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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please feel free to add to the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Letting Amazon Help You with Easy Book Launch

Do you know what Amazon Kindle Countdown program is? How about their Matchbook program? (I have discussed the latter a bit in my SharingwithWriters newsletter and this blog, so the chances you know about this one are somewhat better!)
And what about their 5 day promotion program in which you can discount your book or give it away to kick start your book’s campaign? (It’s been around a while, but there is still a lot of misunderstanding about this “giving a book away” business).

All three benefits are offered by Amazon Kindle through their Kindle Select Program. And I love them all from a pure marketing standpoint.

I’ve seen so many new authors decide on a marketing plan without getting full information first. Obviously getting the full lowdown on book marketing is not a ten-minute project (which is why I wrote The Frugal Book Promoter), but I thought it would help if I gave you—all of you, not just the newbies—a fast rundown on a very good marketing approach to your new book. It may be an especially good, easy, inexpensive launch idea for a second edition or way to remarket a book that’s been around for a while. This plan isn't in any way complete in terms of all the possible exigencies but you might at least consider it.

So here’s a marketing approach-in-a-nutshell you might consider.

1.   Start your marketing campaign for a new book by releasing your e-book first with Amazon’s Kindle.

2.   Use the benefits listed above that are available only the Kindle Select Program (meaning that you must give Amazon your e-book as an exclusive for 90 days—though you may have the print book anywhere else you want to during that time).

3.   Publicize your e-book like crazy using all of Select's benefits. Get it out there. Get the buzz going. Ask for reviews from those who get your book free or at a big discount.

4.   Then, if you want to have your book available across many other e-book programs, withdraw from Amazon’s program at the end of 90 days and get it installed on Smashwords, Nook, etc. But do know that in my newsletter I quote from an article in the IBPA Independent magazine that says most books that use Kindle's program exclusively are more profitable than the ones that are available on many of the other e-book platforms as well. It wasn't clear if they were taking into consideration the costs and time involved with reformatting that may be required for the different programs, but it's something to consider.

5.   Depending on what you decide based on the profit vs. distribution conundrum I mentioned above, you can leave your book in the Kindle Select Program and eventually repeat your campaign (with slight variations) as the terms of your agreement allow (maybe once a year.)


PS: I’m using something like the above marketing plan for the second edition of my The Frugal Editor: Do-it-yourself editing secrets for authors: From your query letter to final manuscript to the marketing of your new bestseller. It’s Updated! Expanded! Newly formatted! (Which it desperately needed!) It has a new cover by Chaz DeSimone and a new subtitle. And is available for the moment only on Kindle. Eventually, I’ll reformat the second edition for print, too, but only after I’ve utilized the power of Amazon. (3D book cover by Gene Cartwright of iFOGO .)


PPS: If you don't want to miss articles like this one, subscribe to my SharingwithWriters newsletter at http://howtodoitfrugally.com and get an e-copy of my fun and fast booklet, Great Little Last-Minute Edits, also available in paperback. The subscribe window is in the upper left corner of almost every Web site page.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

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