By Gina Barlean –
So, you want to sell your books on Amazon? There is no magic to it, just hard work. Before you bother trying to figure out the secret handshake, I’ll tell you what most authors will tell you: First, write a darn good book.
If you’re an indie author, the next thing you should do is hire a darn good editor, then a professional cover designer, then write an amazing book blurb. Write the kind of blurb that will grab the readers by the front of their shirt and hold their attention.
For indies, it’s all about free. You can create a FaceBook page for your book to build excitement, list your book on Goodreads, make a book trailer and then advertise it on indietrailers.wordpress.com. All of these things are free.
Keep getting your name out there. You can make an About me page. Get on Twitter. Run contests or give aways on your FB page and on Goodreads. Coax your local papers into running press releases. Chat it up on Kindle Boards. Run an ad inBookbub, or on EReader News Today. All of these ideas will work in your favor, some free, some not.
But let’s talk free promotion on Amazon. First go to Author Central, a free webpage you can create on the Amazon site. Show the world who you are. Here, readers can see your latest tweet, read your biography and see your head shot and bibliography. This is my Amazon author page: Gina’s Amazon Page !
To publish on Kindle, go to this link: https://kdp.amazon.com/ This is where indie authors upload books to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and fill out the rights, pricing, and book information. You can change the information after publication, if need be. The ability to change is nice as you can play with your price and the blurb.
KDP Select is an Amazon program you can opt into for additional promotion. There are rules to KDP Select, so read it until you understand before you agree to sign up. With KDP Select, you make a 90-day commitment to sell that ebook only on Amazon. For this commitment, Amazon allows you to make your book free for five days during the 90-day period. The hope is during your free days you will give away enough books to bump your sales ranking higher so the world will actually see your book. The people who pick up your free book will, hopefully, recommend it to others and when you put the price back, people will still buy it.
Gather reviews. Ten is a good number. Ask for them from your beta readers, offer people an Advanced Reader Copy for a fair review, and run giveaways on your Facebook page to encourage reviews. Reviews like these are required for some advertising.
EReader News Today will promote your book for one day and send you a bill for a percentage of sales you make. To advertise on EReader, or Bookbub, or , you will need a certain number of reviews.
Through Kindle Countdown Deals, customers watch your book drop in price and then rise again over a period of days. You must be signed up with KDP Select to use it. I did not see sales when I tried this, but other authors have said Kindle Countdown works best when done along with other offers, e.g., offering one of your books free and running a Countdown on another.
The best advice anyone can ever give is to keep learning. Read until your eyes hurt then read some more. The information is out there. You just have to search for it. To start, read the information on the websites linked in this article.
Gina M. Barlean is the author of four novels. Her most recent, Thorns of Rosewood, a cozy mystery, sold over 1,100 digital copies in April 2014. For more information about Barlean’s books visit, GMBarlean.com.