Tag Archives: Marketing books

Help with Those Darned “Comps”

Maybe most of us know exactly what genre we’re writing for. Wish I was one of “us.”

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This piece from Penny Sansevieri via Anne R. Allen (the wonderful @annerallen) via Chris the Story Reading Ape (inimitable @Storyreadingape) lays out a path for one of the most onerous tasks for me as I query my WsIP: finding “recent” “best-selling” books that are “similar to my book” yet, of course, slightly inferior.

I. e., “comps” or “comparable titles.”

I’ve read comments by agents on their blogs that if I can’t come up with perfect matches for these descriptors, I just haven’t done my homework.

After wallowing in self-pity for a while, I’ve discovered some of the “homework” assignments Sansevieri suggests, with some decent results. I’ve had the experience of finding that books that come up when I type in my keywords aren’t at all like my books. She offers some ideas for solving that problem I haven’t tried yet.

Tomorrow!

One of my biggest problems, as she suggests, is finding time to read widely enough to locate books in the same universe as mine. I’ve used the “Look Inside” feature to get a general sense if I’m remotely in the right category. Even using that metric, of the three I thought most likely to match one of my books and bought just to see, one fell into a completely different universe. I won’t know if the others are good matches until I read more of them.

Any ideas,  in addition to those Sansevieri provides, for speeding up this process? (Not that I don’t like reading. So many books, so few lives.)

What do you do to find comps?

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Filed under Finding literary agents for writers, genres for writers, looking for literary editors and publishers, Marketing books

Creating a Universal Amazon Link – One Link Amazon Sites in all Countries

This is really important if you’re trying to run ad campaigns. It worked perfectly for me. Thanks to Don Massenzio for reposting his original advice.

Author Don Massenzio

I posted this tip a while ago and got some positive feedback. If you set up buying links for your books, many of you are probably posting Amazon links for each country that you think your book will likely realize some sales.

There is no need to do this.

I was getting frustrated when I ran a free book promotion weekend and experimented with placing a Facebook ad that reached out to multiple countries. My dilemma with doing this is that I didn’t have a way to post all of the links for the various Amazon sites in other countries on my ad without it looking clumsy.

I searched for a way to create a universal link for my book. A universal link, when clicked by a potential reader, is designed to take them to my book on the appropriate Amazon page for their country.

All they needed to do was…

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Filed under business of writing, ebooks publishing and selling, indie publishing, Marketing books, Print on Demand for fiction writers, Self-publishing, Tech tips for writers, Writing, writing novels

Stop Paying People to Read your Book

Questions answered about self-publishingThis is an older post from alfageeek, but like all his posts, it’s full of hands-on, practical advice that actually soothes some of my guilt over my abysmal marketing efforts. While you’re checking out his site, also check out his latest report on his experience with Bookbub ads.

alfageeek

In marketing to consumers, there is a well-established “buying cycle.” There are a lot of different variations on this but they generally go:

  • Awareness (finding out your product exists)
  • Research (figuring out whether they want it)
  • Purchase (woo hoo!)
  • Repurchase (they liked it and want another)

I mention this because the business of marketing a book is really no different from the business of marketing anything else to consumers. What I find interesting is that the people marketing books these days are mostly authors, and judging from their behavior, I think many of them are really confused about that whole cycle. So I’m writing this post to help explain it to them, with they hope that they stop throwing their money away solving problems they do not have.

Let’s skip awareness for a second, and dispense with the rest of the cycle.

If you write a great book and get a…

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Filed under business of writing, ebooks publishing and selling, indie publishing, Marketing books, Money issues for writers, Myths and Truths for writers, Publishing, Self-publishing, Writing, writing novels

How to Be Found on Google Today, 17 Powerful Tools

All you ever wanted to know about how to use Google resources! Thanks, Chris, for reblogging.

Have you used any of these? Which ones should we focus on?

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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This post offers a description of 19 Google tools and explains how they will help website creators get their sites found on search engines.

Source: How to Be Found on Google Today, 17 Powerful Tools

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Filed under blogging, business of writing, ebooks publishing and selling, indie publishing, Marketing books, Print on Demand for fiction writers, Self-publishing, Writing

Writing a Press Release!

Typing up your press release for your book!These clear instructions and multiple templates and examples for how to write a press release for your book are exactly what I’ve been looking for. Now to get busy and DO IT! Share your experiences writing and sending out releases for your books!

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Filed under business of writing, ebooks publishing and selling, indie publishing, Marketing books, Money issues for writers, Print on Demand for fiction writers, Self-publishing, Writing, writing novels

Free Book Promotions? What Do You Think?

Book open to the starsHere are some evaluations of book promotion services from The Book Designer (a great site for all things indie). The question is whether sites like these are better than membership in KDP Select.

Share with us your own views! Have you tried any of these services? Do you have others to recommend?

 

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Filed under Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, business of writing, ebooks publishing and selling, Free Books, indie publishing, Marketing books, Money issues for writers, Print on Demand for fiction writers, Self-publishing, Writing, writing novels

Great Advice from The Book Designer blog!

Joel Friedlander at The Book DesignerBook open to the stars is always a wonderful source. This piece by Judith Briles (@mybookshepher) on “How to Avoid Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers and Boo-Boos” has some up-front advice for all of us. I especially like the “writer beware” section on “pitch fests.” Briles says save your money!

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Filed under business of writing, ebooks publishing and selling, indie publishing, Marketing books, Money issues for writers, Print on Demand for fiction writers, Publishing, publishing contracts, reversion of rights clauses, Reviews, Self-publishing, Writing, writing novels, writing scams

How To Set Up An Amazon Giveaway

Just what I needed! I was hovering over the Amazon Giveaway screens for King of the Roses and discovered I didn’t know how the odds-setting worked. This post, from February of this year, explains it! This is Nicholas Rossis’s “secondary blog” that shows a reblog button, but you can access the original, with many informative comments, here. Now watch for my Giveaway, coming up next week!

Nicholas C. Rossis

Amazon has recently started offering everyone the opportunity to offer a giveaway. What’s interesting about this is that you can run one for pretty much any item in their inventory – except for ebooks. So, you can run a giveaway for your print edition, but not your Kindle one.

Alternatively, you could go all the way and offer people, say, a Kindle. Or, indeed, an item that is somehow related to your books. For example, if you’ve written a cookbook, you may give away kitchen gadgets or aprons. The key here is to be imaginative and original.

So, how would you go about it? Here’s the complete how-to.

Step 1: Find your book

Right after the reviews, you will see a “Set up an Amazon Giveaway” button. If you can’t find it, press Control-F (for Find) on your browser and enter the word “giveaway”…

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Filed under Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, business of writing, ebooks publishing and selling, Free Books, indie publishing, King of the Roses, Marketing books, Money issues for writers, Print on Demand for fiction writers, Self-publishing, Tech tips for writers, V. S. Anderson, Virginia S. Anderson, Writing, writing contests, writing novels

Amazon Categories and Rankings? This Helps!

Learning to market my books: deer in headlights!

Here’s what I sometimes feel like as a marketer: Deer in the headlights!

Well, I bought the book. I’ll report back on how much it helped me in my goal to begin taking marketing seriously. In the meantime, this article on how Amazon rankings and keywords differ in helping me sell my books provided some really useful distinctions.Can you add to this advice?

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Filed under business of writing, ebooks publishing and selling, indie publishing, Marketing books, Money issues for writers, Print on Demand for fiction writers, Publishing, Self-publishing, Tech tips for writers, Writing, writing novels

Closed for business: Two big things that could penalize your Amazon author account (and how to prevent them)

Here’s help negotiating Amazon’s review process! So much mystery!

Make no mistake. If you have heard me speak before almost anywhere or read anything I have to say about writing, I emphasize one thing above all else:

“You can be as artsy as you want to be while you are writing your book, but once it is finished, it is a product. A product you must distribute and market in order for it to sell.”

There’s another part to this reality of writing as a business: the number one distributor of ebooks remains Amazon, and for most authors about 80% of their sales would disappear, should the online giant refuse to sell their work. Discoverability on Amazon is the number one trick authors, publishers, and book marketers are trying to crack. Of course, if it works on Amazon, the same method will likely increase sales on iBooks and Nook as well, provided an author even offers their books for…

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Filed under Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, business of writing, ebooks publishing and selling, indie publishing, Marketing books, Money issues for writers, Print on Demand for fiction writers, Publishing, Reviews, Self-publishing, Writing, writing novels, writing scams