Chris Roberts just recently published his debut novel, “The Long, Lost Exit Home” on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075Z8HY29 and wanted to share some pointers that helped him sell about 200 books in the first two months after publication. I know that isn’t a whole lot, but it’s a good start. My name is Susie Rose, and I will be the one writing his blogs for him while he is working hard on his next upcoming novel.
Chris enrolled his eBook and paperback book in the Amazon KDP Select Program to give it a try. He likes their report styles and the ease of submitting all the prepared files to them.
1. First thing Chris did was get his own ISBN number from Bowker at www.myidentifiers.com for his paperback edition. At least this way he can publish his paperback where ever he wants. Bowker will even supply you with the actual book bar code. Amazon will supply you an AISN number for the eBook itself.
2. Second, after following all of the KDP formatting rules for the ebook, paperback and cover, he uploaded all his files and watched the magic take place. He’s not saying it’s easy to do all of that, but if you take your time and follow the instructions and read other author’s posts, you will get the task done in a timely matter.
3. Make sure you read, read, and re-read your manuscript and do your best with all the editing and proofing before you hit that publish button! Cover art can be a little challenging too. The good news it that you can always make minor changes later and even change the cover image in the KDP program. Chris changed his cover image after a couple of months to a more desirable and professional look. The first image, I believe, looked scary and was fine. But, we soon found out that readers did not find it that appealing and too many fonts were used in the title. Chris then licensed two images from Shutterstock at https://www.shutterstock.com/home and combined them with better fonts and placings. So far so good, no bad comments. Hopefully it will stay that way and the book will be more appealing to the readers. It took a good 72 hours before the new cover image showed up on Amazon, so that wasn’t too bad. If you like ready made cover images we found a great site at https://www.thebookcoverdesigner.com. They have some very nice choices in the price range from $25 to $150 and some a little higher. I emailed them about the possibility of covers being duplicated by different authors and this is the response I received: Hi, Susie! Covers are exclusive. Once you make a purchase, the system automatically places the cover as out of stock and takes it down from the catalog, so nobody can buy it again. As for the fonts – the designers will easily change the fonts and the words. If a particular cover has caught your eye, you can easily contact its designer through the Product Inquiry forms located under every cover and ask the designer anything you wish to know about his/ her cover. They seem very nice and Chris may use one of their designs for his next book.
4. Finding the Right Keywords: https://kindlepreneur.com/kindle-keywords-fiction-author-strategy which has some great informative content on how to set your Amazon keywords. They have all the info you need to set you keywords along with a great software program called KDP Rocket that will find them for you. This is a must read site along with all their other extensions. Lot’s of good info there!
5. These are the things that Chris signed up with right after the book was live:
https://booklife.com which was $149. This looked like a good place to start and get the word out there.
https://bookdaily.com which is a $49 a month promo deal that he is still part of. You can cancel at any time.
https://booksbutterfly.com which has lots of book promo choices with guarantees. This is the one that did it for him…this promo ran for six weeks in which Jack at Booksbutterfly gave Chris an extra two weeks to promote his book. Since the eBook was listed for $2.99, we used the “All Month Push” for $250 which did the trick. This is when we saw the one book-a-day dribble go up 5 to 8 books a day for several days in a row through the 6 week period, not to mention the Kindle Unlimited reads that shot way up too.
https://yourbookpromoter.com is the one Chris started 0ne month after the book was published. He had to wait because he was in the process of setting up his Facebook account at: https://www.facebook.com/chrisroberts.books/?ref=bookmarks and twitter account at: https://twitter.com/ChrisRo58676118. He also had just finished his author website at: https://www.chrisroberts-author.com. It is really important to have the social media accounts and some sort of website to refer to before you use this promoter because they do a lot of social media advertising for you. Their cost was $99 for three months and is still going. You can redo any of these promoters later again which Chris will be doing in the near future. This promoter is also great because they will do a video trailer for you to like they did for Chris. Here is his trailer that is on YouTube right now: https://youtu.be/3gvkw-Y9HfA. I will explain later why this is a nice thing to have.
6. The last thing that Chris did to promote the book after one month was use the KDP Select program to do a 7-day promotion on the eBook. He set the price to $.99 and did the Kindle Countdown deal. (You can only do one promo for Kindle every 90 days, so choose and advertise wisely!) I did a Facebook post boost for him to the right audience type, ie: Horror Sci Fi Readers, etc. in order not to waste the boost and did a 7 day $90 budget deal. This worked pretty well to give him those extra books per day during the boost. In February we will be allowed to do another Kindle Countdown deal in which we will use Booksbutterfly and Facebook to promote it. We will keep you posted on the outcome.
Awe, and don’t forget that great giveaway Amazon does. You can choose your eBook or any product on Amazon to give away and promote your book. What we did for Christmas is had people click on Chris’ YouTube link for the Christmas song he wrote at: https://youtu.be/1IPmsdGvAl0 in order to qualify for a free eBook. Then at the end of the sweepstakes Amazon will randomly pick 10 winners for the book. This means, yes, Chris had to buy 10 eBooks, (in which he still got his royalties back), in order to give them away to the winners. But in turn, he received an extra 250 hits on his song! He therefore promoted his eBook and his song at the same time. This was again another post on Facebook that we boosted for $90 to the correct audience base. A win, win situation. You can do the giveaways as often as you would like, and this is where the book trailer will come in handy. Choose your eBook or another product on Amazon and set up a giveaway where the entrants must click on your book trailer to view it before they can qualify to win. Post this info with the Amazon link to your Facebook and Twitter account and boost the post! This will be the next thing Chris will be doing in January. Once again, we will keep you posted on the outcome.
We hope the points on this blog post will be a helpful asset to your first publication. Most important of all, you have to spend money to make money! Thank you for visiting and reading Chris’ blog.
Update: February 22nd, Chris’ novel hit #2 on Amazon’s Bestseller List in the “Horror” category! Now we are working on trying to get the #1 spot. Wish us luck….