Tag Archives: sell ebooks

Ebook Publishing Horror: Downward Trend In Amazon KDP Select

Ebook Publishing Horror: Downward Trend In Amazon KDP Select

Once upon a time, ebook publishing on Amazon KDP Select was pretty much a goldmine for competent authors. Over the past year, the easy option is no longer so easy.

I talked about the tyranny of “free”, and suggested that you:

enroll your first book in Select, making it free on Kindle Unlimited, but offer your other titles widely. Once your other titles are selling, you can remove your first book from Select, because you’re gaining visibility, and readers.

KDP Select has this benefit for authors: you can go days without a sale, yet see your income rise, because people are reading your books.

Ebook publishing: the scammers, and Kindle Unlimited (KU) Pages Read

The challenge for many authors is that in real terms, over the past couple of years, KU authors (enrollment in Select means that your books are free to read for KU subscribers) are making 30 per cent less.

The Select “pot” — the money Amazon puts in to pay KDP Select authors — has been dropping. For June 2017, Amazon offers a KENPC of 0.0042229.

Many authors attribute the declining KENPC to scammers. I talked about scammers in this article on writing romance. That may be part of the problem, but the greater issue is the huge amount of content pouring onto the Kindle Store every month.

As I write this, over the past 30 days, 117,569 ebooks have been published to the Kindle Store. By the time you read this, it will be upwards of 120,000 ebooks.

How many of those ebooks landed in KU? I just checked.

Here you go: 58,242 ebooks are Kindle Unlimited Eligible, meaning that they’re enrolled in Select — that’s around half of the ebooks published within the past 30 days.

More ebooks are sharing Amazon’s pot, so it’s inevitable that authors’ earnings will go down.

Over the past few years, I’ve taken my ebooks (and my clients’ ebooks) into and out of KDP Select. Currently, I’m out, except for first books in series.

Adjust your self-publishing plans for success

I’ve no plans to go all-in with KDP Select for the foreseeable future. With so many new ebooks enrolling into the program each and every month unless Amazon increases the pot substantially, it doesn’t make sense.

Your self-publishing plans may be completely different. KDP Select still works for many authors; they’re making money.

What holds authors back from publishing widely is that when you publish elsewhere, as well as on Amazon, chances are good that your income will go down. It’s normal for authors to take an income hit for three to six months.

This a real challenge for authors who depend on the money, and I feel the pain of authors who are tied to KDP Select. Authors’ groups are filled with threads about the drop in KENPC, and whether KENPC will drop even lower.

No one knows.

Here’s what I suggest — look at your options. I gave you some ideas in the article on the tyranny of “free”, check them out.

Heart To Heart: Romance Writing For Beginners

Heart To Heart: Romance Writing For Beginners

eBook: $5.99
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Series: Romance Writing, Book 1
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction
Love makes the world go round, and of all the genres in fiction, romance, with its many sub-genres, is the most popular. More info →
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Book Marketing For Authors: Yes, Social Media Sells Books

Book Marketing For Authors: Yes, Social Media Sells Books

Many authors find book marketing — and marketing in general — a challenge. So let’s try to overcome your fears and doubts, so you can sell more books. Today, social media is the easiest way for you to sell if you’re pressed for cash to invest in marketing.

(By the way, by “books” I mean ebooks too, of course.)

Book marketing on social media: get comfortable with ONE network

You know that I’m a veteran blogger, and I recommend blogging for authors. I started blogging way back in the late 1990s, and my love for instant publishing hasn’t wavered. What can I say? I’m all about the instant gratification; I started out as a writer using golfball typewriters, and communicated with my publishers and literary agent via airmail letters, and telegrams. So blogging is always wonderful to me… Write, and PUBLISH. 🙂

Currently I’m reading The Content Trap: A Strategist’s Guide to Digital Change by Bharat Anand. It’s an excellent book; I highly recommended it to you. It gives you a lot to think about. He has a lot to say about connections.

Blogging, as well as social media, is all about the connections you make.

I strongly recommend that you create your author blog, but whether you do or not, choose ONE social network on which to get started. There’s a real danger, with social media, that you’ll spread yourself too thin, and won’t get results if you try to manage two or three networks when you’re starting out.

Which network? Choose the one which appeals to you: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+…

Book marketing on your network: give it three months

In my copywriting business, clients complain that “social media doesn’t work…” By which they mean, they posted to their social network of choice five times, and then gave up.

Think about the two words: social media for a moment.

Social: get known, engage, and be there. You can’t make friends and contacts unless you show up.

Media: publishing.

So in summary: be on social media. Get social, and publish there.

A word about publishing. Please, I beg you, don’t make a social media platform your major publishing platform. Use your own blog for that. Medium is in trouble, and it’s just the latest in a long line of social platforms which found it hard to stay in business.

The best tip I can give you for book marketing on social media is: be patient, and consistent. It takes time to get your first 100 followers. After that, it’s much easier. Be on your chosen social media platform daily, for at least ten minutes — for three months.

Consistency counts: show up, every day — engage, and publish

Social media is social, so you can’t spend all your time on your social media network pushing your own book, or books. Indeed, very little time should be spent on promoting your book.

Remember: social, and publishing.

There’s nothing in those two words to suggest promotion.

Promotion happens in your profile on the network. Link to your Author Page on Amazon, or to your blog, or even to your book’s product page on Amazon, if you don’t have a blog or an Author Page. (Get a blog, and Author Page.)

Think longterm. Your social media account will become more valuable over time. The more years you spend there, the more your presence will be felt — and the more books you’ll sell.

How to sell your books on social media: use Facebook’s pages

You sell your books on social media by engaging, and publishing.

You’ll sell books, if you do that, but please don’t expect results within your first three months on a platform.

Many authors find that Facebook’s Pages function is very useful. You can create a Page on Facebook for your self-publishing business, as well as for each book you write.

If you’re not sure what to publish on your Facebook Pages, read this article, Facebook Adds New Post Prompts for Pages:

Facebook’s added a new Page posting options listing to help guide Page admins on the various outreach tools and functions available, making it easier to try out new tools.

We haven’t scratched the surface of social media yet. Over the next few months, we’ll get into the nitty gritty of book marketing on social media.

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Easy And Fun Copywriting for Writers

Easy And Fun Copywriting for Writers

$4.99
Author:
Genre: Writing
Tag: copywriting
Are you making money as a freelance writer? Or do you aspire to? If so, you need the ability to SELL your writing, and any products, like ebooks and blogs, that you create. Simple, but powerful copywriting skills help you to do that. More info →
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5 Tips To Rescue Your Failed Nonfiction Ebook

5 Tips To Rescue Your Failed Nonfiction Ebook

You wrote a nonfiction ebook. It failed. One of my writing students is in precisely this situation. At the start of 2016, she wrote an ebook, and… Crickets. She can count her sales on the fingers of one hand. She contacted me, to ask whether I had any ideas.

Of course I do. You ask, I deliver. 🙂

Nonfiction ebooks: can you still make money?

Firstly, let’s talk about whether you can still make money writing nonfiction ebooks. The Amazon Kindle store is crowded. That said, some authors report that 2016 is their best year since 2010.

Here are the tips I shared with my student.

1. Keywords! Update your meta data today (be creative, and persistent)

Discoverability is the biggest challenge for all authors on Amazon, as well as on the other ebook retailers. If your readers can’t find your nonfiction ebook, they can’t buy it.

Check your ebook’s product page, and redo your keywords and description. Start by putting yourself in your readers’ shoes. If you were a reader, looking for the information in your book, what words would you use?

You have seven keywords you can use, as well as 4000 characters (approximately 800 words) which you can use for the description.

In addition to discoverability, remember that once a reader reaches your product page, he needs to feel that your book can help him. Give a clear description of your book: the challenges it solves, and the benefits to the reader. If you have great reviews, add a snippet of a review to the description.

Once you’ve revised your ebook’s meta data, you should see an uptick in sales within three or four days. No results? Tweak the meta data again.

2. Create a bright and sparkling new edition

I love ebooks, because you can edit them as often as you please to create a new edition. If you have material you’d like to add, go ahead and add it. Happy with the cover image? Change it if you aren’t.

Put “2nd edition” on the title page of your book, with the year: “2nd edition, 2017.” Update your meta data as well.

Additionally, remember that updating your nonfiction ebook is news. Create an online news release, and promote your new edition on social media.

Consider creating a new edition of your ebook once a year, or once every couple of years.

3. Contact influencers (your blogging and Facebook page finally pay off): reciprocate on promotions

The more people who know about your book, the more people can buy it. One of the best ways to promote your ebook is to use other people’s audiences.

Contact influencers in the subject matter of your ebook, and offer to do a guest post on their blog, with a link to your ebook. If you have a following on any of the social media networks, offer to do reciprocal promotions with an influencer in your niche. You promote them, they promote your ebook.

Consider partnering with three or four other authors in your niche, to create an ebook. Each of you writes a chapter or two. Add a link to the signup page for your mailing list in the book, as well as a link to your nonfiction ebook.

Webinars are a great way to promote ebooks. Join with another author or two, and create a webinar. With each of you promoting the webinar, you’ll be able to expand your audience, and create buzz for your ebook.

4. Give away free copies: hint you’d like a review

While “free” is no longer the excellent promotional strategy it used to be, you can still use it. Give away 200 free copies. You can’t force people to give you a review, but you can ask.

Aim to get copies into the hands of influencers.

5. Write more ebooks on your topic: explore it vertically (find out how well your topic sells, first)

Consider your nonfiction ebook’s subject matter. Could you write another ebook, which promotes your first ebook? Write another ebook, exploring your subject matter more deeply.

A suggestion: do make sure that ebooks in your subject are selling. KindleSpy is a useful tool which can show you how many ebooks are selling in any niche. If you find that the bestselling ebooks in your nonfiction ebook’s area are only selling a hundred copies a month, writing another ebook on the same subject may be a waste of time. Can you find a topic which sells better?

Use the tips to rescue your failed nonfiction ebook

Start by updating your ebook’s meta data. You should see results within a few days. Then revisit your ebook’s product page every three to six months, and update again.

My writing student put the above tips to use, and is thrilled with her sales. She’s now consistently selling copies every week, and is confidently getting ready to release her follow-up ebook.

I wish you similar success when you use the tips. 🙂

Resources to build your writing career

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Write AND Sell in Just 8 Hours: Create Top-Selling Ebooks FAST

Write AND Sell in Just 8 Hours: Create Top-Selling Ebooks FAST

$4.99
What if you could create AND sell an ebook or other product in just eight hours? The product could be anything: a Kindle ebook, a collection of articles, a short story… a new writing service for your clients. This program will show you how to think outside the box, get creative — and SELL what you create. More info →
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