Since February 26th we have published 2 books. This post is the first in a series about our experiences with the promotion of our Kindle EBooks.
The first published book is The Guide to Garage Sale Greatness 20 Keys to Success by Kelli Davidson and Holli Hagan-Rice.
The second book was published on March 5, 2010 and is NANO-CANNING: BASIC RECIPES AND INSTRUCTIONby Kelli Davidson.
Kelli is my mother and working on these projects together has been an enjoyable experience for both of us. In our first month we have learned a lot about marketing. We have spent a lot of time building and investing in our books. At this point I think it’s very important to think of the books as products we are clearly trying to sell. I say this because it’s easy to get wrapped up in the role of the noble, suffering artist and sit about waiting for the world to knock on our door. I’ve watched others fall into this trap and it’s not very attractive, productive, or lucrative. I suppose if we were independently wealthy it wouldn’t matter. But we don’t know any independently wealthy people. So…while I agree that writing is an artistic, creative endeavor; selling that book is business.
Our initial findings:
We discovered that focusing on more than one new book at a time is extremely time consuming. Since we both work full time and I’m in my 9th month of pregnancy I think we were a little ambitious to think that we could focus on marketing both books at the same time. I think we are still happy to have both books out there and available on Kindle. I think it’s also become clear that we have to focus on one book at a time in order to do a good job. So, we have mostly focused on the Garage Sale book this month.
Self-promotion is great but the promotion of others is better.
We ran giveaways on both of our blogs with marginal success. We gave away some copies of our book but we would have both liked to have more comments/entries. We are grateful to those that entered and to those that won. It was our first attempt at marketing.
We decided to ask friends with largely followed facebook pages and/or blogs if they would host giveaways for us. They agreed and the results from this endeavor have been very satisfying. Special thanks to Thrifted Sister, MOD Squad Picking, and Vintage and Flea! They each hosted a giveaway for us. They also reviewed our book on amazon.com. We are incredibly appreciative of this.
Upfront Investment is Necessary.
Yes, I’m talking about financial investment. I’ll talk more about the time investment in another post.
In order to have a giveaway you have to have something to give away. We have given away copies of our book. Since this is a Kindle ebook we have purchased gift copies, electronically via amazon.com, and given them to winners. We ask that winners review the book on amazon.com after reading it. Of course we want positive reviews but we also want honest ones. Some have and some haven’t. You can’t expect every reader to review your book. That’s why you have to give away multiple copies of the book in the hopes of getting some of those readers to review it. This financial investment has not been huge but the giveaways have not been free either. On the whole, so far, I’d say it’s been worth it.
We could have published the books and then sat back and waited. We’d still be waiting. Neither of us are famous so that really wasn’t an option. If you want to sell a book on amazon it appears to me that you need to have already sold books on amazon. Your placement in an amazon.com book search is directly connected to the number of copies already sold and the number of reviews your book has. The book giveaways generate both. This moves us (our book) up on the listing pages for books in our categories.
Our goal is to remain, steadily, on the first results page. So far it seems that our efforts have worked on the garage sale book. Since this is where we have focused the majority of our efforts we feel that we are on the right track.
As we continue on I’ll write about more of our experiences and about what has and hasn’t worked for us. We hope to help others that are in the same boat as well as chronicle this exciting journey.
Thanks for reading!