How time flies. I wrote a post on Amazon Marketing Services in January, 2015. Like many of us, I made a number of attempts at making AMS ads work for me at that time. None of them did and eventually I relegated them to the back burner, intending to revisit them someday.
That “someday” happened about four months ago, when I started hearing of authors who were using the ads effectively. That encouraged me to jump back in and start experimenting with them again. It took quite a few false starts, but by January, I was running a number of ads that were profitable. Now, I am focusing more and more of my time and ad dollars in this arena.
Let’s start with the basics. Continue reading “The Key to Amazon Marketing Services Ads: Keywords”
If you ever spend any time in online groups where there are a lot of early-stage writers, you will find a few common threads. First, of course, they are constantly looking for reassurance. Will someone read through the first paragraph of my novel? Or, I want to write a book about an alien invasion, but they turn out to be cute little bunnies. Will anyone buy that book? Another common malady is what I call First Chapter Syndrome. Writers will have first chapters done for twenty-six books, but have exactly zero chapter twos.
I’ve always thought I might be susceptible to that same syndrome, so I’ve always made myself finish one project before starting another. Oh, sure, I had the “idea file” where I stockpiled future ideas, but I never allowed myself to actually begin to write any of them until I was done with my current project. That way, I figured, I’ll never be one of those guys. Continue reading “Juggling Multiple Writing Projects”
Thank goodness we don’t have to do the Downward Facing Dog. No one wants to see me do that. What we do need, though, is flexibility. Flexibility in all things Indie: how we look at writing itself, how we market, what our covers look like, how long or short our blurbs are: everything.
Indie Publishing was easier four or five years ago. I published my first book in September of 2012. I sold 82 copies that first month, and was thrilled. As soon as I hit the 30-day cliff, though, that booked stopped selling. I sold two copies in a week. So, I did a free promo and gave away almost 25,000 copies. Total cost of that promo? Zero dollars. There was no Bookbub yet, and all the sites were just looking for free books to feature. I applied, they featured me, and the free downloads poured in. Continue reading “Indie Publishing is Like Yoga”
In my years as an Indie publisher, there have been a number of schools of thought as to what it took to be successful. In the salad days of 2012, the advice was, “Do a free run, then sit down and wait for the Brinks truck to back up with your money.” Those were good days, almost certainly too good to last. Since then, the advice has ranged from “write in a series and make the first book free” to “drive sales through Facebook ads,” to “use keywords and sharpened metadata to drive traffic.” Through it all, though, one thing has been constant: you need a mailing list.
The reason why is simple: You control how and when you access a mailing list, as opposed to investing everything into working the Amazon or social media algorithms. The problem with algorithms is, they change. What might be golden today can turn to lead tomorrow. A mailing list is yours forever, though, or at least until someone unsubscribes.
The key frustration I hear from most writers, though, is that it is awfully difficult to build a list into any kind of size that will deliver results. I feel your pain. Let’s look at the various ways to build a mailing list. Continue reading “Mailing Lists and Advanced Readers and Bookfunnel, Oh My!”