This month I have another friend who is contributing a review. This one is much different than our last guest review– we are reviewing a non-fiction book, Mastering Amazon Ads, but with a focus on promoting self-published works. Melanie is a self-published author who also promotes her books on Amazon. Check out her Twitter to find out more about her.
Self-publishing is still pretty big these days. A few years ago, figures seemed to indicate that sales of ebooks had exceeded print books for the first time, heralding the dawn of a new age. Soon, the printed book would go the way of the cassette tape and the vinyl record. And yet things seemed to stabilize again and print books are still with us, while ebooks have not gone away and remain an important part of the marketplace.
Many of these of course are self-published. These days anyone can write a book, publish it, get a professional cover, and even promote their masterpiece. Yet what can provide a distinct advantage when it comes to selling books that you’ve published yourself? We can’t force people to buy our books but considering the bewildering number of methods, you can use to market your work, which one works best?
Brain Meeks is an established author who has published a number of novels and nonfiction books but this work is his way of passing on his knowledge of Amazon Marketing to other indie authors.
One of the key things I took away from the book is the need to be patient. Amazon marketing is really not that different from any other form of advertising and you’re unlikely to obtain instant results. Meeks take you through each stage of the process as you build your ads, keyword lists, settle on pricing and so on. He also provides real examples both from his own experience and testimonials from other self-published authors, which contribute to convincing the reader that this avenue is worth pursuing. Sometimes ads might not work but the tips and advice Meeks provides teach you how to tweak ads and make adjustments, again remaining patient while you get it right.
I have to admit that I found the sections of analyzing statistics and trends a little more difficult to understand, but Meeks does acknowledge that. If you take the time to study these sections of the book until they make more sense, it will indeed impact sales in the long run. Without analyzing the numbers and results to determine how ads are performing, it’s difficult to know what you’re doing right and what needs improvement or need to be reworked.
This guide to the somewhat confusing world of Amazon advertising is written in a very lighthearted tone, with a fair amount of humor. This approach was a great help since at first, this can seem like a very daunting topic with a steep learning curve. Meeks’ method of imparting this information makes the book an easy read. If you’re just starting out as an indie author you’ll have to study the book more than once, since some parts may not be clear on first reading. However, this is a great starter guide for those either just beginning to use Amazon ads or those have been using them for a while but would like to be more profitable.
Although this is a book about promoting your work rather than a guide to being a writer, the text does have a number of typos, errors, and punctuation mistakes that can be a little glaring when you encounter them. Meeks is not trying to show us how to write perfectly of course, but perhaps a more detailed edit before publication would have been a good idea.
That being said, I enjoyed the book and have been able to implement some of the tips as I become more familiar with Amazon advertising. No book will ever provide all the answers, but this one goes a long way to help you generate sales and hopefully firmly establishing yourself as an independent writer and publisher.
Grab the book on Amazon.