Please subscribe to our notifications

As our email reminders often get missed or filtered, we would like to send you notifications about new sign ups, books you've been selected to read and missing reader forms. After clicking CONTINUE, click ALLOW on the next popup to enable these. You can always change your mind later, or modify which notifications you receive.


Advertising and Marketing

Sell More Books with an Optimized Author Central Account

By: Penny C. Sansevieri | Posted on October 4, 2019

If you publish on Amazon, understanding the importance of your Author Central account and what you need to do to keep it updated is essential. Author marketing expert Penny Sansevieri spends her days helping authors sell more books, and so she knows all about how to optimize Author Central to help do just that.  We’re grateful she’s agreed to share a number of tips and suggestions with us on how to make your book stand out from all the others! As an author you’ve no doubt spent a lot of time determining the most lucrative keywords and categories on Amazon, but too few overlooking the juice you can get by optimizing your Amazon Author Central Page with all the free features that come along with it. First I want to point out that technically every author on Amazon is represented by Author Central, but it’s really doing you no good… Read More >

Successful Self-Publishing – It’s All About the Conversions

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on August 2, 2019

Advertising expert Ginger is back this week with some more thoughts on what happens after you’ve written and published your book – specifically how to advertise, promote and hopefully sell copies to eager readers! Today, he’s talking about the cornerstone of any successful promotional campaign – conversions. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article about how to make sense of your Amazon Advertising facts and figures – and I had a few questions from readers about one important aspect of that: Conversions. Conversions are the technical term for when you ‘convert’ a visitor to your Amazon product page to a paying customer; or, in short, when they buy your book! In terms of successful self-publishing, any promotional efforts you make to drive potential customers to your product page need to result in a good percentage of ‘conversions’ – otherwise you’re leading horses to water, but none of them… Read More >

Making Sense of Amazon Advertising

By: | Posted on July 19, 2019

Amazon Advertising – until recently known as Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) – is an increasingly important part of any self-published author’s strategy but many authors are confused by how it works and how to interpret their results. Fortunately, Hidden Gems advertising expert Ginger is here to walk us through the basics – how to get started, what some common problems mean and how to solve them, and how to make it all work for you! The ability to have your book displayed as a clickable link on the product page of similar authors – presented to Amazon customers already searching for books to read – is a game-changer. However, Amazon Advertising has a notoriously steep learning curve, and successful advertisers need to keep a constant eye on their campaigns. In this post, we’re going to try to answer some of the more common questions would-be advertisers have, and help translate… Read More >

Is Amazon taking Author Advertising too far?

By: | Posted on May 24, 2019

Amazon has been experimenting with their ‘sponsored’ adverts for books – placing them in ever-more prevalent positions throughout a customer’s shopping experience. The question is – have they taken it too far, and have these Amazon advertising spots begun to negatively impact both the success of authors and the reader experience?  Ginger gives his opinion on the issue. What do you think? Recently, I was on Amazon organizing my catalog of books – and like I’ve done a thousand times, I typed my pen name into the search bar expecting to see all the books that come up related to it, independent of my Author Profile page. What did I get instead? Two ‘Sponsored’ books, neither of which were mine. My books were there – but ‘beneath the fold’. This means I actually had to scroll down before I’d even get to see any books relevant to the terms I’d… Read More >

The Hidden Gems Amazon Blurb Tool

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on May 10, 2019

When it comes to selling your book, the importance of a strong cover and blurb cannot be overstated, which is why we keep coming back to the topic.  The thumbnail of your cover is the eye candy that will draw readers in to click, and a strong blurb will convert that click into a sale. But merely knowing what to include in your book description isn’t the only step.  Just as a cover needs to draw the reader in from just a thumbnail, your Amazon blurb has only a few lines to grab their attention and make them want to click through and read the whole thing. And if you confront them with a big block of text, you’re much more likely to lose the sale than if your description is a well formatted, easy-to-read masterpiece. Headers, bold type, underlining, italics… …they’re not just for blogs anymore!  Your Amazon blurb… Read More >

Write a Blurb That Sells Your Book

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on March 29, 2019

Crafting a killer blurb is one of the key ingredients to a successful book – yet too many authors treat it as an afterthought or leave it until the last minute. Anybody who has been writing and self-publishing for a while understands that the key to success is ‘conversions.’ What does that mean? Well, it’s the likelihood that somebody who visits your book page on Amazon (or any other book seller) will actually click ‘buy’ and purchase your book. It really is what makes all the difference – you can sink thousands of dollars into advertising, and send hundreds of potential customers to your book page, but unless they are inspired to buy your book, all of that time and money is wasted. It’s generally accepted that three or four things make the difference when it comes to converting visitors to your book page into paying customers. Blowing the old… Read More >

Using Amazon Ads to Sell Your Novel

By: Liam Clay | Posted on March 22, 2019

These days, advertising is an integral part of any book launch and not something any self-published author can ignore. We’ve covered the topic of advertising in the past, but one of the things we didn’t go into in details was Amazon’s advertising platform (formerly called AMS).  Luckily, Liam Clay recently spent time learning their system and testing it out, and in today’s guest post he shares what he’s learned. Are you an indie author with a recently completed debut novel? Then chances are good that you either have, or are about to, place your book on Amazon. The question then becomes, what next? Because if you think that strangers are going to start buying your book en masse without any further action from you, I urge you to think again.  I say this because two months ago, I was in exactly the same position. Watching tumbleweeds roll through the ghost… Read More >

Make Newsletters A Part of Your Marketing Plan

By: Jane Ryder | Posted on December 7, 2018

Newsletters are one of the best ways for authors to reach their audience, and should be part of any overall marketing or promotional strategy.  Yet many authors are hesitant to get started with one, for a variety of reasons – all of which Jane Ryder has heard before. Jane’s been helping authors succeed for many years, and today she’s giving us all some tips on not only how to get started with your newsletter, but how to make it as painless as possible! A lot of authors I work with fight the idea of sending out a regular newsletter even more than they fight the idea of regularly engaging on social media (which is saying something). I understand you would rather be devoting your writing time to, you know, writing, but if you want to sell the books you write, you have to spend some of your coveted writing time… Read More >

Ginger’s Guide to Marketing & Advertising Your Books: Part Four – PROMOTIONS

By: | Posted on November 30, 2018

Hitting ‘publish’ on your book is the biggest step in the road towards self-publishing success, but only the first one. In this final part of his four-part series, self-published author Ginger gives a  top-level introduction to how to promote your book, using paid and free methods, to get as many potential customers to see it as possible. Last week, we nearly broke the website with a massive post about advertising your self-published books – and we barely scratched the surface! In fact, as reader Erin Wright pointed out, there were other advertising opportunities we hadn’t even explored in that post; like Bookbub. We’ll be revisiting options like that in both the original post and future ones – so stay tuned, and don’t be shy about letting us know what you think we missed! Today, though, we’re going to be looking at the adjacent avenue to advertising: Promotions.  There’s some crossover with promotions… Read More >

Ginger’s Guide to Marketing & Advertising Your Books: Part Three – ADVERTISING

By: | Posted on November 23, 2018

Writing your book is only the (biggest) first step in the road towards self-publishing success. In a four-part series, self-published author Ginger is giving a top-level introduction to what happens next. Here in part three, he gives an overview of advertising and where you need to focus in order to get all your hard work in front of potential readers. Last week, in part two of this series, we discussed Marketing – an umbrella for all the materials and strategies you need to come up with to put your book in front of potential readers. Today, we’re drilling down into one of the two most important aspects of that; and the one that most new authors have questions about: Advertising. Advertising isn’t something that needs much explanation – each and every day you’re bombarded with countless advertisements for services and products. Advertising is and always has been a ubiquitous presence… Read More >