Be Part of Our Great Kindle eBook Experiment

This Will be a Story of Book Promotion for Regular Folks.

Lately it seems that I’m getting a ton of emails about how to sell your ebooks and make a killing in the Kindle arena. I’m also digging into various aspects of Kindle book promotion. From how to get the ebook document prepared for the Kindle format conversion – to Kindle Book Systems (see the Number One Book System by Ryan Deiss) – to how to have a successful promotion using Kindle’s KDP Select program and how to best utilize the KDP Select free days that you get with the program.

Now, Ryan Deiss is a heavy-hitter in the internet marketing circles. I’m pretty sure he has an enormous email list, as well as some powerful affiliates that market his products for him. Our experiment doesn’t involve someone like that.

Meet Richard.

mile hi cycle guyHe’s a regular “Joe” who is busy working in his own business, and who doesn’t have much of a list and doesn’t have a lot of time to spend on his marketing. He created his ebook out of his passion for the subject. It’s a non-fiction ebook called “Rediscover Your Joy with Bicycles and Cycling”.  In my readings, I’ve seen where people say that fiction books have better selling opportunities, so I’m urging Richard to see if he has some fiction book ideas in him for a series as our next project. We’ll see how that goes.

This experiment is about a new book launch. Or, relatively new. It’s something where the author has had the ebook for sale on his website for many months, without sales. Perhaps you can relate?

Part 2 of this blog post is at The Great Kindle eBook Experiment – Part Two: The Follow-up.

It’s being relaunched with a new name, a new cover, and using Kindle’s KDP Select program for 90 days.

Outline of Our 7 Step Marketing Plan.

Based on the variety of great articles, ebooks, and courses I’ve been involved in as of late, we are implementing a basic marketing plan, something an author would typically handle on their own with ease.

  1. Update the book cover – see screenshots below on how the cover has evolved, and cast your vote for your favorite. Smile
  2. Join Kindle’s KDP Select program and schedule the first set of free days around an event. Fortunately, we have a big bike race happening right now in Colorado. We’re using the timing of the free-days promotion we get with KDP Select to coincide with the final days of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge race from August 24th – August 26th, 2012. Our hopes is that it might enhanced exposure of the ebook.
  3. Notify his family, friends, colleagues, and email and social communities about the Free Days event a day or two before it is happening, and ask them to also spread the word to their communities.
  4. Also, asking for real reviews on the Amazon page. Reviews are essential for successful exposure and ranking in Amazon.
  5. Use a Facebook Page post promotion to increase its visibility. It’s easy enough to fit that extra $5 or $10 dollars into the slim marketing budget.
  6. Write a blog post about the ebook launch and the Free Days.
  7. Post to some of the Facebook Pages, Goodreads/Kindleboards,  and other websites that you can promote your ebook. (more details to come about where Richard decided to post)

One of the things we wanted to do was to get a video book trailer done, but we just didn’t have the time this go-around. We decided to “go KDP Select” last night and set up the free promotion to start on Friday. That’s not to say that we won’t have it done and ready to go when we do our next set of free days.

This time we’re foregoing some of the more time-intensive marketing efforts, such as a book blog, a book tour, a video series, a slew of guest posts, a string of buzz posts as part of a social media strategy, an affiliate partner plan, etc. For a solo-entrepreneur / author who is launching this all on their own, these might be too intimidating and seem out of reach in their already tight budget and schedule. This time, we’re keeping it simple.

Join Our Experiment. Please…

So, here’s the part where I ask you to join our Kindle ebook experiment.

While the ebook is normally priced at $2.99 in the Kindle store, the first “Free Days” promotion is running from Friday, August 24th through Sunday, August 26th, 2012. Even if you’re not a cycling enthusiast, you may know someone to pass this along to. Still, we would love to get some honest-to-goodness feedback and reviews about the book posted onto the book’s Amazon page at http://www.amazon.com/Rediscover-Your-Bicycles-Cycling-ebook/dp/B008Z76H6G/ . The promotion starts on Friday, but it’s available right now to borrow for free from your Kindle if you are a Prime Member.

You could really help Richard kick off this promotion for the book by telling as many people as possible about this free download. Let’s see how this works out?

The Starting Point.

Here it was at August 22, 2012 9pm, before the Free Days promotion starts:

how to sell ebook on kindle

>> UPDATE AS OF FRIDAY, AUGUST 24TH AT 8:30AM – 49 free downloads, rank #4375

 

>> UPDATE AS OF FRIDAY, AUGUST 24TH AT 6:30PM – 207 free downloads, rank #825

 

Marketing Plan Step #1: The Book Cover Evolution – Cast Your Vote for Your Favorite Version

Getting the book cover right is an important part of the ebook’s success. For the most part it is what drives whether or not someone will purchase your ebook. Since its original inception, our ebook cover has gone through some major changes. For our experiment, we decided that was the first thing that needed updating.

You can use the comments area below to vote for your favorite ebook cover version, seen below. If you’re a Pinterest user you can vote on your favorite version by pinning it with hashtag #kindleexperiment

The first ebook cover, in its 3D format. This was OK for something quick and without much thought to impact and design elements.

how to sell ebook on kindle

 

The second ebook cover, in its flat format, including a spine in preparation for the 3D conversion. One recommendation is to try to capture an emotion within your title. Because the purpose of the ebook is to enhance a new cyclist’s enjoyment through education and knowledge, we changed the title from “Bicycles and Cycling” to “Rediscover Your Joy with Bicycles and Cycling”, hoping to trigger something emotional in a potential reader. At the time, I was really happy with this version, but after some time (and after looking at other book covers) I felt it was missing something. Which lead to the third version.

how to sell ebook on kindle

 

The third ebook cover, and the one in use right now. While I still loved the words in the title itself, one of the elements the second version lacked was the ability to make the title stand out more visually, especially when being viewed as a thumbnail in the Kindle store. So I made size and color changes to parts of the title, giving it that extra something special.

how to sell ebook on kindle

 

The fourth ebook cover, which is more about me playing with an idea in the header area. This is not in use, but I wanted to show you anyway. On one hand I really like the tire tread element, but on the other I think it might make it too busy and take the focus away from the title. You tell me. Would you use this cover over the third version? Is it too over-the-top?

how to sell ebook on kindle

The fifth ebook cover, is a recommended suggestion from commenter Mona. I’m liking it! It keeps the tire tread element and makes the top less busy by removing that statement. I had to tone down the tire tread intensity and put a slight glow on the title to make it pop more off the busyness of the tread detail, but I don’t think that takes away from the impact. I am leaning toward this one more and more. Let me know what you think of this one?

Keep those ideas coming! I’ll continue to add new versions as readers suggest them – within reason, of course.

More ebook cover changes are taking place! Come on over to the follow-up blog post and see what’s happening with this ebook marketing and ebook cover project.

Follow Our Progress

Over the next several weeks I will be providing updates on how things are going, what worked, what didn’t work, and so on. So, I hope you’ll come back and watch the progress of our Great Kindle eBook Experiment, and maybe learn a few things along the way for your own ebook project.

Share Your Own eBook Experiment

Do you have your own ebook experiment story to tell? If you used Kindle’s KDP Select program, tell us how your experience and success went. Let us know what you did (or didn’t do) in your ebook launch using the comments below.

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About Andrea Kalli

Since 2007, Andrea has been helping entrepreneurs develop their business dreams through solid online marketing strategy planning, implementation, marketing, and maintenance. "Your goals are my goals. We do this together." ~Andrea

14 Responses to “Be Part of Our Great Kindle eBook Experiment”

  1. JudyAnn Lorenz August 23, 2012 5:18 pm
    #

    How fun!  I tried to pin the 3rd cover, but my pinterest is being temperamental.  I like that tire tread thing, but it makes the text look murky.  Maybe sneak some tire tread in someplace else. Readers do want a cover; I’ve read comments about the books that skip the cover part. There is some therapy in a bookcover.  I downloaded the book and we will give you a review. 

    I have authors I work with who are using the Kindle-only approach.  One is formatting her book at the moment in CreateSpace. The other used a ‘publisher person’ who uploads the content to Amazon.  I don’t know the procedure; I’m mostly a website person. Interesting that when we found errors, he can fix them and re-upload the book.  That book is entitled Desolate Heart, Sidney Archer, author.

    • AndreaKalli August 23, 2012 5:37 pm
      #

       Hi JudyAnn! Thanks for participating and especially for downloading the book. I used Word to format the book and Calibri to convert it to the Kindle format. It was the first time I used Calibri and following the instructions I had, it was really quick and easy. The longest time was spent in getting the book cleaned up in Word. I haven’t tried CreateSpace yet, but plan to dabble when I get an opportunity.

      Appreciate your thoughts about the tire-tread version of the cover. I am still on the fence about it. The author really likes it, so we will probably be swapping it for the current one after the free book promo is done. Don’t want to mess in there too much right now.

      • Anonymous August 24, 2012 11:08 am
        #

         I will be interested in learning about your experiences with CreateSpace. So far, she likes it. She is working on the formatting and has been able to create a nice cover.

        • AndreaKalli August 24, 2012 11:35 am
          #

           Will definitely let you know about my thoughts on CreateSpace

  2. Mona August 23, 2012 11:31 pm
    #

    I like the fourth cover.  I would drop the “Learn what, and how, to ride with joy today” line and just use the tire tread design.  Reason…l think you have already covered the intro with the ” Everything you need to know to begin riding and enjoying a bike” sub statement.  If you did this, it might look better if you then raised the title until it slightly overlaps with the tread design instead of being directly under it.  Just my viewpoint on the design of course.

    I like the enlargement of the word “Rediscover” and the emphasis on “your joy” in the title as opposed to cover #2.  I haven’t read the book of course, but with this change I would guess that the focus is more on Redisovering your joy in life through the use of bicycles. 

    • AndreaKalli August 24, 2012 8:42 am
      #

      Great idea! I’m going to create another version with your suggestions and post it. That way we can get some additional input and have another one to compare. Love it!

  3. Cindy Opong August 24, 2012 10:10 am
    #

    I agree with the direction you’re headed Andrea – I like the tire tread without the text over it. The text on top was a bit too much for the eyes. I’m not much into cycling, but my sister & BIL are and I’ve sent them the book link!

    • AndreaKalli August 24, 2012 10:18 am
      #

      I couldn’t agree more, Cindy. Thanks for your comment, and a big THANK YOU for forwarding the book link to your family. It’s very much appreciated!

  4. Anonymous August 24, 2012 11:03 am
    #

    The new #5 cover is going good. I understand the wait to change.  I finally got this one to PIN!  

    • AndreaKalli August 24, 2012 11:34 am
      #

      Yay! Thanks so much for participating. 🙂

  5. Chrissy Morin August 26, 2012 7:01 am
    #

    I like the third one with the tire tread. and the words.. 🙂

    • AndreaKalli August 26, 2012 2:29 pm
      #

      Interesting. I love hearing what appeals to one person over the other. Thanks for your contribution to the voting!

  6. Anonymous August 26, 2012 2:38 pm
    #

    Is this the sort of Kindle Experience you mean?  I work on the website for Sidney Archer; her first novel, Desolate Heart was recently released solely on Kindle. I don’t have contact at present with the publisher to know what formatting he used.  He can take it down to make corrections. Sidney says she will want to be better prepared for launch day next time. She has a personal/author fan page, but nothing specific for the book yet.  I do some of her Facebook things too. This is the Amazon link: http://amzn.to/NPLs30. 

    • AndreaKalli August 26, 2012 4:33 pm
      #

      Would love to know some numbers, if the author wants to share. How are sales going?