If you’re an author considering how you can leverage Amazon’s Kindle Reader to promote and sell your book(s), here is the single biggest piece of advice I can give you -
- If you have more than 1 book to sell, seriously consider giving away 1 of your books for free. At least to Kindle owners, and ideally to anyone who’ll read the ebook. John Scalzi has some results from his free book giveaway(do read the comments). Paulo Coelho also talks about this effect and he even has a Pirate Coelho Free Book blog towards this end. The specific example he quotes is – ” In 2001, I sold 10,000 hard copies. And everyone was puzzled. We came from zero, from 1000, to 10,000. And then the next year we were over 100,000.”Edit: Sales increased from 1,000 copies a year after Coelho’s book became available for free as a pirated version.
- This point is so important I’ll state it again – Give away part of what you have to offer for free – there are two factors here – Firstly, there’s reciprocation – if we get something that we benefit from, because of our evolutionary behavior patterns, we feel indebted to respond. So, provided your book is good and/or provides some value, people will buy it and your other books. Secondly, giving away a book for free is your customer acquisition cost. A lot of companies factor in customer acquisition costs of hundreds of dollars because over the customer’s lifetime the customer is worth much more than even this relatively high acquisition cost. If you can get customers at zero acquisition cost, just by offering a free kindle book, that’s a steal.
A few more tips -
- Do look at Amazon’s DTP solution. It’s a valuable resource. Also if you’re publishing for the Kindle and want some help, consider Joshua Talent’s Kindle Book Formatting services. (P.S. if you’re a regular thekindle reader or booksummit member with a similar service let me know and I’ll add you in).
- Do look at having your book on Lulu, and targeting formats besides the Kindle Reader format.
- Start participating in forums and book social networks like goodreads.com, librarything.com, etc.
- Start your own blog, and start getting rankings for your own name, and for your books’ titles. Make sure it’s on a domain you own. Don’t do mikenash.wordpress.com because they won’t let you advertise on it down the line. Blog at least once a week. Ideally once a day.
I’ll add more to this article in time. However, the Kindle is a new emerging market – get in here before it’s overcrowded. Right now, there is a huge opportunity to establish your brand and name. Soon, everyone will know about this, and users will be swamped in the deluge of people trying to give away their books and gain recognition and mindspace. This is the market, Now is the time.