Sell More Books with This Kindle Marketing Strategy

Discover how to crack the Kindle marketing code with Amazon's built-in features!

Sell More Books with This Kindle Marketing Strategy
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There's a lot of noise out there when it comes to marketing your books, but the best Kindle marketing strategy is the one you can keep your focus on without getting distracted by the next big shiny object. Keeping up with the trends is important, sure, but jumping ship and overhauling your strategy every few months is a recipe for disaster because trial and error is expensive.

This blog post covers some marketing basics to help you decide where you want to put your time and energy. We'll show you what's worked best for our students over the years and what has helped them make more money, even if their budget was tight.

This is just the appetizer. If you're looking for an all-you-can-eat self-publishing buffet, head over to our KDP course that walks you through the entire publishing process step by step. No matter how many books you see yourself publishing, this course is the blueprint to scaling your publishing business as far as you want to take it.

An Overview of the Kindle Marketplace and How to Use It to Your Advantage

A lot of people don't realize just how massive Amazon's share of the book market is. So, let's take a look:

The Role of Amazon in eBook Sales

Amazon is the largest eBook retailer in the world, and the Kindle is the most popular eBook reader. As an indie author or publisher, this means that publishing your book on Kindle can give you access to a massive audience that doesn't even have to live in the same country as you. Amazon also offers various marketing tools to help you promote your books, such as Kindle Countdown Deals and Kindle Unlimited (more on these later).

For more Amazon KDP facts, check out our self-publishing infographic here!

Analyzing Competition and Audience Demographics

The first step before writing or publishing anything is to analyze the competition in your genre. This includes looking at the top-selling books in your genre and analyzing their covers, titles, and descriptions. With tools like KDP Spy, you can even look up how your competitors are ranking and how much they're earning in royalties. This can give you an idea of what works and what doesn't in your genre.

This research phase is always the first step in any good marketing plan. As you begin to understand your audience better, you'll take notes about things like age range, gender, and hobbies/interests. You'll then use this information to write your book (or inform your ghostwriter) and craft your ads.

Crafting Your Kindle Marketing Strategy

After the research comes the implementation. That usually looks a little something like this...

Setting Clear Goals and a Budget

Before you start marketing your self-published book on Kindle, you need to identify your goals and budget after mapping out the Amazon self-publishing costs. Your goals should be specific and measurable (you've probably heard of SMART goals). Some examples might be "I want to sell 100 copies of my book" or "I want to hit $10k per month in royalties."

Spending money on marketing for the first time can be scary! But can you afford NOT to? There's no harm in taking it slow as you get your bearings. And the great part is that Amazon ads are dynamic. You can adjust your budget depending on your life circumstances!

Developing a Marketing Plan

A good Amazon book marketing plan should include a variety of tactics that will help you reach your goals. Some effective tactics for marketing your Kindle book include:

  • Advertising on Kindle: You can run ads on Kindle that will appear on the Kindle home screen and other Kindle devices. You can target your ads based on keywords, categories, and demographics.
  • Social Media: Social media is a great way to promote your book and connect with readers. You can use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share updates about your book, engage with readers, and run promotions.
  • Email Marketing: Email marketing is another powerful way to reach your target audience. You can use email to promote your book, offer exclusive content to subscribers (like a free chapter), and build relationships with readers.
  • Book Reviews: Obtaining positive book reviews can help increase your book's visibility on Kindle. You can reach out to book bloggers and reviewers to request reviews of your book even before your new release goes live.

Using Amazon's Marketing Tools to Increase Book Sales

Amazon created the Kindle Direct Publishing platform with independent authors and publishers in mind. They have tons of built-in tools to help you optimize your book descriptions, book covers, and ads to make more sales. In other words, a solid Kindle marketing strategy is already available to you. You just need to learn how to tap into it.

Here are a few ways to use these tools to your advantage:

1. Amazon Advertising

Amazon Advertising is a powerful tool that allows you to create ads for your book that will appear on Amazon's website. You can choose from various ad formats, including sponsored products, sponsored brands, and sponsored display ads.

To create an effective ad, make sure to choose the right keywords and target your audience carefully. You can also track your ad's performance with their built-in metrics dashboard and adjust your strategy accordingly.

2. Kindle Select

KDP Select is a program that lets you offer your book for free for a limited time or enroll it in Kindle Unlimited. This can help increase your book's visibility and attract new readers.

To make the most of KDP Select, consider running a free book promotion or a Kindle Countdown Deal. You can also promote your book on your social media channels and through email marketing to reach a wider audience.

3. Amazon Author Central

Amazon Author Central is a free platform that allows you to create a profile, add your books, and connect with readers. Depending on your location, you can also use Author Central to create an author page and share your biography, photos, and videos. This isn't a requirement, but it's a great way to build credibility with prospective readers and Kindle users who might not be familiar with your work.

Understanding ACOS and Breakeven ACOS

If math isn't your strong suit, there's no need to panic. There are only two equations you need to learn to make sure that your marketing and advertising strategies are paying off: ACOS and Breakeven ACOS. Let's talk about 'em!

Calculating ACOS (Advertising Cost of Sale):

  • ACOS is calculated as (Ad Spend ÷ Sales) x 100
  • It measures the efficiency of your ad campaign.
  • For instance, if you spend $10 on ads and generate $100 in sales, your ACOS is 10%. This means you spent 10% of your sales revenue on advertising.

Why ACOS is Important:

  • ACOS helps you understand the return on investment (ROI) of your ad campaigns.
  • It’s crucial for budget management, helping you decide whether to scale up, reduce, or modify your ad spending.

What is Breakeven ACOS?

  • Breakeven ACOS is the maximum ACOS you can afford without losing money on your ads. It’s calculated based on your book’s list price and the royalty rate.

Calculating Breakeven ACOS:

  • The formula for Breakeven ACOS is calculated as Royalty per book÷List price per book×100
  • For example, if your book’s list price is $10 and your royalty per book is $4, your Breakeven ACOS would be ($4÷$10)×100=40
  • This means you can spend up to 40% of your revenue on advertising without incurring a loss.

Why Breakeven ACOS is Important:

  • It helps you set realistic targets for your ad campaigns.
  • Understanding your Breakeven ACOS allows you to manage your advertising budget more effectively.
  • It’s a benchmark to evaluate the performance of your advertising campaigns. If your actual ACOS is above your Breakeven ACOS, your ads are costing more than they are bringing in.

Strategies for Maintaining a Healthy ACOS:

  • Keep a close eye on your campaign performance and regularly compare your actual ACOS with your Breakeven ACOS.
  • Adjust your advertising strategies, such as refining keywords or optimizing ad copy, to improve the efficiency of your ads.
  • Experiment with different pricing strategies for your book to see how changes affect your Breakeven ACOS.

Kindle Unlimited vs. KDP Select: What's the Difference?

Amazon has tons of programs for self-publishers, and it can be easy to mix them up. Let's talk about the two you'll be using most frequently to market and promote your new book:

Kindle Unlimited (KU)

  • Subscription-Based Service: Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service where readers pay a monthly fee for unlimited access to a vast library of eBooks and audiobooks.
  • Royalty Structure: Authors are paid based on the number of pages read of their books by KU subscribers. The fund for these payments varies monthly.

Amazon KDP Select

  • An Enrollment Program for Authors: KDP Select is a program for authors and publishers that offers special benefits in exchange for exclusivity to Amazon for a set period (usually 90 days). This means it cannot be sold or distributed on any other platforms or websites.
  • Benefits: Enrollment in KDP Select makes your book eligible for Kindle Unlimited and, in the past, the Kindle Owners' Lending Library as well (though this has been discontinued). It also allows you to utilize promotional tools like Kindle Countdown Deals and Free Book Promotions.

Promoting Your Book on Amazon

Here are some strategies that can help you promote your book on Amazon:

Making Money with Amazon KDP Select

To leverage Amazon KDP Select, you need to enroll your book in the program and plan your promotion strategy carefully. Here are some quick tips that might help:

  • Plan your promotion well in advance and promote it heavily on social media and other platforms.
  • Use Amazon's built-in promotional tools, such as Kindle Countdown Deals and Free Book Promotions, to keep the momentum of your book launch going.
  • Consider partnering with other authors to cross-promote each other's books.
  • Use Amazon's promotional tools to create ads and reach a wider audience.

Making Money with Amazon Ads and Metadata

Amazon ads can help you reach a wider audience and promote your book effectively. Here's how:

  • Use Amazon's built-in advertising platform to create ads that target your ideal readers.
  • Use relevant keywords to optimize your book's metadata and improve its visibility in the Amazon search results.
  • Make sure your book's cover and description are compelling and engaging (without keyword stuffing or confusing potential readers).

Getting More Book Reviews

Book reviews are important for building social proof and attracting new readers. Here are some tips for getting more book reviews:

  • Ask your readers to leave a review at the end of your book.
  • Join social media groups and review sites that are compliant with Amazon’s review policies.
  • In the past, you could use Amazon's Early Reviewer Program to incentivize readers to leave a review. However, this was discontinued, likely due to deceptive practices by other publishers and authors. 

Innovative Advertising Techniques

Here are some creative advertising strategies to consider:

Leverage Amazon A+ Content:

  • If you're enrolled in KDP Select, use A+ Content to enhance your book's product page with rich text and images. This can make your page more engaging and informative, potentially increasing conversions.

Utilize Amazon’s Sponsored Brands Ads:

  • Beyond Sponsored Product Ads, consider Sponsored Brand Ads to showcase your brand and a selection of your books. 

Cross-Promote within Your Book Series:

  • If you have a series, promote the next book within the series at the end of each book. This can drive sales within the same reader base.

Expanding Your Reach Beyond the Amazon Kindle Store

For self-publishers, while Amazon is a significant platform, expanding your reach beyond Amazon can open up new markets and opportunities. Here's how to broaden your horizons:

Explore Other eBook Platforms:

  • Consider other major eBook retailers like Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google Play Books. Each platform has its own audience, potentially increasing your book’s visibility.

Utilize Aggregator Services:

  • Services like Draft2Digital, Smashwords, and IngramSpark can distribute your book to multiple platforms, including those that are difficult to access individually.

Audio Books and Other Formats:

  • Turn your book into an audiobook using platforms like ACX, reaching audiences who might be on the move and prefer audio content to written content. 

Analyzing and Improving Your Marketing Efforts

One of the most important things you can do to scale any business is to track your sales and adjust your tactics accordingly. This means keeping track of your book's ranking, as well as monitoring your marketing efforts to see which ones are working and which ones aren't.

To track your sales ranking, you can use tools like Amazon's KDP Reports or third-party services like Book Report. This will allow you to see how your book is performing over time and make adjustments to your marketing tactics as needed.

You should also keep track of things like your social media engagement, email open rates, and ad click-through rates.

Additional Resources and Tools for Self-Publishers

This list is by no means exhaustive, but here are a few resources and tools that can help you on your self-publishing journey:

Writing and Formatting:

  • Reedsy: Comprehensive tool for drafting and organizing manuscripts.
  • Grammarly: Essential for proofreading and checking spelling/grammar.
  • Discover more ebook formatting services here.

Marketing and Analytics:

  • BookBub: Effective for book promotions and reader insights.
  • Google Analytics: Useful for tracking website traffic and reader behavior.

Cover Design and Graphics:

  • Canva: User-friendly for creating book covers and promotional materials.
  • Adobe Spark: Offers versatile design options with more flexibility and control.

Editorial and Publishing Services:

  • Reedsy: Connects authors with professional editors and designers.
  • Publishing Services: Offers through and optimized book outlines and book descriptions.

Reader Engagement and Networking:

  • Goodreads: Ideal for connecting with readers and running book giveaways.
  • Social Media Platforms: Great for connecting with other publishers or getting book reviews.

Publishing Just One Kindle Book Can Change Your Life

Our community is filled with students who had no idea that just one book launch could lead to...

  • Permanently saying goodbye to the 9-5 life
  • Never having a boss again
  • Making enough money to send all your kids to college AND retire
  • Traveling the world

Meet Janet, a student of ours who stumbled onto publishing after experiencing a family tragedy. The financial stability it brought her and her kids meant the world to them. Listen to her story here!

Janet is just one of thousands of students from all over the world whose life was changed by just one book launch. Discover how even the busiest parents, college students, farmers, and dancers made it work for them at our free KDP webinar!

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