Amazon sales ranking

After I offered my book for free in the Amazon KDP select program and it was downloaded by 13,700 readers (you can read about this in my next BLOG), the same book sold really well for another week. The reason was a higher place on the Amazon sales ranking.
In short: the more books you sell, the more Amazon will help you to sell more. The higher on the ranking list you are, easier it will be. It should be your goal to reach the list of 100 bestsellers .
Interesting articles:

So it should be your goal to create a buzz on the social networks even before you offer a book for free. During the promotion, frequently send out the information about the book being free. And after the promotion, post about how successfully the book is selling. If you succeed, Amazon will help you by ranking you higher and the book will really start selling.
A combination of free promotion, Twitter and Amazon ranking can be a very powerful promotional weapon.


Free e-Books

Offering free e-Books can be a very powerful promotion tool, but only if you use at least one social network, where you inform the potential readers that your book is available for free within a certain period. Cheryl Kaye Tardif succeeded in this way, as described in her book How I Made Over $42,000 in 1 Month Selling My Kindle eBooks and she herself admits that she can ascribe 90% of her success to Twitter. So, without Twitter she would not have succeeded as well as she did. And as she had spent quite some time on promotion before, she had a considerable number of friends and followers.
A few days before she began her promotion, she started creating a buzz and during her promotion she sent a tweet nearly every hour. She worked very hard after the promotion as well, informing her friends and followers about her sales.
I have noticed that the KDP select program on Amazon no longer works as well as it did in the beginning. The number of free books available is huge so it is very difficult to succeed without at least one social network.
Another condition is that you have a large number of friends and followers who will send your recommendations to others. It is no use having 10,000 followers on Twitter who never read your tweets or do not care what is happening to you. One of the main conditions on Twitter is that you have a number of friends and acquaintances you communicate with (and not just send promotional tweets about your book), you know something about them and they know something about you, you retweet their posts and they retweet yours. In this way you create a mutual relationship where you help one another. 


What type of a blog should you write?

If you write a blog about a specific subject, it is called Viral Marketing. This means that the information will spread around the internet like a virus. The readers will value your work and keep visiting your blog. They will tell others about it and recommend it.
If I am honest I do not count on my books selling much better because of my blog. Some of you will buy my books out of curiosity and I will be grateful for that. But what I am counting on is getting new friends, with whom I will be able to communicate via e-mail, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Later I intend to start sending out free short thrillers, which will serve as a magnet for those readers who are interesting in the genre I write. And that is the real viral marketing that turned John Locke into such a success. You can read more about his success in the book:  How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months!
I ask you to contact me also via Twitter or e-mail. I will post on Twitter useful links about publishing and via e-mail you will receive a free short story a few times a year. And I promise you I will not pester you and will advertise my books only occasionally.


My mistakes when I first started writing a blog

Many of you may have made the same mistake that I did when I started writing about myself and my writing.
Whatever you write in your blog will generate a certain number of visitors. Perhaps you will sell the odd book on account of it, but you should be aware that it will only be a drop into the ocean. If you write what you are thinking that day or that you took your dog for a walk or about your children, I can tell you you are wasting your time. All my blogs up to June 29 2012 were a mistake. Some of them were interesting, but most are not.
So, if you decide on writing a blog, you must choose a specific topic about which you will write. It may be gardening or baking or something else. This is the reason why I have decided from now on to write only about publishing electronic books. Believe me, I have searched the internet for everything on publishing. In addition, I have read quite a few interesting books. I will share all this important information and experience with you.


Viral marketing as an aid in the promotion of electronic books

There are many methods of viral marketing, but I will mention only the most important ones:

  • Sending free books. A precondition for this is that you have a number of friends who will send the book on. The best variant is free short stories that the reader can read within 5 to 20 minutes. If the story is interesting and attractive, your friends will send it on. At the end of the book, there has to be a link to your website, where your books can be bought. In this way, you will attract only those readers to your website that are actually asking for the genre of your books. This is one of the strongest promotional weapons, also used by John Locke. You can read more about this in the book: How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months
  • Writing a blog. A blog must be specialized and consequently interesting. The readers will find useful information in it, which will make them happy and they will recommend your blog to their friends and acquaintances. An example of a good blog: A Newbie's Guide to Publishing or Let's Get Digital.
  • Video shot on Youtube. If you record a funny or interesting video shot, you can send it to your friends and acquaintances and they will send it on. The video, of course, has to contain the link to your website.
  • Book Trailers are a short presentation of your book. The same principles apply. If a trailer is interesting, your friends and acquaintances will want to show it to their friends and acquaintances. In contrast to the other three options which are practically free, this method may cost you quite a bit of money. Amanda Hocking uses book trailers as one of the ways in which she promotes her books, for example Trylle Trilogy or Torn.


Viral marketing

As I mentioned a few times in previous blogs, viral marketing means that information spreads around the internet like a virus. The best known forms of viral marketing are video funnies that we all receive in our e-mail and then send them onto our friends.

It is in our nature that we like giving things to our friends. We also like to tell them interesting information. And that is the principle of viral marketing. When we get something interesting, informative or funny, we send it on to our friends and acquaintances.

You can read about viral marketing in the following free books: 5+ Awesome FREE eBooks Regarding Viral Marketing.
I also warmly recommend the book: World Wide Rave.

In my next blog, I will reveal to you how we can use viral marketing to promote electronic books.


How to promote E-books?

Below are the different ways of promoting books and I give them a rating of 1 to 10, 10 being the best way and 1 the worst.

  • Viral marketing           10
  • Free books                3-5
  • Book reviewers         2-4
  • Virtual book tours      2-4
  • Social networks         2-4    (depending on how many friends you have)
  • Forums                      2-3    (depending on how interesting you are)           
  • Interviews on the radio, the internet or printed media       2-4
  • Press release              1       (if you are an unknown writer, a press release is pointless)
  • Paid advertisement on radio, internet or printed media     1       (not recommended)

Whatever you do on the internet, is better than nothing. I have had periods when I was busy writing and was doing nothing on promotion and consequently I sold nothing. But when I started offering books for free, publishing information on social networks ((Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin), sales suddenly began. It is true I could not live from it, but I was very glad it started happening.
As you can see above, the strongest promotional technique is viral marketing. All the other methods demand a great deal of work, but there is a great possibility that you will not be quite happy with the sales results.
In my experience, using only one of the above methods is not good enough. It is best if you use at least two or more methods at once. An example: you offer the book for free, but you promote the news extensively on Twitter and other social networks.
Also, you should never think about paid promotion in the printed media or the radio or anywhere on the internet. It has been a known fact for a long time that people buy books only on the basis of a recommendation. Have you ever bought a book because you saw an advertisement for it? Probably not. You bought it if a friend or an acquaintance recommended it. If you manage to arrange an interview, that is a different story. But that will not be so easy for a novice writer.