Tips for writing a bestseller book
Writing a book for Kindle is without a doubt the easiest part for us, the authors.
The worst nightmare begins when it comes to selling it.
Here you will not find a miracle recipe, but instead some essential points, a check-list of inevitable steps to take advantage of all the opportunities.
You will find here some evidences, but I think that what goes without saying would always be better with saying it.
I won’t speak upon the fact that you should write a good book, add a list of key words, have a nice page, or have a good description of your work, because I assume that you already know this.
BEFORE PUBLISHING YOUR BOOK ON KINDLE
- Pass twice through the review, 5 times, 10 times the orthography and the grammar; it is fundamental to leave as few errors as possible. I eagerly advise you to get your manual reread by many people. There are professionals that will do a read-through in case you do not have anyone in your network that could be capable of doing it.
- Make sure that the layout is « perfect » and that your book is legible on Kindle. If you do not do this, you could be rejected by Amazon, and if you avoid it, the comments of readers will get you down, and this would be justified.
- Register on the main social media outlets, like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+. And make friends among thousands or millions of people who share your interests.
- Register on forums of your sphere and discuss, be active. Attention, no promotion at this stage, the goal is to make you known and/or recognized in these strategic places.
- Create your author blog; this is a wonderful tool for establishing a base of readers, and sometimes even friends. As a professional, we advise you to make use of WordPress.
- Start creating a list with your blog. This is easy by using RSS, like Feedburner or auto-responder tool like Aweber.
- Post comments (relevant!) on other blogs where subjects are close to the ones on yours. The plug-in ComentLuv is really excellent, as the link to the latest article of your blog will be added to your comment.
- Create a video trailer that gives desire to readers to want to read your book before it is available on the market.
DURING THE PRELAUNCH STAGE OF YOUR KINDLE EBOOK
- Resist to the temptation of launching your book with drums and trumpets on the first day of its release on the Kindle Store. The ideal case would be to manage to get certain comments before throwing a real promotional campaign; it will have more impact.
- Ask for comments from your friends and acquaintances in return for a free copy of your book. Especially, NEVER buy comments; this is very dangerous!
- There are sites, blogs and forums which will examine and criticize your work with pleasure. A simple Google search will provide you with dozens of links.
- In the beginning, some “welcoming” comments from your friends are acceptable, but do not abuse this, because it will be obvious from 10 kilometers away. Tell your friends to avoid “brilliant, this is the new Conan Doyle”, because this is not credible and will harm you. Every comment should be as justified as possible.
- Take advantage of this phase for rectifying the errors escalated by your first readers, and publish version 2 before the “official” launch.
- Insert your book in Goodreads.
OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF YOUR KINDLE EBOOK
- Choose the day of the official launch, and speak on it in advance on your blog, on social media and on forums in order to attract maximum traffic on that day. This can boost your rating if it is well done.
- Add the link to your book in the signature of your emails. It won’t do any harm and can assure some additional sales.
- Add the cover (and the link) of your book in the signature that you use on forums.
- It can be nice to take some beautiful photos of you (no, you are not ugly!) with your book in your hands in order to spread it out on the net.
- If you do not have a well established client base, launch your book at a low price, 0.99 for example, then increase the price once you reach an interesting ranking position. (In our case, we did it once we appeared in the TOP 20, the first page)
- Reply to all of the questions on your blog, on the forums and the social media so that you can animate discussions.
- Buy and read Kindle books close to yours and leave comments to the authors. You can integrate a link towards your own book.
DURING THE « CRUISE » PHASE OF PROMOTION OF YOUR KINDLE BOOK
- Keep open social places. Animate your blog, your Facebook page and discussions on forums. Attention, do not pass 30% of self-promotion; you are here to make you known and respected, not for engendering undesirable consequences. Give it to the members of your network and they will make it, some of them at least…
- When you receive good criticism, post it everywhere. And if you get bad criticism, but one that is well formulated, it could also be interesting to talk about.
- If you receive good criticism on your book on a website, a blog or forum, you can absolutely ask the author to leave you one on Amazon. Only once, no harassment!
- Update presentations of your book from time to time so that to include the best criticism.
- Always thank your commentators, it gives pleasure and is free of charge.
- It can be useful to prepare materials for offline marketing (business cards, flyers, etc.) but it depends on your personal situation and the significance of your network.
- If there is a network of independent writers in your region, join them, it is nice and motivating.
- Discuss as much as possible with other authors on Kindle; we are always happy to share our successes, our failures and our “tricks” with our colleagues.
- Keep being aware of the news of the domain of the digital edition, it is exciting and it is always worth knowing what is taking place in your business area.
USE « FREE » PROMOTION DAYS OF AMAZON KDP
- If your book has been exclusive on Amazon for 90 days, you have the right of 5 promotional days during which you can offer your book free of charge. Do not wait for miracles, but you will obtain more readers and will enhance your probability of getting comments.
- Then, promote these “free of charge” days on your blog, social media and forums.
- Certain people recommend using these 5 consecutive days, as the potential of downloads (and therefore your rating) increases in an exceptional manner as it goes along. Others recommend just the opposite. So you are the one to form your opinion.
WHAT YOU NEED TO ABSOLUTELY AVOID
- Never criticize your critics! It gives a disastrous image of yourself, even if you do it with reason.
- If people insult or titillate you in order to make you react, do not walk into the trap, respond with the silence. The word of books is not that of rap, where it seems that the ridiculousness sells…
- Use payable promotion with parsimony and make sure of the seriousness, competence and good reputation of the provider. A press release made by a professional and diffused to 10,000 journalists will cost you around 500.00, it can absolutely be worth it, but it is not always the case, and it is very difficult to measure its real impact.
AND THE CONTINUATION…
If your Kindle book sells well, you should consider a paper version. We advise you to use the services of Createspace, but there are others too, and it is up to you to decide.
I hope that these check-lists will be useful to you, and if you have any questions or wish to make your own experience known, do not hesitate to contact me.