Publishing Your First Kindle Book in 30 Days or Less
We’ve covered how to write your first Kindle book in 30 days or less, as well as how to publish your book.
Believe it or not, that covers only half of your job as a Kindle author.
If you want to sell hundreds or even thousands of copies of your book every month, you’ll also need to pay attention to marketing.
It’s easy to think that marketing your book is something you don’t need to be concerned about until your book is finished. But the smart author knows she needs to keep her marketing hat on throughout the entire book writing and publishing process.
Let’s get started…
Is Your Book Sellable?
Before you write your first word, ask yourself if your idea is sellable. It’s got to be something people want to buy, or your time will be wasted.
Will your book fit into two categories on Amazon?
One is good, but two is better because Amazon you get to choose two when you upload it to Kindle. If you can answer yes, your book probably will sell because it fits into categories where people are actively searching for books.
What are the top 100 books in each of those two categories?
Find out what’s being published and what is selling well. You might want to adjust your book according to the results. For example, if there is already a best-selling book that seems nearly identical to the book you want to write, you might find a different tactic, angle, or even target a different audience to make your book stand out.
Are there social media groups on your topic?
If so, this is a built-in tribe where you can find out what people want to know, as well as reaching out when your book is published.
Are there any other books on your topic area?
If there are, then this is a topic people are interested in, and you know there is a market. If there aren’t, do some research to determine if there is an untapped market or simply no interest.
List Building For Authors
If you thought writing books was a great way to avoid list building, think again. A list can be your most powerful tool for getting reviews and launching new books.
Use a mailing list software service to manage your lists, such as Get Response, Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, or Aweber.
Bribing your audience
To build your list, it might not be enough to say, “Here’s where you sign up to get the latest updates on my new books.” If readers truly adore your writing, this can work. But for those who only like your writing, I would suggest offering them an ethical bribe to join your list.
This ‘bribe’ is simply something you give for free in exchange for their email address. If your book is non-fiction, then your bribe could be:
Anything of value and highly desired that you can send electronically will entice your book buyers to join your list.
Using your next book as your bribe
You could even offer to send them your next book for free if they join your list. Why would you do this? It’s a great way to get lots of testimonials quickly and start showing Amazon that there is interest in your book.
If your book happens to be fiction, you might offer a free sneak peek at your next book or a list of character profiles to help your readers keep the characters straight. You could offer a ‘secret’ chapter you omitted from the book, or even a map of the world you’ve created in the novel.
Book Reviews Are Not Optional
Book reviews can make or break your book. What do you think is easier to sell… a book with zero reviews or one with 500 reviews? People want to see what others say about your book or know that your book is selling.
If you already have a list, then this is the place to start. Ask your readers to review your next book in exchange for getting it for free.
But how do you get reviews if you don’t have a list yet?
The first step is to find reviewers.
How To Actually GET The Reviews
The first step is to ask. Pretty easy, right?
Next, you send a PDF version of your manuscript. Let them know it’s rough and unedited and on its way to the editor. This makes them feel special because they got a copy before it’s even ready for public consumption.
Ask for confirmation they received the manuscript and ask them when you can expect the review. You might use this language…
“I don’t trust email, so when you get this, please write back and let me know you’ve got the PDF manuscript. Also, please let me know when this fits into your schedule and when I can look for the review.”
It’s okay to let them know they don’t have to read it word for word. It’s fine if they skim it to find the parts that interest them so they can give you feedback and a review.
The idea here is to make it easy for them to create the review while also making them feel as special as possible.
Once you have the date when you can expect their review, mark it on your calendar. Guess what? You won’t have it then unless you gently nudge them along the way.
A week prior to the date, send an email that says something like, “Hi Bob, you promised me a review on May 20th. That’s a week from now and I’m just checking to see how it’s going.”
This can be a good time to tell them you’ll send them a final copy of the edited book as a thank you and that you want to feature their review in the front of your book.
You can also email them 3 days before the date they set and again 1 day prior. The idea is to remind them without being pushy, so this takes a little finesse.
And once they send the review, you can stop sending reminders and send a thank you.
When your book is available on Amazon, copy and paste their review into an email with a link to your book’s listing. Thank them again in the email, tell them you used their review inside the book and ask them to post their review to the Amazon listing.
Sometimes Amazon won’t post a particular review.
One note here about reviews: Not all Amazon reviews are approved. If Amazon sees that you are Facebook friends with the reviewer, they will likely not approve it. But if the reviewer purchased a Kindle copy of the book, then Amazon is more likely to approve the review.
This is why you send the reviewers a PDF version of the book. If they want a .mobi version for their Kindle, they’ll need to purchase it. You can also set the price to $0 to give your reviewers a chance to ‘purchase’ a copy for free.
If you do this, let them know in advance when exactly the price will be $0 so they don’t miss the window.
Building Your Powerful Community
If you want more than just an email list, I highly recommend you build a Facebook Group.
Create the group around your niche. Or if you’re writing fiction, then create it around the fictional world inside your books. Remember, this group isn’t about you or even your books; it’s about your topic.
If you write romance novels in 18th century England, your FB Group is about 18th CenturyEngland's romanced. If your niche is persuasion tactics for salespeople, then your FB group is about Sales Persuasion Tactics in general. This makes for a stronger, larger and more engaged community.
Inside this group you’ll get ideas for more books, you’ll learn about your competition, you’ll get stories you can use and you’ll be able to promote your own books.
Set rules for your FB Group.
Do not let the spammers take over. Set expectations for behavior and monitor closely. Share resources, ideas, news and anything of interest to the group. Boot out rule breakers and spammers.
Check in daily.
Once the group takes off, you’ll notice a handful of people who are more active and engaged than others. Ask them if they want to become admins and oversee activities in the group.
The goal is to build a group that can sustain itself without you having to spend a lot of time in it once it becomes active and engaged.
Writing Your Bio
Shorter is better than longer. I once saw a five-page, single spaced biography at the beginning of a self-published book. Seriously, only your mother will read that.
Refer to yourself in the third person. Instead of, “I earned my degree from Harvard,” write, “She earned her degree from Harvard.”
If you have credentials, use them. If you’ve won relevant awards, name them. If you’ve been featured in media, say so.
Mention any other books you’ve written.
Make your bio fit your personality. Insert humor, use a few personal details and try not to sound like you’re the greatest person ever, even if you suspect that’s true. 😊
The Sneaky Opt-in
Amazon lets customers see the first few pages of any Kindle book prior to purchase. That’s why we’re going to add an ethical bribe to this portion of the book, so that even people who don’t buy the book can still join your list.
And of course once they are on your list, you can encourage them to buy not just that book but also all the other books or products you’re promoting.
You can use the same ethical bribe in every book, or you can tailor each offer to better correlate with the book’s topic.
Be sure to embed and spell out the link. You want to make it super simple for someone who doesn’t have a reader who allows direct links from the page. Embed the link in the text with a command such as [CLICK HERE] to receive this free offer.
In case they can’t click a link, give them an easy link to type in such as YourSite.com/Free. You might even use your home page for the opt-in, such as YourSite.com to make it even easier.
Don’t forget the call to action.
“Go here to get my free Body Surfing with Penguins video.” “Download your free guide to Ukulele Moose Investing here.” “Click here to immediately receive Bubba’s Sweet Potato Shrimp Recipe.”
Are you giving away a video?
Then you might insert a screenshot of the video into your opt-in area. Embed the link to the opt-in page in the picture. You can use the words, “Click Play on Video” if you have the play symbol on the video. The video won’t play, but it will then take the prospect to the opt-in page which is one step away from viewing the video.
Don’t forget to include the link written out underneath if they cannot click the picture.
Adding More Links
Placing your opt-in link can be just the first of many links you insert into the book. But why add more links? Because…
What can you link to?
It’s best to use a variety of links and not just affiliate links. Don’t think about making money but instead think about enhancing the reader’s experience and reaching their goal. The affiliate sales will come naturally if you always put your reader first, and your book won’t read like one giant sales smorgasbord.
Where to Place Links
You can link within text, right after your reason for recommending it and the description. “Ralph’s Allergy Rumpus Tabs helped me overcome my allergies and it’s 100% natural with no chemicals, artificial ingredients or pharmaceuticals. Click here to see what they look like.” That entire last sentence can be your link, and after it you can write out the link as well, like this: RalphsAllergy.com
If you have chapter summaries, you can place your links there if you don’t want them in the text.
Or you can place them at the end of the book in a big resources section.
The most effective place? Link to something where you mention it and again at the end in a resources section.
A Word About Amazon Links
You can insert Amazon links, but ONLY IF THEY ARE NOT affiliate links.
Sorry for shouting but inserting an Amazon affiliate link inside your book can cause you to lose your account.
You can use straight, normal, non-affiliate links, including links to your own books and your Author Central page on Amazon. Just be sure not to link to these or anything else using your Amazon Associate account.
No Ugly Affiliate Links
Clean up your ugly affiliate links by linking through your website (YourSite.com/FunProduct) or by using a URL shortener such as one of these:
This might be a good time to tell you that Amazon reserves the right to remove any links inside ebooks for any reason. It’s generally nothing to worry about, but it is something you can be aware of just in case.
Your Thank You Page
Here’s where you tell your readers you love them and appreciate them. The thank you page goes in the back of the book.
Congratulate them on finishing the book, give them your website, let them know how to get in touch with you via email and social media.
Here’s how to structure it:
Yes, you can upsell. In fact, upselling is sometimes the entire point of a non-fiction book. Your readers want MORE from you. And unless you’re the exception and write a bestseller, or you’re terrifically prolific with your book writing, then book sales will only earn you enough to supplement your income.
Examples of what non-fiction authors can upsell are:
To sell your upsell, you’ll want to have:
The goal of your upsell inside your book is to get them to the URL. There you will finish the sales process, whether that’s to get them to schedule a phone appointment, order a product or whatever it is you want them to do.
Next month we’ll finally finish up our Write Your Kindle Book in 30 Days series when we cover:
See you next month!
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