I told myself that for my second novel, I would focus on marketing.  As a product manager, that’s a big part of my day job.  Still, I find everything after writing, from formatting a book for publishing to creating online ads, highly tedious.  If a publisher approached me today and told me they would publish my book for 90% of the royalties, I think I’d sign up as long as they did all this post writing stuff for me.

I’ll share some of my marketing progress, to hopefully benefit the other writers who read this blog.  To date, I’ve only marketed on AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) and Facebook.  They are both easy enough to learn and have pervasive reach.  First step for AMS is buy KDP Rocket and watch Dave Cheeson’s training videos.  I think the videos are free, and also posted on YouTube.  But buy the tool too.  It will save you hours building up your AMS keywords.  And that’s a big part of what the training is for.

Cheeson walks you through building keyword lists that you will add to your AMS campaign.  He recommends 200-300 minimum.  With KDP Rocket, this took me a few minutes.  The goal is that when shoppers search on Amazon for books, your book shows up as a sponsored ad.  It’s not terribly difficult, but I found I needed some repetition to learn concepts like impressions, click-through-rates and cost-per-click.  The training videos helped but also the process of establishing ads and reviewing my reports and dashboards have reinforced my knowledge on these principles.

I found Facebook campaigns a bit more complicated.  Much of it is intuitive but they have these three components to advertising that I didn’t get at first: a campaign, ad sets, and ads.  A Facebook rep actually gave me an hour-long training session, so I have it down now.  I learned to use Facebook’s ad manager.  It’s a dashboard for launching and tracking campaigns.  Prior to this, I thought I had to boost posts on my Facebook author page, but that’s the worst method.

For example, I created the video above.  I wanted to use it in multiple campaigns.  The link would always carry traffic to where my book can be bought on Amazon.  However, Amazon has different URLs (web sites) for different countries.  The U.S. is amazon.com while the U.K. is amazon.co.uk and India is amazon.in.  See the complete expanded distribution list below.

Amazon Sites

Those are my ebook prices, although I’ve lowered a few of them, like India and Mexico, since I screen captured that graphic.  The far right column is my profit.  Back to my story.  If I target a Facebook ad to Bangalore, India, and I did, I need the video to link to amazon.in.  And my add targeting the Netherlands needs the link to lead shoppers to amazon.nl.  Everyone in the Netherlands can read in English, and there are more readers in India than there are books in America.

Using my Facebook Author page, I would have to repost the video multiple times, once per Amazon region I was targeting.  Once I learned how to use the Campaign-ad sets-ads feature of the Ads Manager, I only had to upload that video once.  All part of my book marketing learning curve.

Oh, and I subscribed to a basic plan on promo.com to create my video with licensed video and music.  There are a million ways to create videos, but it’s good to use a product that contains a library of licensed content.  Promo is where I got my M-60 tank and music.  I discovered from reviewing my India results that absolutely everyone over there uses a mobile device rather than a desktop computer.  And other research has led me to understand that video is the way to go for mobile advertising.  Time will tell.