It’s the copywriter in me — I see ebook marketing, and all marketing for that matter — in terms of AIDA. AIDA is a useful copywriting formula; Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. To market and sell ebooks, you need to get attention first; and keep getting attention.
Easier said than done, of course. Hundreds of thousands of Kindle ebooks are published each month. How on earth do you get readers’ attention when there are so many ebooks released each and every month?
While there are any number of ways you can do that, you need to remember one thing… To get attention, take a lesson from the political word. Politicians cut through distraction and noise and get attention by staying on-message.
You need to do that too. And no, I don’t mean that you should send out hundreds of “buy my ebook!” messages on Twitter each month. 🙂
Vital tip: write first, and always
Before we get to the ebook marketing tips, here’s a VITAL tip. Focus on your writing, and keep publishing. If you don’t publish, you have nothing to sell.
Writers ask: “how much time should I spend marketing each day?”
My response: “use whatever minutes are left, after your writing is done for the day.”
Write. Keep writing. And keep publishing. And use these tips.
1. Realize that an ebook cover isn’t just a cover: it’s your marketing in a nutshell
There’s a lot of nonsense talked about ebook covers in the indie publishing world. Forget what you’ve heard. Lipstick on a pig won’t sell the pig, and covers don’t sell ebooks.
A good cover’s nice to have, of course, but on its own, it does nothing. What it can do, is help you to market your book.
You can create your own covers easily enough. It takes time, but it may be time that you can and should invest. Most designers are all about the pretty pictures, and while that’s fine, what YOU, as an author and marketer want to know is: can I use this cover to market my ebook?
Consider major publishers. When a big publishing house commissions an illustrator or designer to create a book cover, they don’t care about the pretty pictures. They’re in business to sell books. (As are you.) Both the marketing department and the sales department want to know: can we SELL with this cover?
That’s the only question you need to ask about a cover: will it help me to sell ebooks?
Notice that the cover can’t market the book… YOU need to do that. And when you start thinking about promotions you can build around your ebook covers, you’ve come a long way as a marketer. 🙂
2. Create a goal (hint, your goal isn’t to SELL… not yet, anyway)
Your goal is to get attention.
How will you do that? Today, you have 1001 ways to get attention. Social media can be a boon to authors.
Make a list of ways you can get attention… ways you’d enjoy. You can blog, tweet, pin on Pinterest, get together with other authors and run promotions together…
We’ve mentioned your readers’ list many times. If you’re starting out marketing your ebooks, create your list NOW.
3. Create and post snippets to grab attention
Amazon uses “Look Inside”, so potential buyers can get a sample of your ebooks. But you you need to get people to your Amazon product page first.
Snippets get attention.
What’s a “snippet”? A tweet-able. In PR terms, a tagline, slogan, quote or sound bite. A snippet may be a quote from your ebook, or not. You can create small bits of material which you can repost and repurpose in various ways.
4. Create images, because a picture is worth a thousand words…
… and images get attention. We said that your ebook’s cover is your marketing in a nutshell. Use your cover, or elements from your cover, in your marketing. Aim to create several images, in various sizes, which you can use in your marketing.
Your ebook’s cover helps you to stay on-message.
5. Stay on message: intrigue, and arouse curiosity
An aside… Here’s my best advice for marketing an ebook: start creating marketing materials while you’re writing your ebook.
I don’t know about you, but by the time I’ve written a book, I’m weary. Creating marketing collateral like images, snippets, plot synopses and character descriptions (for fiction) takes as much energy as writing the book. Start early.
End of aside… 🙂
What does “on message” mean? Your message is a short summary of your book. Very short. Try not to give away any spoilers if you’re promoting a novel.
It’s not the plot. And it’s not a real summary. Go to the IMDB and read some movie summaries. Here’s the IMDB’s summary for House of Cards, for example:
“A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him.”
Your message is a pitch. It doesn’t need to be 100% accurate. It just needs to get attention, so that people visit your Amazon product page.
So there you have it; five simple tricks to help you to market your ebooks. Use them — you’ll sell more ebooks. 🙂
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