With two years of experimenting with different social media elements for promoting Kindle ebooks on
Amazon, I have come to some conclusions:
Most importantly, doing nothing means almost no sales (unless you are already famous).
To have sales, you must continually expend time and money in promoting ebooks.
Free ebooks via Amazon’s KDP Select program coupled with advertising on free and paid sites for this promotion and announcing via social media sites can result in very large downloads depending on the book, its reviews, and other factors.
When an author slacks off from constant promotional activities, sales plummet. This is especially true as the search engine benefits of large numbers of downloads or sales fade quickly, depending on which Amazon algorithms are used for which particular Amazon book list.
Cross-promotional activities with other authors can be beneficial, particularly if the books by different authors are in the same or related genres. Again, though, this takes effort and must be undertaken on an ongoing basis.
One of the biggest problems is that success with free downloads during a KDP Select promotion can be hazardous for the Amazon ranking of a book.
This happened with my women’s friendship novel MRS LIEUTENANT, which had a huge number of downloads during one promotion, mostly due to a paid ad on BookBub. But this also meant that the downloads included many readers who were not the target audience for the book.
This then resulted in some negative reviews, which brings the overall ranking of a book down on Amazon. Thus even though MRS. LIEUTENANT mostly gets great reviews, the few negative reviews really impacted the book’s ranking.
At the moment I am re-evaluating whether the effort (time and money) it takes for a non-famous book author to get her books purchased on Amazon has a large enough ROI to be worth it.
Please feel free to weigh in below on this topic.
P.S. As I don’t currently have any Kindle books on free promotion, you may read my writing on Wattpad with two works-in-progress:
The Cold War memoir TALES OF AN AMERICAN OCCUPYING GERMANY at http://budurl.com/TAintro
The dystopian thriller THE MOTHER SIEGE at http://budurl.com/MSintro
© 2013 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON and the romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY.
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