A Look at Amazon: Timeline and Indie Author News

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about Amazon, but as usual, I’ve been collecting links. Here are some items that explain what Amazon has been up to (you may notice it covers a wide range of topics, which is fitting, since Amazon covers so many industries now): Continue reading

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Indie Author Marketing Guide: Twitter

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Twitter is one of the largest social media platforms, and when used correctly, can really help boost an indie author’s platform.

According to Social Media for Writers, “23 percent of online adults living in the United States are active on Twitter.” The post also breaks down the demographic of Twitter users, down to age, gender, education level, and more.

When you sign up for an account, you choose a Twitter handle. All handles begin with @, so for example, my Twitter handle is @sabsky.

Twitter has really expanded its functionality over the years. Of course, the main way to use Twitter is to communicate in short 140-character messages (and also photos and videos if you choose). After you sign up for an account, also known as a Twitter handle, and upload your cover photo, profile photo, and fill out your bio, you are ready to go. Twitter is often used to sign in to other apps or websites, and you can now even purchase items directly from Twitter (see more in your Settings tab, which pops up when you click on your profile image). Continue reading

The Making of a Successful Ebook: An Interview with Geoff Jones, Author of The Dinosaur Four

dinosaur_fourYou may remember Geoff Jones, author of the thriller The Dinosaur Four, from my last post where I happily reviewed his book. Geoff is so awesome that I had to interview him twice. The first time was for the podcast I make with my husband, I Know Dino, where we of course discussed the amazing dinosaurs in his book, and the second time, Geoff very graciously let me pick his brain and ask him a ton of questions about his work as an indie author. Geoff has 501 customer reviews on Amazon with an average of 4-stars, and he successfully sells his book in ebook, paperback, and audio formats, so you can see how I may have gotten carried away.

Anyway, Geoff, being the great guy that he is, kindly answered all my questions and shared all the secrets to his success. Read on for my interview with him. Continue reading

Indie Authors and Kindle Unlimited

Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited (KU) service, where readers pay $9.99 per month and authors are paid out of a monthly fund, seems to be very polarizing.

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Guest Post: Global Fans? Get Global Links

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By Cole Lakes – Director of Operations, GeoRiot

GeoRiot builds links that work “across countries, devices, and stores.” The company also recently acquired BookLinker.net, which creates a universal link for a book “that works for all Amazon stores.”

If you’re an indie author, chances are you’re taking advantage of Amazon’s international online store to promote and sell your books. One thing many authors don’t realize is, if you want your books to be international bestsellers, you need to be able to promote them to international readers. Let me break it down. Continue reading

Comparing the Ebook Submission Process: Self-Publishers v. Publishers

I recently wrapped up a freelance project with a small publisher, where I uploaded/submitted ebook files and metadata to Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google. In the process, I thought about the similarities and differences between how a self-publisher would go about distributing an ebook versus a publishing company that is submitting files themselves instead of using an intermediary such as Ingram.

One of the biggest differences is that regular publishers have the option of also distributing and selling enhanced ebooks. However, currently only Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble accepts and sells enhanced ebooks. For this particular project, I worked with standard ebooks and enhanced ebooks which contained video files.  Continue reading

Ebook Review: Search Word Pro

Search Word ProSearch Word Pro Series by Paul Krupin 

Do you know enough about the latest social media marketing strategies, tactics, and tools to improve your success? Search Word Pro is a very specialized personal tool that helps you discover powerful and actionable information quick as a click. 

If you are going to have a transformative experience that dramatically improves your success today, the chances are very good it will come from the results you find using a search engine. Words have power. Knowledge is power. Click and it’s yours.  Continue reading

Taking a Closer Look at Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 3.39.28 PMThere has been a lot of buzz lately around Kindle Unlimited, the latest service to enter the ebook subscription game. But what out of all the subscription services  I’d say that this one is the biggest game changer, and that’s because it’s an Amazon service.

After recently finishing Brad Stone’s The Everything Store, I have a feeling that right now, Kindle Unlimited is more of an experiment for Amazon, to test the waters of ebook subscriptions. They’ve probably been thinking about it for at least a year or two, when the phrase “Netflix for ebooks” started becoming popular. But like the other business models out there, I’m not sure it’s yet clear how profitable or successful subscriptions for ebooks are.

Amazon already has tried a few varieties of subscriptions, such as Kindle FreeTime Unlimited and even with the Kindle Owners Lending Library (KOLL). Kindle Prime users have access to KOLL, which allows them to borrow, for free, one ebook per month. The selection is fairly large, and it includes all ebooks authors have enrolled in the KDP Select Program. For those who may not know, authors who choose to upload and sell their ebooks on Amazon’s platform have the option to also enroll those books in KDP Select. KDP Select requires that the ebook be exclusive to Amazon for 90 day periods at a time, though that strategy no longer works as well for authors as it used to. Continue reading

Using Kindle Countdown Deals as a Marketing Tool

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By Ron Glick

Indie authors have to make a lot of decisions when it comes to marketing books. New tools come out frequently. Ron Glick, author of 12 books, weighs in on his experience using Amazon’s Kindle Countdown. Read on for some great insights. Also check out his latest novel, Dorothy Through the Looking Glass.

Being an independent or self-published author usually means you are literally responsible for every aspect of producing and marketing your book. Things that a writer can rely upon through a traditional publishing house – such as marketing, media contacts, professional reviewers, etc. – are not readily available to an independent, which means an independent must work considerably harder to market their work. The key to any successful independent author is marketing, and anyone who has been where I have been with self-promotion, you know there is no readily available network to plug into to get instant recognition of your work. In a nutshell, marketing is everything. Continue reading