How to Effectively Market Your Kindle Book
Writing your book is an amazing accomplishment and you should feel immensely proud of yourself for making it this far. Unfortunately, just getting it listed on Amazon isn’t enough to guarantee anyone is actually going to read your book.
The hard truth is that there are literally millions of books for sale on Amazon, and there’s a good chance that at least a few hundred of them are direct competitors for your ideal audience’s attention.
Don’t panic or give up though, there are a few simple yet effective Kindle marketing techniques that most self-published authors don’t know about or bother with. If you follow the advice in this article you’ll be giving your book a substantial edge over the competition.
For best results, you’re going to want to focus your Kindle ebook marketing both on the Amazon platform and off of it. Let’s get started!
Kindle eBook Marketing Techniques - On Amazon
Just by choosing to publish your book on Amazon, you’re establishing the eCommerce giant as a partner in your success. For every sale, Amazon gets a cut, so it’s in their best interest to sell as many of your books as possible, as long as your book is the best on the subject.
Unofficially, that’s your first tip. If you want your book to sell, you have to make sure all your marketing efforts are directed at a fantastic product, so make sure your book is well written, edited, and formatted before doing anything else.
KDP eBook Details
If you’re ready to start marketing, we’re going to assume you’re already signed up for KDP. The first Kindle eBook marketing steps you need to take are setting up your eBook details for maximum effectiveness on the platform before you even hit the publish button.
The sections you want to pay particularly close attention to are the keywords, categories, and your book description. These are powerful sales opportunities for you and you don’t want to waste a single character if you want your book to be seen by the right people.
If you need help maximizing the details of your book to help you get the most exposure possible, the blog post How To Publish A Book On Amazon goes in-depth on all the best practices.
KDP Select Promotions
Amazon has a program called KDP Select which all authors have the option to participate in. If you’re a relatively unknown author, put a lot of thought into the benefits of this program.
Before we talk about the pros, however, let’s get the big, glaring con out on the table: exclusivity. In order to join KDP Select, you have to agree to sell your book exclusively through the Amazon platform. This means you can’t sell it on Play, Nook, iBooks, or Kobo. You can’t even sell it on your own website. That is a big decision to make.
There are a few caveats. First, you only have to agree to a 90 day period. After that, you can rethink your options. Second, you’re only agreeing to the digital rights. You’re welcome to publish print or audio copies on alternative platforms if you choose.
To decide if it’s worth it or not, let’s look at the perks of the KDP select program that will help with your Kindle marketing.
1. Kindle Unlimited (KU):
Anyone who has a Prime Membership automatically gets access to the KU program, though you can also pay a monthly subscription to join KU without being a Prime Member. This means they can borrow select books for free. As the author, you get a cut from the KDP Select Global Fund, based on the number of pages read in your book. Some authors make a great deal more though KU than regular sales of their book. Others make next to nothing. If you’ve written a page turner and manage to effectively maximize your Kindle eBook marketing, you should do well with KU.
2. Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL):
The Lending Library is very similar except that it is restricted to Prime Members. Any member who owns a Kindle can choose one book a month from within the KOLL to read and hold onto as long as they want. You’ll get royalties from the number of pages they read the first time they go through your book.
3. Kindle Countdown Deals & Free Book Promotions:
It may feel counterintuitive to consider giving your eBook away for free or at a discounted rate if what you’re trying to do is make more money, but these two options can actually be very effective Kindle marketing strategies. They are both for limited time periods only, and the goal is to create a reading frenzy around your book. Amazon rewards sales - even $0 sales - by showing popular books more often in specific sections of their website, such as related products. The other perk to this strategy is that the more people who read your book, the more potential reviews you’ll receive. Reviews give books an amazing marketing boost, so the more the better.
Amazon Advertising Services (AMS) - Now Amazon Advertising (AA)
Authors publishing through KDP also have exclusive opportunities for paid advertisements directly within the Amazon platform. Similar to most pay-per-click advertising, you would set up an account, create an ad, and ask Amazon to display it for you. Anytime someone clicks on your ad, you pay a small price in exchange for the traffic.
For kindle eBook marketing, advertising through AMS can be much more effective than advertising on other platforms, such as Google or Facebook. The reason for this is simply that when a person is on Amazon, they’re there with the purpose of shopping. They’re primed and ready to buy when they see something that interests them, which isn’t necessarily the case for someone who sees an ad off the powerhouse eCommerce platform.
As a KDP author, you can choose from either Sponsored Product Ads or Product Display Ads. If you’d like your book to show up when a specific keyword is searched, than you would want to set up your advertisement as a Sponsored Product. On the other hand, if you’d like your book to be shown when users search for a particular product, you would choose a Product Display Ad.
In most cases, authors will choose the first option, Sponsored Products, and select their keywords strategically. However, if you’ve written a book that complements another product, such as an Instant Pot Cookbook, you might want to consider putting your ad alongside product searches for Instant Pots, for example.
To set up your advertisements, you simply go to your KDP dashboard and find the published book you’d like to advertise. To the far right of your cover you’ll see an “...” button. If you hover over it, you can choose the option to “Promote and Advertise” and Amazon will walk you through the rest of the process.
Kindle Marketing Techniques - Off Amazon
Focusing your Kindle eBook marketing efforts on the Amazon platform makes a lot of sense, but moving off Amazon can also be very effective. Whether you have a current audience or you’re starting from scratch, there are plenty of off-Amazon promotional techniques that send new buyers directly to your eBook sales page.
Use an Existing Audience
If you’ve been in business for a while in a field related to the topic of your book, you can leverage your current audience to influence your eBook sales. The two most common methods for targeting your Kindle marketing to your current audience is through a blog post on your website and by writing to your email list.
1. Blogging - Your Site
The simplest and easiest way you can direct traffic towards your eBook sales page is to simply write a blog post about your book. Make it in-depth and persuasive. Sell your audience on why this book needs to be a part of their life. Use images, quotes, reviews, bullet points… anything you can do to hook them. And strategically pepper your post with links back to your listing on Amazon.
2. Email Marketing
Very similar to a blog, all you have to do with email marketing is to write about your book. You can email your list multiple times, explaining to them why they should be interested in your book. Come at it from different angles, but always be sure to explain what’s in it for them. In other words, don’t spam your audience with “buy my book” sales promotions. Instead, share with your audience all the ways your book can impact their lives for the better.
Embracing Social Media
Social Media is one of the most effective ways to market anything in 2019, let alone focusing your Kindle eBook marketing efforts on the popular platforms. News travels fast and fades even quicker, so if you want to use social media to your advantage, it’ll help to know a few tips for each of the most popular platforms.
Facebook is very visual, so if you can share an image or, better yet, include a live video telling your social network about your book, that would be incredible. Don’t sell, share. And don’t be shy - you can talk about your book more than once and in plenty of different ways. Top tip: don’t put a link inside the main body of your post. Instead, put a link to your Amazon book in the first comment.
Twitter is incredibly fast paced. Users like well-explained links and rely heavily on hashtags, so make sure you do a bit of research to find out which ones will be most relevant to your eBook topic or genre.
Instagram is obviously very image based, but think outside the book cover box here. Use images that evoke the feeling or topic of your book and include a quote overlay or some other enticing typography work. Use your caption to engage with your audience. As always, try not to sell, but share. Make sure you put the URL to your sales page on Amazon in your bio. Instagram stories are also great ways to get your audience interested in your book and, if you’ve got 10,000+ followers you can use the “swipe up” function to include a direct link to your sales page.
LinkedIn is primarily a business platform, sure, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great place to do a little Kindle ebook marketing. Write articles about your topic and include a link. Treat these posts like short blog posts. You can also update your profile to call yourself an author officially, and include a website link to your Amazon eBook sales page or your Author Central Page.
Build Search Engine Traffic
As mentioned, social media can draw a flurry of attention on your eBook, but you don’t want to limit your sales to flash in the pan success. You want consistent, long-term traffic directed at your sales page on Amazon, and getting the attention of search engines and search engine-like platforms can help you increase the sustainability of your Kindle marketing efforts.
Each of the following platforms will deliver traffic over the long-term. The longer they’re online, the more effective they become - which is the exact opposite of the previously mentioned social media options.
1. Blogging - External Sites like Medium, Quora, Reddit
Rather than trying to sell your book directly, you can use sites like these to establish yourself as an authority on the subject of your book. If you answer questions and write posts regularly, it’s ok to occasionally suggest that readers click through to your book sales page for more information on the topic.
Pinterest is very underutilized and has incredible Kindle marketing potential. You can use free tools like Canva to create attractive images related to the topics in your book and, if you set up your account as a business account you can make your images link directly to your Amazon sales page, dramatically increasing your sales potential.
YouTube is owned by Google and operates exactly like a search engine, but specifically for videos. The best part is that it’s much less competitive to rank for search terms on YouTube than on Google but, once you rank on YouTube, Google will share your video on the top of the web search engine results page. Get yourself in front of a camera and talk about your book and the topics you cover as often as you’re comfortable. Make sure to use strategic keywords in your title and take the time to write a good description as well.
Don’t let the vastness of Kindle eBook marketing options overwhelm you. While it would be great for you to dedicate attention to each and every one of the suggestions shared, you don’t have to do everything, be everywhere, or do it all at once.
Start with one or two of the tips talked about and build your Kindle marketing over time. A book is a long-term commitment with the potential for long-term success. Don’t rush it, and never give up!