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Publishing and Promoting > help with promotion

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message 1: by Curtis (new)

Curtis Cline | 9 comments Are there any free or low cost ways to promote an ebook on amazon. I am a new author and have experience dismal sales for my work A Good Man Goes to War The Dragon's Gambit.


message 2: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 210 comments I've got some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that the internet is awash with people telling you how to promote a book on Amazon. There's plenty on this site ... including a thread on "best bang for buck ways to promote your book". The kindle store is full of books on how to do it. There's a lot of free advice on a website called Absolute Write. Others swear by kboards, but I haven't used it myself. If you are prepared to spend some serious money, you might want to check out Mark Dawson's online courses.

The bad news is that ... the internet is awash with people telling you how to promote a book on Amazon. We're all trying to do the same thing, which means that we are all competing against each other. And we are all reading more or less the same stuff on the internet and reading the same books and taking the same courses.

If there is a shortcut or magical secret of success then I haven't found it.

My suggestion? Get yourself a notebook or open up word or Onenote or whatever you prefer. Google "how do I promote my book on Amazon". Discover the thousands of people who have asked this question before you. Read the answers that people have given them. Follow the links to websites like Absolute Write. Soak in all that good advice like a sponge.

Personally, I'd soak up all the free stuff first. There's a hell of an industry making money out of wannabe writers. That industry will still be there when you've finished reading the free stuff.

My other advice would be to google book titles before committing to them. "A good man goes to war" is apparently the name of a Doctor Who episode. That's probably not going to be a problem for an indie author, but it could be an issue if you ever did make a success of your writing.

Best of luck.


message 3: by Curtis (new)

Curtis Cline | 9 comments Thank you for the advice. I have already been on that path of soaking up the advice available online. I am well aware that A Good Man Goes to War is the title of a Dr. Who episode and have already done my research on that. The copyright office would not have issued the certificate had the title been infringing on that.


message 4: by Prakash (new)

Prakash Sharma (pvsharma) | 5 comments Hi Curtis!
Have you tried these-
1. Establishing your author brand,
2. Increasing your book's visibility,
3. Asking yourself about your goals of self publishing.


message 5: by Frank (new)

Frank Kelso (frank_kelso) | 10 comments Hi Curtis:
I agree with Prakash.
Those points are a good start.
Did you publish independently thru KDP?
If you did, are you using KDP Select and KU? (Why not?)
I'm not affiliated with KDP Rocket ($49) but it is a fast and easy way to find keywords for your book.
KDP Rocket has a short course on how to use Amazon Marketing Service (AMS).
Collect 700+ keywords for your book from titles/authors similar to your book.
If you used KDP, go to your KDP bookshelf. Click "promote & Advertise." It takes you to AMS. enter your keywords.
Decide how much you want to spend. Start at $5/day until you see the adv is working. (Look at last column on right ACoS "Avg Cost of Sale" shoot for 50%. Anything over 100% is losing $$.)
I use AMS as my major adv promo campaign.
I run 3-4 promos all the time on AMS.
I pub'ed my first book 9 months ago.
The payment from KU pays the cost of my AMS ads.
I spend $1 to make$2
I also run FB and BookBub ads but they are trickier to learn.
Join with authors of similar books to run a giveaway-it promotes your books to readers of similar books.
Last thoughts:
Did you have your book professionally edited ($500+++) and proofread ($200+) before pub???
Did you have a professional cover made? ($50)
Is the Book Blurb top notch? (buy a service to create one-$100+)
Keep promoting your brand (you as author, your book, your blog/ newsletter, FB, Twitter, BookBub, Goodreads)
(All this assumes you have a author's WEB page and active Social Media accounts.)


message 6: by Curtis (new)

Curtis Cline | 9 comments Thank you all for the advice. I understand that I have a l9ng road ahead of me and some catch up to do seeing as my book is already published


message 7: by Dick (new)

Dick Hoffman | 4 comments Will wrote: "I've got some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that the internet is awash with people telling you how to promote a book on Amazon. There's plenty on this site ... including a thread o..."


Titles can't be copyrighted. I could call my book Gone With The Wind if I wanted to, and nobody could stop me. That doesn't mean it would be a smart move.


message 8: by Will (last edited May 13, 2018 02:54AM) (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 210 comments Dick wrote: "Titles can't be copyrighted. I could call my book Gone With The Wind if I wanted to, and nobody could stop me. That doesn't mean it would be a smart move."

I didn't say that titles can be copyrighted.

I did say that as a small indie author it probably wouldn't be a problem.

I also said that it could "be an issue" if the OP made a success of his writing.

Try writing a book called "Harry Potter and the something of something" and see how long it takes for JK Rowling's solicitors to beat a path to your door. Or use the word "Hobbit" and expect a call from Tolkien's estate.

And there's also the problem of discoverability and image. When I first read this thread I did what many people would do - I googled the book title. That led me first to the Doctor Who episode, which in turn gave me a less than stellar first opinion of the author.

Yes, of course you could call your book "Gone with the wind". But as you say, and as I also said, that wouldn't be a smart move.

That's why those of us who have been at this game for quite a while use google to check our pen names, book titles and character names to make sure that they're safe to use. You might get away with a plagiarised title. You might not. I'd rather not take the risk.

In the end, all we can do is to give recommendations and advice to the OP based on our own (sometimes painful) experience. Stuff I wish I'd known when I first started out more than 5 years and seven books ago. If he chooses not to use them or decides that he knows better, there's not a lot else we can do.


message 9: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Fried | 17 comments The most amazing resource I ever encountered for book promotion is the book "1001 Ways to Market Your Books," by John Kremer. I'm not sure when the last edition was revised/printed, so it may not be quite up to date on some of the internet outlets, but it's a book that every small publisher and author should have.


message 10: by Ray (new)

Ray Perreault (rayjayperreault) | 6 comments First and only suggestion: enjoy writing your book. Then ANY sales should be considered a good thing.


message 11: by T. (new)

T. Renee | 18 comments Well said Ray! Love, love, love :)


message 12: by Curtis (new)

Curtis Cline | 9 comments Ray above all I really do enjoy my writing and really want to see others enjoy it as well


message 13: by Kim (new)

Kim author | 5 comments I always google my book titles before using them. It's good practice if for no other reason then to insure that people buy your book and not something with a similar title.


message 14: by Curtis (new)

Curtis Cline | 9 comments Kim that is what Will was telling me too. I appreciate all of the advice given here. it has opened my eyes to several things that I need to go back and fix.


message 15: by G. (new)

G. Thayer (flboffin) | 115 comments Will: Of course, titles cannot be copyrighted, as you stated. That said, how would someone take any kind of legal action against another author who used the same title for a book?
Iconic titles, such as Gone with the Wind, are obviously problematic. But less well-known titles are frequently duplicated. As an example, take the title of my recent (co-authored) book, First to Die. A search in Amazon Books reveals books with the same title by these authors (listed in the order they came up in the Amazon search):
James Patterson
Kate Slayer
G. David Thayer & Kristin Delaplane
Norm Applegate
Cris Anson
Peter Nelson
Alex Caan
There may be more; I chose to stop there. I certainly would not have picked a title such as A Night to Remember (the title of Walter Lord’s well-known book on the sinking of the Titanic) for our book.
As an aside, Jimmy Buffett managed to copyright the title of his song “Margaritaville” by using the name for business ventures, which he then copyrighted. Hence, nobody can use that name for anything (except cover versions of the same song).


message 16: by Curtis (new)

Curtis Cline | 9 comments I understand the title is important and will be changed but it is the content that I had copyrighted. I knew it was a working title from the beginning. being a new author my main goal of putting my story out there so quickly was to see how it would be recieved


message 17: by Adam (new)

Adam Mann | 15 comments Dick wrote: "Will wrote: "I've got some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that the internet is awash with people telling you how to promote a book on Amazon. There's plenty on this site ... includi..."


I'm an Agatha Christie fan, so I just had to call my first detective novel The Body in the Laboratory. Thanks Agatha.


message 18: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 210 comments G. wrote: "Will: Of course, titles cannot be copyrighted, as you stated. That said, how would someone take any kind of legal action against another author who used the same title for a book?
Iconic titles, su..."


It depends on the how specific the title is and who you are copying.

If we take a very generic title then there is a good chance that someone has thought of it before, but equally there is a low risk that anyone would challenge you over it.

As an experiment, I've just invented a generic title - "Time to die". If we google that we see a host of books and movies with that title or one very close to it. There are books by Wilbur Smith, Caroline Mitchell, Nadine Brandes, Tom Wood. There are movies made in 1958, 1966, 1982, 1985, 1991 ...

Not to mention that classic scene in Blade Runner where it's a piece of dialogue.

"Time to die" or "A time to die" has been used to often that it would be hard for anyone to claim a legal right to it. It's fair game. But there's an issue that it could be a bad idea for one of us to call our novel "A time to die" because potential customers might find it hard to spot our book amongst all the others. We might also get disappointed Blade Runner fans expecting a story about replicants.

But try using the words "Harry Potter" in your book title and it's a very different story. JK Rowling's solicitors would come down very hard accusing you of "passing off" - ie pretending to be associated with the Harry Potter franchise.

Writers of fantasy soon learn that they can write about trolls, giants, dwarves, elves and dragons because all of these things predated Tolkien. But you take a huge risk if you include Hobbits in your story.

Just because some book titles can't be copyrighted doesn't mean that some other books could be the subject of legal action.

As always it's about common sense. General titles like "time to die" are okay if not exactly inspiring - more specific titles can be challenged.


message 19: by G. (new)

G. Thayer (flboffin) | 115 comments Will wrote: "G. wrote: "Will: Of course, titles cannot be copyrighted, as you stated. That said, how would someone take any kind of legal action against another author who used the same title for a book?..."
Yes, I agree. That's exactly what I was implying about "iconic" titles in my original comment.
When I saw your invented generic title, the first thing I thought of was Rutger Hauer saying "Time to die" in Blade Runner. One of my favorite flicks.


message 20: by G. (new)

G. Thayer (flboffin) | 115 comments Will wrote "some book titles can't be copyrighted. . ." Not exactly true. No book title can be copyrighted per se. The copyright office will simply reject an application seeking to copyright the title of a book. But Will is correct in saying that including "Hobbits" in a story or even a title could be considered as plagiarism, which is another story than copyright infringement.


message 21: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 223 comments Book titles can't be copyrighted or trademarked. Series titles can be trademarked (like Harry Potter) when they meet certain criteria. But I agree that authors should consider their book titles (and pen names too) to avoid getting lost in a sea of books with the same title. I don't see how it's an issue if it's the name of the episode of a TV show. It's about impossible to find a cliche title that has never been used.

I personally searched Amazon before I subtitled a new book to see what it might be up against. Legally I could use any title or subtitle I want, but if a search of the subtitle showed it was going to bring up too many results or a conflicting genre like erotica, I could decide against it.


message 22: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 223 comments As far as free or low cost ways to promote a book, there aren't many effective ones available anymore. Promotion sites with email newsletters that used to be free to submit to (like One Hundred Free Books) now charge $75-$100 for a feature. Goodreads giveaways used to be free but now cost from over $100 all the way up to $600. There are still some obscure sites to submit your book to for free but unfortunately they don't see enough traffic to bring in the sales. What do you consider low cost?

Reading Deals comes to mind at only $29/feature. Promoting with Ereader News Today is also effective at an affordable rate. You can try these sites and see if they will accept your book. For best results, use KDP Select's promotion feature to either make your book free or run a 99 cent countdown.

You can also convert your profile to an author profile here on Goodreads. The good news is, your book was the first to come up for me in a Goodreads search of "A Good Man Goes to War". But the title/subtitle are difficult to read on your actual book cover. You might consider working on that so it has a better chance of being accepted for features with the sites I mentioned above.


message 23: by Curtis (new)

Curtis Cline | 9 comments Marie I appreciate the feedback. I did in fact fix the issue with my ebook cover last night. the title on the cover is much more prominent now.
having discovered lulu.com's title scorer it along with the advice from all of you wonderful people has made me reconsider the branding.


message 24: by Curtis (new)

Curtis Cline | 9 comments I want to thank all of you for the advice and encouragement


message 25: by Mary (new)

Mary (maryhagen14yahoocom) | 28 comments Good advice on titles. It's difficult to come up with a title that hasnt' been used.


message 26: by Curtis (new)

Curtis Cline | 9 comments That it is. I think the new title I have for my book is much better and captures the essence of my story


message 27: by Katja (new)

Katja Vartiainen | 2 comments OMG, since when have to Goodreads Giveaway started to cost? I have been really busy this year. This sucks.


message 28: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Fried | 17 comments Word of Advice. If you give away free review copies of your (non-e) book, get a stamp that reads "Complimentary Review Copy - Not for Resale." Otherwise a lot of them will end up on Amazon with third-party vendors advertising them as "As New" and selling them for a couple of dollars.


message 29: by Katja (new)

Katja Vartiainen | 2 comments Thanks Dennis, I forgot about that, and wondered how my copies ended there. Though, I think I'll do an Amazon giveaway this time.


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