Welcome back to our Turning Book Ideas into Money series! So far we have covered:
- Conception (of the idea)
- Soundtrack to your writing
- Editing and Revising (cutting the flab out of your stories)
- Query Letters and Self-Publishing
MARKET YOUR E-BOOK
Now it is time to market your brilliant book idea. Simply publishing it isn’t going to win you more than a few downloads, maybe enough to pay your monthly coffee bill. Fortunately there are many ways to promote your baby. For this post we’re going to focus on AMS Ad Campaigns.
So, you’ve earned a breather. Take a moment to congratulate yourself.
Okay, lazybones, it’s time to get back to work. What do you want, an award?
As soon as (or before) you hit that Publish button, it is time to set up an Amazon Ad Campaign. This is a low-cost tool Amazon has set up for self-publishers, and it is a must-do task for all writers who wish to sell more than a few copies of their books. It is fairly simple to set up, though you will be spending a lot of time collecting keywords.
YOUR FIRST AMAZON AD CAMPAIGN
If you’ve purchased the guidebook on which this series is based—Take it to the Bank—or if you’ve been following these posts, then you have already learned a lot. People lay down fat stacks to learn how to do some of what you have learned on your long journey to publication. Many other guidebooks go into greater detail for you, but they tend to steer you toward steps that will drain your bank account. Take it to the Bank is designed for frugal new writers.
STEPS TO MARKETING YOUR E-BOOK
- Go to your Kindle Publishers Page, under ‘Bookshelf’
- Locate the book you wish to promote (eventually you should have numerous novels, short stories, collections, and works of non-fiction)
- To the right of your selected book, hit ‘Promote and Advertise’
- Click on ‘Create an Ad Campaign’ followed by ‘Sponsored Products’
(I go into greater detail, breaking down all the advantages of using Sponsored Products Ads, in the marketing section of Take it to the Bank.)
Sponsored Product Ads are keyword-targeted ads designed to place your e-Book in the ‘products related to this item’ section as shown when you scroll down the page of a book you are interested in. If people who see your book here buy it, then your book could also appear in the more prestigious ‘Customers who bought this item also bought’ section, higher up on the page.
This set up is a cost-per-click system, so it doesn’t cost you anything up front.
There I go again, saving you money. Just one author doing another author a solid. Now, once you are in the ad campaign page, you’ll need to make some decisions.
AD CAMPAIGN OPTIONS
- Select a daily budget (start with $1.00 and know that you will not be spending even this much a day)
- Select a date range (or don’t; many successful self-publishers run campaigns continuously)
- Opt for ‘Automatic Targeting’ or Manual Targeting’
- Write a brilliant ad copy
If you choose ‘Automatic Targeting,’ Amazon will select your keywords for you. Amazon is obviously a clever marketer, so you might be good going this route. Then again, you can choose more keywords with ‘Manual Targeting.’ For manual, you should have done your homework and collected upwards of 200 primo keywords for your book. The marketing section of Take it to the Bank goes into the details on how to find them for free. This is a long tedious process, but one that will save you dollar bills y’all. Or you could use Kindlepreneur’s Rocket keyword generator, which will do all the work for you quickly, but will cost you almost $100.
For the ad copy, Amazon provides a lovely small rectangular box, and allows only a very limited number of characters. (Heads up: It counts spaces as characters!) Here you are simply writing a quick description of your book; make it sound enticing, a must-read.
YOU’RE ALMOST THERE
Once you have finished typing an awe-inspiring ad copy, hit ‘Submit Ad Campaign’ for review and voila! Within 24 hours those mysterious reviewers in Amazon’s high tower will examine it and either reject it or approve it. TIP: in your ad copy, don’t include any specialty characters like ‘;’ or ‘$’ because the Amazon reviewers might reject it. And don’t use other titles or say that your book is the best in its genre. Also, if your book cover displays nudity or gratuitous violence, your ad might be rejected.
Okay, congratulations, you have created your first ad campaign! In addition to being an author, editor, book cover creator, and self-publisher, you are now a marketer. You can boast to your friends—though you probably shouldn’t.
There is much more to discover in my guide Take it to the Bank, but for our purposes here, I believe our little series is concluded. I hope and trust you have found at least 1 or 2 useful nibbles of advice, and that you are now more confident and able to build your writing career without draining your bank account. After all, being an author is about the pleasure of giving birth to ideas and worlds, and in earning a living.
With all the interest in e-book marketing, and in all the benefits you can potentially reap from successful ad campaigns, we will explore methods for improving your AMS ads in the next post. Thank you and best of luck on your continuing journey!