Some simple changes I made turned my book sales on Kindle from a drip, drip, drip to big sales. I just clocked in at 935 books sold in my slowest month since sales have been going well for me. How'd I do it? What changes did I make? First I went back to my book descriptions and made absolutely certain of no typos or errors of any kind as well as rewriting to make each the best damn short-short I could. This made a huge difference in sales, I kid you not. Secondly, I went on a TAG binge, tagging all my books below where they are found on Amazon to utilize genre-specific tags like Occult Horror, Generational Horror, suspense, mystery, police procedural, supernatural, paranormal female detective, etc. Amazing spike in numbers since taking these two steps. Of course promoting online is of great import but so to is professional cover art and editing.
Robert W. Walker
Titanic 2012, Children of Salem, Killer Instinct & more
I echo Inkwalk's emphasis on quality copy for one's listings. I made sure I spent ample time carefully putting together my Amazon listings to look just as professional as those of the big name authors. And I also binged with keywords. I've made sure my bio, editorial reviews and the other elements on the Author Page are polished and professional.
But lowering the price to $2.99 has made the greatest impact on sales. Reviving my blog also demonstrably helped. Beyond that, I really haven't done anything to promote my books in quite a while. I've read a number of websites with ideas for promoting ebooks, but I can't say I've glommed onto anything yet that fires my gut. Anybody else with good suggestions?
Are you taking DTP's fees into account, or are you just being arbitrary? You will make far less at $2.99 even if you sell more copies, because there are book buyers who will see the price and think the book cheap and of inferior quality to a higher priced book, so will not buy at all. Don't sell yourself so short and ask for more.
Therrimouse: Thanks for the feedback. I receive 70% royalty minus a small delivery fee. I make more off of each ebook than I make off the printed editions -- even at $2.99.
I lowered the Kindle edition to $2.99 after having them listed at $5.99 and not moving much. These two novels were published in 2006 and had pretty much run their course. So, I thought, Why not lower the price and see what happens? Sales have burgeoned, much to my surprise and delight. How sustainable higher sales will be is another question.
My agent has been trying to sell book #3 for a year now. Should he give up, I'll publish it through Amazon. I would certainly price the ebook at a median market rate and take it from there.
I have followed the best advice available - Joe Konrath, who has sold huge numbers of ebooks and who, on his blog A Newbies Guide to Publishing lists many authors making great numbers of sales, some absolutely eye-popping and Joe's advice i price all your books LOW at 2.99 and 3.99 max and by God if it isn't working great for me. This past Dec - five days ago - finished up with 1000 books sold and I get seventy percent of these sales. Could not be happier except will be as this is just going to go up.
Another thing I have done since putting up books is to involve myself in as many kindle-related forums as I can, where if nothing else, my sig line entices people, but I also use a lot of humor. Leave em laughing. People love a good quip or ironic twist, a bit of dark humor, etc. and in effect I leave a lot of my personality behind. You'd be surprised but if people LIKE you a lot, they will be curious about your writings. I have made facebook my place to sound off and I may lose some readers there for my views on certain topics but honesty and involvement are the keys to further sales. Be yourself on Twitter and FB and chat groups. You will piss off some, rustle feathers of others, but you won't be ignored if you just be yourself online.
When the topic of shipwrecks comes up on FB or if I see an article on shipwrecks and share it, I never miss a chance to figuratively "tag" my Titanic 2012 right then and there; if the subject of witchcraft comes up, I do the same for my Children of Salem, earthquakes my AFTERSHOCK and so on.
When I get a review on amazon (which is far too seldom), I announce it on facebook and wherever else I can where people DON'T jump down your throat. If launching a new title, the same. I also take the attitude that my work is worthy of gaining momentum and readers, that it is NOT SPAM but my passionate creation, in fact, my life's work and I do not view it as spam no matter who says it is!! I make no excuses for believing in myself and my work - ever! I take a pro-active and postive stance about this indeed, and it gives me an edge--to be sure and edge that puts off some people but I take those people to be too cantankerous to want to read anything other than the cookie cutter regurgitated crapola that is the work of a handful of millionare authors.
this might seem like a no-brainer to the rest of you; but I accidentally lucked upon it just now.... Don't assume that the tags you put on the Kindle US will appear on the Kindle UK... Duh... they don't show up... I just happened to check my tags on UK side and found that there weren't any... I simply copied and pasted the ones from my Kindle US to Kindle UK.... I tell you, it's always the simple things that we miss... lolo
wait... are you telling me I have to also set up an author's page on UK? o... Omomo... talk about having a deer into headlights moment... lolo... I guess it's good we talk among ourselves... let me go and set up my author's page in UK... btw... how do you do that? is there a different web address?
Since posting on this oiginally, I too have learned some things, so thanks one and all, esp. about the UK difference. I have seen such poor sales for same books in UK and could not understand why. Will take care of that quickly.
Another tip - do whatever you can to align yourself with auhtor names (tag them>do remark on your favorites on FB, twitter, etc., ) and do not be shy about stating that your book is in the same neighborhood, on the same playing field as so and so, in the same VEIN as so and so, making clear that you are not saying it is BETTER than but theme/thread-wise similar in thrust as in my ME books are in same ballpark as Reichs, Deaver, Cornwell while my horror titles are in same vein as Willie Meikle, Scott Nicholson, Richard Metheson, Robert Bloch.
And oh yeah, by the by -- since last I posted, for a week now, my Children of Salem - Love amid the Witch Trials has been #1 at the Kindle Store for Historical Fiction (despite its being Hysterical fictionn or rather Hystery-Mystery). This with a mere 4 reviews up on the book, but it took a year and a half to reach this status. This speaks to me because why? When doing paperback and hardcovers, shelf life for my books was at best 6 weeks and more often 2 or 3 wks. Once at a signing, while still sitting at the signing table, a bookstore employee began boxing up my book to return it to the publsiher for REFUND and this BEFORE I got up from the table!!! Now with Kindle, my title's shelf life is as long as I want it to be - years! And for many books it takes a far longer time that six weeks for said title finds its audience or its audience finds it.
By the way Children of Salem was rejected by every agent and editor who ever had a look at it, was told no one wanted to read another word about Salem Witchcraft at this time. I have had thousands to purchase it as a kindle ebook at 2.99 and currently this half month of Jan. it has sold 170 copies which at that sane rate will be 340 by end of month.
Hey Rob... Much love and blessings on your success... I just finished visiting your site and I see I am going to have to take some marketing lessons from you. I am truly frustrated with one of my novels. It is currently debutted as a #1 most read sampler on a particular site (as it always has been whenever I make it free. I mean the hits/ reads are unreal); however it has been very frustrating attempting to turn those reads into sales... or to some of my other eBooks... But then again, I've only been doing this less than 6 months maybe I shouldn't be so impatient...