Book Marketing: optimize your amazon listing for more sales

How to Optimize Your Book’s Amazon Listing for More Conversions and Sales (Book Marketing)

“How do I sell more books?”

That simple question seems to at the top of all indie authors’ minds (and for those who traditionally publish as well). And, like most simple questions it has a complicated, multifaceted answer.

But there are some basic steps you can take to help.

The most important of these is how your book actually appears to potential readers (i.e. customers). And it revolves around one of the most basic concepts of online marketing: the “landing page.”
Read more

The #1 Best Marketing Tip Ever in the History of Marketing Tips

One of the biggest challenges marketers run into when being asked for “great ideas” on how to market a product is what to do when a product just isn’t very good or interesting. It’s one I’ve encountered many times in my life, and it’s a tough position to be put in, as you want to be helpful … but you also don’t want to be a jerk.

The truth is though, no matter how great of a marketing strategy you have behind a product, service or brand, if it’s something that no one wants (or might want), then it’s doomed for failure. Yes, you might sell a few ice cubes to eskimos, but sooner or later they’re going to realize they got bamboozled. That’s not a business. That’s a scam.
Read more

The Importance of Framing in Price and Value Proposition

One of the most important things for any marketer (or anyone with an “offer” for that matter) is to consider just how the value of their product is perceived by a potential consumer.

When we’re selling a product, price is always a question – and the way we price our products and services is a combination of the cost of what it took to produce it, along with a perceived value. That perceived value in many instances, such as to “commodity” type products (items available through multiple retailers, like Nike shoes or Pampers diapers) price is usually mostly perceived as in relation to other products in the category, and we price as such. Of course we can work on our value proposition to try to allow for some price differences through features and benefits (an organic cotton diaper obviously has a different value proposition than Pampers, for example).

This concept is often referred to as “framing” – how the price of your offer is presented, in particular in relation to other options.

But when it comes to a specific, unique product or service that you offer, and we don’t have specific “competitive product” to price against, this becomes much more nebulous. And it’s in these instances that remaining conscious of our “framing” can be most important.
Read more

Marketing a Single Product vs. Marketing a Service / Brand

A few weeks ago I released my second fiction novel. As far as I can tell, since launch I have yet to sell a single copy. It’s a common issue a lot of authors deal with, but to be honest, I thought I might be an exception to the rule. Having been a professional marketer for almost 16 years now, I thought I knew all the tips and tricks of how to market something. I built out targeted ads for Facebook and Google, announced across my social channels, and even did a few giveaways. But still, not a single copy sold.

Now, you could argue that the reason it’s not selling is because it’s not any good. It is entirely possible that I’m simply not a good writer – but I’m pretty certain that this isn’t the issue, as people aren’t checking out the product and having a negative experience. They’re not even getting that far. As of this writing, there are three customer reviews on Amazon (from people who got advance review copies) and all three are positive. It’s not negative word-of-mouth that’s hurting.

And so, I’ve taken a step back to see just what it is that’s not working and I have come to the conclusion that I’m frankly going about things all wrong. So far with the launch of the book I’ve been focusing on promoting the product. Getting it in front of the right people, hoping that once they come across it and read the marketing blurb I’ll get them to take the hook and make a sale. I’ve been taking everything I’ve learned in my experience and applying it to this new product to push it out there to people to get them to bite – and that’s where I’ve been going about this all wrong.
Read more

What Mini Pumpkins and Googly Eyes Taught Me About Added Value

Way back in history, from when I was in grade school through my first few years of high school. I raised and sold miniature pumpkins. My grandpa had a farm, and he was the local pumpkin king, raising giant pumpkins (one year he almost broke the world record – but someone grew a bigger one than him that same year). Every year my parents would help my sister and I raise a field full of miniature pumpkins and decorative gourds, my parents would raise jack-o-lanterns, and my grandpa would raise the giants. The whole thing taught me a lot about hard work, business, presentation, marketing and a lot of other things – but those are all for another discussion.

What I want to talk here is how I learned how added value works. In particular, in regards to googly-eyes, stick-on eyebrows and funny hats.

The pumpkins we sold went for 35 cents a piece, or 3 for a dollar. Raising them was one thing, then you had to pick them, wash them, display them, etc. – which was a lot of work for 35 cents each. Not the greatest return on investment (I’m pretty sure I was working below minimum wage), but still I earned enough money selling these things to pay for a good chunk of my college – and to have some spending money as a kid as well.

The real money, however, was in the decorated pumpkins. As we went through our inventory, we’d set aside some of the best-looking specimens for their own special treatment. These top-quality pumpkins weren’t sold just as individuals for 35 cents, but instead they went through a process where my parents, sister and I would hand-decorate the pumpkins with various bits of craft materials. Add a few googly eyes, draw on a mouth and stick on a witch’s hat, and suddenly we were able to sell them for more like $3-5 a piece. Yes, there was extra work involved, and yes there was cost of materials – but the return on investment increased greatly on these when compared to their naked brethren.

I didn’t really realize it at first, but what I was learning here was that while raw materials have value, you can add extra value by taking your skills and combining those materials together to make something greater than the whole – and charge accordingly. People could have decorated pumpkins themselves, and I’m sure a lot of people did – but for those who wanted these cute little bits of harvest fun without doing the work, they were willing to pay accordingly.

The other lesson I learned is that people were much more willing to pay and buy these when they were told that my sister or I did the work. You could chalk it up to some sick desire to have souvenirs of child labor, but I’m pretty sure that the value came in because of the perception that they were even cuter because they were made by kids.

The moral of the story is this: No matter what you’re offering, you can always add extra value through your own skills and expertise. Even if it’s just googly eyes and silly hats.

Also, teach your kids about business. Even just a rummage sale or lemonade stand. They’ll be happy to get a few extra bucks, and they’ll be learning a lot while they do it (even if they don’t realize it at the time).