Friday, February 5, 2010

Marketing Books and Aiming for Amazon Part II

You have written and self-published a good book. You have obtained your mandatory copy of Aiming at Amazon by Aaron Shepard. You have done everything described and your product page and other Amazon marketing tools have been maximized.

What more can you do to promote your book on Amazon? 

The answer is quite a bit. The internet allows authors to connect with potential readers at almost no cost in ways that just a decade ago would not have been possible.  Authors can build what is known as an author platform, a means by which the author promotes his or her book and connects with readers.

This blog is on part of my author platform for my book on self-publishing using CreateSpace. I have a blog on my website for my coaching business. To follow trends and determine if your blog is being read you should use Google Analytics to track how many visitors your blog has, what posts are being read and to determine the reading habits and trends of your visits. If for no other reason, this information can be helpful in determining the topic of your next book or guiding the content of the book you are currently writing.

Blogs can be trendy, topical and up to the minute. They can also provide additional information that is more up to date than when your book was published, allowing readers who purchased your book to visit your blog and be kept current.

Blogs can cover detailed issues either with long posts or posts broken up into segments or parts like this topic. By breaking the information up into parts, you can generate follow up traffic to your blog.

Authors have posted parts of the book they are are currently writing and asked for their readers to provide feedback.  Many of these authors have commented on how valuable that feedback was in creating a better finished book.

What does having a blog have to do with selling books on Amazon? Aaron Shepard discusses the business model, or strategy if you like, of steering your sales to Amazon. The more books you sell on Amazon, the more Amazon's computers will promote your book. The more your book is promoted, the more books you sell. The more books you sell....you get the idea. This approach has the added benefit of these sales all being hands off. You don't collect the money, maintain inventory, handle shipping, etc, thereby lowering your overhead as a publisher.  

By creating interest in your book through your blog, you increase demand for your book. Send your readers to Amazon to buy the book and feed the virtuous cycle.

In Part III I will discuss other ways to promote your book, build your author platform and thus generate more sales on Amazon.