THE BOOK DESCRIPTION AND ITS JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD
I was creating a Goodreads giveaway yesterday when I noticed that one of my book descriptions didn’t look quite right. Then I realized that a few of my book descriptions had similar issues. (I haven’t yet looked at all of my books there, but did check my recent releases.)
The problem was that I had formatted my descriptions at Amazon KDP using the limited HTML that is available (boldface, italics, line breaks, bullet points, and ordered lists). While that resulted in improved formatting at Amazon, the HTML had a few undesirable effects at Goodreads. In particular, if you use short bullet points with words or phrases in each point, the words and phrases might not appear on separate lines and there won’t be any bullet point symbols.
So if you meant to make a list like this:
red riding hood
big bad wolf
It could instead look like this at Goodreads:
red riding hood big bad wolf grandma’s house
It actually can look even worse when it blends together with the previous and following sentences.
Dave Chesson informs us on ‘Jane Friedman’ what we authors need to know about the changes to Amazon Advertising. Thank you Dave!
Amazon is always looking for better ways to crank out a higher profit margin.
While some of their updates have been much to the chagrin of authors, recent changes to their book advertising system should help authors make better decisions about their ads and target their markets more precisely.
But it’s not all good. I’m leery of some aspects I think might be problematic.
Many of these thousands of titles are never going to succeed at selling on Amazon. Either because the writing standard is poor, the cover is homemade, or in a lot of cases nowadays, many are merely copies of public domain books.
Floridaborne published an interesting ‘must-read’ on her blog. As an Indie author I have to say I was and still am shocked to read it. Thank you very much for sharing this information to us, Floridaborne!
Now, on a serious note.
I happened upon a writer on Twitter and Facebook:
Her Twitter introduction: “Amazon Int’l Bestselling Romance Author | Survived my 1st publishing with coffee & wine | Music Lover | Star Wars Geek Since Birth.”
She explains how non-writers are scamming the system at Amazon
graciously allowed me to reprint (aka copy/paste) her post.
I need to tell a story – it’s going to be a long one, so settle in if you’re interested in hearing it.
I began writing my first book in 2013. I self-published it on December 27, 2015. I was new to the business and I literally knew nothing. I made my own cover, which I’m embarrassed of now. But hey – I was brand spanking new and was learning as I went. And yes, there were typos galore in this first book. My January 2016 sales raked in a whopping $1500. I was shocked! After all, I was a nobody – a brand new author who nobody had heard of and I made $1500 in my first month!
I charged $5.99 per ebook for my debut title (Heart of Stone) and it was enrolled in KU. Looking at the sales, I thought I really had something going. My husband convinced me to quit my day job and do the author gig full time. Please note…I didn’t say “writing” full-time. Being an author comes with a ton of administrative tasks – setting up and maintaining a website, managing social media, searching for advertising opportunities, sending out newsletters, and every other possible thing to help keep you relevant in this business. Only a fraction of time is spent actually writing.
1. When did you start writing?
After my late wife died in 2007
2. What motivates you to write?
I get pleasure from writing and hope that readers enjoy reading my books
3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?
I write in both fiction and non-fiction. By doing so I get the best of both worlds related to writing
4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
I like to think that I have what it takes to write a best seller, and that one of my books will be used as the basis for a film or television series.
5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
When you’re writing and get stuck on how to proceed, take a break. Leave your writing then go back to it the next day with a clear head. Also, once you have completed your work, it is essential that you have it professionally edited. Don’t think for a minute that as you have used an online editing program it is not worth the cost. If you do, most likely you will be disappointed at what readers say when they read what you wrote.
7. Please, tell us about your work.
I have written and self-published seven books. I did pay for my memoir Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps to be published by a company I thought good. I found out to my cost it was a big mistake. This company is now listed as one not to use. As is over twelve other sites connected to them. Four of my books are now available as audiobooks, a fifth will be shortly, and my novel A Dangerous Love Affair now in the process of being made into an audiobook. In conjunction with Voyage Media, based on my memoir, I wrote a pilot episode for what they think could be used as a television series. I also write poems with several in the final four in competitions. One was made into a film.
Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!
Colin Guest Bio:
As an expat who worked in fifteen countries spread through the Middle, Far East and North Africa, Colin Guest has lived a life most only dream. He has self-published seven books. Two have been made into Audiobooks, with three more due to be completed early 2019.
A number of Colin’s articles have been published in online magazines and one in a UK expat magazine. A local newspaper in Colin’s hometown in England published an article about him. In conjunction with Voyage Media, Colin prepared a pilot episode based on his memoir that they think could be suitable for a television series. Colin has taken part in several online interviwes and once took part in a live online American radio show. Colin uses his website http://www.colinguestauthor and various social media accounts to help publise his books.
Chris McMullen published a very useful and educational blog post about advertising for KDP authors. Thank you very much for the information, Chris!
AMAZON ADVERTISING VIA KDP
As of 2019, Amazon modified how their advertising campaigns work, so this seems like a good time for a new article about how to use it.
I started using Amazon’s advertising feature several years ago, when it was first introduced to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
Since then, my ads have generated over 100 million impressions. So I have a little experience with how this works.
Advertising is one of many marketing tools. Like most marketing tools, you probably won’t blindly achieve instant success.
And like any paid marketing tool, advertising carries risk. If you aren’t careful, you can spend a lot of money quickly, and you might not recover your investment.
Advertising probably isn’t the solution for a book that isn’t selling on its own. It works better for some books than others, and for some authors than others. The success of the ad depends on a variety of factors.
One big problem is that there are many variables to consider:
How much should you bid?
How do you target your ads?
Is your custom text helping or hurting?
Does your cover draw your target audience in effectively?
Does your product page sell effectively?
I was informed that Soul Taker can be found on three additional Websites. If you feel like getting it on your Kobo, as a paperback or even on iTunes, don’t hesitate: You will find the 1st book of ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series here: