I’ve Added a Store – Great Ebook Resources

You may have noticed I just added an Amazon Store (astore) to the site. It was mostly as a test, to figure out how that sort of thing worked. But it was also to give you an easy list of books I recommend. These are books about the indie publishing business. How to write your book, how to write it faster, how to edit it, how to spiffy up the packaging, and things like that. To be honest, most of the books I put up there are books I only read because I listened to their authors on a podcast. I’ll do a podcast post soon.

I plan to add a few other things to the store, such as a non-book section. I want to share my favorite writing implements, and put up things like book display materials.

For now, check it out. One interesting quirk I’ve already noticed is that some of them added as the print version, so you can add them to the shopping cart. Others only added as the Kindle version, and you can’t put those in the shopping cart. So, use the cart or not, doesn’t matter. You can just follow the links and add […]

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 […]

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 […]

Amazon Prime Air – Drone Delivery? Is This April Fool’s Day?

Sure, it works in California. How’s it going to cope with a snowstorm?


I’d be remiss if I didn’t post about Amazon’s latest bizarre announcement. Amazon Prime Air promises to deliver your package to you in 30 minutes via unmanned flying vehicle. This is still a couple of years off and still quite in the testing phase, but it’s been a great boost in publicity for Amazon right at the start of the Christmas shopping season. Are you talking about indie bookstores’ Cider Monday or are you talking about Amazon drones flying books to your door? Thirty minutes is faster than most people can even drive to a bookstore and back — if your town even still has one!


Here’s the video to see it in action:

[iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/98BIu9dpwHU?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen]

As dubious as I am about the whole venture, I admit it’s kind of cool to imagine my future self standing outside with a camera, ready to take video of the aerial arrival of one of my books. Take that, Mark Twain!


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 […]

Checking Out the (Free) Competition

Before you publish your ebook (even better, before you even write it), you’ll want to check out your competition.

The easiest way to do this is to take a look at the bestsellers on Amazon in your category.

Sitting on keyboard optional.

Go to www.amazon.com/bestsellers. On the left side you’re looking for Kindle Store. Click that, then click Kindle eBooks, then pick your broad category, then if you want, also click on a narrower category. Drill down as far as you like. By default, it’s showing you Top 100 Paid. In many categories, the top results here are going to be the ebook version of a traditionally published book. It’s good to know what’s there and to check it out, but for now I’m going to have you go to Top 100 Free.

Some books are always free, so if you’re a frequent visitor to this top 100 list, you may see them again and again. However, since Amazon’s KDP Select Free Book Promotion is limited to 7 days total each 3 month period, you’ll also see these lists changing quite a lot from day to day. So do check back again later in the week after you’ve […]