It is said that it’s a waste of time to do much in the way of marketing until one has at least 3 books to sell. Well, I now have 4 books published, so I suppose it’s time to review the essays I’ve been hoarding on my bookmarks bar. You know the ones – “How to turn your inane ramblings into a #1 Best Seller in 5 easy steps.” 

Fortuitously, Ricardo Fayet over at Reedsy sent me an email the other day – me and probably 150,000 other people, not that I’m complaining – entitled The Ultimate Guide to KDP: How to Succeed on Kindle Direct Publishing. I’ve seen this advice elsewhere – but it’s neatly organized and, as far as I can tell, all the salient points are covered.

Number 1 – Create a polished cover.

I think I have that, even though I didn’t use Paul Trif at TwinArtDesign for Silken Thread, choosing to do that one myself. I know – that’s often a mistake. Paul made 3 great covers for my Anye Legacy books and there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t do it again. Be sure and tell me if you think I’ve goofed on this one, otherwise I’ll blissfully move forward not knowing any better.

Number 2 – Write a catchy book description.

Oof. That’s a sticking point. If you’ve been following this blog, you know it’s a struggle – not just for me, but for every author. Yes, it’s my job to make you feel things, and I should be able to get results in 200 words or less. Try it sometime – it’s harder than it looks. Here’s the new blurb for Silken Thread:

Adventure, drama, and evocative romanticism from the author of The Illusion of Gravity. It’s 1966, and CIA officer Barb Schneider is in the Philippines, fixed on earning a good assignment. A diplomatic cover in Kuala Lumpur — perfect. Any job in Saigon — not so great.

Elsewhere in Manila, expat David Aarens is weighing a career path that’s liable to get him noticed by the Chinese mafia. He’s younger. They’re going different directions. It won’t matter. In a confessional moment, she’ll say, “I sat next to him on a piano bench, looked in his eyes, saw how he looked at me, and knew what was going to happen.”

But she didn’t expect it to get real, and never guessed what the agency would do. There are 184,000 American soldiers in Vietnam, Canada just now got color TV, mini-skirts are shorter in London, and life is complicated. Welcome to the middle of the twentieth century.

I’ve edited this part of the post at least five times. I have 3 other blurbs to rewrite, and steps I need to get to, namely …

Number 3 – Bulk out your product page with reviews.

Every book blogger on the planet must be backlogged two years, or maybe the blurbs aren’t good enough to warrant a reply. Back to step two. In the meantime, here’s an idea – buy a book and leave a nice review. Seriously – I don’t know how else we’re going to do this, because the next step is …

Number 4 – Leveraging Amazon’s Algorithms.

This topic is largely about search argument research. There are dozens of guides, and an equal number of authors who say, “It didn’t work for me” – which could mean it’s a waste of effort, or nobody wanted to read their books.

Geez. Let’s not go there, at least not yet. The most convincing advice I’ve seen is ‘Amazon promotes books that sell’. Yep – that’s a chicken or egg proposition. I’ll report back and tell you how it’s going. Comments always welcome. Keep reading – we need you.


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