Thursday, March 3, 2011

Marketing Kindle and POD Books When Releasing a New Title

Since introducing Kindle versions of two of my POD titles, I have been pleasantly surprised by two results, an increase in sales of the POD versions and the fact the Kindle versions have far outsold the print version. Late this month or early in April a Kindle version of my best selling POD title will make its debut on Amazon as well.

I have been thinking about what approach I should take in marketing the launch of my third Kindle title. I am concerned still about the possibility of Kindle sales hurting the print sales, especially since this is my best selling title. I hope the opposite is true and like the other two titles the sales numbers for the POD version improve AND the Kindle sales do well.

The first title I offered as a Kindle version I used my e-newsletter and an introductory price as an effort to spur sales initially. I also indicated in my newsletter that the introductory price would only be good until mid-January of this year and then there would be a price increase. I was stunned at the number of copies of the Kindle version I sold in December and early January. The numbers did drop after the price increase, but not dramatically. The title in question, The Game of Basketball, is ranked second if a search for coaching basketball is done. The first six weeks of sales drove the Amazon Sales Ranking up high enough that the long tail of Amazon did the rest. The decrease in sales numbers has not resulted in a loss of profit as the price increase combined with the minimal drop in total sales numbers means the Kindle version is earning more profit on the slightly lower volume.

The e-newsletter was a definite plus in marketing the release of The Game of Basketball and will be used for the next Kindle title. My price point will be higher for Game Strategy and Tactics for Basketball, my best selling title. I am also debating if I will use a lower initial price to drive early sales of the Kindle version as well.

One of the marketing issues for my target audience is how many of the potential readers of my books have Kindle reading devices? I worked to circumvent this issue by noting in each weekly issue of my in season e-newsletter that Kindle books could be read on a lap top and other electronic devices. I included a direct link to the page on the Amazon site where FREE software to read Kindle books could be downloaded to the device in question. If you have a means of providing this information with a link to potential customers I would encourage you to do so. Yes, you might sound like a shill for Amazon, but if it increases your Kindle sales, so be it.

I have a blog on my business website and I did use it to promote the Kindle titles but spent most of my promotional effort on the e-newsletter. 

There are several message boards where coaches visit to exchange information and often mention new books or DVDs they have obtained and offer reviews for other coaches to read. I am toying with the idea of giving away a few print copies to coaches to review with the request the review be honest, but mention that both a print and a Kindle version are available.

The only really different step I have taken in promoting my Kindle titles when compared to promoting my print titles is the effort to let potential readers know about the FREE Kindle software for devices other than the Kindle reader.

I would love for other authors to share any effective ideas they have successfully used to promote and drive sales numbers up for their Kindle titles.