Learning how to launch a book on Amazon might feel a bit like trying to put together a Rubik’s cube, but that’s why we’re here. We’ll walk you through each step of the process, so it won’t be long before it becomes second nature to you.
A book launch involves choosing an optimal date to finally share your book with the public and having a plan to get reviews quickly. You want to get as many eyeballs on your books as possible to really make a splash in the big pond of other self-published and traditionally published books.
Think of this blog post as your book launch checklist. You might not use every book launch strategy listed, but implementing even a few tips can get you headed in the right direction.
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Amazon is the world's largest online retailer, and it has a massive customer base that includes millions of book buyers. This is good news for you because it allows you to tap into this vast audience and reach readers worldwide.
Amazon has revolutionized the book industry, practically eliminating the need for literary agents. This has leveled the playing field and made it possible for independent authors and publishers to compete with traditional publishing houses and even become bestsellers completely on their own.
And the best part is that readers who use Amazon are actively searching for books to buy to solve their problems. If you can figure out what types of problems people are having and how to solve them, that's when a niche becomes insanely profitable.
Amazon uses a proprietary algorithm to determine which books are displayed to customers when they search for a particular topic. The algorithm considers various factors, including the book's title, description, and keywords. It also looks at the book's sales history, customer reviews, and other factors to determine its relevance to a particular search query.
There's no way to "beat" the algorithm because it's really about the readers' experience. Your job is to make your book the best it can be so that readers will actually WANT to read it, and Amazon will actually WANT to boost its visibility.
If you ever have an issue with your Amazon account or KDP account (they might be linked, but they are different), you can contact Amazon through email. They can help you upload your book, update your book's categories, add A+ content, and answer any other questions you might have about self-publishing your book through the Kindle store.
Just like any super mega support team, you might not always have the best experience. But don't let that stop you from pushing on with your self-publishing business!
A pre-launch strategy plants the seeds for great reviews and plenty of book sales.
Here's what to consider:
Your book title and subtitle are the first things that potential readers will see. A well-crafted title and subtitle can make all the difference in attracting readers to your book. Make sure your title is clear, concise, and attention-grabbing. Your subtitle should provide more detail about your book's content and what readers can expect to learn from it.
The difference between "Guide for Dads" and "Millennial Parenting 101: A Guide for Anxious First-Time Dads" is that the latter is much more descriptive. Your audience should know exactly what a book is about and how it can help them without having to read a single page.
Your book cover is just as important as the title. A well-designed cover can convey your book's genre, mood, and tone. There are many ways on how to create a book cover for Kindle depending on your budget. yYou can hire a designer or use a cover design tool to create your cover.
The advancements with Dall-E lately have been mind-blowing! You can use AI tools like Dall-E or MidJourney for ideation or download their image results and edit them through other tools like Canva and Adobe. The tech is already here and getting even better by the day.
Choosing the right book's categories and keywords helps your book appear in relevant search results. There's no "trick" here. Pick categories and keywords that accurately reflect your book's genre and subject matter. Do not under any circumstances throw in a bunch of extra words just because they're "trending,"
...unless you want to deal with the potential consequences of having your account suspended.
Keyword stuffing is frowned upon, goes against Kindle Direct Publishing guidelines, does your readers a disservice, and it's just not worth it. Use tools like WordStream or ChatGPT to expedite the process!
If a reader is checking out your book description, it's likely that your title and cover already caught their interest, but they're not entirely convinced yet. This is your chance to hook them! Make sure your description is well-written, informative, and attention-grabbing. Cut out all the fluff and filler, but keep the personality. Tools like ChatGPT can help you draft a better book description and optimize it with Amazon keywords.
Here's an example of book details that have been optimized:
"Discover the Joy of Birdwatching: A Beginner's Guide to Feathered Friends"
Embark on a journey into the vibrant world of birds right from your backyard!
Birdwatching is not just a hobby; it's a portal to a world of breathtaking beauty and natural wonder. In "Discover the Joy of Birdwatching," you'll find the perfect companion for this journey. Whether you're gazing out your window or venturing into the wild, this guide is your ticket to a rewarding new hobby.
Inside, you'll uncover:
What sets this book apart is its focus on the beginner's perspective, ensuring that even those without prior knowledge can easily step into the world of birdwatching. Written by an avid birdwatcher with years of experience, this book brings you facts and a passion for the feathered world.
Ready to spread your wings and explore the skies? "Discover the Joy of Birdwatching" is your guide to starting a fulfilling new hobby. Dive in and let the birds lead the way!
Pro Tip: Play around with the formatting, and don't be afraid to use bullet points to make your book description easier to read.
If you're new to the publishing scene, you might not have an audience yet (which is totally okay). These things take time! Here are some ways you can work on building your audience up and turn them into an army of support to generate more sales:
Some of our students have built entire ecosystems around their books to be able to offer other digital products to their readers. Others like engaging with their audience through emails. But none of these strategies are required to start publishing or find success with it.
The more reviews your book gets when it first launches, the more readers you can reach and the more money you can make from your book royalties because they act as "social proof." We recommend the Facebook Review Method, which involves joining relevant Facebook groups to connect with beta readers who are excited to get their hands on new books. They'll give you glowing reviews or feedback that you can use to improve your next work. You can read more strategies to get book reviews on Amazon with our guide.
Pro Tip: Amazon's platform guidelines don't allow "cheating," so you can't bribe people (like your family) into giving you positive reviews.
The big day is finally here! To have a successful launch, consider the following:
To pick the most optimal launch day, consider several factors, such as holidays and other cultural events (if they're relevant). You also want to avoid launching your book during peak times when the competition is high, whenever possible. You might not know this right off the bat, and there's nothing wrong with that.
As you begin to publish in a certain niche, you might start picking up on the trends and patterns of your competitors. Then, you can use them to inform your future launches before you hit publish. For example, the back-to-school season in the US generally takes place in August/September. Tracking data with the right tool takes away the guesswork.
Pricing can be a little complicated. You need to find the right balance between affordability and profitability. You want to set an attractive price point to readers while still generating enough revenue to cover your expenses and make a profit. Consider the length of your book, the genre, and the competition when determining your price.
Pricing is also something that's likely to change over time. You might consider giving away free downloads of your eBook at the beginning to rack up a ton of positive reviews. Then, when you've hit a reasonable number of reviews (around 50 or so), you might up the price again.
Pro Tip: It's often better to price your book just slightly higher than your competitors. This will give your book a more premium feel.
Your self-published books marketing plan might include a mix of online and offline strategies, such as social media, email marketing, book reviews, and book tours. You want to reach as many readers as possible and generate interest in your book, but you don't want to get burnt out in the process, either.
You should absolutely celebrate hitting the "publish" button, but the work doesn't end there.
Here's what's next:
Amazon ads allow you to target potential readers based on their search history and interests. You can also target certain keywords by "bidding" on them. The key is to monitor your ad performance regularly and adjust your bids and targeting as needed.
Pro Tip: Always double-check how much you're bidding. One of our coaches recently learned this lesson the hard way with his own book. Luckily, this is a mistake most people only make once. ;)
Enrolling your eBook in Amazon's KDP Select Program is completely free and allows you to tap into a certain segment of Amazon customers. Overall, KDP is a great tool with tons of promotion features already built into it.
Pro Tip: Don't panic if it looks like Amazon started running a book promotion that you didn't know about and slashed the list price of your work. This will NOT affect your royalties. They do this to give certain books (old and new) more visibility.
Congratulations on launching your book!
Here are some tips to help you maintain and improve your book's sales:
Checking the data helps you understand which tactics worked and which didn't. You can use this information to adjust your marketing and promotional strategies. For example, if you notice that your sales are higher on certain days of the week, you can schedule promotions for those days. If you see that your sales are higher for a specific edition, such as the Kindle book, you can focus your efforts on promoting that edition. On the other hand, if a book isn't performing well, you might even consider launching a new edition.
Pro Tip: Slow and steady wins the race. Many of our students have seen "duds" turn into $10k+ per month earners less than a year later. You never know what might change. The coolest part of self-publishing is that once a book is up, it can continue earning you royalties forever while you work on other books.
Consider expanding your book to additional formats and editions to reach a wider audience. For example, you can create a paperback version of your book or produce an audiobook. You can also consider translating your book into other languages. Offering your book in multiple formats and editions makes it more accessible to different types of readers.
Here are some tips to help you avoid common mistakes and navigate competition and market changes.
Tiny errors and oversights happen, but most are easily correctible and should be tended to ASAP. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting dinged for your book's quality. Here are some common publishing mishaps:
Competition and market changes are inevitable, but they don't have to derail your book launch.
Here are some tips to help you stay ahead of the game:
After your book launch on Amazon, it's time to evaluate your success.
Here are a few ways to do it:
Read all your reviews and take note of what the readers liked and didn't like about your book. If you see any recurring themes, it's worth considering if there's anything you can do to address those issues in future books.
Pro Tip: You'll never be able to please every reader. A handful of bad reviews in a sea of good ones shouldn't get you down. It's NORMAL. Take everything with a grain of salt and keep doing the best quality work possible.
Goals help us find purpose and remind us to keep going, even when we're tired or feeling off our game. Consider what worked well in your launch and what didn't. You can use this information to set realistic goals for your next book launch.
Some things to consider when setting goals for future book projects include:
Pro Tip: Some of our students have reached out to local newspapers to get their book launches publicized. This is especially useful if you have an audience that's hard to reach through digital means. Again, it's not required by any means, but it doesn't hurt to look into it.
Here are a few reasons you might have gotten into self-publishing in the first place.
A successful book launch is the ticket to all three, and the blueprint is already yours.
Head on over to our free webinar to claim it and discover how to essentially print money with just your KDP account. All while retaining 100% of your publishing rights.