Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Promoting Your Book On Amazon - Giving Away Content

Self-published authors are interested in ways to increase their sales on Amazon.com. After all, Amazon allows self-published authors something most book stores will not, access to customers who might want to purchase the author's book!

Just how does a self-published author promote his or her book on Amazon? A great deal has been written about that topic and unfortunately, some of it is not helpful or ethical. One example of this type of book is Sell Your Book On Amazon.  An excellent book that deals with promoting your book on Amazon is Aaron Shepard's Aiming at Amazon, a must purchase for any author considering promoting and selling books on Amazon. Other sources of information on this topic can be found by searching through internet message groups, blogs and other sources of information about self-publishing and book marketing.

It may seem counter intuitive, but one of the best ways to generate interest in a book is to five away parts of the the book's contents. Think of your book as a preview to a movie.  The potential reader sees the preview (the portion of your book you have given away for free) and decides to see the movie (purchase your book) as a result.

The first question an author should consider is what part of the book should be provided for free? The temptation for a non-fiction book will be to not provide any useful or important information. For fiction the temptation might be to not reveal an exciting portion of the plot. This impulse needs to be ignored in both cases.

If the segment of information from the non-fiction book is important and valuable, it shows the potential reader the book has considerable value.  If the section given away is well written and has valuable content, then the rest of the book must be equally valuable, or at least that is the conclusion you hope the potential reader comes to. For fiction, if the passage is exciting and interesting, then perhaps the book is a page turner and is a great read!

How much content should be given away in terms of volume? Enough to show value and peak the reader's interest and not much more.  If you give away too much of the book, why should the reader purchase the book?

How can this content be made available to potential readers? One way is by providing it on Amazon in the form of Amazon shorts, which can be downloaded after the fee has been paid.  Another is to provide the information in Amazon's Kindle format and sell the passage for .01 or give it away.

Make certain readers know that the free information or story is just part of a larger work that is or will be available for sale on Amazon.