Back in May of 2015 when I first got my miracle and my ebook sales started exploding in the UK, the only action I could trace any of that success back to was the changes I made to my books’ keywords on Amazon. I’d watched a video by Nick Stephenson on how Amazon’s true function wasn’t as a book store but as a search engine. He gave some tips on how to make your books more searchable, and therefore more accessible to readers. This is the only change I made prior to the jump in sales and I will be forever grateful for that bit of free advice.
I’ve blogged several times about the steep decline in sales I’ve experienced since November of 2016. The world was a little preoccupied–and frankly, still is–and people were not all that interested in reading for leisure. The indies who did survive the slump were only able to do so because they excelled at something I’ve barely even tried–marketing.
I’ve experimented with Bookbub, which was a success. I’ve also tried using Amazon ads for a week, which was not. And I’ve created a few FB ads but got cold feet when the results weren’t instant and took them down. It’s scary to spend money up front when there’s no guarantee of a return. But what I’ve come to realize is that it’s also necessary.
I have plenty of books in my backlist so there’s no reason that I shouldn’t be able to achieve a relatively high ($3,000-$7,000/month) and steady income. But writing a lot of books, even a lot of really good books, is no longer enough. I have to get those books in front of people and not just any people but the RIGHT people.
I have no idea how to do that so I’m taking a leap of faith and taking Nick Stephenson’s course on how to find your first 10K readers. It mostly covers how to build and maintain your mailing list through the use of targeted ads and reader magnets. I’m usually opposed to paying for information like this because so much of marketing is hit or miss. But if I’m going take the financial risk of enrolling in an online course, if I’m going to try something different in the hopes that it will change my life, I’m going to do it with someone I trust. Someone whose previous advice allowed me to go from selling 0 copies of my books a day to 100-200.
It’s been one year since I’ve seen those kinds of numbers in my dashboard…and I miss them terribly. To be honest, doing nothing at this point is even more of a risk. So over the next few months I’m going to offer myself as a case study on Nick’s course. I won’t be sharing detailed information from his modules since that would be stealing. But I will be talking about the changes I’m making and how they’re affecting my bottom line. If the results are good maybe you’ll be motivated to try the course for yourself.