Friday, October 5, 2012

Ebook Platforms - Are Authors Missing Out?

It never occurred to me that the various ebook reading devices, which have given my tiny publishing empire a huge shot in the arm, might truly be limiting the number of books an author can sell?

I have committed the last month and this month to doing limited writing on material for sale and focusing on learning more about the business side of self-publishing, blogging, book marketing, SEO and all the other things it seems one has to master to succeed as a self-publisher.

One of the concepts I keep running across as I do my research is the need to capture data. While some "experts" claim I need to capture, retain and analyze seemingly unending data, I have decided to "filter" what is important for my business and simply disregard the rest. 

What information would I like to obtain? E-mail address for one. I have two e-newsletters. These are a big part of my marketing efforts as well as a means to establish credibility and announce new titles for sale or the arrival of the ebook or POD edition.

It would be great to know what keywords were used in the search that led buyers to my book's product page. The same is true for the tags used, any affiliate links that resulted in a sale and especially since I am a bit dubious about the value of social media, which, if any, resulted in a sale or a visit to a book's product page.

I am willing to bet Amazon knows the answers to all of these questions. Why this information is not shared with authors who use Kindle Direct Publishing or any other ebook platform is strange to me. The object for everyone involved is to sell books and increase the use of the ebook reading devices.

Well, it would seem I am not alone. Baldur Bjarnason posted a thought provoking article about this topic.

I would love to obtain this type of data. It would make a huge difference for me in my book marketing efforts. The more often I can get my books in front of potential buyers who have already shown an interest in titles and topics I write about, the more sales I will generate.

If nothing else, it would be nice if Amazon or Barnes and Noble offered as an option to the buyer or an interested browser the ability to opt-in to share contact information with an author, be it via e-mail or social media such as Twitter.

We might all make more money. Self-publishing is a business.