rank) because you think it just exists to stroke the ego of successful authors or because you don’t think you have enough sales to ever get to the top, then it may be time to reconsider and start paying attention to it. Because even though only the #1 spot bestows a bestseller label to your book, just getting in the top 100 can be massively beneficial to your sales. Think of it as free promotion targeting all the readers that search for new books by browsing the top lists (which a great many do).  The best part is that there isn’t just one bestseller, or one top list, but many of them – one for each genre and many sub-categories within those genres – which means that you don’t need thousands (or even hundreds) of sales… Read More >

Stretching Your Ad Budget (Part 2) – Gaining Subscribers

By: Ginger | Posted on October 25, 2019

In part one of this series, we discussed using your ad budget to sell more books, but there are other goals that successful authors use advertising for, such as growing the core group of fans that they can reach regularly via their mailing list.  Instead of spending your ad dollars on selling a book once to a random person, you can instead spend those same dollars to have that person join your list so that you can sell to them over and over again in the future – without any additional costs.  That makes gaining subscribers one of the most effective investments you can make. In part one, we discussed the challenge of getting the most value from your advertising budget – and how important the concept of strategy was. Tactics are the specific things you do to achieve your goals – which platforms you use, for example – whereas… Read More >