Tough time with Kindle..

35 replies
I'm only a few weeks old with publishing my first kindle book. I've done quite a decent amount of research beforehand to get some tips and pointers and finally pressed the trigger and wanted to see how the results were after uploading it.

First of all, I have a 90 page quality nonfiction book, good and valuable content that helps people that's not just pure fluff, I have a fantastic professional cover that stands out from the rest of my competition (that I paid for on fiverr). The niche is fairly large, since people either will or are having issues with a really common problem in life that happens to all of us, so the niche isn't tiny. It is formatted correctly, as I have manipulated the html a bit so it looks fine, and my grammar is solid in the book.

I signed up for KDP, used a 3 day wednesday/thursday/friday free promotion to prime it for the weekend of sales, and I hired someone on fiverr to promote the free book on around 50-70 or so facebook free kindle pages and quite a few twitter groups, as well as pinterest. I also promoted the book on free stuff forums all across the internet, as well as made a nice looking promotional photo on instagram with all the relative tags, and posted them 5 times on different days and times, as well as made a twitter and used the relevant hashtags with my book cover photo. I became a member of 4 free kindle book facebook groups and posted on there myself while I was running the promotion, on top of what the fiverr person already did. My book is up on goodreads. I used two different PPC promotions within Amazon to advertise with, one with the topic, and the other aiming at about 800 hand picked relevant products available on amazon with my theme. I also briefly used Bing ppc and to see if it would make any difference on the traffic to my book. I also contacted all my friends and family on facebook and told them about my new book and to download it since it will be free.

Needless to say, my advertising efforts weren't exactly "light." I priced the book at $5.97, and then it was promotion time. I was able to get 153 downloads on the first day, 144, and then 47 on the 3rd day, Friday. I hit #1 best seller in two different categories consistently for my promotion time, and the top 3 or 4 in 2 other categories I believe. Overall, it was just slightly above the top 1,000 free kindle books in every genre. Naturally, I would think that this would be a smashing success, given that I have ZERO reader base and this was my first ever kindle book. So then came game time, which was after my promotion and time to make some sales. So far, it has been a week after the promotion, and I have made a whopping 3 paid sales total, all time. After two days, I thought maybe my price point was too high, even though books in my competition that are doing well are also at, or even considerably higher. I then took it down to the traditional $2.99 to see if I got more bites. Only one. That didn't seem to be the issue. I have 5, 5 star reviews.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong or at what point I started to make mistakes, which is my question to you all. The book and packaging for it isn't total garbage, I have solid reviews, and now it's wandering off in amazon outer space normally at 230,000+ ranking. I was under the impression that if it is kicking some ass on the free promotion, it will land to a decent spot once it goes back to paid and will be getting some residual sales. This is pathetic and really discouraging, and would love any input you may have. I have tried so hard to make this book a success.
#difficult #ebook #ebooks #kindle #time #tough
  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Keep at it. Keep promoting. Keep doing what you've been doing. You only lose if you give up now.

    It takes time for the water to get to the end of the row.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author dana67
      Steve is absolutely right! It can take both time and effort to see results. It doesn't happen over night.


      Keep plugging away!
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      • Profile picture of the author umlauts
        Thanks for the encouragement, you two! I guess maybe what I'm wondering and confused about the most is really how important and effective the free KDP promotion really is (and more importantly how much should be invested in the marketing for it), if this is all it takes to disappear so far away from a good spot in such short amount of time and be back to square one...as if nothing ever happened. Everyone seems to overly emphasize the importance of marketing the free promotion so much, but it hasn't done anything at all for me and just don't get it. I was reading about freebookservice to boost your free day sales, and besides the fact that it might be unethical to do that, I really wonder how important the free promotion days are in the first place and if it's really worth much investment to begin with. Most of the marketing methods I have seen for kindle are 99% focused on the free promotion and just don't see the use. Maybe I am just too impatient..
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        • Profile picture of the author James McAllister
          Originally Posted by umlauts View Post

          Thanks for the encouragement, you two! I guess maybe what I'm wondering and confused about the most is really how important and effective the free KDP promotion really is (and more importantly how much should be invested in the marketing for it), if this is all it takes to disappear so far away from a good spot in such short amount of time and be back to square one...as if nothing ever happened. Everyone seems to overly emphasize the importance of marketing the free promotion so much, but it hasn't done anything at all for me and just don't get it. I was reading about freebookservice to boost your free day sales, and besides the fact that it might be unethical to do that, I really wonder how important the free promotion days are in the first place and if it's really worth much investment to begin with. Most of the marketing methods I have seen for kindle are 99% focused on the free promotion and just don't see the use. Maybe I am just too impatient..
          I didn't get much out of the free promotions either, although only about 1/3 of my Kindle books are in KDP Select. The occasional review is a plus but other than that, doesn't affect my sales much.

          The real benefit of Select for me has been the fact that Kindle Unlimited reads count as paid sales in terms of sales rank, boosting it up the sales pages and leading to more sales overall.
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        • Profile picture of the author EelKat
          Originally Posted by umlauts View Post

          Needless to say, my advertising efforts weren't exactly "light." I priced the book at $5.97, and then it was promotion time. I was able to get 153 downloads on the first day, 144, and then 47 on the 3rd day, Friday. I hit #1 best seller in two different categories consistently for my promotion time, and the top 3 or 4 in 2 other categories I believe. Overall, it was just slightly above the top 1,000 free kindle books in every genre. Naturally, I would think that this would be a smashing success, given that I have ZERO reader base and this was my first ever kindle book. So then came game time, which was after my promotion and time to make some sales. So far, it has been a week after the promotion, and I have made a whopping 3 paid sales total, all time. After two days, I thought maybe my price point was too high, even though books in my competition that are doing well are also at, or even considerably higher. I then took it down to the traditional $2.99 to see if I got more bites. Only one. That didn't seem to be the issue. I have 5, 5 star reviews.

          I don't know what I'm doing wrong or at what point I started to make mistakes, which is my question to you all. The book and packaging for it isn't total garbage, I have solid reviews, and now it's wandering off in amazon outer space normally at 230,000+ ranking. I was under the impression that if it is kicking some ass on the free promotion, it will land to a decent spot once it goes back to paid and will be getting some residual sales. This is pathetic and really discouraging, and would love any input you may have. I have tried so hard to make this book a success.

          ...

          I guess maybe what I'm wondering and confused about the most is really how important and effective the free KDP promotion really is (and more importantly how much should be invested in the marketing for it), if this is all it takes to disappear so far away from a good spot in such short amount of time and be back to square one...as if nothing ever happened. Everyone seems to overly emphasize the importance of marketing the free promotion so much, but it hasn't done anything at all for me and just don't get it. I was reading about freebookservice to boost your free day sales, and besides the fact that it might be unethical to do that, I really wonder how important the free promotion days are in the first place and if it's really worth much investment to begin with. Most of the marketing methods I have seen for kindle are 99% focused on the free promotion and just don't see the use. Maybe I am just too impatient..
          My experience with free days is, that you are best using free days to drive sales to your OTHER books.

          People who download your free book will come back to buy your OTHER books.

          A lot of authors send me questions asking how I get my sales. But my key to success, is the fact that I have 170+ titles and write sets or series or serials. And not just fiction. Even my non-fiction is that way.

          For fiction I write as though I was writing a tv show. So that each story stands on it's own, but each story tells another segment of the character's lives. Like the Big Bang theory or The Simpsons. You can watch any episode and get a complete story without ever watching more. I do my fiction like that. That way I can write lots of stories about the same set of characters. Think of it like the Nancy Drew books, where each volume is about Nancy and her adventures, but each volume is a full complete story. NOTE: DO NOT write a novel and break it up selling it one chapter at a time - that is against Amazon's ToS, and if they catch you doing it they will not only ban your books, they will delete your Amazon account an block your isp.

          For fiction, I strive for stories of AT LEAST 24 pages (7,500 words), with MOST of my fiction being more then 50 pages (15,000 words), and I will point out here that my best sellers are always the ones with 150+ pages (50,000 words). My top best selling fiction, is a series of novels, each volume being about 190/200 pages long (60,000 to 75,000 words)

          In non-fiction I strive to focus on a narrow topic, within a broader topic. I'll write one big book (400 pages - 300,000 words or so) and then I'll divide it up into sections, so each section focuses just on one narrow topic with-in the bigger topic. So I will take the 400 page book and create a series of 8 books, each 50 pages long. But I don't publish them yet. Next I re-write and expand each of the little books, adding more information and details on each sub-topic, until the book is about 90 to 150 pages long.

          I make my goal to have all my non-fiction books as close to 100 pages as possible and more then 100 pages if I have enough to say on the topic. Note: I NEVER publish a nonfiction book of fewer then 50 pages as Amazon is known to ban non-fiction of under 50 pages.

          In the end, I'll end up with 8 books of 100 pages each (about 35,000 words), instead of 1 big 400 page book, I brand them as a series, with matching covers, and NOW I do the free days.

          I do the same thing for both my fiction and my non-fiction. I create a set of books, that has at least 5 volumes, with 10+ volumes prefered, and I will put volume 1 free, and volume 2 also free, and the following week, I put volumes 3 and 4 up for the .99c Countdown Deal.

          What this does, is drive downloads to volumes 1 and 2, and gives readers a week to read 1 and 2, then come back with an interest in volumes 3 and for, which they find are on sale for .99c and so scoop them up. A week later, they have read 3 and 4, and come back looking for 5 and 6, and just buy them at full price because after reading the first 4 volumes, now they are hooked and want to read the rest of the set, and often will buy volumes 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 all at once.

          I've found this to be the best method of using the Free Days to drive sales to your books.

          I don't expect people to buy the first volumes, just because the free days boosted sales rank; instead I expect the people who downloaded the free books, to come back looking to buy the rest of the set.

          Also, 100 free downloads, is not much. If you can get your book listed on BookBub, you can expect to see at least 10,000 free downloads each day of the promo.

          And you can also only expect 1 sale to result for each 100 downloads. Free promos to paid sale conversion is only 10%, so if you got 100 downloads, you can expect 1 paid sale the following week. Any more then that is going to be a fluke. You got about 350 free downloads your first week, and that will mean you can reasonably expect to see about 3 paid sales the following week.

          With a series/serial/set of books, this multiples, to mean, you'll see those sales across all your books from the set. With slightly fewer sales of each of the final volumes.

          In other words, had this been volume 1 of a 5 volume set, you would have seen something like this happen:

          Volume 1 gets 350 free downloads.
          Volume 2 gets 4 sales
          Volume 3 gets 3 sales
          Volume 4 gets 2 sales
          Volume 5 gets 1 sale

          This is why you see so many authors who promote writing a series and then setting Volume 1 up as perma-free and then do free days on Volume 2 and Count down Deals on Volumes 3 and 4, never doing any free days or sales on final volumes. This is the method which has worked well or many authors, thus why it is recommended by so many of them. and it works in both fiction and non-fiction, because it is playing on, getting your reader hooked and coming back for more.

          A Quick Side Note: Perma-free is technically against Amazon's ToS and so I don't recommend doing perma-frees - too many authors have had books blocked instead of set at free, to make me think trying for it is worth the risk of losing my account. A lot of authors swear by it, but for every author who successfully gets their book listed as perma-free there are several who got their books blocked instead. I do my first 2 volumes free via the 5 Free Days instead of risking doing the perma-free thing.

          I have tried doing free days on books, without other volumes to go with them, and my results are similar to what you have described, with, a lot of downloads and then 1 or 2 sales of that same book later on.

          For me, the only way I have luck with free days is to use them as a funnel to drive sales to OTHER books in the same set.
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          • Profile picture of the author edlewis
            Not to be a jerk...but without knowing the exact niche or actually seeing the book, book cover, description on Amazon, etc, etc - it's really hard to give solid advice here.

            I've seen it over a hundred times...someone tells me all the same stuff you did - and then I LOOK at their Kindle book...and none of it is true.

            I'm not trying to be "Debbie Downer" here, it's just my experience. Everyone thinks their book is amazing...and very few people are willing to tell them the truth if it isn't. Not many people want to be the "dream crusher".

            The other thing you have to realize is that some niches/markets just have a CAP on how many books you are going to sell. I don't think the market you're in is necessarily a bad one...but let's be real here - it's somewhat limited. It's not a sexy topic..it's sort of a "bummer" - just being honest.

            I'm not saying free promos don't work, but they are obviously going to work better for some book topics than others. And just because you're able to get thousands of people to download your ebook for FREE - mostly via "Free Kindle Books" sites and FB groups - does NOT mean that people will BUY the book.

            It's easy to download a book for free on Amazon...you will get tons of people who will download every and any FREE ebook on Kindle - most of whom (probably close to 99%) will never read it. They just like collecting free stuff...they treat Kindle books like Pokemon.

            In a market like yours, it's likely going to take an approach different than the old free promo method. Simply because most who download your book for free just aren't in your target market. No matter how high you are able to shoot your book up in terms of Amazon rank, it's still not going to get in front of the eyeballs of people who might actually want or need a book on your topic. It won't hurt...it just won't be very effective. As you already have seen.

            If you have a really high quality product that over-delivers and helps people, then you need to start finding ways to connect with those who are looking for this type of info.

            I don't know much about that niche...so I can't help you there, but do some digging and see if what types of media there are in it. Whether that is Facebook groups, forums, blogs, podcasts, radio, etc, etc. Once you find them...find ways to get in front of them...preferably for free. If you can't you will have to advertise on these platforms, which will be expensive, especially if you're only revenue source to cover that is a $2.99 Kindle book that pays you a $2.10 royalty. It doesn't leave much of a budget to advertise - unless you have some type of upsell built in on the back-end...like video help, a community with a monthly fee, some type of consulting or therapy, etc.

            If all you have is this one book on this one topic...that's fine. Just don't expect that book to sell thousands of copies and make you financially free. Expect it to make a few sales here and there...just enough for you to have some "beer money" or to buy yourself dinner once a month.

            Sorry if this isn't the "rosy" outlook you were looking for...I'm not trying to be the "dream crusher", just trying to shoot straight. It doesn't mean you've failed or can't make this work. It just means the method your using - which is the one a lot of people are "teaching" and preaching as fact - is just flawed.

            Tim Castleman gave some rock-solid advice - much of it the same as mine - but the one thing I would like to clarify a little is the list-building part. When some Kindle authors hear this, they think that ONLY means to try and build a list AFTER people have bought their Kindle ebook. You absolutely want to do that...but you also need to find a way to build a list of people who have NOT bought your Kindle ebook.

            You can do this on Facebook, you can do it by starting a blog, you can do it by giving away something valuable for free in places where your target customers hang out, you can do it by creating free media that those in your target demographic would like to consume - YouTube videos, articles, blog posts, magazine articles, Facebook posts, etc.

            This way you build a list of interested folks who you can then market your book to.

            Tim has sold a lot of books this way. He was smart enough to build a list well before he ever decided to publish his books. He has a significant presence on Facebook among his target audience, he has a podcast, he goes on other podcasts, he has relationships with others who he has worked with in the past who then tell their Facebook group of 13K+ members about his books for free - because they like and trust Tim and because the books are high quality.

            It's not an accident that he sells lots of books. But he's not "lucky" either...he deserves every ounce of credit for putting in the time and effort - and for having the determination, smarts, and guts for pulling it off.

            Hope this helps you see the big picture.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
      Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

      Keep at it. Keep promoting. Keep doing what you've been doing. You only lose if you give up now.

      It takes time for the water to get to the end of the row.

      Steve
      Is this you, Steve, or a bot? LOL (Semi-serious.)

      Moving on...

      Some stuff to think about, umlauts. Tips, if you will.

      1. Micro-Niches.

      2. Desperate Micro-Niches

      3. Get a lot of positive reviews before promoting (even free promoting). You'll need a social presence in which you invite "honest reviews" from those interested in reading a free copy of your latest opus. Don't do anything before you get these. This is one of the things you did wrong. Your best bet is actually connecting with your Facebook "profile" (not group or page) friends.

      4. Speaking of which: I cannot even begin to stress the importance of a large, engaged, Facebook profile following. This is where you talk to your audience, give them "advanced snippets," and even post pictures like a regular person. Be real, be accessible. Your audience will love it.

      5. Zero reader base. Another problem. You're spending money on promoting a book when you should be spending money on promoting yourself. What I mean is this. You need to expend time, effort, and yes, expense on growing a social presence. You don't need a book out for this. If your book was about cabinet making, then you'd grow pages, groups, communities, accounts about cabinet making. Not forgetting - goes without saying - building that list; something you've probably heard a few times on WF. Get this in place (setup and growing) before you release another book.

      6. Pricing. Oh boy is this a big area. In the interests of brevity. 2 schools of thought for new(ish) authors: $0.99 and $2.99. I'll save you the trouble of testing. $2.99. Lifting it above 99 cents is an effort in "slight" prestige pricing. Theory being, as you know, the higher the price, the higher the value. $2.99 is a common price point for new authors in non-fiction.

      7. Blurb. Your blurb is more important than your cover. Your cover gets eyeballs ON the blurb. And, for a blurb to be effective, you absolutely must be giving up the goods on something that is worthy of your price tag. Which is another reason you should be looking at micro-niches (you can penetrate the market for that solution at a lower price, offer a better solution, or a different slant of a solution that still solves the problem).

      I haven't remotely scratched the surface above. Give it a quick read, though. Might find some of it helps you on your next outing. I hope so!

      Lastly - hats off to you. I don't think I've ever seen a new author make such a good effort, and I run with plenty of authors. You just made a few very bad mistakes.

      Cheers,

      Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author icoachu
    Maybe it's the niche you're targeting? Maybe there isn't enough volume?

    Also, you have to work on building a solid brand with your author page.
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    • Profile picture of the author positivenegative
      You say it's non-fiction but dont specify the subject matter/genre. Without knowing that (irrespective of the above comments), you wont get any definitive advice on here as to how best to promote it. Many niche subjects are likewise defined in their success (or not) by appropriate niche marketing methods.
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      • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
        First, on occasion, some (but very few) authors have struck success with their first books, but generally, you need to have at the bare minimum, 3 books published before you begin achieving anything close to respectable sales figures. Often, that figure needs to be doubled.

        Also, as has already been suggested, is the niche you are targeting strong enough? How did you approach this book? Did you first write it, then hope it would attract an audience, or did you first conduct solid research and discover what is selling on Amazon?

        Finally, you mention you have "a fantastic professional cover". But you say you paid for it on Fiverr. Many authors pay professional designers substantially more than $5 for their covers and these are the ones that stand out from the crowd on Amazon.

        Have you considered enrolling in the Warrior Book club? It's far more than a chat forum; Bryan Kumar Tom Gates and several others have provided a huge amount of guidance and material for aspiring (and already experienced) Amazon authors and I consider my membership to be priceless. There's nowhere better anywhere on the internet.
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        • Profile picture of the author umlauts
          Originally Posted by AnniePot View Post

          First, on occasion, some (but very few) authors have struck success with their first books, but generally, you need to have at the bare minimum, 3 books published before you begin achieving anything close to respectable sales figures. Often, that figure needs to be doubled.

          Also, as has already been suggested, is the niche you are targeting strong enough? How did you approach this book? Did you first write it, then hope it would attract an audience, or did you first conduct solid research and discover what is selling on Amazon?

          Finally, you mention you have "a fantastic professional cover". But you say you paid for it on Fiverr. Many authors pay professional designers substantially more than $5 for their covers and these are the ones that stand out from the crowd on Amazon.

          Have you considered enrolling in the Warrior Book club? It's far more than a chat forum; Bryan Kumar Tom Gates and several others have provided a huge amount of guidance and material for aspiring (and already experienced) Amazon authors and I consider my membership to be priceless. There's nowhere better anywhere on the internet.
          My niche is in parenting and relationships and managing stressful relationships, particularly when your parents get older, so I don't think the niche is necessarily tiny. I modeled my book after what has been selling good with these topics, even down to the theme of the chapters that I chose. I didn't want to totally recreate the wheel, and wanted to hit the topics that buyers are actively purchasing in this field.

          As far as my cover, I have quite a bit of graphic experience and could have probably done it by myself, but I really liked this guy's covers on fiverr, and as you might think I'm naturally biased towards my own book, the cover really does look great, even if I paid the guy $5. I've had comments from colleagues and friends tell me how much it stood out on the list without me even asking them about it, so it's not just me. It also looks considerably better than the rest on my cell phone (which is pretty small by today's standards), and can easily read what it says, which are primarily all of the keywords as well.

          I'll have to take a look at the Warrior Book Club, too.
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          • Profile picture of the author Leatherman
            Okay, I have zero experience with Kindle publishing, but I know business and I have parents. So here are my two cents.
            First, I think you have done a hell of a job and don't get discouraged, I'm convinced you'll succeed in the end. Keep on promoting. For sure you need to look into new directions for this. Think about new fields, which you have not touched yet. I'm sure you will find something. Leave the book at side for a few days and take rest from it. Than start again.
            Second, if I want to buy a book like yours, a how-to-guide one, I want to be convinced, exited about the author. May be the book is crape, never mind, as long the author is t h e authority. Build up what ever story about yourself - you're the man and only you know how to handle aged parents! This has to be your goal, this image you need to create. Along with your effort, which you are putting into this project you will succeed, I have no doubt about it.
            So, hope it helps, coffee is over and all the best,
            Leatherman
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      • Profile picture of the author umlauts
        Originally Posted by positivenegative View Post

        You say it's non-fiction but dont specify the subject matter/genre. Without knowing that (irrespective of the above comments), you wont get any definitive advice on here as to how best to promote it. Many niche subjects are likewise defined in their success (or not) by appropriate niche marketing methods.
        The subject matter is dealing with difficult and stressful relationships with your parents once they get older. So this is primarily geared for people in their 40's-50's or so. They'll probably have kids of their own, and be in a point in life where they have a decent amount of money/financial security.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Don't use all your KDP giveaway days at one time. Split them up.

    Bryan Kumar's Kindle subforum here on WF is an excellent investment. He gives you all the instructions for creating and promoting your book.

    There probably isn't anything wrong with your promotion...free giveaways don't turn into sales of THAT book. What you need is a second book on the same topic. That will get people who got your first book for free to look at your new one.

    DO NOT look at new fields. Develop the one you're in. Multiple books on the same topic is the way to succeed with Kindle, not spreading your effort in little spots all over the place.
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  • Profile picture of the author essmeier
    In my experience, having published about a dozen well-reviewed books in both fiction and nonfiction categories, sometimes, you just have to get lucky.

    It looks like you've done everything correctly, but the one thing you can't do is force someone to get excited about your book and tell all their friends about it. That's a random event, and that seems to be the difference between a well-written book with good reviews and a book that explodes on the marketplace.

    While I don't regret my experiences publishing for Kindle, I gave up on it, as even the best book in the world isn't going to sell if people don't, on their own, decide to get excited about it. There's a set process for publishing Kindle books and getting reviews. There's no set process for turning that into a best-seller.

    You could simply try writing more books and repeating the process. "It" could happen with a later title, and that could lead to increased sales of this book.

    Charlie
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  • Profile picture of the author RafaelThaGreat
    Hey buddy,

    I currently have 25 Kindle books for sale and I've pretty much done everything you've listed in terms of marketing and promotions and had the same frustrations as you.

    Here's my advice - Find better keywords for book in KDP, Amazon gives you 7 so use Google Keyword planner and Amazon's Kindle search auto-suggestions to get better keywords. I typically focus on more than 80 Kindle results but no more than 1,800 results. Long tail seem to be more targeted to your niche.

    Price your book at $2.99, even though it's 90 pages and quality, price it to move units not to recoup your time and investment immediately.

    Use HTML formatting in your books description in KDP, list the benefits/chapters of the book, include a call to action in bold, etc. Just enough to convey the books value and get a sale and not a long dry 4 paragraph plain text description.

    Pay for 2 more covers and try switching the cover over the course of a full week and test your results. Some covers may look nice, but others may convert better, simple as that. A slightly more costly experiment would be to create 3 facebook ads, each with it's own cover targeting the same demographics and see which gets the better click through rate.

    Use these methods and don't waste time being frustrated, keep trying new things and experiment until you see your sales increase the way you'd like.

    PM me if you would like to chat further!

    EDIT: I forgot one point about free promotions. Unless you clear 10,000+ downloads during a FREE promotion, you will never see your bestseller ranking move in the slightest when it goes back to paid. Some people say split up your free days, but I disagree. 200,100,80 downloads is a drop in the bucket. You can't crush 10K FREE downloads if you're doing one or two day FREE promotions.

    RafaelThaGreat
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Mazza
    How many reviews do you have?
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    • Profile picture of the author RafaelThaGreat
      Originally Posted by Mark Mazza View Post

      How many reviews do you have?
      He said he had 5 positive reviews from his Free promotion.
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      • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
        Hey guys!

        As someone who has been where you guys are I wanted to offer some advice.

        I didn't want type the worlds longest email so here is a quick video with that I think you need to focus on to be successful.

        http://youtu.be/dNpSEuzAa28?hd=1

        Hope all is well, don't give up!

        Tim Castleman
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        • Profile picture of the author RafaelThaGreat
          Great video, I enjoyed hearing your perspective on Kindle success.
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          • Profile picture of the author umlauts
            Some solid insight going on, thanks guys! Tim, thanks for taking the time and effort making that great video! I wasn't expecting to be an overnight millionaire by any means by depending on just one book and definitely plan on publishing many more. I just thought that it might have been making more than $5 so far. I think maybe I put too much effort on the length and depth and hitting every single base instead of splitting them up a bit into different books and cross referencing and getting some sales through this way. Definitely seems to sound more effective.

            I understand the value of the list as this was part of the plan to eventually pitch them other offers outside of kindle eventually too. I do have a call to action in my book that directs them to my squeeze page for a newsletter with updates on upcoming books and relevant articles. I have had ZERO sign ups on my squeeze page after 300+ downloads, but given that 99.99% of them were free downloads, who knows if the book was ever read in the first place. Perhaps I need to develop a short free ebook as a permanent sacrificial lamb to entice them to get to my page more..
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            • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
              "I think maybe I put too much effort on the length and depth and hitting every single base instead of splitting them up a bit into different books and cross referencing and getting some sales through this way. Definitely seems to sound more effective."

              This x1000.

              It's a numbers game. I've SOLD thousands of my books, only a small minority is going to sign up - that's why it's a numbers game

              Tim
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              • Profile picture of the author RafaelThaGreat
                Originally Posted by TimCastleman View Post

                "I think maybe I put too much effort on the length and depth and hitting every single base instead of splitting them up a bit into different books and cross referencing and getting some sales through this way. Definitely seems to sound more effective."

                This x1000.

                It's a numbers game. I've SOLD thousands of my books, only a small minority is going to sign up - that's why it's a numbers game

                Tim
                Tim, in your video you're saying smaller books and volume is more the key to success in Kindle as opposed to betting the farm on just one book. I tend to agree to that philosophy.

                Since you're more experienced in Kindle than I am, can you give me an idea word count wise of what you would consider a smaller book is to shoot for? In the past I've published 3,500 - 4,000 word count books. Your thoughts?
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            • Profile picture of the author umlauts
              And yes, I have considered putting the book on my own website and/or others, but I haven't so far for 2 reasons:

              1: Online ebook author speaking, I am a nobody with no following, no reader group, no list yet. At this stage, I can't compete with the marketing and traffic power that amazon can provide to build and develop my name/brand from the ground up. I think this is why Kindle is so popular in the first place.

              2: I'm enrolled in KDP select and am not allowed to sell the book elsewhere, and I like the fact that I can still make money from people borrowing books, meanwhile helping my rank. I still have 2 more free promotion days left in my first 90 days, which I purposely saved in case of failure at first, and then can implement what I learned from not doing right on the first 3 days. This also gives me time to publish a 2nd book in the meantime and wait to use my free days to cross reference a 2nd, 3rd, 4th book.
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              • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                Originally Posted by umlauts View Post

                Thanks for the encouragement, you two! I guess maybe what I'm wondering and confused about the most is really how important and effective the free KDP promotion really is (and more importantly how much should be invested in the marketing for it), if this is all it takes to disappear so far away from a good spot in such short amount of time and be back to square one...as if nothing ever happened. Everyone seems to overly emphasize the importance of marketing the free promotion so much, but it hasn't done anything at all for me and just don't get it. I was reading about freebookservice to boost your free day sales, and besides the fact that it might be unethical to do that, I really wonder how important the free promotion days are in the first place and if it's really worth much investment to begin with. Most of the marketing methods I have seen for kindle are 99% focused on the free promotion and just don't see the use. Maybe I am just too impatient..
                If the advice you read is more than about a year and a half old (at least regarding free promotions), don't put much stock into it.

                About that time, Amazon made a couple of changes that really impacted the effectiveness of free promotions.

                First, prior to the change, Amazon credited free downloads as about 1/10th of a paid sale. So, if you had 10,000 free downloads, you got "credit" for about 1,000 sales towards your ranking when the book went back to paid. That appears to no longer be the case.

                Second, they put a limit on the number of free ebooks Amazon Associates could offer with their affiliate code. Made it tougher to get your free promo listed in the bigger lists and promo sites. Most of the Facebook groups I've seen are mostly people promoting books, not looking for books to download.

                You're better off using the free promos to build a list and promote the other books in the series.

                Don't be afraid to tinker with your cover, keywords, categories, description, etc. The book in my sig is on its 5th cover and third or fourth description. I've woefully neglected it for the last few months due to a medical issue, and it still sells a few copies a month.

                Lastly, at least for now, think about running your free promo over a Friday, Saturday Sunday. I've had people tell me the sales bump can be bigger and last longer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Have you ever considered selling the book on your own website? There are other places than Kindle where you can sell your book:

    1) Smashwords

    2) Tradebit

    3) Mobipocket

    4) Lulu

    5) Createspace

    6) Payloadz

    7) E-junkie

    8) Amazines

    9) AbeBooks

    10) WSO

    etc..
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    • Profile picture of the author RafaelThaGreat
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      Have you ever considered selling the book on your own website? There are other places than Kindle where you can sell your book:

      1) Smashwords

      2) Tradebit

      3) Mobipocket

      4) Lulu

      5) Createspace

      6) Payloadz

      7) E-junkie

      8) Amazines

      9) AbeBooks

      10) WSO

      etc..

      If he decides to go this route, he automatically opts himself out from KDP select and doing Free promotions for reviews. I personally think KDP select is worth keeping.

      Createspace is a great suggestions because he said he has a 90 page book. He can get a physical book printed and keep KDP select.
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  • Profile picture of the author ContentPro22
    An eBook priced at $5.97 seems a bit expensive in my opinion. 99% of Kindle eBooks, even from very established writers, often sell for $2.99 or less. Here's a quick example of what it was like for me: I had a Kindle eBook in the pet care niche priced at $4.99 when I first launched it. I got 5 sales MAX per month. I lowered it to $0.99 and got 300 SALES PER MONTH. Crazy, right? Simple tweak and I automatically earned a few hundred bucks from that eBook alone.
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  • Profile picture of the author Slade556
    You are doing nothing wrong, if anything, you made some good decisions when promoting your book! Getting 5 5 star reviews in such a short time is an achievement!
    So just focus on further promoting your book, don't give up on everything now. You'll need time to see real results.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketermatt
    Kindle can be awesome, I wrote a book (pdf) around 20 pages last year and forgot about it.

    About a week ago a received a check for $143.21 for sales of that book! Ha!

    Keep at it you will get there!

    Good Luck!
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    BRB BUSY MAKING WORDPRESS THEMES

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  • Profile picture of the author RufusCreech
    This single thread motivated me to join WarriorForum.
    Thank you all for the great questions and answers here.
    I am a rank beginner here but I think I will learn fast on this forum.

    Rufus Creech
    Published Author: Hard Cider The Easy Way
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    I have found that people do judge a book by its cover. The TITLE is the second determiner of success. Frankly, a lot of customers never crack open one of the books they buy from me. However, they do read the description and that is also important. Well, do make sure the first chapter is ready for prime time as we say. Still, that is to help your reviews.

    Biggest factors are:

    • cover
    • name
    • reviews
    • price
    • copy

    Here is something that few people focus on. Most photography books will be $2.99 or more. That is because they are chock full of large pretty images.

    minimum prices

    Less than 3 megabytes $ 0.99
    Greater than or equal to 3 megabytes and less than 10 megabytes $ 1.99
    10 megabytes or greater $ 2.99
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  • Profile picture of the author themikerogers
    All of these suggestions are great, but you need to get more reviews for the book.

    Reviews are gold on Amazon like SEO is on Google.

    There are many Facebook groups for authors where you can trade reviews. Also, look for Kindle Unlimited groups. People in these groups dont have to pay extra (usually) to get books on Kindle so they can leave reviews more easily.

    Also, contact some Amazon Top Reviewers and ask if they would be interested in reviewing you books.
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