How to Get your books into the right Categories and Sub-categories: Readers to Books/Books to Readers—Part Three

Introduction: Two years ago, I wrote a blog piece about the importance of using categories, keywords, and tags (which no longer exist) to make your books visible in the Kindle Store. A year later I wrote an update that expanded on this and discussed how having your book in the right categories could make free and discount promotions more effective. The basic argument I made hasn’t changed––that an author needs to understand how categories work in order to use them to improve the chance their books will be found by readers who are browsing in the Kindle store. If you Read more…

7 Things joining KDP Select Can and Can’t do for you

I have no problem with authors deciding not to put (or keep) their books in KDP Select because there are a number of good reasons not to sell an ebook exclusively through Amazon. What does bother me is when people put a book into KDP Select with unrealistic expectations, or don’t do their homework about how KDP Select works, or blame Amazon when their books don’t sell, and then announce that KDP Select is not a good strategy to follow for independent authors. It is my hope that this post will help educate authors about what KDP Select can and Read more…

Authors Need to Get a Clue: How to devise the best marketing strategy for the Holidays

Everywhere the discussion is raging among indie authors: should they sign their books up for KDP Select for the holidays or not? This is an important decision because, if last holiday is any guide, the bulk of ebook sales are going to come in the ninety days after December 25, when huge numbers of new ereaders and tablets of all sorts are found gift-wrapped under the tree. On the surface the decision should be easy. If the vast majority of a specific ebook’s sales are on Amazon, if you have enrolled the ebook in KDP Select program before and achieved a Read more…

Update on Categories and Keywords: Why authors should still care

A year ago (October 2011), I wrote a piece entitled Categories, Key words, and Tags, Oh My!: Why Should an Author Care?, which has become the most frequently viewed post on my blog. It has been reposted numerous times, and I still get comments on it weekly. There is a reason for this. The subject is complicated, confusing, and yet crucial to selling a book successfully online. While most of the original post is still relevant, it seemed time to update it, with the special addition of a section on how categories play a role in KDP Select promotions. For Read more…

My brief experiment going off KDP Select: At least I got this nifty blog piece out of it!

So… I lasted only a month off of KDP Select. It was an eye-opening experience. I knew that I would lose sales on Amazon without the borrows and KDP free days to keep my books visible on the historical mystery bestseller lists, but my hope was that I would be building enough sales on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and the Smashwords affiliates, to make up for these lost sales. I even told myself I was willing to accept lower overall sales for 2-3 months in order to test the idea that having my book on multiple sites (even if the Read more…