Usually I focus on book reviews and author interviews here at A Well-Read Woman, but, as most of you know, I’m an author as well as a book junkie and my occasional posts focusing on advice for authors tend to be fairly well received too.
Today’s post is one such post, and is also part of the 30 Day Book Marketing Challenge Blog Hop. To those of you who’ve been participating in the challenge I hope you found it as inspiring as I did. Our mission today was to write a post about one of the things we’ve learned during the course of the challenge, and I’m going to be focusing on writing a Kindle book series.
On day 18 of the 30 Day Challenge, we had the privilege of listening in on the excellent webinar, Dominate Your Niche With A Kindle Book Series, with someone who has been an unofficial mentor to me for some time now: Kristen Eckstein. I’ve already learned so much from Kristen, both from reading her great Author’s Quick Guide Kindle series and from her Self-Publish On Demand Course.
Kristen’s webinar got me thinking about the marketing (and other) advantages of producing a Kindle series. I’ve since brainstormed a few ideas and will be starting on them as soon as I’ve finished my current book.
Here are the reasons I feel we should all be thinking about working towards a series, rather than a list of stand-alone books.
In late 2013, Kristen took on the overwhelming challenge of writing a book a week for 18 weeks (did I mention she’s just a little crazy?). In just the first 12 weeks, her passive income from Kindle sales increased by 878% (She may be crazy, but she’s high-income crazy!).
Several of her Author’s Quick Guide series also hit the Amazon bestseller’s list, without a lot of extra marketing. The individual books started marketing the other books in the series. To be fair, the fact that Kristen made her challenge public may also have helped. We were all following her progress on social media, willing her to succeed and, to be brutally honest, morbidly fascinated to see if she would crash and burn before the year was out.
I don’t think I can compete with Kristen’s one book a week, but I do appreciate the power of momentum. It’s easier to keep writing when you have a series planned out. You can plan a series of short Kindle books a little like you would plan one huge book on a broad topic. Imagine you were going to write everything you know on a specific topic then break it down into 10, 12, or 20 books.
You get the satisfaction of finishing and ‘shipping’ a book on a regular basis, but you also know exactly which project you’re starting with next. Each topic (or sub-topic) within your chosen niche flows from the last.
You can go in-depth on niche topics
Some authors seem to think that just because they know a lot on one topic they should write one epic book on that topic, but marketing your books becomes easier when you go niche. From a search engine point of view alone, it’s easier to rank for niche keywords or long tail keyword phrases than for a huge topic. Consider the difference between ‘How To Be An Author’, for example and Creating a Killer Non-Fiction Book Title, or Making Money With Your 99 Cent Kindle Book.
People searching for a solution to a specific problem will find your book more easily if it addresses exactly what they’re looking for. They may then buy others in the series, but only those they need, which ties in to my next point.
You serve your readers better
Not everyone needs to know everything about a topic, especially when it comes to solutions to specific issues. You may be great at coming up with titles but not know how to market your book. You may be good at eating healthily, but not know how to get started with an effective exercise regime. You might have sailed through parenting toddlers, but need help with parenting teens. When you write the “Big Book About Authorship” (or Healthy Living, or Parenting) you miss out on providing focused, tightly written answers to specific problems, and your readers miss out on being able to pick and choose what they need.
You focus in on your target market
When brainstorming your ideas for a series, consider at least starting by thinking in terms of who you’re writing for, as Kristen did with her Author’s Quick Guide books. I’ve brainstormed a few possible series now. I start with my target reader. So I’ve brainstormed ideas for “The Homeschool Parent’s Guide to…”, “The Freelance Writer’s Guide to…”, “The Solopreneur’s Guide To…” and “The Natural Health Nut’s Guide To…” (Yep. That last one needs work).
None of these will necessarily be the actual title for my series (some are too close to what’s already out there) but this method has allowed me to define exactly who my target reader is.
This makes marketing easier. Defining your target market should be the first step in drawing up any book marketing campaign.
Brainstorming series ideas helps you decide what you don’t want to write about
This was an eye opener for me. Just because you’ve written a lot on one aspect of a topic doesn’t mean you should write on different aspects of it. My latest Kindle book (and one of my most successful) is Tweeting for a Reason: How and Why To Use Twitter To Market Your Business. It would perhaps makes sense to write more social media guides, but I don’t want to.
The reason I wrote about Twitter is because I really ‘get’ Twitter and love using it. I know many others don’t and wanted to share my ideas with them. I don’t want to write about LinkedIn or Google+. They’re not so intuitive for me and I don’t know anywhere near as much about them.
Write one book on a topic and you’re an author (yea you!). Write a series on a topic and you’re an expert, guru or (in Kristen’s case) a ninja. Now isn’t that even better?
Want to find out exactly how Kristen Eckstein wrote and published a new Kindle book every week for 18 weeks straight? Interested in how she ended up dominating her niche on Amazon, while hugely increasing her Kindle income and watching her books achieve bestseller status?
You’re in luck. This month (June 2014) Kristen is running a Kindle In 30 Boot Camp. It could be exactly what you need to get started with your own Kindle series. Check out all the details here.
Wishing you all tons of luck with your writing and publishing careers. To those of you finishing up the 30 Day Book Marketing Challenge with me – congratulations. You made it. See you next year.
This post is a proud participant in the 30 Day Book Marketing Challenge Blog Hop. Click the image to find a list of other Blog Hop posts.
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