Suffering Zero Book Sales On Amazon?

Suffering Zero Book Sales on Amazon?

 

Book sales

Just published

 

You have just published your first book on Amazon and you are so excited that at last, you have achieved the goal of actually getting your book published. It’s a cause for celebration.

As time goes on you begin to discover that you are not making any sales. Yes, some family members and a friend or two have bought the book but nothing else has happened.

Zero sales

 

You are getting zero or very low sales. You’ve invested so much time and effort into creating your book but the sales are almost non-existent.

You start to feel disillusioned and disheartened. Your initial excitement at self-publishing turns into doubt – publishing on Amazon doesn’t work.

What so many writers don’t realise is that the adventure of self-publishing really starts when they get that first book published. To self-publish is simple, it’s fast and it’s easy. 

But the creation of the book and self-publishing it on Amazon are just a small part of the publishing process.

 

Profitable niche 

 

The first question I would ask is if you did your market research before you even started to write a book. To be successful as a self-published author on Amazon you need to ensure that you are operating in a profitable niche.

Early in the piece, you should start building an audience for your book. Put a system in place to build an email list.

Once you know that your book is potentially profitable then you must prepare it for publication paying attention to its professionalism – the editing, proofreading, cover design and formatting.

After the book has been formatted the book’s listing on KDP needs optimisation. Have you spent time choosing an appropriate title, figuring out the best keywords, come up with multiple categories, and written a description that’s going to help sell your book, and decided on a pricing strategy?

Book launch strategy

 

Before you launch your book devise a book launch campaign.

In preparation for the launch choose a date for launching the book. Set up an Author Page on Amazon Author Central, put a launch team in place to help with getting reviews, research promotional sites where you can promote your book, decide on an opening low price for the book, and plan your promotional days on Kindle Direct Publishing Select(KDP Select).

Research more categories for your book and choose the ones that are not so competitive so that you can have a shot at becoming a bestseller in that category.

Once the book is LIVE spend a week or two just checking for errors and putting a concerted effort into getting reviews. If you detect errors you can quickly make a revision.

Be mindful of the Amazon Book Review guidelines for getting reviews and understand how not to have your reviews deleted.

Run your promotional days on KDP Select when you offer your book for free.

 

Promote

 

Once those promotional days are over plan an ongoing marketing strategy.

Don’t keep your book a secret. Tell people about it.

Get the word out there that you have produced a book, and that you have something to say that people need to read. 

Start with an email broadcast to those on your email list, promote the book on a special page on your author’s website, blog about it, post about it on a Facebook page, post on other social media sites, make short promotional videos, start a YouTube channel, set up a Podcast, do an Instagram story, promote it on Goodreads and get creative with engaging your audiences.

Not only should you have a short term marketing strategy for when your book is launched but plan a promotional strategy for the long term. At the end of the day slow, steady traffic is king because this will result in sales and is ultimately better than that sudden burst you might have when you first launch your book.

Take away the mystery of self-publishing your book and join my free online class.

 

 

Sources

 

 Allan, Scott “Book Launch: How to Launch a Book for More Sales [Printable Checklist]” https://self-publishingschool.com/run-book-launch/, 2019.

Basu, Tyler The Book Launch Strategy Of A #1 Amazon Bestseller https://tylerbasu.com/book-launch-amazon-bestseller/

 

Marji Hill

Author and founder of Fast Self-Publishing Online

JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP

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2 Methods Of Getting Book Reviews On Amazon

2 Methods Of Getting Book Reviews On Amazon

 

Book reviews

 

Are you self-publishing a Kindle eBook and Paperback on Amazon?  If that’s you, are book reviews part of your marketing strategy?

Having a strategy to get book reviews on Amason is fundamental to being a successful self-publisher.  Reviews give you social proof and assist with your book getting credibility.

Think of it this way. Say you are planning a trip to a holiday destination and you don’t know where to stay. You need some advice.

Reading online reviews

 

Reading online reviews about a hotel will help you decide whether or not to make a booking at that place. 

Similarly, it’s common to check the reviews of a movie you are thinking of seeing. If a movie gets bad reviews it can affect your decision to see it.  You may decide to give it a miss.

So too with books on Amazon. Reviews influence a reader as to whether or not to buy a book.

Because reviews are so powerful in their ability to sway a reader getting them is a gold mine for the author.

 

Campaign strategy for getting reviews 

 

Every author going on the self-publishing pathway must face up to the fact that they need to have a campaign strategy for getting book reviews on Amazon. It’s an important part of launching your book.

Reviews don’t just happen. You are in luck if you do.

A self-publisher must have a campaign strategy in place to get reviews. 

However, getting reviews is not an easy process. It’s tough and it requires mastery if you plan on becoming a successful publisher.

There are acceptable ways to get reviews and there are ways that Amazon regards as inappropriate. If the procurement of a review violates the Amazon’s Terms of Reference then Amazon will delete it.

Underlying the Amazon Terms of Reference is the fact that Amazon will only publish honest reviews that are by unbiased reviewers.

There are multiple methods for getting book reviews. I’m discussing here just two methods of getting honest reviews.

1.  Ask for a review in your book

Insert a request for a review in your book. At the back end of your book have a special page that asks for a review.

Ask the question on this page:  “What did you think of [title]”?  

You might say how much you really appreciated the fact that the customer bought your book, and that if they enjoyed it and got some benefit from reading it, how you’d really appreciate it if they could take a little bit of their time to post an honest review on Amazon.

Put a Call To Action at the end of the page and a link to where customers can go on Amazon to leave their review.

2. Email list of reviewers

Part of any self-publishers toolbox is an email list. Email marketing is where you send out emails to people on your list with announcements, blog posts, promotions and sell products and services to a list of interested people which is connected to an autoresponder.

There are some autoresponders that are free of like Mailchimp and others such as Infusionsoft, Keap, Get Response and Aweber for which you do pay.

In the autoresponder, you can build an email group that is a dedicated list of reviewers. These are people who could review your books.

One of the benefits of having an email list of reviewers is that you can easily communicate with them and provide reviewers with information about your forthcoming or latest book. 

As I’ve already said I’m only discussing two methods for getting book reviews on Amazon.

There are lots of other methods you can utilize to stimulate the acquisition of book reviews.

To learn more about writing and self-publishing on Amazon I invite you to listen to the revised and updated version of my free online class. Register for this at www.fastselfpublishingonline.com.

 

Marji Hill

Author and founder of Fast Self-Publishing Online

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Wondering What To Include On An Author Website?

Wondering What To Include On An  Author Website?

 

Author website

 

 

In 2020 authors serious about promoting themselves and their work need an online presence. An online shopfront is a place where prospective readers can visit to learn about you the author and your books.

An online presence is immediately associated with having a social media profile so an author’s shopfront can be on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other social media platforms.

On social media, an author can build a large target audience but the problem is you don’t own or fully control those sites.

It is definitely desirable to set up a social media presence but integrate it with a WordPress website.

With a WordPress.org website, you can set up a blogging platform. Here you can publish blog posts that can be distributed throughout the social media platforms.

Because you own and control the website you can customise it to suit your needs.

If you build an author website there are certain features you’ll need. Let’s take a look.

About page

 

An About Page provides information about you, the author. It’s your opportunity to communicate to website visitors your author profile, presenting yourself as the kind of person that should be read.

The About Page is the place to create a connection with your potential readers. It’s where they learn to trust you, believe in you, and are motivated to read what you have to say. On the Author Page include  

  • personal information about yourself 
  • a photograph or two
  • your career as a writer 
  • relevant publications
  • any relevant education or experience
  • memberships of organisations 
  • unique information about yourself which prospective readers will remember you by.

Contact page

 

A Contact Page is a special page that a website visitor can use to contact the author.

It provides an opportunity for visitors to interact with whoever is behind the content they read.  

Contact Form 7 is a popular and free plugin that can be installed. It’s recommended because it protects an author against spammers, which if spamming gets out of control, can be a real nuisance.

 

Blog page

 

When an author writes a blog post they have the opportunity to offer something of value to their readers. The author’s blog becomes a hub of valuable content with a focus on educating and motivating readers and prospects.

Having a blog page which contains a sequence of blog posts is useful for non-fiction writers.  It adds to their credibility and helps them to become recognised as an authority within their field.

 

Book page

 

A Book Page is dedicated to your book or to multiple books that you have published.  Here you display the book’s image together with a detailed description of each book.

Also include the title and sub-title, the ISBN, and publication details. Add a video as well.

Provide a link from your book to the place where it can be purchased.

I always connect an Amazon Associates affiliate link. When a prospective reader clicks on the link they are taken to the Amazon site where they can buy the book.

 

Social media

 

Install Social media icons on your author’s website that link to your social media sites. For example, link to your sites like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.  

By integrating social media into the website you can distribute blog posts on autopilot out to your social media followers.

 

Lead magnet

 

Have you heard the statement “The money is in the list”? An element of the self-publishing process is to build an email list. 

Building a list is part of an author’s marketing strategy.

To do this an author can install a lead magnet on their website. It’s a  system whereby visitors are encouraged to leave their email address.

An author offers something free of charge and in return, the visitor leaves their email address. This is called a lead magnet or “opt-in form”.

A lead magnet can be some form of digital, downloadable content such as a free PDF, a checklist, a report, an eBook, a video, or a free online class.

Building an author’s WordPress website

 

How do you set up your author’s WordPress website? One option is to hire a web developer. Another option is to learn to do it yourself.

If you are a “techie” type person and like the DIY approach you can teach yourself. On the other hand, if you’d like to learn how to do it, and would like a helping hand then discuss your needs with me. 

Schedule a call by clicking the link below

Book Now

SOURCES:

 

https://www.ingramspark.com/blog/what-should-i-put-on-my-author-website

Marji Hill

Author and founder of Fast Self-Publishing Online

JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP

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Do You As An Author In 2020 Need A Website?

Do You As An Author In 2020 Need A Website?

Wordpress

As we move into 2020 and reflect on the decade just past we have seen the popularity of self-publishing. Today authors can self-publish their books fast and with ease on the Amazon platform.

In 2020 an author is most likely to self-publish rather than embark on the quest to find a traditional publisher.

Once an author has published their book on Amazon the game does not end there. It’s at this point that the author must commence their marketing campaign.

A self-publisher is responsible for their own marketing.

Online presence

 

Central to a marketing campaign is an online presence.

People, your prospective readers, must be able to find out about you, the author. One way to do this is to have an author website.

This is in effect a shop front which is open 24/7. Here visitors can discover information about you, your books, and get some understanding of what you are on about.

In the decade just passed, having exposure to social media has been the way to go. Yes, being on various social media platforms gives you access to large target audiences.

However, you do not own or control social media sites. I have observed plenty of people who have had their accounts on social media closed down because they breached the rules.

Authors do need an online presence on social media but in addition, they also need an author’s website that can be integrated with their social media. This will to maximise their exposure in the online world.

 

A WordPress website

 

A WordPress website with a blog platform is a way for authors to promote themselves and their books online. A successful blog is an inexpensive way to drive organic traffic and make more book sales.

The great benefit of a blog is that you don’t have to do the hard sell. Instead, an author provides a hub of valuable content with a focus on educating and motivating their readers and prospects.

Building a website that you own and control enables an author :

  • to market and promote themselves.
  • give links to their books
  • establish a network of raving fans
  • rank on search engines like Google
  • build a mailing list
  • establish credibility as an authority in their field
  • create an extra income stream with affiliate links

One of the trends identified by Noblit is that an author’s email list in 2020 will become an incredibly valuable asset.

An author’s website will have a lead magnet which is an opt-in page. Often this page is a pop-up and it will offer something for free like an ebook, a report, a cheat sheet, or a video.

In exchange, the visitor will provide their email address. This method of setting up a lead magnet on an author’s website will assist in building an email list.

DIY 

Even if for no other reason, an author website is crucial because it helps an author build their list. How often have you heard the catchphrase “the money is in the list”.

Build an author website with the wordpress.org platform.

WordPress does have two platforms (1) wordpress.org, and (2) wordpress.com. While wordpress.com looks attractive it has limitations. In essence, with wordpress.com you do not own or control that website.

With wordpress.org you own your website and you can customise it by adding plugins, choosing a theme, and installing Google Analytics to track your progress.

If you are so inclined and are a “techie” type person you can build your own WordPress website.

Another option is to have an author website done for you. Or you might like to do it yourself (DIY) but with some guidance.

Should you have no WordPress experience and would like to give it a go, you can find out more by scheduling a call with me.

Book Now

On the booking page scroll down to the bottom of the page. You will see a form to schedule a time with me.

Sources:

Edstein, Eloise   Should Writers Have a Website?https://writersedit.com/fiction-writing/should-writers-have-website/

Noblit, Clayton  The Top Ten Publishing Industry Trends Every Author Needs to Know in 2020    https://www.writtenwordmedia.com/the-top-ten-2020-publishing-industry-trends-every-author-needs-to-know/   January 9

https://izzardink.com/the-top-7-publishing-trends-of-2020-and-beyond/

https://www.ingramspark.com/blog/what-should-i-put-on-my-author-website

 

Marji Hill

13 Reasons An Author Should Build A Blog

 

 

13 Reasons An Author Should Build A Blog

 

 

 

Author blog

An author blog is a platform whereby authors can regularly publish articles on a particular topic. A blog can be built on a WordPress website. 

It’s a  useful promotional method for non-fiction writers who need to become recognised as an authority within their niche.

The key thing about blogging is to do it on a regular basis. This could be daily, weekly, monthly.

To build a successful blog, posts need to published consistently on a regular basis.

Benefits

 

A blog has a number of benefits.

  1. In a blog post, an author builds awareness among those who follow them. An author can share something of value such as their knowledge or their passion.
  2. Authors can build an online community of people, a network of followers, who share similar interests. 
  3. Publishing blog posts on a website and then distributing those posts out to the wider world via social media helps an author establish their expertise and credibility so that they become an authority. The more blog posts an author publishes with valuable content the larger their network grows This, in turn, helps add to an author’s credibility.
  4. Because blogging is a means to online networking, meeting new people who might help advance their career, it is an excellent use of an author’s time.  
  5. It is fairly easy for authors to write blog posts, particularly if they love writing. It’s an inexpensive way to drive traffic to their website.
  6. Google and other search engines love fresh content to index. Publishing blog posts is a wonderful method for generating new content.
  7. A blog helps position an author in the global market place.
  8. An author is able to use this technique to promote their books, their services or their products.
  9. A blog is a method for generating another income stream if it is monetised.
  10. Blogging helps authors practise their writing because they learn to write on a regular basis.
  11. Blogs also help authors to become more disciplined because posts have to be written to a deadline and scheduled.
  12. Blog posts can be shared out to the world via social media. By integrating social media into a WordPress website blog posts automatically can be sent out to followers on various social media platforms.
  13. Blogging is a technique for getting a manuscript written. If an author blogs on a regular basis it’s possible to create a book from a number of blog posts. A short book of 10,000 words can be created from 20 blog posts each of which is around 500 words. These blog posts become the foundation for a manuscript. The content can be repurposed, restructured, rewritten, edited, massaged, and turned into a book.

Sources

Spatz, Steven  Do Authors Really Need To Blog? https://writingcooperative.com/do-authors-really-need-to-blog-94e78a8f7cde  Jul 6, 2018

 

Marji Hill

Marji Hill is an author and founder of Fast Self-Publishing Online

JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP

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2 Books That Changed My Life

2 Books That Changed My Life

 

In an earlier phase of my life when I started a career in marketing I read books to discover success secrets. This was the beginning of my exploration into personal development and wealth creation.

Two books in particular had a profound effect on my life.

 

Think And Grow Rich

 

Think And Grow Rich

 

As a young teenager my mother would talk to me about the book that she was reading. It was Napoleon Hill’s Think And Grow Rich. 

I can still remember seeing the book sitting there on her bookshelves.

Many years later I actually read it – the greatest motivational book in self-improvement and how success comes to those with the right mind set.

Napoleon Hill studied some of the wealthiest and most successful people of his era and from this he created a manifesto to help people develop a pathway to achieve their goals.

Eighty years later this classic book provides the secret for creating wealth and how you can use the power of the mind to manifest what you desire in life.

Hill’s philosophy was the forerunner for many other books on personal development and self-improvement. His timeless principles have been reconstituted by lots of other authors and leading world motivators.

 

The Power Of Positive Thinking

 

The Power Of Positive Thinking

The second book that impacted my life was The Power Of Positive Thinking by Dr Norman Vincent Peale. This book I have read, and re-read, and re-read.

According to Peale, to be successful you must change the way you think. Human beings can alter their lives just by altering their attitudes of mind. 

He examines how negative beliefs like resentment, jealousy, and hatred can be the underlying cause of physical and mental illness and to get better people must empower themselves by getting rid of destructive thinking.

The Power Of Positive Thinking is confronting to people who are sceptical of religion because the book is laced with biblical quotes and Christian platitudes. And this can be off putting.

On the other hand, you may love it. By digging deeper and understanding the wisdom that Peale imparts this book can be life changing.

 

Everything is attitude

 

I certainly read this book at a critical period in my life. It was life changing for me.

I came to realise that to be successful you must watch what goes on between your ears. Everything is attitude and attitude is everything.

Both these books lay the foundation for my future exploration into the workings of the mind and I recommend these two books as essential reading for anyone embarking on their journey to success.

 

Marji Hill

7 Steps For Turning The Dream Of Writing A Book Into Reality

7 Steps For Turning The Dream Of Writing A Book Into Reality

steps for turning a dream into reality

You dream about writing your book, having it published and becoming a successful author.

But how do you turn this dream into reality?

Believe in yourself

 

Step 1: You must start with your dream of writing and publishing a book. That dream must be strong and then you must believe in yourself.

Believe that you can achieve it.

Some authors reach their dream but there are others who don’t. 97% of the population are still in the same place as they were a year ago.

Those authors who do succeed in manifesting their dream make a paradigm shift in their thinking. They have one essential ingredient: they believe in themselves, and they have total belief in their ability to it.

They understand what is required of them to achieve their goal.

These authors are driven, they are hungry to achieve, and they have that one big “why” which is all powerful and which drives them towards their ultimate destination.

 

Set the goal 

Step 2: The second step is to turn that dream into a goal because a  goal is a dream with a date. So in simple, practical terms write out that goal and put down a date for achieving the goal.

 

Daily action

Step 3: Take action on a daily basis. While you have written down  your major goal now break this down into smaller, more manageable goals.

Ask yourself what you can do on a daily and then a weekly basis to make your dream become a reality. Take action each day moving towards the bigger goal.

Little bit by little bit the daily actions add up even if they don’t seem to be all that significant at the time.

Remember the song “From little things big things grow”.

Identify the steps you need to take 

Step 4: If your goal is to have a manuscript completed in the space of 30 days then analyse the steps you need to take to make this a reality. Here are the steps you must take in order to reach your destination:

  • market research
  • do your research for your book
  • define your market
  • work out the dimensions of your book – word count, number of pages, number of illustration, trim size 
  • set milestones for your book writing journey
  • outline a writing timetable
  • create an outline for your book
  • start writing and have a daily word count
  • chunk the contents of the book down into small bits.

 

Mind set

 

Step 5:  Mind set

Work on your mind set and have an attitude for success. To make your dream become a reality your goal must dominate your thoughts and you must focus on that result you so desire.

See yourself achieving the goal and you in turn will attract it and your future will become your present. As Joe Vitale says “Decide what you want to be, do, and have, think the thoughts of it, emit the frequency, and your vision will become your life”.

Here is a way to action these sentiments:

 

  • write out you goals with dates for their completion
  • read these goals aloud at least twice a day. Better still speak the goals while looking at yourself in the mirror
  • visualise these goals and see yourself achieving them
  • feel how it will be when you achieve them

Momentum

 

Step 6:  Build momentum

By taking daily action you will move towards your dream and goal. This regular activity breeds momentum and once momentum is in full swing it becomes a force that is unstoppable.

Focus

 

Step 7: Along the way learn to focus. Focus on your goal like a heat seeking missile learning to focus without distraction, crystallising your thoughts, becoming better at what you do, and sharpening your vision.

Sources

 

Cristallo, Michaela   “10 Ways To Turn Your Big Dream Into Reality” https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/10-ways-turn-your-big-dream-into-reality.html

Proctor, Bob Learn How To Turn Your Dream Into Reality https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-FXGt01X_4

Vitali, Joe in The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. New York, Beyond Words, 2006.

 

Marji Hill

12 Steps To Writing A Non-fiction Book In 30 Days

12 STEPS TO WRITING A NON-FICTION BOOK IN 30 DAYS

 

Write a book

Many people dream of writing a book. Do you? 

You’ve come to the starting line but then panic sets in. You realise that you have no idea how to start writing your book. You stare at that blank page and you freeze. Is this familiar?

 

Where do you begin? How do you begin? You feel that the idea of writing your first book is so daunting.

To help you out I have identified 12 steps to assist you with creating your book.

 

Step 1: Research

Do your research and have this information at your finger tips. As you do your research take note of your sources and document these because you will need to acknowledge the sources in your manuscript.

 

Step 2: Define your target market

Define your market because it helps to know who you are writing for?

To be a professional writer, get to know everything about your prospective readers and understand what it is they are looking for. What are their needs and problems and how you as their author can provide a solution.

 

Step 3: Word count

Make a decision on how long your book is going to be. If crafting a book for the first time consider writing a straight forward, short book. It could be just 10,000 words.

If typically a non-fiction book is 60,000 to 80,000 words and you want to write a book in 30 days then make it a short book. An A4 page can easily fit 200 words so a 10,000 word book is 50 pages.

But if you factor in the size of the font, physical size of the book – the trim size – adding illustrative matter, and book’s layout it is possible that a 10,000 word book can be as long as 100 pages.

Step 4: Set milestones

Set milestones. Decide the date for completing your manuscript and make a commitment to having it finished within 30 days. 

To help you reach that deadline decide on a daily word count. It could be 500 or 1000 words a day. If you produce 500 words a day you first draft would be completed in 20 days but by increasing your word count to 1000 words then your first draft would be done in 10 days.

Step 5: Mind Map

Get started by creating a mind map to brain storm your ideas. A mind map helps you to organize your thoughts and to generate fresh ideas. 

 

Step 6: Write out your thoughts quickly

After working through the visual exercise of creatively generating ideas spend half an hour quickly writing out these thoughts. Set the alarm on your phone to make sure no longer than 30 minutes is spent on this exercise.

 

Step 7: Draft title

Knock up a draft title for your book because this helps you to crystallise and narrow down your subject matter.

 

Step 8: Outline

A non-fiction book consists of an introduction, chapters and a conclusion, so create an outline for your book. Transform the ideas you generated in the mind map together with your fast notes into chapter headings. 

Think in terms of 10 chapter headings and allow 1000 words for each chapter. Break the book down into even smaller units with sub-headings under each chapter heading.

 

Step 9: Bullet points

 

Once you have a rough outline, set out the book’s content in the form of bullet points. Estimate the number of words you will need for each bullet point. 

So if you have 5 sub-headings in the form of bullet points each sub-heading could be 200 words. That will give you a 1000 word chapter.

 

Step 10: Frame a question

 

One tip for coming up with your sub-headings is to frame each sub-heading in the form of a question and then answer that question.

 

Step 11: Start writing

Having completed the outline for your book start writing.

Step 12: 1000 words a day

 

If you can maintain your schedule for writing 1000 words a day the first draft of your manuscript will be finished in 10 days. This then allows you time to rewrite your book and produce multiple drafts.

 

Chunk it into small bits

 

These 12 steps for writing a book in 30 days may seem very mechanical, even mathematical, but as an author who has produced many non-fiction books I find it an excellent productivity method. It is far less overwhelming to do your planning and to chunk the contents of the book down into small bits.

Will this method work perfectly for you? Maybe, maybe not.

The important take on this is to have a plan of action that will help you focus and provide you with direction. 

Sure, you may not be perfect and you may deviate at times from the plan. But this gives you a course to follow, and like a sailing boat the sails can be adjusted.

 

Marji Hill

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