Category Archives: Amazon Publishing

7 Lessons Learned Building a $10k a Month Online Business In 12 Months

I’ve been focusing on my books and have published over a dozen books in the last year, started a publishing company and already have more clients than I can handle and am now earning about $10k a month from my ebook royalties alone. It’s been a fun ride!

So I wanted to share some lessons I’ve learned in the past year and hope it might inspire you.

1) Focus

I’ve started over 10 businesses since I was 13 and have always had the habit of starting many projects. That’s a perfectly fine habit, but the habit of finishing a project is very important as well. Make sure you finish what you start! Like that book you’ve been writing

2) Start Small, Grow Fast

Start small with a new info product or business. Launch something small and see how the market likes it. Get feedback from your early customers and make your product even better. I see people try to launch $2,000 courses as their first product and I think it’s a bit backwards. Why not start with the top of the funnel instead of the bottom? You’ll learn a lot more that way because you’ll have a lot more customers to teach you.

3) Get a Damn Good Team

I’ve had 6 VA’s and they all were mediocre at best until I found my most recent one. I wouldn’t give him up for anything! Keep looking until you find the right people for your team. The same thing goes with attorneys, consultants, coaches, etc. Don’t settle for mediocre, look for the best.

4) Integrate What Works

I’ve been using Facebook to build my list for a few years but now with my ebooks, I’m generating thousands of dollars in sales using Facebook because I’m leveraging the power of two marketing systems (Kindle free books and Facebook promoted posts/ads).

5) Reinvest

Once you start getting good cashflow from your products, reinvest in your business! If your ads are working, do more ads. Hire better team members. Don’t just spend your money on crap you don’t need – reinvest it in your business to create a better product for your customers and increase your marketing.

6) Kill Distractions

The worst kind of distractions are the ones you think are good for you. The person who asks to talk about a new business proposal or the wide-eyed marketer who has the next million dollar idea for you. In my experience, 99% of the time these people lead you nowhere but down an empty path of wasted time. You don’t need another million dollar idea or proposal to grow your business. Just focus on giving your customers what they want. Don’t just give everyone your time because they want it. Pretty soon, you won’t have any time left to work on the really important stuff.

7) Always Be Promoting

Even if you’re answering questions for people, writing a blog post or talking with a stranger at the mall, always be promoting! You never know who could refer that next huge client or business partner. Let people know what you’re up to and how you help your customers. Treat everyone like they’re important regardless of their current financial or social position.

Speaking of marketing, my book Facebook For Business Owners is now FREE on Amazon.com only until Feb. 13. You can grab your copy here: http://viewBook.at/B009PPCPUE

Facebook for Business Owners book

In this book, you’ll learn how to create an awesome Facebook Fan Page and use it to effectively market your business on Facebook.

You do NOT need a Kindle to read the book! You can still read it for free on any computer or tablet using Amazon’s free software available here: http://amzn.to/13aluuF

Make sure to share this post with your friends so they can learn too!

Kindle Publishing and Marketing FAQ

What Kindle cover designer(s) do you recommend?

For Kindle: use Fiverr.com, it’s just $5 (there are dozens of good designers there and if you’re ever unhappy with a cover, just ask for a refund – you will get it 99% of the time on Fiverr).

For Paperback: I use Robin at http://www.gobookcoverdesign.com

Can you give me some advice about (kindle marketing, publishing, facebook marketing, twitter marketing, etc.)?

No! Your question is way too vague. I get asked these vague questions about 10 times a day. If you want a good answer, ask a specific question or just do the research on your own. There is no easy way out. “Don’t be lazy in learning” as my mentor Jim Rohn taught me many years ago.

Who should I talk to at Amazon customer service about (my problem)?

I have no idea. Honestly, Amazon customer service for authors is horrible in my opinion.

You can contact KDP support about Kindle books here: https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/contact-us

You can contact Author Central support here: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help/contact-us?

How do you publish a book on Kindle?

Go to https://kdp.amazon.com, create an account, add your bank information and upload your book.

For more detailed instructions, read The Kindle Formatting Bible: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AHO9R1M/

How do you format a book for Kindle?

It’s complicated. I recommend using Microsoft Word. I use a PC. Microsoft Word for Mac is completely different so I can’t help with any Mac Word formatting questions but I know that some people here can: https://www.facebook.com/groups/587402377941733/

For more detailed Kindle formatting instructions step by step, read The Kindle Formatting Bible: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AHO9R1M/

How long should a Kindle book be?

There is no minimum or maximum. I’ve seen 5 page books on Kindle and I’ve seen 1028 page books there.

Personally, I recommend at least 10,000 words for nonfiction, unless you can do it justice in less.

For fiction, I recommend 5,000 or more. Some people like to read short stories for 99 cents, go figure.

Your book length should be determined by its usefulness to the reader, not your personal agenda. Always remember to give your readers what they want! That’s how you become a successful author. Everything else is secondary.

How many books have you written?

As of January 18, 2013, on Amazon there are 18 books in my name. I’ve written several more under pen names. I also hire writers to write books for my publishing company. Overall, I’ve published more than 50 books to date.

How do you market Kindle books successfully and become a bestselling author?

My ENTIRE marketing system is included in my books. I literally hold nothing back from my readers. If I ever find a new marketing idea, I always test it out myself first, and if it’s good I edit one of my current books to update it with that new info. If I accumulate enough new marketing ideas, I may publish a new book but for right now, I’m just focusing on making my current books as incredibly valuable as possible for my loyal readers like you.

The first book in the series is The Kindle Writing Bible and in it I share all my writing secrets for increased writing productivity as well as my pre-marketing system (how I come up with bestselling book ideas, market research before even writing a book, etc.).

The second book is The Kindle Formatting Bible – it’s a step by step guide for formatting books for Kindle and also step-by-step instructions on uploading your book to kindle and publishing it.

The third book is The Kindle Publishing Bible and this is the gold mine for marketing. It covers all of my core initial free marketing strategies that propelled me to become a bestselling author earning a full-time income from my Kindle books in less than 8 months. It’s available on Kindle and in paperback.

The fourth marketing book is The Amazon Analytics Bible and in it I share my secret code for tracking traffic to your Kindle book page. You can actually track every single time a visitor looks at your book page and using this data you can calculate your sales conversion rate of your book page. Using this strategy with a little testing and tweaking, I’ve gotten my sales conversion rate on my book pages from an average of 11.4% to 19.1% – that’s a 67% increase in sales!

The final marketing book is Ninja Book Marketing Strategies which covers 8 powerful free book marketing strategies that will help your sell way more books in just 8 days. All of these strategies I discovered after I had already had a lot of success on Kindle but they helped me bump up my sales even more in a very short period of time so I decided to put them all in one affordable little book that will help you skyrocket your sales.

Is it tough to get sales on Kindle? Can I really succeed as a Kindle author?

Selling books on Kindle is easy for me. It doesn’t mean it will be easy for you. If you read the Kindle Bible series though, I think you will see how doable it is for you.

Like any real success in life, it takes work, determination, a burning desire, passion, knowledge and skills and a never-give-up attitude. If you’re lazy or just want to get rich quick, please don’t bother.

If you’re someone with a real passion for writing, a message to share or a story to tell, then Kindle publishing could change your life forever and I would encourage you to explore this route to help your readers with your great message and/or stories.

Will you promote / tag / like / share / read / review my book?

No, sorry. First of all, I don’t believe in review swapping. This is where two authors decide to leave each other 5 star reviews so they can both sell more books. I believe it’s unethical and I take a strong stance against that in The Kindle Publishing Bible series.

I get hundreds of requests like this a month and, although I want nothing more than to help my readers, I wouldn’t have any time to write or spend time with my family if I had to read all these books and help promote them. Instead, I’ve given you all the tools and resources in my books you need to get LEGITIMATE reviews ethically from readers and Top 1000 Amazon reviewers. I’ve also given you step-by-step marketing systems and solutions to promote your books ethically using KDP Select Free promotions to get massive exposure and much more.

Where can I find a proofreader / editor / writer / ghostwriter / formatting person?

I recommend posting a request on Craigslist San Francisco in the writer’s gig section (it’s free to post there). You’ll get dozens of qualified responses. Be smart though! Always get at least 3 quotes minimum and call references. Never pay in full upfront for any service. Always pay on delivery to avoid losing your money.

If you’re hiring a writer, make sure to get a Work For Hire contract signed and get legal advice from an attorney! I am not an attorney and I can’t give legal advice, this entire post is all just for entertainment purposes and should never be construed as financial, legal or tax advice of any kind. <3 my lawyers.

Can I interview you for (insert show, product, program)?

For media interviews, just contact me using the Contact form on this site. Make sure to include the name of the media outlet and audience size.

If you want to interview me for some kind of product launch, please only contact me if you’re an experienced marketer and have done several successful launches before.

Can you publish my books for me?

Although I do publish books for others on occasion with a 50/50 royalty split, right now my client waiting list is astronomical. Priority is given to clients with:

A huge online following or existing platform

Leading experts in their field who have multiple completed books that are yet unpublished

Really good marketers with a lot of experience in online marketing, a big marketing budget and are new to Kindle and publishing or just want someone to do all the editing / formatting  / publishing for them and help with the marketing campaign.

If you fit one of these categories, feel free to send me a message with your expected date of finishing your book(s) and, if it fits, we can work something out.

Should I publish my book in Paperback?

I highly recommend publishing your book as a paperback if it’s at least 75 pages on Kindle (that will be about 100 pages in paperback or so when you change the formatting over) and your book is currently selling over $1,000/m (then it will be a quick payback on your investment).

Having a published paperback is awesome because it because it’s a great physical representation of your work as an author and it provides a lot more credibility than saying you publish ebooks because people can’t see, touch or feel your ebooks, especially at live events, social situations or in 1-on-1 meetings.

Here’s a picture with me and two of my friends who received the first copies of my book The Kindle Publishing Bible in paperback. Erai and Raam are both extremely successful online marketers and I’m really grateful to have the opportunity to help both of them publish their great content, advice and message on Kindle.

Paperback Book Kindle Publishing

I use CreateSpace for paperback publishing because it’s super easy, syncs with Amazon Kindle listings seamlessly and it’s POD (Print on Demand) meaning no upfront investment for printing.

Can you give me advice on my book title, marketing, categories, keywords, Facebook ads, building a marketing funnel, etc?

If you want specific advice and coaching, my schedule is currently booked but you can add yourself to the waiting list using the contact form on this site. My hourly rate for consulting is $500 an hour, payable upfront.

What advice would you give to an author who really wants to succeed?

If you’re serious about being a successful author or Kindle publisher, you better connect with other like-minded people and learn from each other! There is no success without continual learning and improvement and you can’t do that just by reading books alone – you need a community to support you! Here are just a few of the groups I’m in that I recommend:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/587402377941733

https://www.facebook.com/groups/357112331027292

https://www.facebook.com/groups/204725947524

 

 

Here’s to your success!

Tom Corson-Knowles

 

How To Sell More Ebooks On Kindle – Steve Scott Bestselling Author Interview

In today’s podcast show, I interview Steve Scott, a successful blogger, affiliate marketer and best-selling Kindle Author. Steve and I are both consistently ranked in the Top 50 Business & Investing Kindle Authors on Amazon.com. In this interview, Steve shares his marketing secrets for success as a Kindle ebook author.

In the show, Steve mentions a list of Freebie sites you can use to promote your free KDP Select promotion dates. All of these sites are free to list on:

Post 7 days ahead if possible:
http://www.pixelofink.com/sfkb/
http://ereadernewstoday.com/ent-free-book-submissions/
http://bargainebookhunter.com/contact-us/
http://www.thatbookplace.com/free-promo-submissions/
http://indiebookoftheday.com/authors/free-on-kindle-listing/
http://www.freebookdude.com/p/list-your-free-book.html
http://the-cheap.net/authors/free-promotion-opportunities/share-your-deal/
http://awesomegang.com/submit-your-book/
http://www.fkbooksandtips.com/for-authors/
http://thefrugalereader.wufoo.com/forms/frugal-freebie-submissions/
http://kindlefinds.com/submissions/submission-form-kdp-free-day
http://ebookshabit.com/for-authors/
http://www.freebookshub.com/authors/
http://www.ebooksfreedaily.com/?page_id=16
http://ebooklister.net/submit.php
http://www.centsibleereads.com/p/for-authors.html
http://www.mediabistro.com/appnewser/category/free-ebooks
https://www.facebook.com/galleycat/app_362465080506455
http://onehundredfreebooks.com/contact.html

Post 24 Hours in Advance or on the morning of your promotion:

http://snickslist.com/books/place-ad/
http://www.freebookclub.org/kindle-books/book-submissions/
http://addictedtoebooks.com/free
http://www.daily-free-ebooks.com/suggest-free-ebook
http://dailycheapreads.com/category/free/
http://www.ereaderiq.com/contact/
http://www.bestebooksworld.com/addlinks.asp

Steve also mentions Pat Flynn’s Facebook Group for Kindle authors: https://www.facebook.com/groups/357112331027292

Steve mentions a lot more great marketing resources, tips and strategies including how to choose a best-selling book title, keyword research, using Author Central to market your books and much, much more!

Learn more about Steve at http://www.ebooksbysteve.com andhttp://www.stevescottsite.com

Come join The Kindle Publishing Bible group on Facebook here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/587402377941733

My new book The Amazon Analytics Bible is now on sale for just 99 cents on Kindle only until January 18th! You can grab your discounted copy here:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B0QX1HW/

Post your comments, questions and success stories below!

The Amazon Analytics Bible Now On Sale On Amazon.com!

My new book The Amazon Analytics Bible is now only 99 cents on Amazon.com! Grab your copy here: http://viewBook.at/B00B0QX1HW

In this book, you will learn how to track traffic to your Amazon Kindle book page using a secret trick I stumbled upon on accident. You’ll also learn how to calculate your sales conversion rate on your book page using this new data and how to test and tweak your book page to increase your sales. Using this simple strategy, in only 30 days I increased my book sales conversion rate from 11.4% to 19.1% – that’s a 67% increase in sales from one simple change!!

Amazon Analytics Book

You do NOT need a Kindle to read the book! You can still read it without a Kindle on any computer or tablet using Amazon’s free software available here: http://amzn.to/13aluuF

How To Generate Great Online Content That Increases Sales

I’ve found one of the best ways to generate useful, high quality content is to simply listen to your prospects and customers and see what problems they’re having. Then, you simply solve their problem using a video, audio, blog post or whatever form of content you want to use. You can do this really easily using Twitter search or a 3rd party Twitter search site like Twinitor.com (you don’t even need a Twitter account to use it).

In Twitter search, just type a question such as “your niche” + “help?” For example, “nutrition help?” “web design help?”, etc. This will pop up Tweets from people who are asking questions and need help in your area of expertise. Then you can just answer their questions in a blog post or video, or you can Tweet them and get to know more details about how they need help and turn it into more advanced tutorials and guides, like an ebook or even a training course or seminar.

Want more great marketing tips? My new book 101 Ways To Start A Business For Less Than $1,000 is now free on Amazon.com until January 9th. Grab your copy today!

101 Ways to start a business cover

A List Of My Published Books To Date

For those of you who are interested, here’s a list of my current published books on Amazon to date. All of them are available on Amazon Kindle or any Kindle reading device. You can download the free Kindle reading software for any computer, tablet or smartphone here. Enjoy!

Business Books:

The Kindle Publishing Bible

How To Sell More Kindle Ebooks In 7 Days

I Believe Kindle Publishing Should Be Fun, Profitable And Very, Very Easy

If you want your book to become a Kindle best seller I can show you how!

Facebook For Business Owners

How To Grow Your Business Using Facebook

Learn how to get over 500 new Facebook fans every month and turn your fans into lifelong customers using this proven strategy for Facebook marketing and monetization.

57 Hot Business Marketing Strategies

I Believe Marketing Should Be Easy, Fun And Very, Very Profitable

Unfortunately, most business owners struggle just to get enough customers to get by. Why do so many fail while others succeed?

It’s all about marketing! Your marketing will either make or break your business.

How To Make Money With Twitter

Learn how to get 3000 targeted leads a month for your business in just 15 minutes a day on Twitter – and turn them into paying customers!

I’m not going to waste your time explaining theory, statistics or the philosophy of social media marketing in the modern age (BORING!) – I’m just going to show you how to get targeted traffic from Twitter starting TODAY!

The Kindle Formatting Bible

How To Create Perfectly Formatted Kindle Books For Free With Microsoft Word

I Believe Kindle Formatting Should Be Fun, Profitable And Very, Very Easy

You can publish your own Kindle ebooks without spending a fortune on formatting!

The Blog Business Book

I Believe Blogging Should Be Easy, Fun and Rewarding Financially, Emotionally and Spiritually

Learn the secrets for creating, growing and monetizing your blog

Written by a successful blogger and online marketer, this guide will teach you what to do step-by-step.

Rich By 22

I Believe Early Retirement Is Possible For Anyone Who’s Willing To Learn

You too can retire early thanks to the new economy and the wisdom, strategies and advice shared in this book

If I can retire by age 22 after just 3 years in business, anyone can!

The Network Marketing Manual

ow To Earn A Full-Time Income In Your Spare Time!

You Too Can Live The Life Of Your Dreams Thanks To Network Marketing.

If a 19 year old shy kid like me can earn a full-time income in 3 years anyone can!

How To Reduce Your Debt Overnight

You Too Can Reduce Your Debt Overnight With A Simple 5-Minute Phone Call

Learn the secrets for getting out of credit card debt FAST and getting your finances back in order

Written by the owner of a credit card debt company, this guide shares insider secrets your credit card company doesn’t want you to know about!

Nutrition and Gardening:

Urban Gardening

How To Grow An Urban Garden In Any City With Little or No Space

I Believe Every Person On This Planet Can Grow Their Own Food Using These Proven Urban Gardening Techniques

You could be just months away from a harvest of delicious, fresh organic food from your urban garden.

Dr. Corson’s Top 5 Nutrition Tips

We Believe Good Health and Natural Weight Loss Should Be Easy, Fun and Delicious!

Dr. Candace Corson has spent over 20 years researching natural solutions for weight loss and chronic disease.

Thousands of patients, clients and friends have lost weight and turned around chronic diseases like diabetes.

The Vertical Gardening Guidebook

How To Grow A Vertical Garden Anywhere

You too can grow a gorgeous vertical garden at home indoors, outdoors or even on your rooftop!

Growing your very own vertical garden is easier than you think.

How Small Kindle Authors Can Sell More Books Than Celebrities

Something interesting happened today on Amazon.com… I was looking at one of my books and noticed my Author Rank is #84 in Business & Investing (one of the most competitive categories on Amazon).

The funny thing? On the same page at #90 is Suze Orman, a celebrity personal finance author who published her first book in 1995. And who am I? Just some 25 year old kid who figured out how to sell ebooks on Amazon (it’s a lot easier than you think!).

Amazon Author Rank #84 Business & Investing picture

Me, an unknown, self published author who published his first book 8 months ago now sells more Business & Investing Kindle ebooks than Suze Orman.

Suze has had a talk show for 11 years and done hundreds if not thousands of interviews on national TV and radio. Me? I’ve never been on TV or been interviewed on a traditional radio station (I’ve only done a few web TV, podcasts and online radio interviews).

Suze has a huge PR firm and contacts with all the top media people in the country. Me? I use HARO (it’s free).

Suze and her publishers have a huge marketing budget for her books. Me? I spend less than $100 a month marketing my 10+ ebooks.

Suze has name recognition across most of the western world. Me? If you know who Tom Corson-Knowles is, you’re one of the lucky few 🙂

Suze Orman #90 Business & Investing picture

Suze Orman is at #90 in the Business & Investing Author Rank category for Kindle books.

What’s my point? My point is ANYONE can succeed with ebook publishing today on Amazon. You don’t need a lot of money for marketing or book design. You don’t need a huge PR firm or to do hundreds of interviews on national TV or radio. You don’t need a publisher (you’re better off self-publishing!). You don’t need a “platform” or brand name recognition. You don’t need to have been an author for dozens of years. And it doesn’t have to be hard, either!

Want to learn how to succeed as a self published Kindle author? I’ll teach you everything I know in my book The Kindle Publishing Bible now on sale at Amazon.com for just $5.97. Grab your copy today – it will change your life!

KindlePublishingBible_TomCorsonKnowles picture

Learn how to sell more Kindle books than Suze Orman!

How To Sell More Kindle Ebooks – Best-Selling Author Bev Flaxington Interview

Want to learn how to sell more Kindle ebooks on Amazon? I’m starting a series of interviews with bestselling self published Kindle authors who are going to share their secrets of self-publishing success with the world. Excited?

Well today we just posted the first author interview! I interviewed Bev Flaxington, International Bestselling and Gold-award winning author of Understanding Other People. Bev shares her secrets of self publishing success. In her best month, she earned over $12,000 in royalties! Who said you can’t earn a great living as a self published author?

In the interview, Bev shares her strategies for success, including investing in creating a professional book with a high quality book cover, professional editing and graphics. Bev also blogs regularly to promote her work as an author and does as much PR as possible. She has now hired a PR firm to help with media exposure, using her book royalties to pay for the investment.

Bev recommends using free publicity sources including HARO, ReporterConnection and PitchRate. Bev says chunk it down with your nonfiction books – less is more! Don’t overwhelm readers with too much content – just give them what they need and leave out the fluff.

You can watch the interview with Bev below!

Want to learn how to sell more Kindle books on Amazon? Get your copy of the bestselling book The Kindle Publishing Bible today: http://amzn.to/U4E5TV

23 Free Sites To Promote Your Free Kindle Books On Amazon

List of Free Kindle Promotion Sites

The first 17 sites you MUST submit your book to at least one week in advance or they might not list it. Always plan your KDP promotions ahead of time so you can promote them effectively!

1) Pixel of Ink http://www.pixelofink.com/sfkb

2) Ereader News Today http://ereadernewstoday.com/ent-free-book-submissions

3) Bargain Ebook Hunter http://bargainebookhunter.com/contact-us

4) That Book Place http://www.thatbookplace.com/free-promo-submissions

5) Free Kindle Fiction http://freekindlefiction.blogspot.com (Only for Fiction books)

6) Indie Book of the Day http://indiebookoftheday.com/authors/free-on-kindle-listing

7) Free Book Dude http://www.freebookdude.com/p/list-your-free-book.html

8) The-Cheap.net http://the-cheap.net/authors/free-promotion-opportunities/share-your-deal

9) Awesome Gang http://awesomegang.com/submit-your-book

10) Free Kindle Books & Tips http://www.fkbooksandtips.com/for-authors

10) FreeBookClub.org http://freebookclub.org/

11) The Frugal Reader http://thefrugalereader.wufoo.com/forms/frugal-freebie-submissions

12) Kindle Finds http://kindlefinds.com/submissions/submission-form-kdp-free-day

13) Ebooksfreedaily http://www.ebooksfreedaily.com/?page_id=16

14) Ebooklister http://ebooklister.net/submit.php

15) Centsibleereads http://www.centsibleereads.com/p/for-authors.html

16) Freebookshub http://www.freebookshub.com/authors/

17) Ebookshabit http://ebookshabit.com/for-authors/

Free Kindle Sites On Day 1 Of Your Promo

These last 6 sites you must wait until the day of or the day before your promotion to list your book.

1) Snicklist.com http://snickslist.com/books/place-ad

2) Addiction To Ebooks http://addictedtoebooks.com/free

3) Daily Free Ebooks http://www.daily-free-ebooks.com/suggest-free-ebook

4) Daily Cheap Reads http://dailycheapreads.com/category/free/

5) Ereader IQ http://www.ereaderiq.com/contact/

6) Best Ebooks World http://www.bestebooksworld.com/addlinks.asp

How To Sell More Kindle Ebooks Using Proper Keyword Research and Tags

The following is an excerpt from my new book The Kindle Publishing Bible available only on Amazon.

Categories are the second most important way new browsers on Amazon will find your book (unless you reach Amazon’s Top 100 overall list). But the largest source of traffic to your book page and sales from Amazon itself will be due to Amazon search.

Luckily, Amazon allows you to have some control over how your book appears in the Amazon Kindle Store search results. You can influence the search results by first of all doing your keyword research and putting your desired search keywords in your book’s tags, title and description.

In this chapter we’ll cover the exact process you can use for keyword research to choose the keywords that will lead to the most sales and then we’ll discuss how to add these keywords to your book’s tags.

Amazon Keyword Research

If you’ve ever done keyword research before for SEO purposes, this is a very similar process. For those of you who are totally new to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it’s a very simple process and I’m going to walk you through it step-by-step so that you can apply it to your book page to sell more books.
The first thing you must do is keyword research.

Step 1. Google Keyword Research

Go to adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool and search for a general keyword related to your topic. First of all, you will have to login to your Google account if you haven’t already.

I’ll use this book as an example. One of my keywords, I know, will be “how to sell more kindle books” so I’m going to type that keyword phrase into the Google Keyword Tool:

The next thing you must do is click the [Exact] button on the left side of the screen under the “Match Types” category:

It’s very important that you use Exact Match when searching for keywords. This tells Google that you want data for EXACT search terms – meaning Google will count the number of times someone typed in the exact words “how to sell more kindle books” – otherwise the data will be skewed with searches related to your search which doesn’t help you choose the right keyword.

Next, click the “Global Monthly Searches” bar to sort the keyword by the most searched.

With this search, Google gave me the following keywords which I think MIGHT help me sell more books (each of these keywords gets over 1,000 global monthly Exact searches on Google):

how to write a book
how to publish a book
self publishing
sell books online
writing a book
how to get published
kindle self publishing
write a book
selling books online
publish your own book
how to publish an ebook
how to write an ebook
book marketing
how to self publish a book
how to self publish
getting a book published

The next step is to use Amazon search to see which searches Amazon recommends.

Step 2. Amazon Keyword Research

Now that we have our preliminary list of keywords from Google, let’s head on over to Amazon.com’s Kindle Store search to see what Amazon recommends to searchers.

Make sure you search ONLY in the Amazon Kindle store when doing Amazon keyword research because otherwise your results will be skewed. You can access the Kindle Store only search function here: http://amzn.to/RLGyUr

Once I’m on Amazon’s Kindle Store, I’m going to type in my keywords into the search box. Notice how Amazon almost immediately starts recommending keywords and searches to me:

I simply wrote “how to write” and Amazon returned 10 other keywords and search terms including “how to write a book” and “how to write a novel” among others.

This means my keyword “how to write a book” is not only recommended by Google search, it’s also recommended by Amazon search! Meaning this is a GREAT keyword and I should definitely consider using this keyword in my book’s title, description and tags. Why? Because Amazon browsers AND Google searchers are both using this keyword to search for something – like my book!

Step 3. Keyword Relevance Check

The final step for keyword research is very subjective – this is the “art” of keyword research so to speak. My book isn’t technically about how to write a book – it’s really about how to sell more books on Amazon’s Kindle platform.

So if someone types into Amazon’s search box “how to write a book” and my book appeared, would they really want to click on it and buy it?
Now, you could argue either way. You could theorize that if someone is trying to figure out how to write a book then they will also want to know how to sell more books on Amazon Kindle and will therefore be very interested in my book. So this is a great keyword!

You could also argue that someone who’s searching for “how to write a book” isn’t yet ready to learn how to publish on Kindle because they first need to learn how to write their book before they can publish and sell it!

Which argument do you think is better? Should I use that keyword or not to try to attract more book sales?

Want to know my opinion? Check out my book page on Amazon and see if I used the keyword or not in my tags, title and/or book description!

What You Need To Know About Choosing Keywords

You might feel like I’m “leaving something out” here about choosing keywords but I’m not. That’s really all you need to know to use them to sell more books. The problem is that there’s a huge grey area – the area where your subjective opinion about what Amazon users are searching for meet the objective numbers from the Google Adwords Keyword Tool.

Here’s my opinion: If you get stuck trying to choose one keyword over another that you found through either the Google Keyword Tool or Amazon Search suggestions, just choose the one. It doesn’t matter. Don’t get stuck in the nitty gritty. Don’t get “paralysis by analysis” as so many of us perfectionists tend to do. At the end of the day, one good keyword tag is better than not having any tags at all.

“An imperfect plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.” – General George Patton

And the good news is you can always change your tags later if you change your mind or if the search results change.

Again, I want to caution you about spending too much time on keyword selection. Find your keywords on Google and Amazon, choose 15 or so you think are the best, tag your book and be done with it knowing confidently in your heart that it’s better to have mediocre tags than no tags and you can always change it later.

How To Add Your Keywords To Your Book Tags

Once you’ve completed the above 3-step process and created a list of 15-30 high quality, relevant keywords for your book, it’s time to add your top 15 keywords to your book tags (Amazon only allows 15 book tags per user).

You can only tag your book once it’s published. Then just go to your book page on Amazon and scroll down until you see the section “Tags Customers Associate With This Product.”

Here you can add up to 15 tags.

Each tag should be a unique keyword phrase that you did research on before. Add your top 15 tags to your book and voila! You’re all done.

How To Get More Than 15 Tags

Let’s say you did very thorough keyword research and found 27 ideal keywords that you would love to use for your book. Well, you can’t fit all those keywords into your 15 tag limit! So you’re going to have to find someone else who would be willing to tag your book for you.

You can call a close friend or business partner and ask them to tag your book with the extra keywords. I highly recommend doing this – the more keyword tags you have, the more likely you are to have your book appear in search results and the more sales you will generate.

Your 7 Search Keywords

In addition to tags on your book page, Amazon allows you to choose 7 search keywords to add to your book when you upload it to Kindle. If you want to change these 7 search keywords at any time, just edit your book and change them.

Whereas any customer or Amazon user can tag your book with any tag they see fit, only you, the author, can choose these 7 search keywords and tell Amazon what keywords are important for your book – so choose the top seven keywords you think will lead to the most sales for you!

Search Example

I want to give you an example of keyword searches in Amazon’s Kindle store so you can get a feel for how it works. I searched for “love” and received 77,727 results! That’s a LOT of competition for that keyword – which should be expected because it’s such a common word and it’s a one-word keyword. Keyword phrases with multiple words will be naturally less competitive – and more conducive to increasing your sales.

Next, I searched for “How To Love A Pet” and Amazon only gave me 14 results for this search, meaning it’s MUCH less competitive and easier to rank highly for.

Notice that the keyword phrase “How to love a pet” is so much more targeted and narrowed down than the general keyword “love.” It’s a lot more specific. Remember that someone who types “love” into a search box might just be browsing or researching – but someone who types in a specific phrase like “how to write an ebook” is much more likely to be a buyer because they’re looking for something very specific.

Ideally, you want high quality relevant keywords for your tags that are also not highly competitive. How do you know if it’s highly competitive? Well, the easiest way is to just check your own search results for your keywords after 2-3 weeks on Amazon. Does your book come up in the top 10 or farther down the list? If your book is in the top 10, congratulations! You’re likely to get sales from that keyword if it’s well-chosen. If you’re much farther down then you may need to wait longer for your book to rise up in the search results.

Note: Amazon, unlike other search engines, ranks search results not just by “keyword relevance” but also by sales rankings. What does that mean? Well, Amazon wants to sell more books so they have a part of their search results algorithm that calculates how many copies your book has sold and compares it to others in the search results. The bottom line is that if you sell more books, your search results in Amazon will improve over time. This benefits Amazon because they sell more books and it benefits you because you sell more books when you follow the strategies in this book!

After you’ve tagged your book with your ideal keywords, wait 2-3 weeks and then search for your 15 or more keywords that you and your friend tagged your book with. If you’re appearing in the top 10 of those keywords, congratulations! That is a great keyword for your book and is likely going to lead to new sales.

If you find your book is not in the top 10 or top 20 search results, then that keyword is too competitive for your book right now. At this point, you have choices. Either you can change the tag to a different keyword and test it out or you can add that competitive keyword to your book’s title or description as we will cover in the coming chapters.

Different Tags for Different Versions

By the way, different versions of a book will have different tags. For example, a book published in paperback as well as Kindle will have different and separate tags for the paperback sales page and the Kindle sales page. So make sure you utilize good relevant tags for each version of your book!
The same holds true for books in different Amazon store countries like the US, UK, Germany, Italy and Japan!

Action Steps

Do your keyword research for Google and Amazon and add your keyword tags to your book.

This was an excerpt from my new book The Kindle Publishing Bible available only on Amazon.