Book Marketing Introduction
It’s no secret that in order to sell lots of books you have to be great at book marketing. In the first part of a series of articles I’m going to focus on paid advertising, beginning with Amazon Adverts. If you haven’t done them before, take a big breath, they are really easy to set up. Making them profitable though is the hard part and this is where I come in.
I’m going to give you some great tips to simplify the process and ensure you don’t spend more money than you make in royalties.
- Keyword research
- Book marketing copy
- Also boughts
- Kick – starting your ads
- Little and often
- Amazon keyword reports
Amazon adverts run primarily on keywords. Simply put these are the words people type into the Amazon search engine in order to find what they’re looking for. So if someone is looking for a book, then at a basic level they will type the word book and get a list of results.
In order to advertise your book and rank highly in the search results you put a bid on this keyword and add in the maximum amount you are willing to spend on this word. So for a term like book, as you can image competition is fierce.
Bids on this particular keyword are likely to be stupidly high and a sure fire way to blow your advertising budget in a nano-second, if you want to rank at the top of the list.
This is where you need to think like a customer. When you type in a search term like this you’ll get all manner of unrelated products so you try to narrow your search. You may then add something like ‘for kids’ and then to narrow it down again ‘aged 7 to 11.’
So you end up with a long – chain keyword ‘books for kids aged 7 to 11’
There will be much less competition for this so the cost of someone clicking on your advert is much less. The cheaper the better right? Cheaper clicks mean there is a much higher chance of making a profit
So, how do you find a list of keywords like this? The good news is there are free ways, the bad news is they are time consuming.
Write a list of all the keywords you can related to your book. It’s name, location, characters, genre, tropes, distinguishing features. For my books it would be things like twins, superheroes, middle grade fiction, children’s books, Northern England, series.
Type these words into amazon and look at the suggestions Amazon gives you, use these as your keywords. Type enough things in and you’ll soon generate a list of a few hundred keywords.
You can also use the same method in google, to get similar lists.
Alternatively, check out Goodreads for lists of books in your genre. You can find thousands of similar books and authors. Both can be used to compile extensive lists of keywords which will be really effective in Amazon ads.
Alongside these methods there are paid tools you can use to give you massive lists of keywords which will cut the time spent generating keywords in half.
Book Marketing Copy
If you are running ads In the US you have the option to add text to your advert and I’d always suggest you do so. You have a limited number of characters so this needs to be short snappy and really entice the readers to click on your ad.
I’ve trialled both ads with and without copy and the ones with definitely outperform those without.
The hardest part here is selling your book in just one sentence. As writers we’re used to writing lots and lots of text and expanding our word count.
“Less is more when it comes to ad copy.”Tweet
You have 5 seconds to capture someone’s attention so make it captivating. If you’re really struggling here you can always go down the route of saying something along the lines of
“Fans of Andy Slinger (famous author) will love this book…”
See what I mean; short, snappy and guaranteed to make people stop and click.
If you want to find out more about copy writing I’ve written another article about it here..
When you click on your book page, lurking underneath your book description there is a bar of books that says something along the lines of “people who bought these books also bought.” This is vital information to look at.
Firstly, this will show if your book is sat in the correct Amazon categories. So if the books here are completely unrelated to yours, you have an issue. In this case give me a shout to help resolve it before you move any further with this section.
If they’re all in the same genre as yours then these are perfect books to target. Copy the titles and use them as keywords in your ads. Then click on these books and see what their also boughts are, then guess what? Copy these titles again.
Before you know it you’ve built up a huge list of authors and book titles to target in your ads.
Just for ease of use I tend to copy these all into a big spread sheet, organised into categories. Then if I’m struggling for key words or inspiration I can refer back to it at any time.
Kick starting your ads
You may be worried about your ads spending lots of your money but with Amazon ads it’s sometimes hard to get them to spend at all. You pay nothing for impressions, (to have your ad seen by potential readers) you only pay when someone clicks on your book.
Sometimes, though these ads won’t even generate impressions at all or in very low numbers. So I would suggest always selecting an end date which is a month from now (remember to extend it later if your ad is performing well). This gives your ad an immediate boost and it’ll show impressions straight away.
Also, keep your daily spend on an advert to no more than $5. It is extremely unlikely to spend this money but if it does, congratulations you’re getting clicks on your book and potential sales anyway.
Little and often
The most effective way to run Amazon ads is little and often, I tend to check them once a week and generate 5 new ads at the same time.
Keep your budgets per click low, a maximum of 30 cents and you have far more of a chance of becoming profitable.
“You may think in order to scale up ads that are performing you can just increase the budget and your sales will go up but this isn’t the case. There are only so many times your keyword will be typed into Amazon in a given period of time.”Tweet
Lots of ads generating a small number of profitable clicks is the way to make more book sales. Remember you’re looking for relevant keywords, with low competition.
Be consistent with analysing your ads, you don’t need to check them daily but definitely once a week. Turn any off that aren’t generating sales after a month, and keep on producing new ads.
This process carries on and on until you discover those incredible keywords that sell your book for a minimal spend.
Amazon keyword reports
Did you know you can get a copy of the effectiveness of all your keywords e-mailed to you whenever you like?
Just look at the top left and create your own report. You can decide how often you get it sent to you, I have it sent to me monthly.
This is a really quick and easy way to see the search terms which are performing in your ads. I make a list of all the terms that have generated sales and then create a new ad with them, a super ad!
Because you know these terms are effective, you can raise the cost per click to 35 cents or even 40 cents if you have a series. Thus generating even more sales.
You can also restart the keyword research process again using these terms in google and amazon like you did before, thus generating even more keywords.
Book Marketing Amazon ads conclusion
Book marketing through advertising takes a little time to master and can seem overwhelming to most at first. But don’t panic, keep it simple, follow my advice and you won’t go far wrong.
If you do lose money on your ads at first, think of it a different way. You pay when someone clicks on your book, not when they see your ad.
I have ads that have generated millions of impressions. So millions of people have seen my book cover, for no cost. Even if you’re not generating sales initially, you are generating exposure and lots of it.
You are also gathering data. You’re discovering which keywords work and which don’t. Just think how many sales you could generate in a month or two or following this weekly approach.
Besides, if you get stuck and need a hand, I’m really nice I’m always here. Send me an e-mail, DM me on Instagram or even use the little chat circle in the left corner of this screen.
If you haven’t done already, join my e-mail list of like minded authors and get free marketing tips straight in your inbox.