Advertising and Marketing

An easy way to generate keywords for non-fiction

By: Ginger | Posted on December 31, 2021

When it comes to finding relevant search keywords for your book, not all of the techniques you may be familiar with work for all types of books. How readers search for the book they’re interested in is a big factor in how you come up with your keyword list, and this is specifically relevant when it comes to whether your book is fiction or non-fiction.  To generate keywords for non-fiction books, it’s not simply a matter of finding similar authors or analyzing the also bought list. Fortunately, there are tools available that can help, and Ginger is here to give you some tips on which ones to use and how to use them.   Advertising on Amazon has a notoriously steep learning curve. However, if you self-publish non-fiction books, there is one tool at your disposal that can help shortcut a lot of the hard work. The secret to effective… Read More >

Should you advertise direct to your Series Page?

By: Ginger | Posted on December 24, 2021

It’s an unfortunate reality that many authors cringe when they hear that Amazon has made yet another change to their storefront with regards to how product pages are displayed or laid out. After all, it seems like more often than not those changes are more of a benefit to Amazon than to the actual author whose book is being sold on that page. So it’s a welcome relief to learn that they’ve finally added something that is actually useful. For authors that like to write books as part of a series, Amazon now allows more customization around how your series landing page looks and acts, making it a much more powerful tool for selling multiple books. Here’s Ginger with how you can start taking advantage of this!   It’s a pretty well-established fact that the most successful self-published authors tend to write multiple books – often as part of a… Read More >

Has Apple’s recent update killed your Facebook ad performance?

By: Ginger | Posted on December 17, 2021

One of the constants of being a self-published author is that just when you think you have this game all figured out, one of the other players goes and changes the rules and throws everyone back a few steps. This time, it wasn’t one of the usual suspects making our lives more difficult, and what was done wasn’t targeting authors at all, but many of us  have been negatively affected nonetheless.  I’m taking about Apple’s recent ‘Do Not Track’ 14.5 iOS update. Designed to improve the privacy of Apple users, one of the side effects has been that authors everywhere are seeing their Facebook ad performance drop significantly. Today, Ginger goes into some detail about why this is happening, and some of the things you can do to try and compensate for it.   Earlier this year, Apple announced that their IOS 14.5 update would include a “Do Not Track”… Read More >

Updated your book? Now test the results.

By: Ginger | Posted on December 10, 2021

As a self-published author, you’re probably very aware that your book isn’t done just because you’ve finished writing. You’re still ultimately responsible for putting together all of that “other stuff” that helps actually sell the thing. I’m talking about blurbs, covers, or any of the other details that make up an enticing product page. But unless you’re also a marketing expert, you may not get all those things right on the first try, and missing the mark on them can lead to poor sales for even a great book. That’s why you should never shy away from making changes if you think you’ve identified an issue, regardless of whether your book is already published or not. But even if those adjustments don’t lead to a dramatic or immediately obvious change in sales doesn’t mean they didn’t make a difference. You’ll only know for sure if you carefully measure and test… Read More >

Don’t forget to curate your back catalog!

By: Ginger | Posted on December 3, 2021

Authors get better with every book they write and publish – that’s inevitable. However, readers often like to start from the beginning of an author’s back catalog and work their way through. How do you avoid losing these potential fans when they insist on starting with your not-so-strong books?  Ginger offers up a couple of ideas.   There’s a famous parable about a pottery class in which the students were divided into two groups. One group was assigned to make the best, most perfect pot they could. The other group was assigned to make as many pots as they could – they’d be judged on quantity, not quality. The result? The students who’d made the most pots had also made the best ones – repeatedly. They’d easily beaten the best efforts of the group who’d been asked to make a single, perfect pot because practice makes perfect – while perfectionism… Read More >

Tweak your Sales Strategy before Cyber Monday!

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on November 12, 2021

Every year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday seem to grow bigger as consumers save up their money for when they think they’ll get the most bang for their buck. But most of the really big deals are limited, and not everyone is looking for a new 60 inch TV or fancy espresso machine anyway.  There are plenty of consumers that don’t even know what they want, and they’ll just be browsing online on Cyber Monday for anything that catches their fancy. And that’s why authors are missing an opportunity if they don’t try to capitalize on all those new eyeballs. Here are a few ways to get yourself and your catalog ready for the biggest online sales day of the year.   For decades, America has been gripped by Black Friday fever. The day after Thanksgiving – the last Friday in November – is when department stores and retailers traditionally… Read More >

“A Novel” is not a suitable subtitle for your book

By: Ginger | Posted on November 5, 2021

As a self-published author, you have probably heard the advice not to re-invent the wheel, and that sometimes it’s not a bad idea to pay attention to current trends, in case there is something you can use to help attract more eyeballs to your own book. One example of that would be looking at the covers of best sellers in your genre to get a feel for common concepts or elements that are currently attracting attention, and then incorporating some of those into your own design. But that doesn’t mean that everything is worth copying, and sometimes you have to really consider whether something is actually a good idea, even in cases where you see other authors doing it. After all, just because Billy jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge doesn’t mean you have to, right? (Hopefully some parents get that…) So today, Ginger is here to warn you against one… Read More >

The startling importance of your “Look Inside”

By: Ginger | Posted on October 22, 2021

I never feel my age as much as when I catch myself referring to the “good old days”, and yet with self-publishing I can’t help but think back about how much easier things were (or at least seemed) back when the online eBook landscape wasn’t so crowded. With less books to choose from, it didn’t matter as much if you clearly did your own covers or hadn’t tweaked your blurb to perfection. Writing in less popular sub-genres was no big deal, either, because while there were fewer readers, they were hungry for content and there weren’t many authors feeding each niche.  And don’t even get me started on advertising! It not only cost less but gave a much better return.  True, those days are gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make money as a self-published author anymore – you just have to pay a lot more attention to the… Read More >

Are KDP Select 5 day free promotions still worth running?

By: Ginger | Posted on October 15, 2021

The self-publishing landscape shifts and transforms itself so regularly that it’s always a good idea to test the waters and try new things. What was once best practice often becomes less effective, and if you are afraid of change then you’re in danger of being left behind. For many reasons, I see more and more authors dipping their toe into the wide waters, eschewing Amazon exclusivity for a chance to reach a different audience. Many of those authors flocked to KU when it was new, to the point where it actually seemed like a bunch of those other big eBook retailers were on the brink of collapse. But what once may have seemed like a no-brainer to some now feels more like a pair of handcuffs they’re anxious to cast off. Many of the things that made KU worth trying at first were negatively altered with each new iteration, and… Read More >

Is it worth having an author website?

By: Ginger | Posted on August 27, 2021

A little while back, Virginie Carmichael went into the ins and outs of having your own author website, but one of the questions that still remains for many authors is whether they really need one in the first place. With Facebook Pages and Amazon Author Central accounts both offering a place to reach and communicate with readers, some authors think investing in a domain name and website is a waste of time and money. For some further perspective on the question, Ginger is here to weigh in with his own views on the pros and cons of investing in your own website.   Is it worth investing in an author website? We’re nearly two decades past the “dot com” boom, and these days people are far more likely to ask for your ‘handle’ than your ‘dot com’ when they want to keep in contact with you – which raises the… Read More >