Why There’s a Spike in Ebook Sales in January – And How You Can Cash In On It

This has been true for years now, so I expect it will continue to be true in the near future. Every January sees a surge in ebook sales and it’s down to one thing. Presents!

People get new devices for Hanukkah and Christmas, or just because there are good deals and they want to treat themselves. And by “devices”, I mean all sorts of things. They might be Kindles, they might be other ereaders, but they also might be tablets, from Kindle Fire to Galaxy to iPads. They can even be phones. Someone getting a smartphone for the first time might want to check out this whole “reading ebooks on a phone” thing.

Librarians know this, because there’s always a flood of new people trying out Overdrive or other ebook lending platforms. More books get checked out; hold queues get longer; and there are more phone calls to the library asking how to use this whole ereader/ebook thing.

But how can you, an ebook author, cash in on this spike?

Be poised and ready!

That doesn’t mean slapping a book together in December. Because, if you’re anything like me, December’s already full of shopping and traveling and wrapping and baking […]

3 Ways to Make an Amazon Short URL Link

You’ve just published your first book on Amazon. You can see it there in the store when you search for your title. It’s a book that people can buy, right now, if only they knew how to get there!

You could tell them:

“Go to Amazon, search for ‘mighty woodchucks in space’ and it’ll come right up!”

Or you could share with them the URL that’s sitting in your address bar. You know, something like this:


Or you could share something short and sweet:


Or you could give them a catchy short link like this:


2 Ways to the Slightly Cryptic Short Link (amzn.com/B00C7C6702)

Way #1

On every product page on Amazon, there will be a little share widget. I have seen this appear in a couple of different locations, but look for it somewhere above the customer reviews. It may be in the sidebar on the right under the various ‘buy it now!’ buttons. It will say ‘Share’ with 4 different icons – Email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.

Click on ‘Share’ or the Email icon. A window should pop up prompting you to share it. Look for where it says ‘Link’. There’s your link! Just copy […]

2 Great Writers’ Resources I Need to Share With You

I signed up for the Absolute Write forums – http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/. I had been a longtime lurker under another user name, but this time I dove right in. It’s really a great resource for finding current information about writing, publishing, marketing and all of that. If someone there doesn’t have the answer to your question, they’ll at least have some strong opinions about it. They have subforums for all genres and one specifically for self-publishing and another for promotion, so I definitely encourage you to check it out. I had to be manually approved to start posting and to edit my profile, but I was approved in less than a day.

And the reason I bring up these forums now is that the postings in there led me directly to the Goodreads Making Connections group. Before, I was sort of vaguely aware you could offer your book to reviewers on LibraryThing and Goodreads, but I hadn’t really looked into the logistics. Turns out the Making Connections group is actually a pretty easy and friendly way to go about it.

The reviews are not specifically Goodreads reviews, but also Amazon and other sites as well.

How to Get Your Book Into Goodreads […]

My Kindle Countdown Deal Epic Fail

Over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, I offered The Flaming Geeks Book of Geeky Trivia for .99 on an Amazon Kindle Countdown Deal. I didn’t have tiers, so it was 99 cents the whole time until it went back up to the list price of $2.99.

As I did when I offered it as a Free Book Promotion, I only marketed it by sharing it on my personal Facebook page. I did this a couple of times during the promotion.

The results:

Free Book Promotion – ~150 free downloads (no money for me), followed up with ~5 sales immediately after the promotion ended (yay money). Plus it netted me my first review (yay review!).

Kindle Countdown Deal – no downloads, no sales, no new reviews

Why didn’t it work?

Reason #0 – I need to do more marketing in general. But that was true of both cases.

Reason #1 – Everyone who follows me on Facebook who wanted it already had it.

Reason #2 – Kindle Countdown Deals is new — I thought that might help, because there wouldn’t be many books in there trying it out. However, it could be that being new also meant that people didn’t know […]

Five Uses for a Book Gorilla

BookGorilla is a site that will Email you daily notifications of free and discount Kindle ebooks. BookBub and BookBlast are two other sites that do the same thing. I recommend you sign up for one or more of them, in the genres that you’re writing in or ones that interest you. Each of them have a slightly different selection of genres, so it’s worth taking a look at all three.

Every day, you’ll be sent an Email with a couple of ebooks that are free or on sale that day. You’ll see the title, author, cover, price, and a short blurb. If you’re interested in reading them, act quickly! Amazon free promotions run for 5 days max, and more often last only a couple of days. Grabbing free books is the typical use for these sites. As a writer of ebooks, you’ll have even more uses for them.

Use #1 – Learn What Works in a Blurb

The blurbs included in the Emails are short; usually only 2-3 sentences. Every word in them counts. “An electrifying tale from a New York Times bestselling author”, “Over 180 five-star reviews on Amazon”, “Today only, get this Amazon #1 bestseller for just […]

Geeky Trivia – Kindle Countdown Deals

Just throwing y’all a heads-up that The Flaming Geeks Book of Geeky Trivia will be a Kindle Countdown Deal starting this Wednesday (day before Thanksgiving). It shall nicely encompass Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

And if this URL continues to work, it should also show up on this Kindle Countdown Deal category list.

Kindle Countdown Deals – What the Heck Are They?

Amazon recently introduced Kindle Countdown Deals. For awhile now, authors have been wondering how they could put their Kindle ebooks on sale for a short period of time. Before this, the only thing you could do was offer them for free, or jigger around with pricing on other sites so Amazon would price match. If you just lowered the price, it wouldn’t show as a strikethrough ($4.99 $2.99), like you would see when you offered it free.

Now with Kindle Countdown Deals, you can do just that.

Kindle Countdown Deals Pre-Requisites

* Your book has to be enrolled in KDP Select for at least 30 days. This means your ebook is exclusive to Amazon. It’s free to enroll, but just know the trade-offs you’re making.

* Your book has to be priced at no less than $2.99 and no more than $24.99.

* Your book has to have had the same price for the past 30 days.

* You can’t also offer a Free Book Promotion in the same enrollment period. You have to pick one or the other.

The KDP Select period is 3 months. At the end of the 3 months, you can decide to switch to […]