On November 1, a book that I co-wrote (I’m the Frankie of the Frankie Johnnie eBooks) will hit the Amazon digital shelf. You can pre order the book and pay a whopping buck now, or pay 3 bucks in November after it’s released.
With this book, we went to get lengths to come up with interesting marketing techniques to help authors sell books over the holidays.
Below, I am sharing a chapter from the book. I’m looking for feedback on the technique shared. Would you try it? Why or why not? Do you think it would work for you if you tried it? Do you have a suggestion for improvement?
Thanks for your feedback. If you preorder the book and write a review, I will return the favor and write an honest review of your book (if book cost more than a buck, please provide the PDF). Any questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We are still editing the book, so bear with us if it’s a little rough with reading.
Get 10 book sales and review in 6 easy steps
Yes, I know your goal is to sell thousands of books and get thousands of reviews, but hey you have to start somewhere and 10 for 10 is a good place to start.
Consider that 99% of authors that succeed started somewhere and they succeeded because of hard work. They didn’t write their book and purchases started falling out of trees. They busted their asses, and crawled before they walked.
Go back and read the back stories of some of your favorite authors and you’ll see how many steps they had to climb to get to the top.
In this post, I’m going to share with you a simple way to successfully launch or re-launch your book by getting 10 sales and 10 reviews. If you know your way around Amazon’s website you will find this technique fairly easy. Even if you don’t know your way around the website, I’ll show you an easy way to navigate the site.
I’ve been on Amazon for years self-publishing and purchasing eBooks. Amazon’s website is no different than any other company’s and they are constantly making changes. Sometimes the changes are hard to get used to but once you do, it’s business as usual.
10 books sales and 10 reviews.
This method has worked for me and many others that I have shared it with. Feel free to improve upon the idea to make it bigger and better.
If you can go bigger. Go Bigger.
If you can be more creative, go for it.
I don’t recommend taking short cuts, but if you like short cuts, so be it.
This method was created to increase book sales and book reviews, however if you add a twist and a lime to it can help you build a tribe of supporters (brand ambassadors) in any field, such as launching a crowdfunding campaign, rallying people around an issue in your community, and much, much more.
This method is as powerful as the Little Engine that Could.
The method is like a small firework that you light on the 4th and you think it’s going nowhere because it takes off at a snail’s pace and everybody turns their noses up at what they think is a dud, and just when they turn away, the magic happens. The little firework that could, shoots into the sky and lights it up.
Yeah, I know that it’s easy to keep your eyes on the fireworks that shoot off fast, make a lot of noise, and light up the sky, and it’s very easy to ignore the ones that seem like they might be duds.
The really powerful ones take off fast –it’s spectacular – and then it’s over.
The slow ones, the ones you think are duds have the possibility to create long lasting results.
So here it is, my marvelous method to get you at least 10 book sales and 10 book reviews.
Remember you have to start somewhere.
Step 1. Identify 10 people who you can nominate to be Brand Ambassadors (Evangelist) for your book and who meet the following criteria.
Shops on Amazon and have a credit card on file
Has a device to read and review your book (Kindle, iPad, phone or computer).
If they meet the above criteria, they must be A) willing to trade favors B) Willing to do anything for you because you’d do anything for them.
(Tips for selecting BA’s. The best BA’s are fellow authors, in fact most of my reviews have come from authors. I meet authors in online groups and forums and develop online friendships.)
Other suggestions for possible BA’s is family members, co-workers, church members, people at your gym, child’s school, etc. Whoever you select make sure you can obtain their physical address. If you can’t an email address will work. However, I’m sharing an approach that is more personal so obtaining a physical address is ideal offline strategy.
GOOD NEWS. You can count me as one of your BA’s. You’ve bought my book. Check. Will you review it? If so, check. I’ll purchase your book if the cost does not exceed $3 bucks (if it exceeds that amount, you can send me a PDF) and give it an honest review. email@example.com
Step 2: Mark your book down to 2.99, or raise it up to 2.99 in KDP publishing. This is easy, simply go into your KDP account and chance the pricing.
Step 3: Buy 10 gift cards.
Here are the steps.
You’ll note that you can select a gift card that allows you to select your any amount from $1 on up. Buy 10 gift cards in the amount of $3 each from Amazon. Don’t get one gift card for $30. Get 10 of them for $3.00. Do NOT get the gift card, get the gift code.
Have the gifts cards emailed to you and NOT to the BA. Shortly after purchasing you should receive 10 separate email gift cards. Each email should be in the amount of $3 and have a different code. (Repeat, you will have 10 email gift cards with codes).
Amazon has some adorable gift cards and you will be tempted to buy the cards and send them directly to your BA.
DON’T do it. Instead, keep reading for a more personal offline way of to seduce your BA.
A word of caution. For whatever reason, codes sometimes don’t work. They just don’t work and it’s frustrating. It may not happen often, however it has happened to me on several occasions. If your codes does not work contact Amazon’s customer service and have them fix it.
Yes, it’s a pain in the butt.
Step 4: Have a conversation with each of the selected BA’s in person, over the telephone, skype, etc. The conversation should go like this, “If I told you my child was dying and I needed your help, would you help?”
When you ask them this question do so in a serious manner. Don’t ever let them think you are not serious. Your book is your baby. You gave birth to it. You labored. You fucking labored. Even if it’s a short & sweet self published eBook like the ones that I write, it’s hard work.
Let these people know that your baby, your book is dying and you need their help. You need them to do four simple things.
1) Buy your book (it’s just 2.99)
2) Read your book (they will love it)
3) Review your book (it’s easy and they can write a 20 word review).
4) Spread the word about your book (on social media, or tell a few people).
Give them a date to do this – one or two weeks.
Tell them that you are confident that they will enjoy reading every page of your book, but that reading is the NEW tapping. Yes, the new Kindle Voyage has a tap (press sensor) feature which makes it easy to speed read books.
Show them from examples below, what a quick review looks like.
Here’s a few examples:
This is a quick read, chock full of tidbits. I generated two pages of ideas triggered by the content. It’s not a step by step, if that’s what you’re looking for. Instead it’s an idea generator to help you expand your own creative thinking. Enjoy! Happy Holiday Sales.
I loved this book. It was very easy reading. The author creates her characters by letting us know their deepest thoughts on the situations occurring in their life now, as well as many that have not crossed their minds in years. She pulls us in so that we are thinking how we would handle their situations if we were caught in them. That was my favorite part of the book — analyzing how I might feel and the choices I might make if I were in their shoes. And there were no easy answers. Though I felt I could relate to all 3 of her main characters, Sally was the one who I found most endearing.
Hopefully, they’ve been blown away by your book if it’s a novel, or inspired to do something if it’s a nonfiction book and they will call you at 6am in the morning and tell you that they’ve been reading all night and they’ll write a great BIG fantastic review. Hopefully, that is the case, if not you can settle with what they can do.
Step 5: Create an ornament.
DIY, find a template on the internet, or have one created on Fiverr.
Depending on your creative skills, you can create an ornament on your computer. If you don’t have graphic design skills you can easily find someone on Fiverr who will create an ornament for you cheap. Put a few holiday words on the ornament and the 17 digit gift code. Remember each code will be different, so it’s wise to get an ornament created where you can edit and change the codes.
NOTE: Here’s the extra step that you may be tempted to just send an Amazon gift card via email but don’t do it as your email may get lost in the holiday shuffle. Use this approach if you want to hit a home run.
Write them a little handwritten thank you note to include with ornament, something like this…
Thank you for agreeing to support my baby. As a way to say thank you, here’s a small gift, if you haven’t bought the book, use this code to do so and write a book review ASAP, also tell at least 2 people about my book.
Thanks again and Happy Holidays.
Include the book code on the ornament.
If you’ve already heard back from them and know for sure that they purchased your book, below is a script to use.
Thank you for reading and reviewing my book. As a way to say thank you, I’m sending a small token of appreciation. There are lots of great affordable books on Amazon, please enjoy one of them on me.
Step 5: Mail the ornament to your BA.
Step 6: A few days later call and thank each of your BA members and encourage them to share the book. Also, offer to do a favor for them. They probably won’t have anything immediate on the list, but they’ll call you when they need you.
$3 can go a long way on Amazon as authors often drop down the price of their book to a buck. Woo Hoo!
This is a win-win for you and your BA. For one, if they’ve bought the book before or after they received your gift card, you get a 70% return payment from Amazon and you have cultivated a relationship, sold books and gotten reviews.
Don’t under estimate the power of these 10 BA/tribe members and $3 bucks. A few of you may thumb your nose down at giving a small amount, and if you want to give more – you big baller – go for it.
The thing to be happy about is you got 10 people to buy, read, review, and spread the word about your book which can resuscitate it. 10 sales with 10 reviews can go a long way, as you’ll see.
Admittedly there are more ways to skin a cat. As an example you can simply email them the gift card and skip a few steps, but these days such a low percentage of emails get opened.
FYI: I’ve tried variations of this plan such as larger gift card amounts, sending direct email, mailed post cards etc. Each time I try it differently, I discover that there’s always ways to improve this plan, so feel free to build upon this concept and add a twist and a lime.
Repeat. See if you can come up with a list of 10 more people.
Thanks for reading this post, please consider pre ordering the book and I’ll return the favor.