Seven Lively Steps to Selling a Kindle or Smashwords/ebooks
by Robert W. Walker
...a highly recommended lists of Do’s and Don’ts.
1. Do NOT price your book high thinking you will make more money and more sales at the high end. A $25 hardcover sell of a book in the paper world does not put two dollars in your pocket, whereas a 2.99 Kindle title does. Multiply that by a hundred sales on kindle as opposed to ten hardcovers and you get a glimpse of the new sell through reality in the virtual world.
#1 DO price your ebook at the low end. In fact, the #1 best thing you can do is to make a kindle reader a low-ball offer; it cannot be too low for Kindle readers; they really like FREE books, so go figure LOW. Getting into five and six bucks is HIGH. Almost all of mine are priced at 1.99 or 2.99 but when selling a thousand in a month as I did last month, this is good news that my books are set at low low low prices. It may on the surface appear counter intuitive to slice your price so deeply, but with a book at seven and eight dollars—the same book—it will not MOVE. You might sell one, two, even three books in a given month at this price, maybe. I speak from experience of having several kindle titles with price controlled via the publisher and they have sold a whopping NOTHING. So in essence, gaining a thousand new readers and making a killing at the low pricing is working out just fine as a new business model for this author.
2. Do NOT use a cliched or lame or limp title or cover art of the same nature.
#2. DO work up an interesting title; give it thought and shop it around to friends and ask for suggestions. Work at creating a title that grabs the reader, and as for cover art, get a pro graphic artist working on it and keep it relatively simple and straightforward. Complex seldom works on a book cover.
3. Do NOT ignore getting blurbs and reviews thinking they're unimportant for ebooks, because nothing could be further from the truth.
#3. DO blurbs and reviews of your ebook help sell books? Indeed yes. How do you get blurbs? Reach out to authors who write in your genre; you'd be surprised how many Yes's you can get by putting in the effort of asking. A lot of heavy hitter authors do respond to such requests, espcially if you have met them at a conference or quote from their keynote address~ in short, don't be shy and be passionate about your work, champion it.
4. Do NOT fail to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite your book's description. It is of great importance and not to be skimmed over.
#4. DO by all means make your book description the most important short-short you will ever write, the story about your story. It is so important as the segway to the book itself. Imagine what your dream of the perfect copy on the back of your book must read like. Get in as many of the 5W's as you can: Who, What, Where, When, Why and maybe How as these relate to the story. Name names, use details of character and setting for instance.
5. Do NOT make errors or missteps in your description of the book. If a grammar problem exist in this paragraph of description, readers will imagine the worse about your text.
#5. DO by all means rewrite over and over until it is as polished as a jewel.
6. Do NOT ignore the final formatting on your book; do not assume it is pristine from top to bottom.
#6. DO closely check the formatting after the html conversion and look over your entire book to be certain the reformatting has not thrown in a lot of WingNut stuff. People who buy and read and run into this kind of problem in the midst of the story really detest it, and they talk to their friends. They will talk more about Linsey Lohan than you but they will talk!
7. Do NOT overlook any chance to mention that your book is only the first in a series, or that your three are a trilogy, or that you one title has 3 volumes within it as the idea of a series is sought out by kindle readers and ebook readers alike.
#7. DO know that I swear to high-heaven that my Series titles are doing three times the business, maybe four times the business of stand-alone-titles. If you are putting up your FIRST book and you plan a sequel, by ALL means get that fact into your description; if it is a series already and you have more than one up do as I do and artfully number them as part of the cover art – Book 1,2, 3, 4, etc. I had it done as a vertical banner on the covers. I have become convinced when I set up my Children of Salem as a 3 volumes in one deal that this is why that book took off as it was seen as a kind of series, and my 11-book Instinct Series has out-distanced every other of my series. I have to believe there is a connection there. Kindle readers love series, especially enjoy getting hooked on an ensemble cast and wanting to see more of your main hero or heroine.
Finally - another thing you can control - bring the book to the attention of others on FB, Twitter, your blogs, website, chat groups.....get familiar with firstname.lastname@example.org and the Kindle Amazon boards. Seek out eZines interested in eBook news, etc. and post articles whenever and wherever you can. Do guests blogs as well.
This is what I've been doing along with blogging on a book in progresss that is going straight to kindle when done....a play by play....giving into the masochism of allowing followers to read sections as they come off the press, so to speak--the virtual press.
Meanwhile, I talk my titles and those of my favorite authos up at kindle NOW.
I find ways to tease, tease, tease. Which can be done in a humorous, fun way on facebook for instance where I have run contests such as Stump the Author or Bad Dates. You can take a concern of the novel, a secondary thread perhaps, as highlight it on a social network and ask folks there if they have given much thought to this as it comes up in your Kindle novel or book. Perhaps the one with the liveliest response can win a free copy of a previous book or the one you are promoting.
"Dead On takes the reader's capacity for the imagination of horror to stomach turning depths, and then gives it more twists than a Georgia backroad that paves an Indian trail." - Nash Black