Thursday, March 15, 2012

eBook Marketing Gem Recovered in Email

Hey Writers and Publishers, Do I have a special treat for you today. Cutting straight to the chase, here's a copy of an email I recently sent to one of my clients seeking advice in making his next step towards marketing his book. I'm cutting and pasting, so excuse the raw nature of this post… oh, and grab paper and pencil, you may want to take some notes. I'm addressing this to "Author X" for confidentiality purposes.

Before I begin, please commit to sharing this after you've read it. It has some good stuff. Here ya go...

Hi Author X,
Here's the deal: Everything I tell you is subject to change. The book promotion business is changing rapidly and I'm very serious about that. KDP Select has been working wonders for newer and seasoned authors, but its effectiveness and results are changing with each new author who joins.

With that said, I'll give you the best advice I can give.

1) GENERAL INFO: To begin with, the best marketing is usually free and KDP Select is the prime choice at the moment. As we previously discussed, I'd recommend scheduling a "Free" promo with them asap. Fridays have been my best day for one day promotions. You will find that you'll give thousands of copies of your book away, but doing so will come back in additional reviews and exposure. After the free day, your sales will pick up, potentially matching your ranking in the free store, but not guaranteed. 

2) LATEST TRENDS: I am currently giving my books away in three day increments, rotating each book in the 3 day cycle, but you might want to do a 2 day promtion after your initial one day promo. My one day promotions have not been as effective, but I'm in experimental mode to see if giving away a different book every 3 days increases overall traffic with a consistent stream of book buyers instead of the "Big Bang" that often comes with the KDP Select "after shock". 

3) SCHEDULING: I'd suggest laying out a calender and plotting your coming free days. You have 90 days and 5 free days goes quickly with one title. And as my dad would say, don't blow your wad all at once. Spread out these precious promotional days. With one title in the select program, you will burn through them and quickly become addicted to the treasures they bring… especially with a cover like yours, which is sure to stir up interest. With this in mind, if your one day promo does well, you might consider using your other 4 days individually; if not, stiick with two promotions.

4) TWEETING: Once you have plotted your promotional days, begin the layering process. One of your promos will revolve around your KND Sponsorship, but you can't pay for that kind of promotion every day. Not worth it. So here are a few additional ideas to fill the gaps…

 ~ Join The "Tweet Teams". You will have to register for this site, but the tweet teams is very much worth it. When you enter the site, you'll find several boxes on the right side. Look for the one that says "Tweet Teams". Click on the box and follow the tweeting instructions to a "T". The tweeting format they suggest is very effective. Only thing is, you have to reciprocate the RT's. 

*** Suggestion: I pay my 16-year old son $20 a week to do this for me every day. He saves me a lot of time. All I do is post my tweets and he RT's all the other tweets for me. I also pay my 14-year old son to "Share" all of my Triberr posts. Again saves me a lot of time. If you have someone who can do that for you, I'd use them. If not, I'm sure my son would do it. 

***When it comes to promoting your books prior to the "free" day(s), I suggest contacting Anthony Wessel at Tell him I sent you. He will add your book to his squidoo page that features a top 100 free ebooks. He does this every day and gets a ton of traffic. 

***Another trick I use is tweeting several folks who feature free books. I do this the day before or day of my free day. Here are the twitter handles for those folks: @DigitalBkToday @kindleebooks @Kindlestuff @KindleEbooksUK @KindleBookKing @KindleFreeBook @free_kindle @FreeReadFeed @4FreeKindleBook @FreeKindleStuff @KindleUpdates

I highly suggest you read this post. It is full of GREAT information.

5) NEWS FLASH: Tell everyone in your circle when you have a free day. Give your book away like crazy on those days ONLY. When you give, give big. Any other day, you should get paid. So before you start your free day this Friday, you should tell your Facebook friends, write a blog post, schedule tweets etc. And yes, you should do this every time you run a free promotion. Do this knowing that the more successful your free days are, the more successful your follow up days will be.

6) DEFINITION OF SUCCESS: A successful free day is 5-10,000 downloads. A successful 2 day freebie is 10-15,000 downloads (FREE). A successful post free day is the top 500 ranking or better. Hitting the top 100 is huge. That will mean anywhere from 500-1500+ sales per day.

7) TWEETADDER: If you are not using I STRONGLY suggest you do. Tweetadder will grow your twitter following like nobody's business. I paid $74 for this (one time) and I have grown my twitter followers by 50% in the last 2 weeks… and they are all targeted followers. Go to this site and watch one of their videos on what tweetadder can do. It is amazing. I am having conversations with NEW READERS almost every day thanks to this KILLER program. You can basically run your twitter account on auto pilot, except for your personal interaction. This tools definitely drives sales. You can actually pull followers from other authors in your genre.

8) HOOTSUITE: This is my homebase for ALL of my social media. This is a must have tool. cost $5 a month (first is free to try) and this is where I schedule ALL my tweets. One tweet can go to all my twitter accounts and facebook accounts, simultaneously. Hootsuite and tweetadder make a perfect international marketing tool that I can no longer live without. I count tweetadder and hootsuite as free promotion because tweetadder is a one time fee, but sooo worth it, and hootsuite is only $5 a month, big deal.

9) CROSS PROMOTION: Start promoting other authors in your genre. You'll be amazed at how many return the favor. Doing so will drive their readers to your books. This is especially easy to do, on auto pilot with tweetadder.

10) PAID PROMOTION: When you schedule your free days for the next 90 days. Build a few paid promotions around that. Here's what I suggest for April (assuming you have one paid promotion that month). 

~ Pay $50 for your a featured month ad spot with the They host 99¢-$3.99 books. Pay $15 for a 99-cent-network news spot. This will make your book a featured book in their weekly (Fri) newsletter. This will be your "background" or static ad.

~Spend $25 at for a "FREE" day promotion.

~ Schedule a Social Media Buzz with,, and Plan ahead. All three of these sites fill up these spots very quickly. They cost $35 for worldliterarycafe and $40 for digitalboktoday and However, running all three spots on the day AFTER your free day is proving very effective because all three of us use Triberr as one of our tweeting tools. These 3 promos, when scheduled close together, make for a huge social media shout; much better than a static ad. Please re-read the chapter in The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe "The Ultimate Promotion".

11) MONTH OF APRIL: So here's what April could potentially look like for you… You schedule one or two "free" days on the 26th and or 27th. You have a KND Sponsorship scheduled for April 28th. You also schedule a "Social Media Buzz" on or around the 28th. This will strengthen your sales on the "day after free" and increase your shot into the TOP 100 paid. That is the goal. That is the only reason to promote heavily like this. It may or may not work. The more quality reviews you have by then, the better off you'll be. Reviews are huge. We'll talk more about that later. But what about the rest of the month you ask? The rest of the month is pure preparation for your "big show" on the 28th. This is where the actual work comes into play.

~ You must start soliciting reviews through March and April. Tweet free giveaways to readers who read in your genre, and hand your book to kindle readers until you get 10 reviews. That is the requirement at both kindlebookreview and digitalbooktoday. You must have several good reviews for your KDP promo to blast off. Watch the top freebies. Most have great reviews with either lots of good reviews or a few great reviews. The indies who make it to the top 100 paid (See Cheryl Kaye Tardif) have masses of great reviews that they've accumulated over several months. You have very few. 

~ Start running tweetadder and hootsuite immediately. Build your twitter audience so you have more people who will respond to your forthcoming promotions. Use this time to really bulk up your platform and social media. 

~ Start retweeting the above mentioned twitter sites that promote freebies. Let them get to know you and appreciate your Retweets and mentions. I know that just sounds silly, but it is a game that works. Schedule daily retweets of some of the bigger indie authors in your genre. Don't know who they are? Go to Amazon's top 100 categories. Look up their amazon author pages, follow them on twitter and start promoting their books. You'll be amazed how willing they are to return the favor when you need them to tweet for you (April 26-28). Generosity really is a means to sales, believe it or not.

~ Schedule a Contest on your blog. Giveaway a digital copy of ALL your books to one lucky commenter. It doesn't matter what you write about, just get readers talking about your book(s). Build excitement. I'm doing this with my "every third day giveaway". I'm getting more feedback, more twitter mentions and more activity on my facebook wall. Also, blog more if needed.

~ Don't forget, through this you will post tweets every day at worldliterarycafe tweet teams. 

*** If you do all of this, April will be a very busy month for you and you will have started generating buzz that may have a significant impact on your April 28 promotion. Do what you can in March, and consider scheduling another free day in early April (Fri). 

If this is not what you expected, I wouldn't be surprised. Authors like Scott Nicholson and myself are using almost 100% free promotions. This obviously works better when you have a whole list of books that you can rotate in and out of the free store. But this will happen for you in time as you transfer your other titles into the KDP Select stream, so to speak. 

I know you will have questions. Biggest thing is to start twetadder and hootsuite. I'm serious about that. If you miss this, your social media will suffer and this will all be more difficult and a steeper climb. Keep in mind, this will become your second job, potentially filling every free minute you have.

If you want to learn more, get a copy of The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe in Kindle and/or Print.

Jeff Bennington is the best-selling author of Reunion, Twisted Vengeance, and The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe.


  1. Jeff,

    A great post describing what is required for an Indie author to become successful.

    For an Indie author to sell books they have to realize that they have just started a second job - President of Marketing and Sales. Very few Indie authors will find success if they don't accept this job. It isn't easy, but having a marketing plan and sticking to it will greatly enhance the chance at success.

    Authors - selling your first 100,000 copies might be the hardest thing you have ever tried to do in your life. The upside? The second 100,00 will be a lot easier.

    Good luck to all authors.
    Anthony Wessel from DigitalBookToday

  2. Wow, this was really great information. Thanks for sharing.

  3. @Anthony ~ Thank you.

    @Sarcasm ~ Thanks, I hope it helps.

  4. I can't let my wife see this post. She does all my RTs and other social media stuff so I can spend most of my time writing. I don't pay her anything (other than my endless love) and she works all day most days on it. We do use HootSuite. I don't know how anyone could keep up without an assistant and tools like HootSuite. This post has so much useful information. Thank you for sharing.
    Richard Alan

  5. Thanks for the heads up on tweet adder. I've not come across it before but will definitely be adding it to my 'must have' social media tools!

  6. Today each one who is in the field of business marketing is focusing on increasing their business not only through promoting through mouth but also has selected the medium of internet. Different sites are giving service to promote their business. Tweet Adder is one of the example of this site.
    Tweet Adder coupon codes | TweetAdder coupon |


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