What’s New For Affordable Book Promoting Options? Cat’s Sharing Some Marketing Tips For Authors Just in Time For Holiday Book Sale Season!

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Hello and Welcome Authors and Writers!


Since it has been too long since I have posted and shared some of my book marketing and promoting tips, I thought it was a good time to do it and Right Before The Holidays! Is it me or does it seem book sales have been a wee bit sluggish? Then it is time for an e-book promotion perhaps? When summer begins to wind down, kids going back to school, and mom’s and dad’s are busy getting them ready, they are thinking about grabbing a new book to read.


So it’s the perfect time to give them an incentive to do so. Many will be taking the last summer vacation of the summer season for Labor Day weekend and why not take a great book along for some relaxing reading time readers? Even authors and writers are avid readers. So here are some tips and advice for getting a jump start on selling some books when it is a slower time of the year. And hopefully, the book reviews will follow.


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Author Branding and Promotions on All Author

Let’s start with promoting your books and branding all in one new place I came across called “All Author.”  It is a great place for authors to set up a free Author Program profile and can add up to 4 books and use a few of the boo marketing tools. Placement in their Book and Author Directory and more. When I place all my author clients on All Author? Since they have a huge readership all my authors get views and click’s to all their books like crazy!

They have a Pro Plan which is $59 for a 6-month plan (still pretty affordable for 6-months promo blast) that comes with all the tools, bells and whistles and authors can use them as much as they want for a whole 6-month duration! Like a free personalized website, “make your own” book banner/teasers, many nice themes for your profile, free Twitter scheduler and much more. You can see pricing for both plans, Free or Pro here: .“All Author Pricing.” 


All Author
is an exceptional place for all avid readers to find new releases and discounted books and e-book sales too!

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(Banner Made Courtesy of Author Shout – 3-D Book Banners)

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Author Shout Is A Great Book Ad and Banner Place!

Another amazing book promo site that is extremely affordable and has a large readership is my good friend Terry and his team at “Author Shout.”  They have an awesome “Author and Reader Member Zone” where authors for just $25 a month recurring can get all you need to effectively promote your book and brand as an author. If you pay a whole year in advance? He gives you an even bigger discount!

What I love about both Author Shout and All Author? They do an email list and newsletters out to all their readers, but Author Shout even sends text alerts for new releases for those readers who subscribe to both services! Pretty cool right?

Now just like All Author, Author Shout has many affordable services if you don’t want to do the Membership. They have affordable book ads, low-cost beautiful book banners, (like the one above), teasers, and even book trailers made the way you want them! What I like the most is that they promote through many social media channels like Twitter, FB, Google+ and even Instagram and Pinterest. And they connect readers to authors Worldwide.

Now, along with marketing advice and videos unlimited use, here are some of the Member Benefits for promoting your book:

As a monthly Author’s Club Member, you will also get the following:


Book Promotion Benefits

  • Book Promotion: Every month that you are a member we will promote a book of your choice on all of our social media platforms, add it to our recommended reads page, and a feature spot in our “Shout Out” Newsletter.
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  • Book Teaser: You will get 4 teasers in 2 different sizes and formats of your book for you to share on social media that can/will contain your book title/author name, blurb/one-liner, and where your book can be found, whether on Amazon or a link to your website
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  • FREE Book Days:  Giving your book away for FREE?  We will help get the word out and promote your FREE BOOK days through social media shout-outs, a custom-made teaser/banner, and featured spot in our newsletter at no additional charge
  • Author Shout Out (Digital magazine):  You will get access to Author Shout Out; our digital online magazine
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  • Members-Only Pricing for additional services:  You will get a MEMBERS ONLY discount on each of our packages and/or services to promote additional books.….

(*NOTE* Unused benefits do not carry over from month to month if you do not use them.)

 

They do however let you choose which book you want to promote each month with the One Year Membership!

So go visit the team at Author Shout and get your book promo and advertising on! …

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\"5+Stars if I could for this GEM. Wisdom from a...... review gif
(Author Joe Siccardi’s Banner Above made at All Author)
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How does this Cat jump-start your book’s sales and reviews when it is a slow time of year?

We do an E-Book Sale! I always suggest to the author clients I work for, there are two times a year you need to lower the price of your e-book and have a sale. This time of year when it slows and now just around the corner? It’s NOW CHRISTMAS Holiday E-Book Sale TIME!  Starting Thanksgiving week thru right before Christmas to include sales from Black Friday, Cyber-Monday, and last-minute e-book Christmas sales!

And it doesn’t have to cost a penny to promote your e-book sale either. But of course, there are some MANY low-cost options to boost the exposure for the SALE. Like my favorite at “READING DEALS!” And? When you have Cat promote your E-Book Sale? You’ll get a discount off your Book Ads!

And they have vetted reviewers who love free books for a READ FREE for an Amazon Book Review promotion! So ask me about it as my Discount Applies to this service too! Your e-book needs to be at a discounted price per their policy, need the Mobi file to place the ad and have 5 reviews averaging 4 or 5 stars.

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Great Deals On eBooks

Great Deals On eBooks From  “READING DEALS!”
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Get Your Sale Organized:

First,

if you have a publisher, send a request for the dates of your e-book sale a month in advance so you know the PRICE will be lowered for your sale. If you self-published? You have the control to go through your vendor account and lower it a day or two before the sale to ensure it gets done properly.


Second,
 let readers know in advance about the e-book sale and promotion. Here are the places you’ll want to “Add An Event” and it’s free to do on:


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Facebook Event Page and Boost The AD!

A Tip – You can get a bigger reach and exposure when you share the Post of your FB Event and then do a Facebook “Boost a Post.” Then all FB readers and users will see your event and Ebook Sale!

Goodreads – Add Ebook Sales As An Event and Make Sure and add It on your Blog or Author Website too! As others to share it as well!

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Do you know any Book Bloggers? Ask them if they would share the event on their website too! I know I enjoy sharing book promotions on my blog for all my readers. Also, Book Reviewers may share as well. Don’t be afraid to ASK.

Want to boost your exposure for free or low cost?
You can do so at a few more of my friend’s book and reader websites free or for a minimal charge. And they offer a Free Author  Interview to go along with your Book Listing too! Go visit these awesome book sites below to see how they can help boost your Holiday Sale and Promo …
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As my buddy, Vinny of Awesome Gang who works hard to get your books and your E-book sale promos in front of over 69,000 readers combined on their Facebook and Twitter! You can add all your books for free, but for an e-book sale, I think it’s worth the $10 to boost your listing don’t you? Invest in yourself!

Go here and add your E-book Sale at “Awesome Gang.” You won’t regret it!  A couple more places like Awesome Gang? Check out this list Vinny put together for Authors of free and low-cost places to add and market all your books and Book Sales!
“Places for free promotion.”


“My hope is that many of the tips and advice in my post here helps authors sell more books this holiday season!”

AND?  I’m sure you are asking yourself, why is CAT sharing all her book promo secrets? Lol … It’s because there is no shortage of New Authors that need my help and services. I am passionate about what I love to do as my “At Home Business!” And many writers hire me because they may be on a ‘new book deadline’ and just don’t have the time to market their books.

You can check out my New Website at “LYON MEDIA SERVICES”  Today! You can see some testimonials and see just how affordable we are!

And lastly? I have always been a firm believer that authors need to invest in themselves and set a budget to promote and market their books or readers are not going to know the books exist so KEEP a FEW LAYERED Low-Cost Book Ads Running Each Month and especially through the Holiday Season for your books! 

Now you are ready and can market them and do an E-book Sale & promotion like a Pro!  Still, Have Questions or Need Help?

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Contact James H. Mayfield


Shoot Cat an Email if needing a quote for Book Marketing and Promotions!
lyonmedia@aol.com  … 


Happy Book Promoting and Marketing Authors and Writers!


CAT ~ Come Follow me on FACEBOOK! and on TWITTER Too!

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Learning The Difference! READ THIS Before You Enroll in KDP Select! by Reedsy…

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I enjoy having Guest Posts often here at “The Reading Den” as many of my followers are writers and authors, not only Readers. This post for you. I get asked often if Cat knows the differences between Kindle Unlimited and KDP Select. Well, I DO NOW thanks to this amazing blog post on “Reedsy – Blog.”  HERE WE GO!

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READ THIS Before You Enroll in KDP Select!

Posted in: Book MarketingUnderstanding Publishing

 

We get it: writing a book requires a lot of your time, effort, and money. Taking a book from inception to completion is intense work, and by the time you’re ready to publish you might find yourself referring to your manuscript as “my baby.”

Of all the big decisions you have to make in your journey as a self-publishing author, one of the biggest is whether or not to enroll your ebook in Amazon’s KDP Select: a program which offers authors bonus incentives in exchange for granting Amazon exclusivity.

But going exclusive is a big deal. Are you sure you want to let Amazon put a ring on it before your book has had a chance to test out the other options? Is KDP Select the right choice for you? That’s what we’ll answer in this post, covering all the points in the table of contents (to your left).

Let’s get started with the basics.

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What is Kindle Direct Publishing?

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is Amazon’s ebook publishing unit, which allows authors to sell their books directly to Amazon’s readers. The Kindle and KDP were launched concurrently in 2007, laying the groundwork for Amazon’s ebook empire which now holds more than 80% of the market in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Success stories from authors self-publishing through Amazon KDP began to roll out around 2011, with the popularity of Andy Weir’s The Martian and Wool by Hugh Howey. But they’re not without company: in 2018, Jeff Bezos revealed that over 1,000 authors had earned over $100,000 through Kindle Direct Publishing.

While numbers like these are not the norm for the average writer, KDP has become the heavily preferred route for self-publishing authors — many of whom also decide to enroll in KDP Select. Speaking of which…

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What is KDP Select?

KDP Select is a program available to all authors willing to grant Amazon exclusive rights to sell their ebook through the Kindle store only. By agreeing not to sell the digital file of their book through any other retailers, authors are given access to a variety of promotional tools — the most significant of which is Kindle Unlimited — and the opportunity to earn higher royalties (in some cases, more on that later).

The KDP Select program lasts 90 days, after which authors can either choose to opt out of the program, or auto-renew for another 90-day commitment.

While digital copies of the book must only be sold through Amazon:

  • A 10% sample of the book can be made available outside of the Kindle Store;
  • Print (or any other non-digital) versions can be distributed elsewhere; and
  • Copies of the book can be emailed to reviewers for editing purposes.

So, a higher percentage of sales and additional book marketing tools: sounds pretty good, right? Why would an indie author not want those things? Well, the question of whether to grant Amazon exclusivity or to “go wide” is a constant talking point amongst self-publishing authors, as both options come with their own sets of pros and cons. The biggest and most important proof enrolling in KDP Select is undoubtedly the access to Kindle Unlimited. So before we get too far into discussing the pros and cons, let’s quickly cover exactly what Kindle Unlimited is.

What is Kindle Unlimited?

Kindle Unlimited (KU) is an “all-you-can-read” service that allows subscribers to read as many ebooks as they’d like for $9.99 a month (if you’re thinking “Netflix for books,” you’re on the money). When authors enroll in KDP Select, their books are automatically made available to readers on KU.

Because of the ease with which readers can find books (KU customer receive emails suggesting books based on their reading history), and the ability to “test-drive” many books without having to pay full price for them all, KU has become an extremely popular program. In fact, it has become such a go-to for readers that for many genres, it’s basically impossible for a book to rank well on Amazon if it’s not listed in Kindle Unlimited.

With this major pro of KDP Select in mind, let’s discuss how authors actually make money with KU, and look a little closer at the other perks authors can expect when they marry their ebook to Amazon for 90 days.

The Pros of Enrolling in KDP Select

The main benefits of enrolling in KDP Select include access to:

  1. Kindle Unlimited
  2. Kindle Countdown Deals
  3. Kindle Free Promotions
  4. Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
  5. Increased royalties for sales in select countries

The crown jewel of KDP Select’s incentives is, without a doubt, the access to Kindle Unlimited (KU). It’s a topic we covered extensively in our weekly marketing newsletter(to sign up, select “book marketing”), but we’ll start by giving you the KU highlight reel here.

1. Kindle Unlimited

Here’s how authors make money on Kindle Unlimited: at the end of each month, a Kindle Direct Publishing Global Fund is announced. This fund determines how much each title available on KU has earned it authors. For instance, in January 2019, the KDP Global Fund was $24.7 million.

Amazon then determines how this money is split between authors and publishers with a per-page-read royalty — so the more pages of your books are read by KU subscribers, the more money you stand to make.

So let’s say an author has a 300-page book in Kindle Unlimited. In January 2019, the payout per page was $0.0044, so the author will have earned $1.32 for every reader who borrowed and read their title cover-to-cover. (This is regardless of the actual retail price of that book).

You can keep track of the monthly KDP Global fund and per-page-payout amount in this helpful post by Written Word Media.

Kindle Unlimited can be a truly great resource for self-publishing authors, depending on your genre. But it’s not the only incentive KDP Select offers authors. Let’s take a look at some of the others.

2. Kindle Countdown Deals

For one week every 90 days, authors have the ability to discount their book by putting it on a “countdown deal.” Authors continue to earn a 70% royalty on the discounted price, even if it’s priced below $2.99. (Note that authors who run price promotions outside of KDP Select only earn 35% royalties on books priced below $2.99).

There are a couple of eligibility requirements to take part (head here to read them all):

  • The price before the countdown must be between $2.99 – $24.99 on Amazon.com or £1.99 – £15.99 on Amazon.co.uk;
  • The minimum discount is $1 on Amazon.com or £1 on Amazon.co.uk;
  • The title must be enrolled in KDP Select for at least 30 days; and
  • You cannot run a deal if the end of your KDP Select enrollment is 14 days away or less.

3. Kindle Free Promotions

For five days every 90 days, authors can set their book to free. (Note that it can’t be in the same 90-day period as a countdown deal). Both countdown deals and free promotions allow books to appear on the Kindle Store Deals page, promising a boost of visibility.

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4. Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

This is a program open to Kindle owners with an Amazon Prime subscription. Each month, they can choose to borrow one book for free from over 800,00 titles  — with no due date or late return fee to pay.

As with Kindle Unlimited, authors earn a per-page-read royalty for books enlisted in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library program (KOLL), based on the KDP Global Fund.

5. Increased royalties for sales in select countries

KDP and KDP Select authors can earn a 35% royalty on sales both in the US and internationally if their book is priced below $2.99, and 70% royalties on books priced above $2.99 in the US and other select countries. Only with KDP Select can authors earn a 70% royalty for sales in Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and India.

Suffice it to say, Amazon offers some pretty enticing perks for enrolling in KDP Select. However, as with anything, there is another side to the coin. Let’s take a look at why self-publishing authors might want to cast a wider net.

 

The Cons of Enrolling in KDP Select

The primary reason for an author to go wide is so that they can list their book on as many e-retailers and library distributors as they want, in addition to selling and distributing it through their own author website.

While Apple Books, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play are the main “competitors” to Amazon, there are literally hundreds of more e-retailers and ebook distributors around the world. You can view them all in our complete guide to ebook distribution.

But if these other distributors and retailers only represent under 20% of the market, should you really bother going wide, if it means missing out on all the incentives KDP Select offers to keep your exclusivity?

Here are some reasons why you might (or should) want to go wide:

  1. In some countries, Amazon isn’t as dominant as it is in the US
  2. You can build a presence outside of Amazon (which can be fickle)
  3. You will have the ability to hit bestseller lists (outside of Amazon)
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1. Access a larger portion of the international ebook market

With around 80% market share, Amazon undeniably wears the crown when it comes to control of the ebook market in the US and the UK. However, this isn’t the case across the globe:

  • In Canada, Kobo alone controls over 25% of the ebook market;
  • In Germany, Tolino and Amazon have equal ebook market share; and
  • In Australia, Apple Books controls about 30% of the ebook market.

So by not going exclusive with Amazon, you allow yourself the opportunity to tap into these markets and better reach a worldwide audience.

Also, while Amazon’s presence in the US is going to be hard to challenge, Kobo’s recent partnership with Walmart does open a new door to readers in America.

2. It’s harder to build a wide presence… but harder to lose it as well

While Amazon might get the most digital foot traffic, you’re also competing with a huge number of other authors and books. Though you might be catering to a smaller pool of customers on other retailers, you might also have better luck gaining a competitive advantage — and grabbing the attention of those readers.

Furthermore, non-Amazon stores (Apple Books, Kobo, B&N, Google Play) are curated in a different way. While Amazon is all about automated algorithms — which can change from one day to another, along with your books’ rankings — these stores are more about human curation. Top visibility spots are curated by merchandising teams (another topic we covered in our marketing newsletter). What this basically means is that, while it generally takes longer (and requires you to publish more books) to get a strong stream of sales from non-Amazon stores, it’s also a much harder position to lose — that is, if you don’t pull your books away and into KDP Select, of course.

3. The ability to hit Bestseller lists (outside of Amazon)

As Nicholas Erik mentions in his helpful post on the topic, the chances of an indie author hitting The New York Times’ Best Sellers list are razor-thin. But other lists, such as the USA Today one, are a lot more within an indie author’s grasp and can be just as much of a boon to a writer’s career.

However, many of these lists — The New York Times and USA Today both included — require that the author is not exclusive to Amazon and is selling their book on at least one other retailer.

Fundamentally, one of the first rules of investing is to not put all your eggs in one basket. If you’re exclusive to Amazon, you’re entirely at their mercy. If they suddenly change their algorithms and your books stop ranking, you might lose a huge portion of your income overnight.

At the end of the day, the decision to go wide or exclusive with Amazon depends on your marketing plan for your book. Which brings us to…

 

Making the call: should you enroll in Amazon KDP Select or not?

Ultimately, the decision on whether you go into KDP Select or distribute wide will be a personal decision. The main factor influencing it is whether you feel okay trusting Amazon 100% with “your babies.”

That said, it’s important to also consider factors like genre and your own marketing strategy.

Luckily, the terms of enrolling in KDP Select only last 90 days, so you can rest assured in the knowledge that it’s not a permanent or years-long commitment. However, whatever your decision is, you should try to stick to it as much as possible. While trying KDP Select for 90 days is certainly worth it, you shouldn’t be jumping in and out of Select. Going wide is a long-term game, and not only does it take years to build a presence on other stores, marketing strategies and best practices also differ between Select and wide books.

Who should consider KDP Select?

If you answer “yes” to the following questions, you should consider enrolling in KDP Select:

  • Are you planning on selling only through the Kindle Store?
  • Does your target market primarily consist of digital readers in the US and the UK?
  • Does your marketing strategy consist of big promotions bolstered by big ad blasts (as opposed to more of a “slow and steady” effort)?
  • Do the bestsellers in your genre include a healthy selection of Kindle Unlimited titles?

That last point is very important and should be a major factor in your decision.

Finding out whether KU is integral to your genre is fairly simple: head to Amazon’s Best Sellers in Kindle Ebooks and narrow it down to just your categories. Go through the top 20 to 100 titles and see what percentage of those books are in KU. If the percentage is high, you might be better off enrolling in KDP Select.

For example, at the time of this article’s writing, the top 20 fantasy, science fiction, romance, and crime fiction books all include over 14 KU titles. (While the top 20 mystery, historical fiction, thriller, and literature and fiction books only contain 12 or fewer KU titles — and self-help, art, and photography, and biographies and memoirs contain less than ten.)

Who should consider going wide?

If large parts of your target market are ebook readers outside of the US and UK, you’re publishing your first book, or you’re writing in a genre with few KU titles in its bestsellers list, going wide might be your best bet.

Going wide is a good choice for patient authors who are thinking of their career in the long-term. As David Gaughan explains in his comprehensive post on the topic, it’s an option that requires long-term growth marketing strategies, such as:

  • An up-to-date author website
  • Growing mailing lists and tested reader magnets
  • Targeted campaigns (such as Facebook ads)
  • Permafree or heavily discounted books/series

Going wide is all about building a readership — and hanging onto those readers. This requires more of a slow but steady mindset: you need to regularly communicate with your readers and invest time and energy into researching and executing email marketing strategies in order to hold their attention. Because, while KDP Select might take advantage of algorithms to help bring readers to your book, going wide is all about finding ways to connect readers to your books yourself.

What’s great about this strategy (which David coins the “drip strategy”) is that, if you do it well, it can result in smaller but steadier reader growth and sales from a number of different places — which eventually adds up to a strong stream of income.

This is not to say you can’t — or shouldn’t — put these drip strategies into effect if you’re exclusive with Amazon. But it’s tougher because you’re at the will of the Amazon algorithm, which has been known to change fairly regularly.

And seeing as your ideal distribution method boils down to your marketing strategy, here are a few final resources to help you make the most of your book launch.

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Bonus Resources

How to Self-Publish a Book on Amazon [blog post]
The Complete Guide to Ebook Distribution [blog post]
EPUB to MOBI converter [tool for Amazon uploads]
50+ Book Marketing Ideas to CRUSH Your Book Launch [blog post]
Winning Amazon’s Secret Popularity Contest [webinar]
How to Launch a Bestselling Book in 7 Steps [webinar]
Book Promotion Services [directory]
Vetted Freelance Marketers for Hire [marketplace]

With all of this in mind, remember that whether you decide to go with KDP Select or open publishing, you’ll get out of it what you put into it. If you use KDP Select’s Countdown Deals or Free Promotions but don’t spend any time advertising your promotions, they won’t lead to much exposure — the whole point of these tools.
If you decide to forgo the increased visibility that can come with Kindle Unlimited, make sure you spend time getting acquainted with the aggregators out there or developing various book marketing strategies — or else the benefits of going wide will end up falling flat.

We hope this post has been helpful in considering the pros and cons of KDP Select vs. going wide, and that you feel more confident in leveraging the route you choose for your book’s success.