I recently released my second book, but I didn't do it the "right" way.
Although I'm new at this, and although I don't have it all figured out, I have managed to come to this realization.
Success as a Kindle author has very little to do with the quality of your content, and everything to do with marketing.
Let me define what falls under the marketing category:
- Your job title and the importance of it being posted on your author page
- Important and influential friends who are willing to write reviews for your book
- Especially friends with the Amazon label of "Top 500 reviewer" etc.
- Your large email mailing list, where you can send out free copies of your book in advance, and then the day of your launch, you can ask them to write a review. This is a way to get around Amazon's policy of paying or rewarding people for writing reviews
- Using fancy bold words, and html type text in your book description
- Naming your book something that promises to solve a person's long-standing problem in a very short period of time
- Having a fancy website that is very trendy and interactive, letting people know that you are someone they should believe
- A bright and shiny book cover
Let me define what falls under the content category:
- The actual words in your book
- The formatting of the book
- Your actual ability to solve the problem you have promised to solve in your book
- How genuine your words are
- The motivation behind your work
I do not want you to walk away with the impression that I am saying marketing is bad. I am in fact currently employed full-time as a Marketing Director. I don't hate the trade, but I do get tired of it.
I recently witnessed a new author, one who had a pretty wide audience already due to his work position, go from conception to launch with his first Kindle book.
He did everything right.
- Made a cool website, buying the domain name of the book to host it on.
- Built up his email subscriber list and offered the book free to this list.
- Sent the book to several important and influential friends to get key quotes.
- Hyped the launch date in advance through all his social media channels
- Got a great book cover
- Told everyone the night before that he was going to launch and that the whole project would fail if we did not leave reviews
- Then he launched
So far the book has sold very well. He has near 100 reviews after less than a month. All of them are 4 or 5 star reviews. The book is ranked top 50 in 3 different Kindle categories.
So what's the problem then?
I read the book, interested in the problem it was promising to solve, and it did not solve the problem for me. In fact, I found the material extremely shallow and content-less. It was only about 100 pages to begin with, and most of them could probably have been omitted due to duplicate material already being present in the book.
Here's the secret formula which I'm not supposed to share with you, but I will (P.S. you can follow this same formula to write your very own Kindle book):
- Do you have such and such problem and want to get rid of it fast?
- I used to have that same problem, but now I don't. I got rid of it fast.
- Here's how I did it: I tried really hard. Then I kept trying. I wrote a few things down in a journal. But mostly I just set a goal for myself and then worked really hard to make it happen.
- 98 pages of this same message repeated, but in daily/weekly goal type form
- Thank you for reading, now it's up to you to try hard. Please leave a review.
People talk about the evolution of the publishing industry and how Kindle is going to be king, but as long as marketing reigns supreme to content, I don't think the traditional publishing companies have anything to worry about.
What about you? Agree or disagree?