Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be. There are only twelve action items in this blog and they’ll only take you about eighteen hours to implement them. I want you to really absorb that. In 18 hours you will have done everything to market your ebook effectively.
How To Sell Your Ebook On Amazon
I recommend that you spread those 18 hours over a period of about three weeks. Almost every action item in this blog requires judgment and creativity. I don’t know about you, but my best judgment comes from putting things aside and coming back a few days later to reassess. Whether you’re working on keyword phrases or your book title, NEVER make a decision without taking time off to let your creative juices simmer.
You’ll also need to budget those eighteen hours over several weeks because some of the work is going to be outsourced (like your book cover) and you’re at the mercy of the vendor’s timetable. You should also be bouncing ideas off of trusted advisors, which also takes time.
So let’s break down the twelve action items and how they amount to 18 hours of work:
Designing a book cover: 1 Hour
Your job is to find and manage the designer. They will do the work. Managing them doesn’t take long.
Coming up with a clickable title: 4 hours
Sometimes you get it immediately, other times it will take hours on end. But when you actually add up the hours you spend dreaming up titles, talking to advisors and testing them with your council, it’ll be about four hours. It just seems like it takes longer because you’re thinking so much about it over the course of a few weeks.
Getting to the top of Amazon’s search engine: 3 hours
You’ll spend about 2 hours on Google and about 1 hour on Amazon’s “Leading Indicators.”
Picking the categories for your book: One half hour
There are only two you can pick. And the way I’ve laid out the process, it shouldn’t take you long at all.
Putting a billboard on your competitor’s pages: 1 hour
That includes researching and writing short reviews for three competitive books (with a link to your book).
Writing your book description: 3 hours
It’s only 650 words but they better be the best 650 words you’ve ever written! The Positive Writer offers 5 tips on how to write the best book description ever. Treat this with the career-making importance of writing a front-page article to the New York Times. DO NOT PHONE IT IN.
Using HTML on your book description: one half hour
It really is a copy/paste process, though you will have to test to make sure you didn’t screw up.
Maximizing your “Look Inside” feature: —
Although this will take you some time (2-3 hours) it falls under pre-publication formatting, rather than post-publication marketing. Unless the first 10% of your book actively works against you in the Look Inside feature, I don’t recommend going through the time, energy and expense of re-formatting your book. Just make sure you do it for your next one.
Pricing strategies: 2 hours
It’s very straightforward: Assess your strengths relative to competitors, look at what they’re charging and come up with a launch price.
Placing strategic starter reviews: 2 hours
You are essentially writing (or having someone else do it) six insightful reviews. It should take you about 20 minutes per review.
Overcoming “Pre-buyers Remorse” with Author Central: one half hour
There’s simply not much to do on your author page—a short bio and links to your books, blogs and video.
Making your book an after-sale ambassador: —
Again, this will take you some time but this is a pre-publication formatting issue. If your book is already on Kindle and you don’t have an effective post-sales message, it’s a judgment call as to whether you should edit, re-format and re-submit. I did it for some of my books, but not for others. However, going forward, I make sure this section is up to snuff before publication.
Follow these twelve action items and you’re well on your way to selling ebooks on Amazon. Next week’s post is the last in this series. I’ll share my final thoughts with you.