Sunday, August 1, 2010

AmazonEncore, Part Three

Knowing that World Parade Books was a very small press, I was aware that I would need to do most of the marketing of the book myself.  I did a bit of research, and I learned quickly that my best bet for attracting an audience for the book would be to focus most of my attention on online social networking.

World Parade produced an initial print of a few hundred copies, and decided that for subsequent demands, it would use Amazon's print-on-demand services.  This would allow them to place the book much more easily on Amazon's website and offer a number of other advantages and would prove to be instrumental in our later deal with AmazonEncore.

Because I knew that most of our sales would be coming through Amazon's website, I focused my attention on sending potential buyers in that direction.  I used Facebook extensively, and other websites such as Goodreads to a smaller degree, to promote AKoIS.  I was very concerned about my profiles becoming nothing but advertisement, so I made a very concerted effort to post the same kinds of material as I was posting before beginning to promote the book, and to be sure that the majority of postings that I made were actually about things other than the book.  Still, though, I did post quite a bit about AKoIS.  I tried to use humor and a very self-aware approach to plugging the book.  Based on feedback, most of my online network seemed to appreciate this, and the self-deprecating tone I tried to maintain in regard to what I often referred to as "shameless self-promotion" softened the salesmanship to a degree that I believe was very effective.

One of the key strategies I used in the marketing of AKoIS was what's often called an "Amazon push" or an "Amazon bomb."  This is an organized event in which you gather as many buyers as you can to purchase a particular item on Amazon within a given time frame, usually on a particular day.  The push I organized for AKoIS was a success and drove the sales rankings very high.

In addition to the push, I organized a Facebook group.  I chose to do a group rather than a fan page because I felt more comfortable asking people to join a group than I did asking them to become my fans.  The distinction is not large, but to me it's significant.  If I'm in a group with people who like the book, it's a different dynamic than if I am the subject of fan page.  The idea of being a member of the group rather than it's only focus is largely semantic, but it's a big part of the relationship I tried to establish with as many readers and other authors as I could.

To be continued . . .