Browse Category: Publishing and Sales

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Writing can be fun, creating an ebook can be just as fun, but marketing and promotion is often times stressful.

It doesn’t have to be. Learn from other writers how to promote and market your ebook.

Plus, everything you need to know about digital publishing, self-publishing, indie, and traditional publishing.

Building an Author Brand 101: The Key to Success in the Writing World

As an author, you have the power to create a memorable image that sets you apart and connects you with your target audience. To achieve this, you need to establish an author brand, which is a crucial factor in your writing career and requires a deep understanding of your unique voice and values.

Think of names like Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and Dr. Seuss. Thanks to their remarkable author brands, just seeing any of those names on a book already sets certain expectations for their work before you even pick up the book. 

But what exactly is an author brand? How does it help you, as the author, in your marketing strategy? And how do you create your own? We’ll answer all of these questions, and more, in this article.

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How to Promote a Book on Facebook: A Guide to Using Ads, Giveaways, and Much More

With a sea of books getting published every day, capturing your target audience’s attention can be a challenge. There is, however, a great opportunity for promoting your books on the world of social media. And out of the many social media platforms out there, Facebook stands tall as the most popular network, boasting a massive user base of nearly three billion in 2022.

This is the reason why you should let your books get the attention they deserve on Facebook! With a wealth of promotional tools at your fingertips, the world’s largest social media platform can surely help you reach new readers and boost your book’s success. So get ready to discover the secrets of successful Facebook book promotion in this article.

how to promote a book on Facebook
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How to Use Ebooks to Generate More Leads

Are you looking for ways to generate more leads for your business? Look no further! Ebooks can be an effective and powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. They can help you reach out to potential customers, build relationships, and increase your company’s brand awareness.

Ebooks are becoming increasingly popular as the demand for digital content continues to grow. They are a convenient and low-cost way to access a wide range of content and information. If you also have a blog or a business website, you can use popular ebook software to create engaging ebooks for your site visitors and convert them into subscribers or customers.

Moreover, ebooks can provide a great way to attract leads and convert them into customers. They are informative, engaging, and easily shareable. By creating an ebook, you can provide potential customers with valuable and relevant information.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to use ebooks to generate more leads and build an email list for your website or online business.

Let’s get started.

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5 Signs to Spot Vanity Publishers

For most aspiring authors, getting that first book out into the world is a dream come true. So it makes complete sense that many of them would jump at the chance to get published—after all, who wouldn’t? But getting a book “out there” doesn’t always equate to successful publishing. In fact, many aspiring authors fall prey to vanity publishers, and unfortunately, they often realize it too late.

In order to help you avoid the trap of vanity publishers, we’ll break down in this article how to spot them from a mile away, and we’ll offer alternative routes to publish your books.

vanity publishing

What Is Vanity Publishing?

Coined in 1959, the term “vanity publishing” describes any publisher or press that doesnt profit from book sales. They rather profit from charging authors extortionate rates for the publishing services provided. The problem, however, is that the money the authors pay is usually spent in vain. Instead of using this money to produce high-quality books and promote them, vanity publishers pocket most of the money and spend the minimum on the publishing process.

While a traditional publisher pays typically authors for the right to publish their books (in the form of an advance and royalties), a vanity publisher charges authors to do the same. For instance, in a contract with a vanity press, authors would find themselves paying for editorial, production and design, and sales and marketing services. 

It’s not just that authors often paid very high and unreasonable rates to get their books out into the world, but they rarely receive a proper return on their investment. Because they get the money for publishing the book upfront from the author anyway, vanity publishers lack the incentive to make the book a successful one. 

Unlike traditional publishers, whose investment in books is returned via book sales, vanity publishers don’t carry that kind of financial risk, and so they’ll cut costs on the services they provide, rendering their books of subpar quality. 

This is why vanity publishers are often seen as operating on what is known as a predatory business model. They will usually promise a bestseller, great book marketing, and outstanding distribution to bookshops, and then fail to deliver. Therefore, their business model appears attractive to authors on the outside but ends up misleading and taking advantage of them.  

vanity press

Characteristics of Vanity Publishers: How to Spot Them From a Mile Away

So how exactly does an author who is new to the publishing industry recognize a vanity publisher? Although it’s not always clear straight away, there is a number of tell-tale warning signs, such as: 

1. Charging Suspicious Fees

Vanity publishers tend to charge authors a lot of money to publish their books. Moreover, there is very little transparency in the sense that authors are not given insight into where exactly their money is going. 

In fact, not only will vanity publishers charge authors fees upfront (usually for editorial, sales, and marketing services), but instead of repaying their authors after publication, these presses end up taking a big cut of any sales revenue generated by the books they publish. In other words, it’s a bad deal for the authors!

Of course, there are legitimate printing and self-publishing services out there that charge authors fees to help produce their books; however, these fees are reasonable and it’s always clear exactly what the author is paying for. 

2. Compromising on the Quality

Vanity presses will likely be looking to cut down on costs, so it’s common for them to hire inexperienced staff and freelancers who will end up producing a low-quality version of your work. This means that many books published by vanity presses are badly edited, with design layouts that are typically based on already-available templates.  

3. Offering Unethical Contracts

Regardless of whether you’re an experienced author or an aspiring one, you should always obtain legal advice before signing any kind of publishing contract. However, there are some red flags that typically point toward vanity publishers. 

Authors should beware of the following: 

  • A contract that traps authors into signing away the copyright to their works indefinitely. This means that authors would be unable to take their book to another publisher even when their contract expires, or that they might be forced to give up foreign rights or adaptation rights to their work with little or no royalties in return.  
  • A contract that contains a “minimum sales” clause, which basically requires authors to purchase copies of their own books if they don’t sell enough to meet the minimum figure set by the publisher.
  •  A contract that does not offer fair book royalties to an author, giving the publisher a huge cut in any sales revenue generated by the work. 

4. Making False Promises

Many vanity presses will attract authors by making grand claims such as: We guarantee that your book will be a bestseller! or We will ensure that your book reaches all major bookstores! The first claim is definitely a red flag because no publisher, no matter how well-established, can guarantee a bestseller. 

As for the second claim, it’s usually an empty promise because vanity presses rarely have the sales connections needed to get bookshops to place book orders. If you look closely at a contract with a vanity press, you’ll find that what they’re actually promising is to list your book on a distribution service. However, that doesn’t guarantee orders, and you can always easily list your book yourself.  

5. Chasing Authors to Publish Their Work

Let’s face it; the publishing industry is one of the most competitive industries out there. Publishing houses receive countless manuscripts every year, with many publishers now no longer accepting unsolicited manuscripts. Instead, they rely on agents to bring in books that are a good fit. Therefore, you should be suspicious if you are directly approached by someone claiming to represent a reputable publishing house. 

Vanity presses can easily obtain your contact information from social media, and they tend to chase aspiring authors, offering them false promises of a great publishing deal. So, although it would be great if getting published were that easy, always be wary of deals that sound too good to be true! 

alternatives to vanity publishing

Vanity Publishing Companies: How to Avoid Them?

Now that you know the main characteristics of a vanity press, it’ll be easier for to steer away from them. However, it isn’t always that straightforward. There are, however, a number of useful resources out there that keep track of vanity presses authors should avoid. 

For instance, Writer Beware is a Sci-Fi and Fantasy writers’ group that aims to address problems faced by writers. They have a Thumbs Down Publishers List that offers writers an updated list of publishers to avoid (which are usually vanity presses), largely based on complaints they’ve received and evidence that has been compiled against those businesses. 

Moreover, the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) offers authors free access to their Self-Publishing Industry Ratings, which rank the different publishing businesses out there to help authors decide which they can trust and which they should avoid. 

A Sample List of Vanity Presses to Avoid

If you access these author resources, you will find that certain presses keep getting flagged as untrustworthy. Here are some examples of the names you will encounter on ALLi’s watchdog advisory list:

Name of Vanity PressIssuesComments
Author SolutionsQuality, Value, Service, Communication, Transparency, Marketing, LegalSubject to multiple lawsuits in the USA. 
Adelaide BooksService, Communication, Quality, TransparencyRequires authors to purchase 45 copies of their books, even though this purchase requirement is not included in their sample author contracts.
Avro Basim YayinCommunication, Practices, Legal, OtherContacts authors and offer to buy Turkish rights to their books and then fail to pay for those rights.
Amazon Digital PublishersTransparency, Quality, Marketing, Service, OtherClaims to be affiliated with Amazon, but actually has no connection to Amazon or Kindle Direct Publishing. 
Archway PublishingQuality, Value, Service, Communication, Transparency, Marketing, LegalAttracts aspiring authors on the basis that it is an imprint of Simon & Schuster. It makes empty promises that authors could have a chance of getting their book to the S&S board. However, this imprint is actually outsourced to Author Solutions, who are themselves on the watchdog list. 
Book Agency PlusLegal, Transparency, Practices, Marketing, OtherClaims to have offices in London, New York, California, and Texas, yet no addresses or phone numbers for those locations are available. It also claims to be affiliated with the ALLi in order to induce authors to enter and pay for a book contest.
IdeoPagePress SolutionsValue, Service, Communication, Transparency, Contract, Practices, Legal, OtherClaims to be headquartered in New York, but is actually operating out of the Philippines. 
signs of vanity publishers

Alternatives to Vanity Publishing 

It’s understandable that all this information about vanity presses and publishers can be somewhat overwhelming for any aspiring author. However, there is an abundance of legitimate publishers and printing presses for authors to choose from. 

Here are the different options available to authors when it comes to getting their work out in the world.

1. Self-Publishing

Although traditional publishing will always be associated with the “dream-come-true” of getting published by a reputable, big-time publisher, many authors are moving toward self-publishing their work because of the creative control it provides them. 

When you self-publish your book, you manage your own book production, editing, marketing, etc. So even though you’ll probably hire the services of editors and book designers, you’ll always have the final say in any decision-making process. 

Moreover, you can always get the help of a self-publishing company. Although it sounds a bit contradictory to have a company offering self-publishing services, many businesses do an excellent job of being one-stop shops for authors, such as Blurb, BookBaby, and Lulu

The way this business model works is that the author pays for a range of publishing services. Some might say that that sounds suspiciously like what a vanity press does, but that isn’t the case. In the following table showing self-publishing vs vanity publishing, we’ll highlight three key differences:

Self-Publishing BusinessVanity Press
The author maintains control over every publishing decision, ranging from the cover design to the way the book is priced and marketed.Vanity presses will rarely consult authors at any stage of the publishing process, so authors have no control over their final product. 
Authors maintain their copyright and are the legal owners of their work.As soon as they submit their manuscripts to a vanity press, it’s common for authors to be asked to sign away their copyright, which means their books become the legal property of the vanity press.
The author pays for the services of the self-publisher; however, there is complete transparency. This means that authors know exactly how much each service costs and what they will be receiving in return.Not only will vanity presses charge excessive fees to publish the books they receive, but they are also unlikely to share a breakdown of these expenses with authors. 

2. Hybrid Publishing 

Another type of publishing that can sometimes be mistaken for vanity publishing is hybrid publishing. The word “hybrid” points toward a mix of traditional and self-publishing business models. Essentially, hybrid publishers charge authors to publish their books. However, authors are paid back in the form of higher royalty rates. 

Let’s examine how hybrid publishers are completely separate from vanity presses. 

Hybrid PublisherVanity Press
Like traditional publishers, hybrid publishers have set selection criteria and a formal submission process. They don’t publish just any book that comes their way, which is why they are considered reputable businesses in the publishing world.Vanity presses are unselective—all they need in order to accept a book for publication is money. This is why vanity presses are notorious for publishing anything, even if it means accepting low-quality work.
In order to offset the fees that their authors pay for some of their services, hybrid publishers are required to pay much higher royalty rates than traditional publishers do. This increase in royalties also serves to compensate authors for not receiving an advance, which they usually get from traditional publishers. Vanity presses not only overcharge authors for low-quality publishing services but they are also known for offering very low royalties. Moreover, since they are not invested in selling the books, there are often minimal book sales which means little-to-no royalties for authors. 
Hybrid publishers are run like traditional publishing businesses in the sense that they have publishers acquiring books, as well as experienced in-house and freelance editors and designers. The difference, however, is that since authors are investing money into the publishing process, they have more creative control than they normally would under a traditional publishing contract. Effectively, authors form a team with their hybrid publishers.Vanity presses will typically outsource all their publishing services to the lowest bidders. Thus, they’re happy to compromise on the quality of their books since it means they get to pocket more money. In addition to this, authors will have very little say in the publishing process and are rarely consulted, if at all.

Concluding Thoughts 

In today’s competitive publishing industry, when it comes to getting their work out into the world, aspiring authors often find themselves bombarded with so many options. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and discouraged—which is where vanity presses come in. They offer up their shady contracts in attractive gift wrapping, and many authors are just so relieved to have finally found a publisher that they end up taking the bait. 

When authors are armed with awareness, however, and know how to spot the red publishing flags, they can then learn to avoid all kinds of vanity publishing practices and instead seek out alternative routes that are legitimate as well as rewarding. 

Whether it’s traditional publishing, self-publishing, or hybrid publishing, there are many routes to choose from. The key takeaway here, though, is that even the most experienced authors should always obtain some form of legal advice before signing any type of publishing contract.  


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How to Write An Exceptional Book Proposal (With a Free Template)

As an author, you might have a marvelous book idea, but how do you convince big publishers to invest in your book? How do you convert potential publishers to long-term partners? And how do you ensure publishers won’t sigh or roll their eyes after reading a few lines? This is where a quality book proposal comes in; it allows you to do your best to capture the publisher’s interest.

In this article, we’ll go through tips for writing a book proposal, what to include in one, mistakes to avoid, and other key points.

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How to Sell More Books on Amazon in 9 Simple Steps

“The End.” Ah, those two sweet monosyllabic words every author loves to write. You’ve finally finished your masterpiece of a book and—after some well-deserved celebrating—it’s time to turn it into an Amazon bestseller. And why not? If other authors can do it, so can you!

We won’t lie and claim it’s easy to sell books on Amazon; after all, it’s a competitive market, and readers are spoilt for choice. But it’s definitely 100% doable if you go about it the right way, starting with Amazon’s algorithm. 

In this article, we’ll show you how to absolutely nail that algorithm by sharing our nine golden tips on how to sell more books on Amazon.

How to Sell More Books on Amazon
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How to Sell More Books on Amazon: Breaking Down Amazon’s Algorithm

The key thing to remember about Amazon’s algorithm is that it’s geared toward Amazon customers. Its aim is to make their search on Amazon as effortless as possible by providing them with results that are relevant to their interests. 

Picture a customer searching on Amazon for a new memoir to read. They type in the words “memoir” and “inspirational” and Bam! One of the top search results is Henry Fraser’s inspirational memoir The Little Big Things. 

Magic? Nope. It’s the algorithm. 

The reason Henry Fraser’s book comes up in that search is that it has the right metadata (such as the title, subtitle, description, and keywords). Data is what Amazon’s algorithm needs in order to function: the more information you include about your product, the more likely the algorithm will recommend it to customers. 

Think of it as a matchmaking process between customer and product; you can’t have a perfect match without the right information, can you? 

How to Optimize Your Book’s Metadata to Sell More Books on Amazon

After creating an Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account, you are now ready to start adding data about your book (click here for a detailed guide on how to use Amazon’s KDP). Using Henry Fraser’s book as an example, let’s look at what it means to optimize your book’s data on Amazon. 

Step 1: Create a Cover That Tells a Story

Let’s face it. We’re visual creatures, and although looks aren’t everything, they do matter. An attractive—and relevantbook cover is what will attract readers to actually look inside your book. 

The Little Big Things

This is Henry Fraser’s hardback cover. The artwork consists of a simple painting: a boy in a wheelchair facing the sea. The cover’s color scheme is blue and yellow, in line with the setting. And the font used for the title is playful to convey the author’s young nature. 

Aside from the artwork, what readers will probably notice right away is the testimony at the bottom from J.K. Rowling’s foreword and Jonathan Ross’s endorsement at the top. 

Thus, the cover conveys the book’s content in three important ways: 

  1. The wheelchair brings the author’s disability to the forefront.
  2. The beach highlights the setting in which the author’s accident occurs. 
  3. The blue sky and endless sea symbolize the hope and endless possibilities ahead of the author. 

Step 2: Choose Your Title and Subtitle Wisely

Your book cover is a powerful tool, but an even stronger first impression that your book can make is via its title. 

Imagine you’re in an elevator with your favorite author and have fifteen seconds to convince them to endorse your book. There’s no time to give them a detailed account or even pull up a picture of the cover from your phone. So how do you intrigue them in as few words as possible? Give them a title to remember!

Note the title and subtitle of Henry Fraser’s book The Little Big Things: A Young Man’s Belief that Every Day Can Be a Good Day. The paradox in the title “little big” serves to intrigue readers, and the subtitle demonstrates that this is a memoir and a self-help book. A memorable and informative title results in elevator pitch success!

Step 3: Write a Great Book Description

If customers are attracted to your cover and title, then naturally they will want to read the book’s description. This description should be concise while still mentioning enough to convince readers to buy the book—or at least to leave them curious to use Amazon’s “Look inside” feature and read more. 

Here are three key things to look out for when writing an Amazon book description:

  1. The Headline: Although Amazon’s book description box allows you to include up to 4,000 characters, it will only display the first few lines. If readers want to see the rest of your description, they will have to click “read more.” 

This is why your first lines (your description’s headline) are very important. Your headline can be an award your book received, a pull quote from a great review, or a powerful line that packs in your book’s genre and its main themes.

  1. The Blurb: Include your book’s blurb in the book description box as a paragraph or two. This serves to add meat to your headline, telling readers what your book is actually about. 
  1. The Buying Prompt: End your description with a reason why people should buy your book. This is your “buying prompt”; it urges readers to take action and click on Amazon’s “Add to Cart” button. 
amazon book description

This is Amazon’s book description section for Henry Fraser’s memoir, and here is how it’s divided and why that works: 

  1. Starts with a headline that mentions the book’s accolade: it is a Sunday Times bestseller;
  2. Includes brief endorsements by big names like J.K. Rowling and Jonny Wilkinson;
  3. Places the book’s tagline right above the descriptive text, telling readers what the book is about in a single line;
  4. Provides a clear descriptive text with brief paragraphs that contain enough information to keep the reader wanting more; 
  5. And includes a strong buying prompt: “This book… will resonate with anyone facing an obstacle.” 

Step 4: Get More Book Reviews 

One of the most important selling points of a book is its book reviews. They act as proof that everything promised by your cover, title, and description will in fact be delivered in the book. Reviews vouch for your product, so collect as many as you can!

There are two types of book reviews: reader and editorial reviews, and both are important in different ways. 

  • Reader/Customer Reviews

Reader reviews are written by individual customers (readers) and are usually more personal, emotional, and casual. You can approach readers yourself and direct them to leave reviews of your book; this is an important way of generating a good “buzz” around your publication. After all, readers want to buy books that other readers like them have enjoyed. 

There are two routes to take in order to obtain reader reviews:

  1. Contacting readers before the book is out on Amazon

This is done by offering advance reader copies of your book to your most loyal readers. This way you’ll collect a number of reviews that will be visible on your book’s Amazon page as soon as it’s live.

  1. Contacting readers after the book is published 

Email all your readers to announce that your book is out and to request that they leave a review when they’re done reading it. If you don’t have an author’s mailing list, it’s time to create one!

Also, make sure to include a link at the end of your book that directs readers to leave a review. This will generate an organic buildup of reviews as your book continues to sell, keeping it performing well on Amazon.

  • Editorial Reviews

According to Amazon, “an editorial review is a more formal evaluation of a book, usually written by an editor or expert within a genre.” Editorial reviews list your book’s pros and cons, and hold it to a set of professional standards. As a result, the language of editorial reviews is often unbiased, formal, and technical

To obtain editorial reviews, you will likely have to reach out to review businesses and book review publications. Usually, authors pay to get editorial reviews, but you can find some free options, too. Depending on the business/publication, you’ll have to follow the relevant guidelines in order to formally submit your manuscript for review. 

Amazon editorial reviews

Here is the Editorial Reviews section for Fraser’s The Little Big Things. If a customer was still debating whether to buy this book, a quick scan of the 14 positive editorial reviews and the 1,000+ customer reviews (with a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars), would probably drive them to click that “Buy” button—and fast!

books in a bookstore

Step 5: Choose Your Keywords 

Recall how easy it was to find Henry Fraser’s memoir on Amazon? All it took was typing the words “inspirational” and “memoir.” So how does that actually happen? What can you do to direct customers to find your book among all those other books out there? 

It’s all in the keywords you choose. In the case of Fraser’s book, the keywords are geared toward customers looking for inspirational life stories and memoirs, which explains the immediate hit in the search above. For example, good keywords for Fraser’s memoir would include: tone (e.g. uplifting), themes (e.g. overcoming obstacles), and subject (teenager with disability). 

But how can keywords actually increase your book sales on Amazon? Well, the right keywords will increase your book’s visibility (i.e. they will put your book at the top of the search results). Greater visibility results in greater sales. After all, who’s going to go through pages and pages of search results every time they want to buy a good book?

Find the keywords that are suitable for your book’s genre and readership, and then include them in the Keywords section on your KDP Publishing dashboard. This section allows you to use up to seven keywords and phrases

A good way to test out your keywords is by typing them into Amazon. What sort of results comes up? Are they relevant to the topic you’re searching for? If not, keep fine-tuning them until you arrive at the desired search results. 

Important read: Amazon’s Make Your Book More Discoverable with Keywords 

Step 6: Select Your Categories

Amazon also allows you to choose two genres (or categories) for each book. It’s important to choose the categories that are suitable for your book because genres set expectations for your readers. 

You certainly don’t want to categorize your work as a Romance just because it contains a love story! For example, Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games is a dystopian trilogy, despite the fact that its main characters get caught up in a love triangle. Choosing the wrong category for your work would automatically generate negative reviews and cause you to lose your readers’ trust. 

In the case of Henry Fraser’s memoir, the categories are a mix of broad (Survival Biographies) and specific (Biographies of People with Disabilities). This increases the book’s chances of finding the right audience. The board category attracts a large pool of target readers who are interested in all types of survival biographies. The more specific category narrows down the readership further to target those interested in reading about people with disabilities. 

book categories for how Selling More Books on Amazon

Step 7: Work on Your Author Profile

Nowadays, an author’s profile is an essential marketing tool for any book. This is especially true for self-published authors. If you’re planning on writing and publishing many books, you have to build your author brand. You can do this on the author page on Amazon Author Central. Here is a checklist of what to include on your author page:

  • Author Bio 

This tells your readers who you are and why you’re writing. Remember that marketing yourself is a huge part of marketing your book. Let’s take a look at Henry Fraser’s bio listed on The Little Big Things Amazon page: 

about the author on Amazon

Just by reading those four brief paragraphs, the reader feels like they already know a number of important things about Henry Fraser. They go on a journey that starts with Henry’s accident, his disability, and his accomplishments as a mouth-painter, a motivational speaker, and now an author. Now they just have to get their hands on his memoir!

  • Author Photo

Although it’s not a necessity, having an author photo is definitely a plus. A good headshot allows readers to put a face to the name. This will enable them to connect with your author brand even more strongly. Not to mention that a professional headshot gives the impression that you’re serious about your career as an author. 

  • Author Interviews

If you’ve been interviewed before, or even if you’ve recorded videos of yourself discussing your books, then you should add these videos to the author page. Remember that Amazon allows you to link various types of content, so you should use that to your advantage!

  • Your Previous Work

It goes without saying that if you have more than one book, the author page is the perfect place for you to link them all. This makes it easy for readers who’ve enjoyed one of your books to discover other titles they might be interested in reading.

  • Your Online Presence 

Even if you prefer to live in books rather than the social media world, as a modern-day author it’s very important to have some sort of online presence. Social media allows readers to connect with you directly, while an author website is where you can blog about your books and keep readers engaged with your content.

Step 8: Generate Sales—and Keep Them Slow and Steady

Amazon’s algorithm starts giving your book a “ranking” as soon as a customer purchases that first copy. With every copy sold, your book’s ranking rises in your selected categories. This increase in ranking in turn means that your book will appear in the top results of Amazon’s search pages. 

So, for instance, in the case of Henry Fraser’s book, every purchase caused it to rise up the ranks of Biographies and Memoirs, until it became listed as a “bestselling” memoir on Amazon. 

One thing to bear in mind, however, is that Amazon’s algorithm gives higher rankings to books with consistent sales, rather than sudden bursts of purchases. 

Therefore, your book will do better on Amazon if you have a slow and steady stream of sales (e.g. ten books a week), rather than getting all your friends and family to purchase fifty copies in a day. 

Generate more book sales

How to Sell More Books on Amazon Using Price Promotions

Since Amazon’s algorithm encourages steady and consistent book sales, and since even bestselling books will eventually lose their top spots eventually, you need a way to “spice things up” and keep those sales going. 

An effective way to give your book a boost and increase its sales is by running book price promotions often. Essentially, you want to decrease the price of your book for a number of days (usually a week). When more customers start buying your book, this will increase its visibility and push it back up the ranking ladder. 

With this increase in sales, your book will start showing up in Amazon’s “also bought” section on other books’ pages. So, for instance, if your novel reaches a high ranking in the Humorous Fiction category, it will likely appear on another humorous fiction book’s page. Thus, more traffic from relevant readers will be directed to your own work.


You don’t need to have your book reviewed by J.K. Rowling to increase your sales on Amazon (although that would certainly help!). What you need is good marketing and promotion pre and post your book launch. 

So although writing your book is a huge step, you will probably have to invest just as much time and effort in marketing and selling it—from choosing the right cover, all the way to running frequent book promotions. The tips and secrets discussed in this article will take your book’s visibility to a new level, which will ultimately lead to more book sales. 


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How to Market a Self-Published Book: Practical Tips for Indie Authors

The self-publishing market is a fierce one. It doesn’t matter how great your book is, you need a brilliant marketing plan for it to get noticed. This is especially true now that the number of self-published books has increased in the last 5 years by 264%!

This definitely makes it harder for you to promote your book, but not impossible. According to, more than 1000 self-published authors made $100,000 from selling on Amazon in 2021.

So what can you do to achieve (and maybe even surpass) this number? The answer lies in knowing how to market your self-published book in a way that increases sales, which is what we are going to discuss in this article.

marketing self-published books
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Beta Readers: Who Are They and Where to Find Them

When picturing a writer, it’s easy to imagine a solitary figure toiling away at his/her desk. But the truth is, writers rarely work in such a vacuum. Instead, they rely on feedback from their potential readers (also known as beta readers) to help better develop their work. 

It’s no coincidence that all the great authors we know today relied on at least one beta reader with whom they could share their writing. Take J. R. R. Tolkien, for example. The author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit would test out material on his two sons, who offered him their opinions and ideas. 

He also had another influential reader: his friend and fellow writer C. S. Lewis. Tolkien once wrote: “[Lewis] was for long my only audience… But for his interest and unceasing eagerness for more I should never have brought The Lord of the Rings to a conclusion.”

In this article, we will explore exactly what beta reading is by delving into the world of beta readers: who they are, what kind of services they provide, where they can be found, and why every author needs them.

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How to Make Money Selling Ebooks In 5 Steps

Having the gift of writing is a great blessing, and it can be a great way to make money as well. If you have a wealth of knowledge to share with readers, or if you have been working on a novel or memoir but are unsure how to get your content across, then writing and selling ebooks could be a great option for you. 

According to GateKeeper Press, the number of self-published books in 2018 increased by 40%, with a total of 1.68 million books. This could be due to the fact that self-published publications pay roughly three times as much in royalties as the traditionally published books. Moreover, royalty payments to authors start in 90 days for self-published books, in contrast to the six months waiting period for traditionally published books.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about how to write an ebook and make money, starting with writing, creating, publishing, and marketing an ebook, to selling it on various platforms.

make money selling ebooks

Why Should You Sell Ebooks?

Although some people prefer print books to their digital counterparts, the ebooks revenue in the United States in 2021 alone was $1.1 billion. This makes ebook self-publishing a great–and scalable–way to earn passive income. 

Ebooks can also attract potential leads to your business, which makes them a great lead magnet. This is mainly because of the value you offer through your ebooks, which should be more than what’s already available online for free. They also help position you as an expert on the topic you’ve written about.

There are various platforms that offer affordable and straightforward services for publishing ebooks. As a matter of fact, if you already have the content of your ebook ready, you could publish and start selling it online right now. However, for long-term, sustainable financial benefits, you have to put in some work, which we are going to guide you through with the following 5 steps.

Step #1: Research 

It is critical to plan ahead if you want to become an ebook author. This pre-step will assist you in determining whether your idea is worthwhile. If you found out that it isn’t, then you can move on to the next viable option. In fact, many published authors were able to develop brilliant ideas during the research process.

Target The Right Audience 

Consider who would be interested in your book’s content, where they live, what they do for a living, their age, gender, preferences, etc. Your brand (which includes things like your book cover, writing style, font size, title metadata, and other features) can help you establish who your core audience is and attract particular people. 

Therefore, you should use these elements of your brand to track down your audience. You are more likely to convert them into dedicated readers if you speak directly to them.

Jump on Trending Topics 

You can become a bestselling author if you choose the correct ebook category–the one in which you’ll be able to sell more copies per day than the current best-selling book. That may appear to be a tough task, but it is not; you only need to do some good online research on “trending topics”. 

There are over 10,000 different book and ebook categories to pick from. So to make sure you can make money selling ebooks, it is important to place them within the most trendy category that fits the genre of your book.

Develop Your Niche 

The most essential reason to have a “niche” is that it makes it easy to position yourself as an expert on the topic of your book. You may know a lot about a few things but only a little about thousands more. Focus on the things you know well and be specific. 

You might be able to write an entire book about a certain topic but chances are, there are already hundreds of well-researched and well-written books on the same topic. Being specific will help you bring something new to the table that your readers find value in.

Selling ebooks

Step #2: Ebook Content (Writing and Artwork)

Creating an ebook follows the typical writing and design processes of creating a traditional book; you do the research, come up with an outline, connect the dots, write, rewrite, rewrite again, let your content sit for a couple of days, revisit with fresh eyes, refine, and then you are good to go. 

Book Length

An ebook might be as short as 12 pages or as long as a thousand-page novel. The rules are not set in stone, so you can start by searching books in your category to assess the length of your book by comparing it to similar, successful counterparts. 

To make money selling ebooks, there are a few certain ebook features you should consider, and we’re going to tackle them together.

Interactive Elements

You can use an ebook creator to include multimedia content such as images, interactive infographics, audio, and video in your ebook; this will increase your readers’ engagement with the content. You can also include external links to offer additional information or redirect the reader to anywhere you want.

Editing and Proof-Reading

There are many ways that you can go about editing your book. A budget-friendly way would be to hire an editor to only look at the first few chapters of your ebook. Many of the issues identified by the editor will most likely occur throughout the ebook, and if you know what to look for, you can correct them yourself. 

However, If you decided to edit/proofread on your own, try printing it and reading it out loud. You can also try playing around with the fonts and styles, and go through the whole manuscript multiple times.


This is the point where the marketing of your ebook begins, as the appearance of your ebook can have an impact on sales. To grab your readers with your ebook cover, it must have an attractive visual design. A great design can make a major difference in how your buyers feel about your book when they read it, and you want them to think that every component of it is outstanding. If you aren’t sure how to design an ebook cover, consider hiring a graphic designer. And always remember, you must spend money to make money.

where to sell ebooks

Step #3: Pricing

Because of lower prices, better readability, and how easy it is to carry it around, most people now prefer to read ebooks over print books. That’s why ebooks have a major advantage in this area; the cost of creating an ebook is much less than print books as it is essentially digital. Yet still, you must make smart and sustainable pricing decisions in order to make a profit selling your ebook.

Account for Costs

An excellent place to start is by assessing how much you paid to bring your ebook to life. For instance, calculate the expenses of hiring an editor or a designer and the royalties you’re supposed to get from selling the book. Then see how many ebooks you’ll need to sell at various pricing points to recoup your costs.

Compare to Other Books within the Same Genre

Research what other authors are charging for ebooks similar to yours. This will give you a sense of what the market is willing to accept. For example, if similar ebooks sell for $5, offering yours at $20 is almost certainly a losing venture. 

However, if you’re confident that your ebook provides more value than others in your niche (which should be your goal), you might be able to justify charging higher than other ebooks. Still, you should keep it within a reasonable range.

how to price your ebook

Step #4: Selling

The most difficult parts of the process have passed. All you have to do now is get your ebook out there where others can see it, and below are some of the ways in which you can do that.

Digital Publishing Platforms

One of the easiest ways to sell your ebook is through famous digital publishing platforms, such as Amazon, Google Play, or Apple Books. These platforms usually don’t charge anything for publishing, but they take a percentage of every sale done through them. You then receive your earnings, known as royalties, which go up to 70% of each sale on most known platforms.

Author’s Website

It’s often recommended for authors to have their own website where they can connect with their readers, provide them with valuable content, and send them regular updates. If you already have your own website or plan on creating one, then you can easily sell your ebook on it, and here are a few options on how you can do that:

  1. Providing a PayPal link: Upload the ebook directly to your website and provide your reader with a PayPal link to complete the purchase process or allow them access to your ebooks.
  2. Adding a payment gateway to your websites: Add an ecommerce plugin–such as Stripe–which adds e-commerce functionality to your site. Your readers will then be able to use different payment options to get access to your ebooks.
  3. Using Kotobee WordPress plugin: If you have a WordPress website, you can use Kotobee Author to create your ebooks, then easily sell access to your ebook clouds or libraries on your website using Kotobee’s WordPress plugin.

Ecommerce Websites

If you prefer to sell your ebook on an already established ecommerce website for digital products–where it can get a lot of traffic–, then you might want to consider creating a seller’s account on Payhip, PayLoadz, Selz, or BigCommerce. These websites give you the tools to sell anywhere, market your ebooks, and gain the necessary insights that help you grow your ebook sales.

Branded Kotobee Library

You can use any ebook creation software, such as Kotobee Author, to create your ebooks, then you can sell them on your own branded library app using Kotobee Library and get 100% royalties! This library provides you with the convenience of selling ebooks in different ways, including selling directly through Kotobee or by using Shopify, WooCommerce, or Memberful integrations.

Step #5: Promotion

Although promotion is usually the final step across most industries, you should really start marketing your ebook before it is published on any platform, as you want your book to hit the bestseller charts the minute it is published, and here’s how to go about this.

Pre-Launch Promotion

Try to get recognized by your target audience, as people usually buy books written by authors they know and recognize. To start, you can create a blog, social media accounts, or a profile on Amazon Author Central–or the platform of your choice. You can then begin promoting yourself as an author and discussing your “upcoming ebook” before it’s launched. You should also get more people to subscribe to your newsletter and start putting the word out.

Post-Launch Promotion

Creating a post-launch promotion campaign is key as it will determine whether your ebook will continue to sell or get forgotten. To avoid low sales, you have to keep the word about your ebook out there. Below are our top post-launch recommendations and methods for giving your ebook the best chance of sustainable success.

Social Media Campaigns (Free and Paid Ads)

To sustain longer-term profits, you have to keep promoting it on different social media platforms. Organic posts can work well on their own. However, to guarantee more sales, you should also consider paid ads. 

According to some recent studies, 75% of Generation Z and 48% of Millennials responded to paid social media ads in 2021; that’s why using these ads can give your book a great boost.


Get your readers to write reviews about your book! Asking for reviews is the greatest way to get them. You can include a request in the conclusion of your ebook. You can also provide a link to the review page on the publishing platform you’re using; many people don’t know where to go to leave a review, so including a link can be helpful.

Email Marketing

Don’t forget about your existing network. Your email subscribers have previously demonstrated interest in your content, and if this new ebook continues to give solutions to problems they need help with, you’ll have another chance to keep them engaged. 

Final Thoughts

Publishing an ebook is much less popular than printed books, yet the financial benefits are more sustainable. In order to make money selling ebooks, you should start by doing adequate research and determining your market. 

If you are already a writer, creating quality content should not be a problem, but always remember that marketing is key to secure sales. Pre-launch promotion, as well as post-launch promotion, will position you in the market and guarantee future sales.


Read More

Self-Publishing on Amazon: Pros and Cons

3 Popular Digital Publishing Outlets for Your Work

The Simple Guide to Prewriting Your Ebook

Everything You Need to Know about Writing a Query Letter

Congratulations! You are done with the hard part–writing your manuscript–and now it’s time to publish your book. But before you go rushing into emailing agents, let’s first take a look at how to write a query letter that will get you a book deal.

While some people consider the process of writing a query letter daunting, you’ll find it pretty simple once you get the hang of it. And to make things easier for you, we are going to explore together what makes the perfect query letter that actually lands you an agent.

how to write a query letter
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