Self-Publishing on Amazon: Categories & Keywords

AmazonWhen publishing your book on Amazon, it’s important to choose your categories and keywords carefully.
Take into consideration not only what best describes your books but also what will maximize the chances that a reader who is browsing through the Kindle store will find your books,” says Author M. Louise Locke.
The categories and keywords that you select can have a big impact on visibility and sales. When you upload your book into KDP, they only give you the more general categories to choose from. There are secret categories are not selectable in the KDP dashboard… For this reason, they have lower competition than the available ones on the Amazon dashboard. Here’s an article that explains it well:
By carefully choosing your category, you make it much more likely that a reader will find your book. The smaller the category, the less competition and more of a chance to be found by a potential reader. When someone is browsing for a book on Amazon, each time they go one step further down the hierarchical categories, there are fewer books to browse. You want to choose one of these lower competition categories.
In Let’s Get Visible, David Gaughran says::
There are a huge number of books in Fiction (over 1,000,000). Choosing Fiction as a category is a waste because: electing a subcategory of Fiction will get you into the Fiction category as well. Even if you drill down several levels to choose something like Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Political, your book will still show in all of the top-level categories above the one you have chosen (i.e. Fiction; Mystery, Thriller & Suspense; Thrillers). In other words, when you pick something more specific like that, you are multiplying your potential visibility opportunities rather than restricting them. Also, where possible, it is advantageous to opt for two distinct categories to maximize visibility, rather than choosing two categories that are both roots of the same top-level category.
Mystery & Thrillers is one of the most competitive categories in the Kindle Store, second only to Romance. Appearing on any Mystery & Thrillers list is a serious challenge that requires impressive sales—something that might be beyond most writers until they have several titles out and have built a dedicated following. However, with a little poking around in the subcategories, you can identify some that don’t need very many sales at all. Technothriller is one, and Mystery > Series is another. Neither is selectable from the KDP interface, so there aren’t many books in either category. You might be wondering how to get into these categories if you can’t select them from the KDP dashboard. It’s pretty simple. Email KDP through the dashboard with the full path of the category you wish to appear in (e.g. Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > Series). If you get a confusing or incorrect response, you must persist. It may take multiple exchanges, but you will get it resolved eventually—and it’s worth it.
It can be helpful to switch up your category every so often – in order to reach new potential readers. Changing categories can introduce your work to a whole new group of readers. Identify a number of alternative categories for your book, so that you have options to try.
Here is the full list of categories you can choose from:

Where To Sell Your Book Online

author writingHave you just finished writing your book but have no idea where to publish and sell it online? Self-publishing is easy, and the route that most authors are taking nowadays.
Publishing your book on Amazon is a great place to start, since the Kindle has become so popular and Amazon is a well-known and trusted site. You can use CreateSpace to publish your book in paperback, and/or KDP to publish your book on kindle. Publishing your book on Amazon is fast, easy, and free. You can make changes to your book at any time, distribute globally, and publish in multiple languages.
Barnes and Noble
Barnes and Noble has made a place for self-publishing writers called NOOK Press, where you can publish your book in eBook or print. Self-publishing your book through NOOK Press is simple. They give you everything you need to create, edit, and sell your books. It’s easy to sign up and try out the features, such as writing, editing, formatting, and collaborating. Just like all other sites, they will charge you a percentage for your sales but is otherwise free to use.
Smashwords is another site that allows you to publish and sell your eBook. The great thing about Smashwords is that it not only publishes your eBook on that site but also on many others. It allows you to distribute your eBook to sites like IBookstore, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Sony, and many others. You will get 80% from sales made from Smashwords and 60% from sales made on the other sites.
Your Own Website or Blog
If you want your book to be easily found by your target audience in search engines like Google and Yahoo, it is important to have a website or blog specifically for the book. On your website, you can sell copies, link to online sellers of your book like the ones mentioned above, and include more information about the book including events, news, reviews, press, social media, etc.

How to Publish Ebooks to Grow Your Business

ebooks for businessAre you planning to offer ebooks as part of your overall content marketing strategy? Are you considering creating long-form content and offering it for free in exchange for an email address or subscription to your company newsletter? Ebooks are an incredible marketing outreach tool that can offer your customers a long-lasting helpful resource while providing your business essential contact data for further future engagement opportunities. Whether you plan to offer free how-to books as part of your content marketing outreach efforts or you want to integrate ebooks into your revenue-generation efforts, there are a number of essential tools that you can use during the publishing process. If this is the year you make the push to ebook marketing, following are a few must-have tools for your publishing resources list:
Convert to Clean HTML
If you plan to create your business’ ebooks in Microsoft Word, the Convert to Clean HTML site is another handy publishing tool you’ll want in your arsenal. Simply copy/paste your ebook content onto this nifty site and you’ll automatically receive clean HTML data for uploading to your publishing interface. There are a number of conversion customization options including the ability to replace non-ascii data.
Smart Formatting
The Smart Formatting PDF offers details on formatting guidelines for CreateSpace, Smashwords, and Kindle. Discover the proper settings you should be using in Microsoft Word, the word styles that work best, and even the appropriate way to block paragraphs. Be sure to bookmark this handy PDF document for ebook writers as you’ll likely return to it numerous times for guidance.
3DIssue lets you create content for distribution in a number of formats including ebooks, content hubs, and flipbooks. Whether you want to offer a how-to ebook to your email subscribers or policy and procedures ebook to your new hires, 3DIssue makes the process easy. Features include audio clip integration, text-to-speech capabilities, and ePub3 compliance to make sure your content renders properly.
Creating business ebooks is made easier when you have the right publishing tools at your disposal. It is essential that you have a thorough list of resources before you attempt to create your first publication. Jumping in without knowing proper publishing procedures can leave you feeling frustrated and disheartened. If you want to maximize the potential of your ebook publishing efforts, the above-listed tools should definitely be on your publisher’s resource list. And once you have your ebook ready to be published, in order to maximize book sales, make sure to hire a publicist or book promotion company to help get the word out about it.

Improve Your Ebook Sales: Create an Awesome Cover

stack of books black and whiteMany authors don’t know how to produce an appealing cover image of their own, and ugly ebooks don’t sell in the competitive ePublishing market. This article discusses a few simple guidelines any author can use to ensure their cover looks attractive and professional.
Ebook publishing has produced many success stories, and their numbers will only grow as eReading continues to grow in popularity. In fact, the market is already flooded with so many titles that it is very difficult to get a serious piece of the ePublishing pie. Many authors fail to realize that having an attractive cover is the best way to advertise their work. By following a few simple guidelines, any author can create an eye-catching cover that gives their work the best chance for success.
Make it unique.
Ebook marketplaces are filled with millions of books, many featuring generic designs. As with any media, communicating why your title is interesting and unique is key to generating sales. Instead of creating a cover with a basic layout, consider using an iconic image or distinctive style to capture your customers’ attention. Studying and using the same elements as popular ebooks is an easy way to make your work stand out from the crowd.
Keep it professional.
Along with being your unique, your cover should also look professional. Many ebooks struggle to sell simply because their formatting is sloppy. If you don’t have the skills necessary to produce a high-quality cover, consider hiring graphic artists or other specialists to help you throughout the creation process. Although websites do offer ebook cover construction tools, their design and formatting options are severely limited compared to what you can create for yourself.
Be willing to change.
Many authors don’t realize that customers won’t buy an ebook that looks unattractive or unprofessional. Since your cover is the first thing shoppers are likely to notice about your title, it is also the biggest factor in whether or not it will sell. If you get too attached to your own designs, you may fail to realize how your ebook is actually perceived by the public. By being willing to change your cover, you can find the layout that leads to the most sales of your work.
Pay attention to your feedback.
Feedback should be an important part of your ePublishing projects. Not only will listening to the opinions of your audience help you create better covers, but it can even help you develop valuable contacts in the publishing industry. Authors generate feedback a number of different ways. Some offer free promotions of their work, while others interact with online communities or ask friends and family for their unbiased opinions. Whatever method you choose, always take advice with a grain of salt and produce a cover you are proud of.
Although making a desirable ebook cover requires experience and hard work, anyone can learn how to create designs that lead to to the most sales!