Advertising and Marketing

The Book Marketing Trio You Need to Succeed

By: Amy L. Bernstein | Posted on April 8, 2022

When it comes to sending out queries or even publishing, there are three challenging forms of book marketing copy that authors need to master. All three are essential, though they each serve a different purpose, but what they have in common is that they need to be compelling and to the point, without any wasted words, in order to capture the interest of their intended audiences as quickly as possible. Author Amy Bernstein has plenty of experience writing all three forms, and is here today to help explain when and where to use each one, as well as tips and best practices on writing them in the first place.  A Logline, Synopsis, and Flap Copy meet up at a writers’ conference (or a bar, if you’re in that mood). The Logline utters two sentences, then shuts up. The Synopsis blabs on and on indiscreetly, and the Flap Copy gets everyone’s… Read More >

Amazon delivers another blow to traditional publishing

By: Ginger | Posted on April 1, 2022

In recent weeks, Amazon has done something previously considered unthinkable – offering up the option for authors to advertise their books using Advertising on Amazon even if they’re traditionally published, or the rights to those books are held by somebody else. In doing so, they’ve delivered yet another gut punch to traditional publishing by providing authors that aren’t yet self-published with an opportunity to test whether they can do a better job of promoting their own books, while at the same time getting a view into just how much money they’re leaving on the table.   If you’ve visited your Author Central account on Amazon recently – the one where you can post your biographical details, and curate all the books you’ve written or contributed to – you’ll notice a new tab called Reports & Marketing. On that page, you’ll see the option to go directly to the Advertising on… Read More >

Publish like a bestseller (even before you are)

By: Ginger | Posted on March 25, 2022

For those that work regular jobs, there’s a saying that goes, “Do the job you want, not the job you have.” Essentially, that just means that if you want to get promoted or move up in your job, you should start by proving that you can handle what that higher position has in store for you. But does that still apply to self-published authors that don’t work for anyone but themselves? Of course it does, because after all, you may not be trying to prove anything to anyone but yourself but at the end of the day, isn’t that the person you want to impress the most anyway? The truth is, there is always more success to be had, or higher levels to reach for in your career, and sitting back on your laurels is no way to get there. As Ginger describes below, the best way to capitalize on… Read More >

Ads work best when you think like a reader

By: Ginger | Posted on March 4, 2022

Great fiction novels are often filled with a roster of unique and believable characters, each with their own backstory that define how they react to the events of the story. As the author of that book, your job is figuring out what those actions and reactions would be, even when they might be very different than how you, personally, would behave in that same situation. One way to do that is by imagining yourself as that character, viewing the world through their eyes and colored by their history instead of your own.  As Ginger explains this week, when it comes to improving the sales of a poorly performing book, you can actually rely on some of those same skills. Instead of looking at your ads in terms of what you meant or hoped for them to convey, you should take a walk through the same buying journey that your readers… Read More >

3 Advertising on Amazon Myths Busted for 2022

By: Ginger | Posted on February 25, 2022

  Sometimes it’s worth revisiting even the most generally accepted beliefs to make sure that they still hold true. This is especially so with technology, because although we may regularly visit a website or use a service, improvements can be made behind the scenes and pushed out to us without our ever knowing.  Advertising on Amazon is one of those things. When it launched, the platform had all sorts of issues and limitations that authors eventually learned to work around, often through online discussions with other users. Those discussions not only helped authors navigate the issues to get the most out of each Amazon ad they created, but raised awareness of the platform deficiencies in such a way that they became a kind of conventional wisdom. But despite Amazon’s continued improvement of their ad platform, fixing many of those early flaws, belief in their continued existence still persist within the… Read More >

Selling books on social media is about being yourself

By: Ginger | Posted on February 18, 2022

Not everyone has time, energy or interest in maintaining a social media presence for themselves, much less a separate one for their pen name (if the two happen to be different). And while there are plenty of paths to success, one of the most common shared elements I’ve noticed between successful authors that I’ve worked with is that they not only pay attention to social media, but they do it right. That means being personal and personable in your posts, instead of just using the medium as an afterthought or only when you have a new book to sell. That approach may work for businesses, but authors are selling stories that are often a part of themselves, which means your social media has to reflect that by creating a more personal connection with your readers. It sounds daunting, but as Ginger describes below, there are ways to make it easier…. Read More >

How to know when to change your book cover

By: Ginger | Posted on February 11, 2022

Every book and story is different, but if I had to pick a single element that was most commonly at fault for poor sales, I would point to covers without any hesitation. We all know that we shouldn’t choose a book by it’s cover, but most readers do it anyway, and for good reason. Whether browsing top 100 lists, scrolling through search results or just looking at also bought recommendations, few people have time to drill into every option to read blurbs or analyze reviews. Instead, they narrow the list down to just a handful that warrant further investigation, and the easiest and most obvious criteria available to do that is the cover. Images that catch a reader’s eye and spark their interest are the ones they’ll be drawn to first, giving those books a huge advantage over ones with less appealing covers. Of course, there are many reasons why… Read More >

The Hidden Gems Author Podcast is officially live!

By: Craig | Posted on February 4, 2022

The self-publishing landscape is constantly evolving, and the most successful authors understand that no matter what level they’re at in their career, there is always more to learn. This blog has (and will continue to be) a great forum for helping us share information on new ways to improve your writing or book marketing, but these days a lot of people prefer content that they can consume on the go, or while doing other things – which explains the growing popularity of the audiobook and podcast formats. That’s why Roland (Ginger) and I have launched the new Hidden Gems Author Podcast. Every Thursday, you’ll be able to listen to us discuss new topics with greater depth than is possible in the blog, and often with guests that are either experts in the subject, or have been affected by whatever issue it is we’re discussing. There is so much to learn… Read More >

Boxed Sets – are they worth it?

By: Ginger | Posted on January 28, 2022

Once you’ve written and self-published three or more books, you have the opportunity to package them together into a ‘boxed set’ for sale as an altogether new product – but is it worth the effort? As with anything, there are pros and cons to consider, so Ginger is here to walk you through everything you need to think about to make the right decision for you and your career.   Everybody loves value – that’s why we shop at places like Costco and BJ’s Wholesale Club. If there’s an item you use regularly, it’s a no-brainer to buy ‘in bulk’ and save a ton of money over buying the product individually. The same can be said of books! On Amazon’s Top 100 lists, you’ll frequently see boxed sets of books for sale, even if they’re ebooks and the ‘boxed’ part of it is purely esoteric. But is gathering a bunch… Read More >

Creating a Lookalike audience that actually buys!

By: Ginger | Posted on January 21, 2022

Creating a Lookalike audience for your Facebook ads is far more useful than simply trying to advertise to FB users as a whole, even when you try to narrow that group down by the specific demographics you’re targeting or the interests you think your potential readers might all share. But creating that Lookalike from your entire mailing list isn’t nearly as effective as creating it from a more refined subset of that list, and when it comes to sending out ads looking to sell copies of your book, the subscribers you want to focus on are the ones most likely to buy a copy. Figuring out which ones those are, however, can be tricky. Luckily, Ginger has some advice on the best way to do that.   Last month, I wrote a blog post about how the Apple IOS 14.5 update had disrupted the performance of a lot of authors’… Read More >