Hello again Readers
Welcome back to my blog about publishing and selling your book / books on Amazon. This will be the third and final instalment.
Ok so you have received an email from Amazon to say your book is now live and available in the Kindle store. Follow the link in the email to proudly view your newly written masterpiece. Amazon has a nice look-inside feature on any e-book so off you go and look at the first part of yours. You may note a few problems. The most likely are spacing problems with the gap between paragraphs greater than they should be. Another problem is referred to as “widows and orphans”. These are single words or single lines looking all lonely and lost at the top of a page. It really can spoil the look of your e-book. You will need to note all problems and edit these back in your wordprocessor. Now you really need to preview your full e-book in your own e-reader. There are two ways to do this. You could purchase the book (or ask a friend or relative to do so). You could also set up a free download day on your e-book and download the book that way (you will need to be in Kindle Select to do that). Whatever you choose you will have to go carefully through your e-book and then go back to your original web page, filtered file, open in your Wordprocessor, make required changes and save. I found I had to delete a whole sentence of my first chapter to remove widows and orphans.
Track your book in Amazon Charts
Lets look now at how to track your sale on Amazon and see how your book is doing in the charts. Go back to the Kindle store page where your book is for sale and look below the cover and description and you should find a section like below. The publisher will likely be you and the latest edition uploaded should be visible (and when you upload new versions always create a new edition.) The ASIN is a little like an ISBN, a unique set of alphanumerics that identify your e-book. Below this will come reviews when you get them and below that the all-important chart data. Mine below, recorded a few days ago shows my current highest yet ranking of 5,866 in the Kindle store and importantly where I stand in certain book categories. My book has consistently been number 1 or 2 in the LAW>Procedures and Litigation rankings….. presumably because people have been searching those categories. I am still new at all this and still learning but I can see how important it is to get your book to the top of a category- for Amazon will then put a “Best-Selller” banner on your page and this seems to do no harm to interest and sales!
Edit and update your e-book
You will almost certainly have to edit your book sometime, upload a revised version, or change royalties, pricing or you Kindle Select status. You need to be on the Kindle Direct Publishing page on your account (link will be in an email from Amazon)
You then have to click on the “Edit Book Details” or “Edit Rights, Royalty and Pricing” links I have underlined in wavy red ink. To upload a revised and corrected file click on edit book details and the page will open where you can see an option to browse for your book file. Upload your newer file and save – it will overwrite the old file. If you didn’t join the KDP select program and now want to you can see a KDP Select link above underlined in red, follow that and follw the instructions
Look at and Create Reports
If you want to see how many books you have sold and where they went to you will need to click on the Reports link ( circled in red above) This will allow you to view your daily and monthly sales plus you will also see exactly how much money your book has made in royalties. Examples of both are below for my book Saville’s Spinney which I am delighted to say has sold at least one copy a day throughout August and some days many more went. Below is an example of a royalties report which look a little like a spreadsheet – well that’s exactly what it is.Should be self explanatory but note this report was created on my Ipad. When I create a report on my laptop the data is presented in Excel – which means I can do all sorts of wonderful things…. Like working out totals ( currently I have sold 131 books since August 1st!)
Another report comes in the form of a chart showing here daily sales plus total royalties from your various markets. The data does not always seem to be up to date in the chart and not 100% accurate. The royalties sheet tells me I sold 3 books on Aug 29 not 1!!
I want to complete this blog by talking about promotions and deals you can run in the Kindle book store. These can really help you to move some books BUT you will have to be in the Kindle Select Program. If you are, on the Kindle Development page, find the “Manage Benefits” link (its highlighted in red above) You will see something like below and there are two different “Kindle Countdown Deals” One is a free book promotion. You can offer your book free of any charge for up to 5 days in your 90 days inside the KDP select program. That’s the one I chose and you can see it highlighted below. The other deal is to offer your book at half price for a certain period. I haven’t tried it yet and simply cannot either. Why? You are only allowed ONE deal within your 90 day period. I think these deals are well worth exploring. 197 of my books were downloaded for free before my book went back on sale at £1.80. I like to think that generated some interest. I will definitely sign up for another 90 day KDP select program as I want to offer my book at half price around the Christmas period!
I will finish this blog with a hyperlink and a very interesting story of another writer who set up a half price Kindle Countdown deal and saw his sales rocket – it is well worth reading!
So farewell for now and wish you all the best of luck with your writing and publishing ventures. I have to say I am impressed with how things have gone for me. 131 books may not sound much but that’s 131 MORE than would have sold had I sent off my book to publishers and agents. I have a market-place, my books are selling and people seem to be enjoying my writing. I call that a result. Go on, publish your book! What have you got to lose?
PS planning for my next blog which is related to this publishing malarky …..”The Holy Grail for Writers…. Get your book on page 1 of Google”. No its not April 1st! Bye for now………………………..