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.
He’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.
- Update the book cover – see screenshots below on how the cover has evolved, and cast your vote for your favorite.
- 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.
- 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.
- Also, asking for real reviews on the Amazon page. Reviews are essential for successful exposure and ranking in Amazon.
- 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.
- Write a blog post about the ebook launch and the Free Days.
- 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:
>> 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.