Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Five Best Things for Marketing Your Kindle Book

There are a lot of things you can do to drive people to the page on Amazon where they can buy your Kindle book, but all those efforts will be in vain if when they get there, they don’t buy. Before you start your marketing efforts, you MUST get five essential things right.
  1. A good book. What can I say? It better be a good book, or it won’t sell. Duh. You might get a few folk to buy it in the beginning, but word will soon spread through word-of-mouth and negative reviews if you have a bad book. On Kindle, the best part of your book should be the first few sentences and chapter one and two. Why? Because on Kindle, readers are able to download a sample consisting of just the first little bit of your book to sample before they buy. It better be soooo good that the reader MUST pay to read the rest.

    Example: Friends, and Other Perishables by Dale Whisman. Go download the sample of this book. You get the first three chapters. Does this make you want to pay $2.99 to read the rest? I hope so. I use Dale’s first paragraph in this book as an example of a great opening paragraph for a novel whenever I am speaking to writers.

  2. Price - It’s very important to price your book right. I’ve read where unknown authors shouldn’t price their novels more than $2.99. B-list authors, $6.99 at the most and NYT bestselling authors better keep their books under $9.99. Unless you are self-publishing your Kindle book, it may be difficult to dictate the price. There are various pricing strategies for book promotion that I won’t get into here, but for the most part, you’ll want to price your book between $2.99 and $9.99 to take advantage of the highest royalty rate from Amazon (abt 70%). Here’s a good read on the subject: How to Price eBooks for the Kindle by Stephen Windwalker. It’s only $2.99… it MUST be priced right… right?

  3. Cover art. A professional cover speaks volumes. If you are self-publishing your Kindle book, create as professional of a cover as you can. If you are incapable of doing so, pay someone to do this for you. This is one of the biggest mistakes that self-publishers do--create a book with a cover that looks like a third-grader put it together.

  4. Title. More than what you might think. The two books I mention in this post have longer titles than what I put here. Dale Whisman’s book, Friends, and Other Perishables doesn’t have a title that tells you what it is. We added to the title on the Kindle page. It is now, Friends, and Other Perishables: a Carl Jacobs Mystery. Now from the title you know it is a mystery series with a sleuth named Carl Jacobs. Much better.

    The book, How to Price eBooks for the Kindle by Stephen Windwalker is pretty clear from the title on what it is all about. But Stephen goes even farther and gives his book the longer title of: How to Price eBooks for the Kindle: A Pocket Guide for Authors and Publishers to Maximize Sales and Royalties with the New 70 Percent Royalty Option. Better! Now I REALLY know what this book is about from the title. The Amazon search engine is bound to pick up more from this longer title and more people who are looking for a particular subject will be able to find this book.

  5. Description. You must have a good hook here. Just like the first chapter of your novel or the opening of an article or short story, the synopsis or description of your book needs to entice a reader into at least downloading a sample or better yet, buying your book. This is your sales pitch, so take your best shot and close the sale. You may want to include the length of your novel (350 pages 120,000 words) so the reader knows what they’re getting for their money… a novel, not a novella. (Although a novella is fine for a Kindle book, it just needs to be priced accordingly.)
There you go. A good start on your road to a bestselling Kindle book.


  1. Thanks so much for this helpful info!

  2. This is truly right on time because I just completed a draft of my book and had no idea what to do next. This information is helping with my decision making process.

  3. I hope people will come to their senses soon and will start being selective about what they buy. After I purchased some Kindle junk, I am kind of done with Kindle books unless I figure out how to avoid buying junk. But it did not stop there. Now I want to know who published the book, was there an editor. I bought my share of self-published junk, as you can imagine. A lot of self-published books are really great, but unfortunately not all of them.

  4. Great information here! Just wanted to stop by and tell you how amazing your newsletter is - especially with the guidelines, which can sometimes be difficult to find. I've been a little nervous to submit anything yet... but I will! Thank you!

  5. This is great stuff. Thanks, Dan, for your heart for helping other writers. I look forward to your newsletter and find it invaluable. I would never have guessed that about Kindle if I hadn't read your post.

  6. Dan, good piece. I been sharing this information
    with all the different writers groups and organizations I have been involved with over the years and not many listen. They don't want to produce a good book; they just want a book published and fast. Thank you.

    Mary Nida

  7. Good article, Dan.

    Bob Avey

    Author of Beneath a Buried House.