Category Archives:eBooks

Case study: Does $1 make a difference to sales?

I had a great response to my previous post on how to optimise your Amazon book page, mostly on Reddit. A quick note on Reddit, though – there are some MEAN people out there, particularly on the indie writer subreddits! I’ve only been using it for a month or so and I’ve had to ban myself because I had sleepless nights over some of the horrible comments people made (yes, I’m a wuss!).

Anyway, of the good comments that came from my article, a couple of people told me that on top of optimising their sales pages, they were increasing the prices of their books and still seeing an increase in sales. I’ve been considering raising the price of some of my better-selling books for some time, but this gave me the push I needed to try it.

Spoiler alert: this tale does not have a happy ending.

I put the price of 5 of my books (which had at least 3 sales a day, and varied from $2.99 – $4.99) up by $1, and left them for a week. (By left, I mean I checked it every few hours and felt my heart break as sales went down to zero.)

I couldn’t handle it anymore and after a week, I put the price back to what they were. Out of the 5 books, none of them maintained the same number of downloads as previously. Of course, if there were slightly less sales but the overall profit was higher, that would have been fine – but it wasn’t the case.

So $1 clearly is a deal breaker for many purchasers. Perhaps with people pricing books so low these days, they’ve forgotten that traditional books can cost upwards of $15?

Now, I’m wondering if I were to drop my books by $1, what impact would that have? But considering that books below $2.99 can’t take advantage of 70% revenue, sales would have to be sky high for it to be worthwhile. I might give it a go on some of my $4.99 books though, and get back to you all!

Has anyone else experimented with their book prices? What results did you see?

How to Optimise your Amazon Book Page

A couple of weeks ago was my one-year-on-Amazon anniversary – I don’t expect cards and presents (I know you wanted to!) – but I do feel that I now have some decent experience in getting the most out of Amazon’s KDP platform. Now, what I’m going to share with you in this post really, really does work. The business woman inside of me wants to sell this information in a book, but the writer in me knows that it would be hard to write a 5,000 word book on some information that only needs a couple of paragraphs 😉 So I thought I’d share it with you all for free.

Now, this technique won’t be ground-breaking stuff for the Amazon veterans out there, but for beginners and even advanced KDP publishers, these small tweaks can seriously make a huge difference to your bottom line. I made the below changes to my books and within days my sales were doubling and I was ranking at the top of Amazon searches for my keywords. Best of all, it doesn’t cost you a cent 😉

All it takes is a few tweaks to your book description and title. Those familiar with SEO techniques will recognise these steps as being very similar to the way that you would optimise a webpage. The first step is to know what your keywords are… I won’t go into that now, but this assumes you have already done your keyword research.

Here is what you must include in your book description:

  • One H1 tag
  • One H2 tag
  • Your keyword in bold, italic and underlined
  • 5+ mentions of your keyword within the text

The below is a template you can use:

 

increase amazon book sales

 

That should be pretty self-explanatory, just some simple HTML tags. You can’t see what they look like until your book is published, so always double check you’ve got them right… lesson learned too many times 😉

Now, using those same keywords, you can also optimise your title. There are several places you can chuck in your keyword that most people don’t even bother to take advantage of! I always use the subtitle, publisher and series sections to further optimise my books. See below for an example:

increase amazon sales

 

So go on – get to it! Try it out and then come back and let me know how you go 🙂 I’ve tried it on 25+ books and it makes a huge difference.

 

Got any other nifty ideas for increasing amazon book sales? Comment below!

 

 

 

10,000 Facebook Likes in 10 Days – New Book Release

I’m three weeks into January and it’s been a productive month already! I regularly write and publish fact and joke books, but after far too long I have brought out a new ‘serious’ book. After my experiments with affiliate marketing and social media last year I have put everything I learnt into my new book – How to get 10,000 Facebook Likes in 10 Days.

For only $2.99 I outline several methods that will get you or your business almost unlimited likes onto your Facebook page, without spending a single dollar. Am I just going to tell you to jump onto Fiverr or spam people, I hear you say? Hell no! My methods get you TARGETED likes from people that are actually likely to buy from you or be interested in your product/service.

Here’s a quick excerpt:

Intro

In mid 2013 I set out to discover how so many seemingly pointless Facebook pages had garnered up hundreds, thousands and sometimes millions of likes. These weren’t the pages of huge companies like Coca Cola or social media savvy celebrities like Miley Cyrus. No, these were pages called ‘I love cats’ and ‘Let’s party’. The pages themselves did little more than post pictures or affiliate links to products, yet they had a loyal following of real people and it wasn’t uncommon to see posts with thousands of shares, likes and comments.

So how did they do it?!

After lots of Google research I couldn’t find my answers. There were a few nuggets of information, but it seemed like no one wanted to give away their secrets. So what better way to find out than to immerse myself in it and learn from the inside.

It took only a few days before I learnt my first lesson – from a lady who quickly (and rather rudely!) informed me that my like-building techniques were frowned upon in their community. Oops. More on that later though.

After about three weeks I had created a Facebook page with 25,000 likes. Approximately 5,000 of those were from Facebook ads, which I used simply to test their effectiveness and so I could compare the two methods.

What is most important to mention that the likes that I got were highly targeted. I wanted to target American women aged 25+, but British was my second preference. In the screenshot below, you can see that I achieved that. Obviously it is almost impossible to have 100% of your likes in your target demographic at this scale.


Since then, I have built two more Facebook pages using the exact same methods (but more finely tuned the second and third time round). I had to check it wasn’t just a fluke!

Now, I want to share those methods with you so that you can build up your own Facebook page. They really are very simple – so don’t be scared!

Want to read more? Check it out here – 10,000 Facebook Likes in 10 Days. And if you like it (or don’t like it!), I’d love to hear your opinions! 

 

Book review: Kindle Self Publishing Gold, R.L. Adams

Over the past 18 months I have read dozens of ebooks written by successful online entrepreneurs, some are fantastic – others not so much. You can never stop learning and I learn something new from almost every book that I read – even if it’s just a different take on a technique.

I hope to write reviews on all the books I read (at least two a month) going forward… one of my many New Year’s resolutions! So without further ado…

Kindle Self Publishing Gold
R.L. Adams

Kindle Price: $3.69

Before I splash out on the $3-5 that a typical ebook costs, I do a little research. So when I see that R.L. Adams has 21 books published, all with great reviews, I’m feeling pretty confident. There are too many authors promising to teach you everything there is to know about publishing on Amazon, without any evidence they’ve learnt any of it first hand!

Mr Adams’ (whoever he may be!) has a great writing style – easy to read, flows nicely and all that jazz. Nothing dry about this book. There is a lot of background information in the book, which is fantastic to new self-publishers, but I found myself skipping through a lot of it.

He covers almost everything imaginable to do with publishing for Kindle, from selecting the right topic and writing a good description to the elements of great cover design and how to assess your competition.

In fact, there were so many golden nuggets of information that for once, I couldn’t get through the whole book in the one sitting. There’s a lot to absorb, and I’ve found myself going back to it several times since reading it.

For me, the most useful sections of the book were to do with the optimisation of books. This includes how to conduct keyword research, using those keywords effectively and using HTML to maximise your ranking in Amazon search results.

My only criticism of the book happens to also be a positive. He does a lot of cross-referencing of his other eBooks that are for sale. He goes into just enough detail about a topic to be useful, but then slyly lets you know that he goes into more detail in one of his other books. I have to praise this, because he does say you should do this in your own books to increase sales – so it’s good to see the practice in action! It certainly works… I’ve added his other books to my ‘must read’ list.

Overall, the information and guidance he offers is not only motivational but well-researched, detailed and as far as I know – accurate. For less than a cup of coffee, you really can’t go wrong.

Best of all, and this really is the sign of a good writer, it’s actually a good read as well as being educational. He slips in a few relevant anecdotes and some scientific studies, which really helps you understand what he’s trying to explain.

Rating: 5/5

Another one of those ‘THIS year I will get sh*t done’ resolutions

A fresh new diary, long lists of things to achieve and a promise to yourself that THIS is your year. But no, really, it is!

There’s something about each new year that brings a great sense of motivation. Every year I get more done in January and February than any other time of the year – and then it quickly deteriorates. Case in point – I wrote and published an eBook while hungover on New Year’s Day, yet didn’t get a single one out in December.

December was a big month for me personally. I took the jump from full-time work into full-time unemployment (voluntarily!). If I’m going to be successful with my online ventures, I need to focus on it – even if it means risking going back to a university diet of two-minute noodles and wine out of a box. Hopefully only temporarily, of course.

For those of you that were following my last online experiment – affiliate marketing through a Facebook page I created with 20,000+ likes – look out for my next post, where I’ll give you the run down of what worked and what didn’t (so you don’t have to make the same mistakes!).

So what do I hope to achieve in 2014?

In 2013 I absorbed a huge amount of knowledge by reading books by some of the greatest online entrepreneurs out there. I’ve followed their blogs, listened to their podcasts and tried out a few of their techniques. This year is about putting that knowledge into action and seeing real money coming in – not just a side income.

And of course, I’ll be sharing all that I learn on my blog!

Enough from me – what do you hope to achieve in 2014?

Case Study: Using Fiverr to increase ebook downloads

So far in my attempt to find the most efficient and successful way to promote eBooks on a KDP Select free day,  I have promoted my book on the day, which was relatively successful. Downloads increased by 3x – but I want MORE!!!

For this experiment I paid someone on Fiverr to  do all my dirty work for me. Click here for the man/woman in question. I splashed out and bought the standard gig as well as the option to ‘create a viral Facebook post’. Total sum of investment: $10.

Several weeks ago, I had the same book available for free for two days and had a grand total of 274 downloads, with zero promotion. After two days and leaving the promotion in the hands of my Fiverr guy? 1,116!

When I compare the fact that I spent almost three hours promoting my previous book and getting only a quarter of those downloads, that $10 seems pretty well spent.

I was keeping an eye on my rankings during the two days, and it got up into the top #350 of free downloads across Amazon — the highest I’ve ever had.

A couple of days after my promotion had finished, I received before and after shots of my Amazon ranking. Pretty neat little extra!

After
After promotion

Result? Fantastic service, fantastic results and GREAT price. Can you tell I’m a little bit excited about this discovery?!

Several days later, sales have increased slightly — but I’ve had 3 good reviews, which is very valuable 🙂

So really, there’s nothing else to say about this one. But I’ll tick this off as a success. Next up – I shall go back to doing my own promotions but starting them a week in advance. (Can’t imagine it will beat this though).

Have you tried using Fiverr for your promotions? Would love to hear your experiences.

 

Case study: Promoting free Kindle ebook on the day

Over the past year I have idly had free promotion days for my eBooks, but never really done any testing on what actually works. Sometimes if I’m organised enough I’ll start the promotions a week or so in advance, but most of the time I simply send out a couple of tweets/emails/Facebook messages on the day and hope for the best.

Now, with my serious money-making hat on, I thought I’d do things properly.

I’ve decided that there are five main ways you can approach your KDP free promotion days:

  1. Promote your book on the day that it is free
  2. Promote your book in advance
  3. Pay someone else to promote it for you
  4. The first three combined
  5. Do nothing.

In this post I will tell you how I went when I only promoted one of my books – 101 Amazing Science Facts for Kids – on the day that it was free. All up, I spent around two hours promoting it – so was it worth it?

Where did I promote it?

Twitter – three tweets sent out over the two day period. I used the following hashtags: #free #kindle #freekindlereads #amazon

Facebook – As well as writing a status that my friends could see, I contacted relevant Facebook groups and pages. I sent them a personalised inbox message along these lines:

‘Hi! My latest book is available for FREE for the next 48 hours on Amazon. I thought that you and your followers might be interested in it. Thanks 🙂 Jenny’

In the past, I have just written on the walls of relevant Facebook pages, but these tend to get lost in there, so I was quite surprised when several of the page admins wrote back and were more than happy to post my book to their timeline.

Note: If Facebook warns you that you are sending too many messages/posting on too many walls – don’t ignore them and carry on. They DO have the power to ban you from posting ANYTHING for two weeks or more (not that I was stupid enough to learn this first hand….ahem).

I also post a link on all of the free kindle eBook Facebook pages. Here are just a few of them:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/426282137432533/?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/freeebooksdotnet?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/fkbooks?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/FreeKindleBookHunter?fref=ts

(Seriously, there are thousands). Just search for ‘free ebook’ or ‘free kindle’ in Facebook and you’ll find lots more.

Free ebook websites:

Not all free ebook websites let you promote your book on the day – you need to submit in advance. Some of the following websites will only let you promote on the day, whereas others don’t say that you can’t — so I’m not sure if they will actually go up (but no harm in submitting!):

Got anymore? Let me know!

Result

With no promotion (previous month):

74 downloads

With promotion on the day:

394 downloads

And one week later I am seeing more sales – not a huge jump like my previous free book ( See: Do KDP Select Free days increase sales?), but an increase all the same. And of course, the whole point of free promotions is to get more paid sales.

So promotion clearly works… but I’m not exactly blown away by the results. Next experiment is to pay someone to promote my book. Watch this space 🙂

 

Making money using Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

I feel a little guilty when I tell people I’ve published 13 books and they have this utterly impressed look on their face. Perhaps I should be more proud of my work, but deep down I know how easy it is to self-publish these days.

Earlier this year I discovered a life-changing book by Steve Scott – How to Discover Best-Selling Nonfiction eBook Ideas – I highly recommend you check it out if you enjoy writing. Basically, Steve shows you ways to find niche markets on Amazon and use them to your financial advantage.

Writing and publishing an eBook on Amazon Kindle is incredibly easy (I’ll give you lowdown in my next post), yet many people still have this idea that publishing a book is reserved for the Shakespeare’s and J.K Rowlings among us. Perhaps this is why people like myself and Steve can succeed!

As I mentioned, I have 13 books (so far!) up on Amazon and I make around $400 a month at the moment… that’s without touching them or promoting them. These books are mostly written based on Steve’s advice on finding niche ideas. Although this isn’t quit-your-job type of money, my aim is to go for quantity over quality. Of course, I don’t upload any old rubbish – but you get the idea.

You can check out some of my books here.

So currently, in terms of my aim to make big bucks online, I want to keep working on ways to increase sales of my current books and keep learning more and more about what books will sell well for my future books. I plan to have 50 eBooks up by the end of the year. Yep, I better start typing!!

I can’t tell you exactly how to make a fortune on Amazon YET, but you should know that you CAN make money on Amazon with minimal work (I spend 1-2 hours max on each of my books). And best of all, that money is passive income — the best type!

Over the coming months I’ll be testing new techniques (this book is next on my to-read list!) and letting you know how they go.

Do KDP Select Free days increase sales?

When I first started writing eBooks, I spent hours promoting my books on a variety of platforms whenever I had a KDP Select free promotion day. Then I started to get lazy…

But a couple of weeks ago, something magical happened. I had one of my books 101 Amazing Facts about Cats available for free for two days. On an average promotion I’ll get between 100-200 downloads on most books, but when I had a look at my reports I had 1,000+ downloads! I almost fell off my chair 🙂81+E3pNWUML._SL1500_

Now, this was a great test of the KDP Select system. Do lots of free downloads translate into more sales? A month later I can confirm that YES, they do. Sales of that particular book have gone up 20x, I have several 5* ratings and I have been sitting comfortably in best seller lists since.

So what caused the avalanche of downloads? I’m assuming that a website for cat lovers picked it up and posted it on their site (I Googled to no avail). That’s not necessarily something I can replicate, but it does show that free days do increase sales.

Over the next couple of weeks I am going to test out several different methods of promoting eBooks. The first one, which I shall start tomorrow is promoting my books free days only on the actual day it is free (as opposed to in advance).

I will use one of my average sellers free for the next two days – 101 Amazing Science Facts for Kids – and I’m going to shout about it far and wide, but only once it’s free!

Follow up in a couple of days to see the results!

A 20x increase in profit across all books in my collection would be the ideal result… then I can quit the day job 😉