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Thread: Advice Needed


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Permlink Replies: 9 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Nov 16, 2017 5:08 PM Last Post By: Salamander Mall...
Margaret Sprack...

Posts: 4
Registered: 10/30/17
Advice Needed
Posted: Nov 15, 2017 11:23 PM
 
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Hi Everyone,

I have a question and I would love some advice. My book is an educational robotics for ages 7 and up. I know it is very much a niche market because in order to use my book you need a $500 robotics set. There are other successful books in this niche but they cater to those with a grade 12 reading level. I have tried to keep my reading level around 5.5 and my book is designed for children as young as 12, adults without a tech background and ESL learners.

I have created a facebook page and in two weeks I have added 120 followers from around the world. Many from Thailand and Taiwan for example. My book is #1 in it's category in Japan and I have had about 25 sales and 3000 KENP in 2 weeks.

www.amazon.com/EV3-Brainy-Kids-Mindstorms-Robotics-ebook/dp/B076ZD9RDW/

www.amazon.com/EV3-Brainy-Kids-Mindstorms-Robotics-ebook/dp/B0779M98B8/

I have released 2 books and I am working on my third.

My issue is that there seems to be little intersection between people who buy kindle books and people who are interested in books in this niche. In fact, when I run a free promotion many of the international customers message me and I have to help them download. They probably have never spent money on Amazon so they cannot leave reviews. I do have 2 reviews on Amazon.co.uk

Any advice on marketing to an international audience who want the content but don't seem to be into ebooks? Or maybe a better question is how exactly do I find kindle users who are interested in this niche?

Edited by: Margaret Spracklin on Nov 15, 2017 11:23 PM
MR R J LAIDLER

Posts: 913
Registered: 09/26/16
Re: Advice Needed
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 12:34 AM   in response to: Margaret Sprack... in response to: Margaret Sprack...
 
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Try and reach readers by targeting things they might be reading. For example, are there any magazines which cover your target audience? If so contact them and offer them a free copy for review - though they may want it in Apple format in my experience unless you have it in paperback. Don't expect instant results, my magazine reviews took months to appear due to printing schedules. The same applies to any websites. Try and contact them and offer the same. You could also offer copies as a competition prize.
Is there a forum for the discussion on this subject? If there is you should already be a member hopefully :) but otherwise join and very, very gently plug your book. Try too hard and you will get banned unless you have a well established presence on the site.
Margaret Sprack...

Posts: 4
Registered: 10/30/17
Re: Advice Needed
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 12:50 AM   in response to: MR R J LAIDLER in response to: MR R J LAIDLER
 
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I have contacted some blogs with no replies but I will look into magazines - that's a great idea.

I have been trying to be very careful about coming off as spam so I have only posted in forums/facebook groups when my book is free. Usually it is tolerated but I have had a couple of messages from moderators saying no self-promotion. They did not remove my original post though.
Salamander Mall...

Posts: 838
Registered: 10/16/17
Re: Advice Needed
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 7:20 AM   in response to: Margaret Sprack... in response to: Margaret Sprack...
 
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I didn't take a look inside, but two items give me pause about marketing strategies. The first is that, in looking over your sales page I didn't see anything that leads me to believe you have expertise in either robotics or education. Not sure how important that may be, but these days most parents (your real customers) want to be assured authors know what they're writing about, especially now since, literally, anyone can publish anything at the click of a button. The other is, since your book is fixed format it is not available on all devices, nor easily readable on many of the devices that it can be downloaded on.
MR R J LAIDLER

Posts: 913
Registered: 09/26/16
Re: Advice Needed
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 11:30 AM   in response to: Margaret Sprack... in response to: Margaret Sprack...
 
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Having just had a look to see if I can afford a Lego #31313 for Christmas (I can't :) ) I noticed on the UK site under the kit's listing there was a "customers who bought this item also bought" section which listed three books. Sadly, none were yours but all three were paperbacks.
It isn't difficult to produce a paperback version, as a professor of robotics I'm sure it will be childs' play. :) The consensus on here is strongly in favour of Createspace. I used KDP Print but it has limitations, notably the lack of author copies which you might want, if only to sell to students. :) A drawback common to both is the book has to be B&W as full colour, or even color :), results in a book with an eye-watering price.
But perhaps that wouldn't be an issue for those who can afford the Lego kit.* :)

*Meant as both a joke and a serious observation. All down to your target audience because a $20+ book may not be seen as an obstacle by potential purchasers.
Moshe Ben-Or

Posts: 589
Registered: 12/28/15
Re: Advice Needed
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 11:44 AM   in response to: Margaret Sprack... in response to: Margaret Sprack...
 
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If you want to sell to kindle people, you need a proper reflowable ebook option, not just a fixed-format book. If fixed format is absolutely vital, use Createspace to make a paperback. As far as marketing, and this will take quite some time, create a goodreads page for your book. Put an appeal to reader linking the goodreads page at the end of your ebook. Once you have a decent number of positive raters, data mine their goodreads rating history to target your ads.

P.S. Thanks for helping me to find my son's next birthday present.
Dana Blankenship

Posts: 13
Registered: 09/22/17
Re: Advice Needed
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 12:33 PM   in response to: Margaret Sprack... in response to: Margaret Sprack...
 
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In a former life, I was a science teacher. The National Science Teacher Association sent out catalogs full of educational material several times a year to its thousands of members. I was constantly looking for new ideas and methods, and combed through their offerings.

There are curriculum developers catering to the homeschool market.

If it is a way to sell LEGO products, they might want to talk to you.

You might have something they need.

Good luck.
Margaret Sprack...

Posts: 4
Registered: 10/30/17
Re: Advice Needed
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 4:54 PM   in response to: Salamander Mall... in response to: Salamander Mall...
 
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I am a College Professor in Computer Science and I have coached robotics team who have won gold at National competitions but that wasn't directly visible on the sales page so I moved around the author information so it is at the top. I may change the blurb as well.
Margaret Sprack...

Posts: 4
Registered: 10/30/17
Re: Advice Needed
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 4:58 PM   in response to: MR R J LAIDLER in response to: MR R J LAIDLER
 
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I am definitely going to look into a paperback version. I think you are right and a paperback will sell better and yes I do not think people will care if it is expensive as long as it is in color.

Everyone else has given excellent advice as well. I am going to work on formatting the ebook so it is in a better format as well as creating a paperback in Createspace.

Moshe Ben-Or - glad I could help you find your kid's present!
Salamander Mall...

Posts: 838
Registered: 10/16/17
Re: Advice Needed
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 5:08 PM   in response to: Margaret Sprack... in response to: Margaret Sprack...
 
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Margaret Spracklin wrote:
I am a College Professor in Computer Science and I have coached robotics team who have won gold at National competitions but that wasn't directly visible on the sales page so I moved around the author information so it is at the top. I may change the blurb as well.

Your biography needs to be on your sales page. Start an account at Author Central, claim your book and write your biography. It also helps customers to see you as a person rather than just a name. Good luck.
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