Today, Jo and Lindsay chatted with Tom Corson-Knowles, non-fiction author, host of the Publishing Profits podcast, and entrepreneur. He does a lot of work with authors and has seen what’s working well for branding and improving sales, so we had a good discussion, covering everything from Amazon advertising (which has recently opened up to be available to everyone, not just those exclusive with KDP Select) to email marketing to social media.
Here are a few of the highlights of what we discussed:
What exactly Amazon ads are and how they work for authors.
How much you can expect to spend and what a respectable ROI or ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sales) looks like.
Product Display ads versus Sponsored Product Ads.
Keyword targeting and scaling up if you’re not getting enough impressions/clicks.
Making sure your cover/brand is appealing, since you’ve got to lure browsers away from the book page they’re on to click your ad.
Whether Amazon ads can make sense with a 99-cent book or a permafree one (and series starters versus stand alones).
Best practices when it comes to email marketing.
What your first follow-up message should look like after a new subscriber signs up.
The types of goodies you can give away to entice readers to sign up.
Whether you should start separate email lists if you branch into other genres.
How often you should be emailing your list as an author.
Whether you should worry if you get unsubscribes after sending out a newsletter.
If you should consider a pop-up to get more reader signups from your blog or website. (Tom uses SumoMe for handling pop-ups and signups.)
When it makes sense to ignore the common advice of “You have to be on Facebook” or “You have to be on Twitter.”
Finding ways to market online that jive with your personality and what you’re willing to do.
This week, we chatted with epic fantasy author Garrett Robinson (http://garrettbrobinson.com/) who got his start with genre hopping and serialized fiction before deciding to settle in and focus on epic fantasy. Several novels later, he’s selling a lot of books and making a great living.
Here’s some of what we talked about:
Outlining and planning when you’re building a big world with multiple series and storylines
Juggling multiple series and having publication schedules that satisfy the readers and make marketing doable
Why it took three books and a boxed set before the ball really started rolling for Garrett
What kinds of book covers are expected for epic fantasy
Live vlogging a novel as a way to interact with readers and also as an accountability tool
Creating a YouTube channel where videos actually convert to book sales
Why Garrett is sticking with KDP Select for the time being
The perks of getting a Bookbub ad while in Kindle Unlimited
Why he’s enjoying Tumblr as a social media platform
Author Platform Rocket — a resource Garrett uses for generating Facebook leads for his mailing list
Tips for Facebook advertising (don’t be shy — imagine yourself as a marketing firm that was hired to plug your books)
If you want to get Garrett’s first book for free, stop by his page and sign up for his newsletter.
Today we chatted with fantasy author Michael James Ploof. He’s published two YA epic fantasy series, and he’s also experimented with a pen name writing the naughtier stuff (paranormal/urban fantasy with romance).
His pen name was a recent Kindle Scout winner, and his Whill of Agora boxed set made the USA Today Bestseller’s list last year. We pumped him for information on how he sold (in one week!) the 6,000+ ebooks (including 500+ at a non-Amazon vendor) necessary to hit the list.
We also talked about how Facebook ads are an ongoing part of his sales strategy and how he’s using them + a permafree Book 1 to keep sales steady month in and month out.