Publishing On The Kindle: Top Tips

This was originally a guest post for Marketing Tips for Authors, now re-purposed for you as I am still in flux. Currently, we have a flat to move into at the end of the month in London but I have also started work (day job) so internet access and time is still sporadic. Normal service will hopefully resume in July. (I’m loving being back!)

I love my Kindle! I am a total ebook convert. I now read 90% of books on the Kindle device itself or Kindle apps on the iPad and iPhone. I am also a very happy Kindle author as my thriller Pentecost is still in the bestseller rankings 3 months after launch.

In the video, I go through my best tips for publishing on the Kindle:

  • Use a freelancer to do the formatting. I’ve formatted files myself before and found it a frustrating process to get exactly right. It’s affordable to pay an expert to create a file for you and you can also get them to create an epub while they are at it for other devices. It will save you time and a lot of frustration! I recommend B10Mediaworx, April L Hamilton and EbookArchitects.
  • Decide on the categories you will use. When you publish onto the Kindle you can choose categories for your book. This is important as it will control where your book is placed and also where you rank. For example, Fiction – Christian with sub-category Romance or Fiction – Romance category with sub-category historical. If you’ve written a romance, it’s important you find the right niche as readers will search here. You can choose a couple of categories but only a few so it is critical.
  • Make sure your book cover is optimized for the thumbnail size of the Kindle store. I browse the new releases on Kindle every week, checking out the cover and titles first. Then I click through and download a sample if I like the look of it. So cover and title are still as important as they are on traditional bookshelves.
  • Ensure your first few pages hook the reader. Although this should be true of any book, it is particularly important for Kindle books as people will download samples and delete them if they are not interested. I often have 30 or more samples ready to look at and I’ll maybe buy 1 – 2 of those. I have to be hooked. So make sure your book doesn’t get warmed up after 20 pages. It needs to be in the first 5 to get a kindle user to buy the book.
  • Use targeted advertising. If you have a budget, Kindle Nation Daily blog has paid advertising to it’s members and has been proven to be more effective than most other advertising, according to many Kindle authors. You need to reserve your place for that months in advance though as it is so popular. You can also try Facebook advertising which can be targeted to those people who ‘like’ Kindle and in a specific country.

If you’re a Kindle author, what are your best tips? If you’re a Kindle reader, what do you want authors to consider?

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments

    • says

      I can market your book on my podcast and blog if you like. I’m working on four episodes right now, but I can certainly put you on the list. (takes 8-10hrs per ep.) I take your writing and I RadioLab style it.

      If anyone else wants me to make a podcast featuring their novels let me know. I accept payment in the form of telling your followers and friends about the show. Here’s what you’ll get.
      http://jacobwilliamsmodeling.com/blog

      Email me from the site. And Penn, keep being awesome. Can I be a guest on your show?

      • says

        Here comes some interesting data.

        Stats from my podcast adventure:

        4 episodes (all uploaded within a month of each other)
        Total Downloads : 52
        Listening time: 380 min
        Completion Rate: 61%
        Time Frame Dec-April (have not uploaded anything in 3 months.

        I removed the podcast from my site as it didn’t jive with the services my website offered.
        This link might work though:
        http://app.stitcher.com/browse/feed/31253/details

        Conclusion: Online marketing is a long tail game. You must keep at it. I only marketed and created content for a month. By “marketed” I mean engage with people online for free. Trying to create small roads to my content. I never paid for anything. But truly added all up I only spend about 5-10 hours on that side of it. This was while my 3D modeling business was slower so I had time to try new things.

        I learned a lot about business and online marketing along the way, and some of the other types of content I was creating did and is benefiting me financially. I did four types.

        1> YouTube video tutorials. (3D modeling tutorials for the software I use.) 10 vids =18K views

        2>Podcasting of author’s books.
        I had permission from authors. Kindle authors only. They will tell their online followers to check out my podcast reading. I know something about the demographic and that is that their followers have kindles. Since I plan to publish on kindle, well you know were I’m going with this. (This is still a brilliant strategy that I haven’t had time to nurture. I only was able to do it for one book so far. I have 3 authors waiting for me to record. We will see.

        3>Guest Blogging for other sites.
        This one was a late comer but I was lucky enough to get a post on a great site: http://thedeependdesign.com/what-graphic-designers-can-learn-from-dr-seuss/
        (Don’t leave the Creative Penn. Just save that for later. There’s excellent content where you are.)

        4>Writing articles on my website about companies that could be potential clients of mine.))
        This strategy was a home run. In fact, it worked so well I haven’t had time to pursue the other three strategies anymore. Anytime you approach a business owner with free marketing they are likely to let you in their office. 99% of the time you’ll go in to interview them and they’ll end up interviewing you. This is a much better approach compared to cold calling.

        To close, you will never know what roads pay off. I think having multiple focuses creates more opportunities. You must have a long term plan, and you must find value in what you’re doing or you may burn out. For instance, my YouTube videos get more views every day. And although direct business hasn’t resulted yet, I know that my view count and subscriber base will grow forever. Those videos aren’t going anywhere. They are assets I will own forever. Adsense revenue was $10 in 3 months. Ok, if I never add a single video and the same watch rate continues I’ll still make $400 in ten years time. Without doing anything more mind you. Also, a potential employer will see them and conclude I am an authority on the topic. I’d argue that’s a form of payout.

        Hope this motivates and informs. Keep bringing us exceptional content Penn.

  1. says

    I just self published my first book. Any suggestions when a new author has no money whatsoever to pay for anything. I lucked out, I got my cover for free (and I’ve gotten some good praise for it). I got so frustrated formatting my book myself I almost just deleted the whole thing (but I think it’s good now) but I cannot pay for advertising and so there it sits. I’ve gotten really good reviews for it so far, which is even more frustrating when it continues to just sit there unnoticed.

    • says

      Hi Lauren, luckily these days there are lots of things you can do for free – although I highly recommend trying to budget for cover design and editing.
      Publishing – use http://www.Smashwords.com style guide for formatting and then upload to Amazon KDP for free
      Marketing – Blogging is free on wordpress.com and other platforms and I’ve found it the most effective form of marketing. Social networking sites are all free as well – basically, all marketing takes no money but lots of time!
      I hope that helps, Joanna

  2. says

    I agree with Joanna’s post – blogging is a great way to promote your books. I have a couple of books in the “Make Money Online” and “E-Commerce” niches and I promote them on my blog.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *