Whether you're independent or traditionally published, marketing your book is a job that's squarely on your shoulders. Facebook posts and newsletter ads can be effective for promotions, but the costs add up quickly. What if you could get Amazon to do some of your marketing for you? Amazon offers a way for you to gather tons of fans in your genre, and they'll email these fans every time you publish a new book. Use this technique and Amazon will be an important part of every book launch you have, which has the possibility of increasing your sales in that all-important first week.
Amazon now allows anyone who sells on their site to create a giveaway. The great part about this is that you can make up your own giveaway and choose anything sold on Amazon as a prize. In return for an entry into the giveaway, you can require each person to follow your Amazon Author Central profile. And Amazon always lets followers know when their favorite authors publish a new book. Instant, almost free promotions from a very trusted source, straight to your readers' inboxes.
How Do I Start?
The most important part of this process is choosing the prize you'll give away. First of all, you have to pay for the prize, so it doesn't make sense to offer anything too expensive. You also want to gather readers who are likely to buy your books, so it's important to offer something that's attractive to that group.
Begin by figuring out your ideal reader, if you haven't already done this. Do most of them have at least one other hobby or trait in common? Do they all read other authors in your genre? What kind of people are you trying to entice into buying your book? Choose your giveaway prize based on these ideas.
Keep in mind that anyone can enter your giveaway. Some people even make a habit of entering every single new giveaway that Amazon offers, just to try to win something. This means you'll get a certain percentage of people on your list who are not your audience. That's all right. By choosing your prize intelligently, you can increase the odds of your future fans being on that list. Some great ideas are:
- A copy of a new bestseller in your genre, by a hugely popular author. This is great for gathering readers of books like yours
- A Kindle or Kindle Fire tablet. You'll get a bigger percentage of people who aren't your readers, but you'll also get thousands of people on the list who might take a chance on a new genre or author
- Products that tie in with your readers' interests. Are they all fans of your Corgi sidekick? Maybe a Corgi coffee mug or tote bag
- Products that tie in with your main character. Does she drink a certain type of tea? Does she always wear a certain type of jewelry or t-shirt? Give away something like your MC would wear
The Nuts and Bolts
Go to Amazon and do a search for your prize item. Click on the item page and scroll down below the reviews to where it says "Set Up an Amazon Giveaway." Click on the setup button, then choose the number of copies you want to give away. Decide the details about your giveaway, such as how often you want someone to win (every 600th person or 750th person, for instance), fill in your author name and information, and click the button that requires entrants to follow your Author Central profile. Click on public discoverability at the bottom of the form to allow Amazon to offer this giveaway to all of their customers. Click the Next button to set up the giveaway, preview it, and check out to pay for your copies of the prizes.
Amazon will add your giveaway to their list, take care of all administration, and will even ship the prize to your winners at the end of the giveaway. All you have to do is keep writing and publishing, and Amazon will add a new layer of marketing every time you publish a new book.
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!