Friday, December 23, 2011

Are You Ready for the NEW Black Friday?

It's coming! Can you hear it? It's a happy sound. It's the sound of wrapping paper crumpling, tape tearing and the oohs and aahs of readers around the world opening their much anticipated Kindle, Kindle Touch or Kindle Fire?

It's a sweet sound; the sound of Kindle love. And is there any better gift?

If you're an author, I hope you're listening to the joy, because the next week, in my humble opinion, is going to be the equivalent of Black Friday. Excited Kindle readers will tinker with their new toys and spend their Amazon gift cards on our books. Did you hear that? On our books...yours and mine.

These are very exciting times. Indie authors have so much to be thankful for. We're experiencing a time when technology has caught up with big business, an unbelievable opportunity to show the world that there are writers with exceptional talent, and worthy of notoriety with or without a publisher.

There are so many reasons why this is good news for writers and especially good for readers, but I don't want to beat a dead horse; Joe Konrath has covered the pros and cons of indie publishing.

My question is, are you ready for the NEW Black Friday?
Is your bookstore looking as good as it should? Is your hook catchy? Is your cover attractive? Are your editorial shelves in order? Have you put your best deals out front, in a nice display for all to see?

What's that? At least one of your books are on sale, right? You know, your "leader", your introductory book set at a bargain price, enticing readers to try more of your work?

Okay. Maybe you only have one book. Fair enough. But while we're on the subject, lets talk pricing.

Did you set the price at 99¢, $1.99, $2.99, $4 or more? This is an interesting question that many people are talking about. However, in my opinion, we shouldn't be debating whether a 99¢ book is devaluing books in general, but rather, discussing the size of an authors audience.

I think authors should set their pricing based on demand for their work (i.e., the significance of your platform). If you're struggling to sell anything, your audience/customer base is obviously low. You should set your prices accordingly. If you're selling by the thousands, there's probably enough demand to raise your prices a bit. But whatever you do... remember to think like a business person.

But I'll warn you, if you see Stephen King's $15.99 ebook prices and then scoff at authors who have set their prices below the $2.99 mark, remember that name recognition goes a long way, and some of us don't have it. Think about it...

Do book buyers around the world know who you are?

Do you have an ever growing email list of hungry readers?

Or are you like me, fighting tooth and bloody claw to get folks to notice your kick a•• thrillers? I mean seriously, if readers knew how hard I've had to work to get my name out there, they might buy my books out of pity, or because they love rooting for the underdog, of which I am the head of the pack.

Or maybe they wouldn't.

Either way, don't take slow sales personally. Simply press on, working diligently toward your goals.

Think... Get 'em in here, dazzle 'em with my best work, my best price, and then win their business with a quality product ~ as in a well written, well-edited book, with professional ebook formatting.

Whatever your audience looks like, let this post serve as a reminder that indies are humble book-store owners, fortunate to have a relationship with the largest ebook seller in the world.

I recommend varying your prices, offering deals, and generating demand for your best work. That's how successful businesses operate. That's what I'm doing. And honestly, I couldn't do it as well without Amazon's Select program.

In fact, I can't wait to share the juicy details about what the Select program has done for me already. However, I've been invited to write a guest post at The Creative Penn after the New Year regarding KDP Select, so you'll have to wait. Sorry.

For now, polish the brass, wax the floor, and get your books in order, because Christmas is here. Millions of Kindle owners will be knocking on your door. Are you ready for them?

Below are a few tips to get your books in tip-top shape.

BONUS TIPS for Amazon success: 
  • Is your Product Description page Selling your Book? If not, I can fix that. I've bedazzled my book pages, linking all my titles and posting my accolades. I re-work your html for only $23. Look here ~> Glam! Bam! Thank you, ma'am!
  • Is your Cover really cool? If not, there's a million other books that will draw the attention of readers away from YOUR book. I can fix that for only $79. Look here ~> Get a face lift.
  • Are you lacking reviews? Reviews sell. Of course you need a GOOD book to get good REVIEWS. But if your book was professionally edited, I can fix that. ~> Send your book to The Kindle Book Review. 

Merry Christmas and thanks for reading. Follow my blog by email so you don't miss any posts.

~Jeff Bennington is the author of Twisted Vengeance, Reunion and Creepy.
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  1. Thanks, Jeff. As a novice indie author, I'm finding your posts consistently informative, and, yes, inspiring! I look forward to reading how the KDP Select is working for you as I've chosen to go that route for now. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

  2. @Jeff~ Thanks for visiting. This post wasn't quite as helpful/popular as I had hoped, but I sure appreciate you reading and commenting. Looking forward to seeing ya back somethime.


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