October '23 Newsletter  

The Home Stretch

 We’re in the last quarter of 2023. Have you started thinking about your strategy for 2024? What will you do differently next year to meet your new goals?

A study published in Business Week and Forbes found that 96% of surveyed business owners who had published a book realized a significant positive impact on their business from their book. 

Getting a book published can increase sales as a result of the enhanced credibility and visibility, and can lead to speaking engagements, media exposure, joint ventures and other powerful opportunities. Too busy to write a book? Let us help – we can get one written for you! Read below for our offer to provide a free strategy session to help you get started.

1. Need Help Getting Started

If you are having trouble getting started or completing your book, give us a call. We’ll send you a brief questionnaire, and following your return of the completed questionnaire, we’ll schedule a free strategy session to help you figure out what you need to do to move forward. Just click here to go to the online calendar and select a time that is convenient to you. Or you can email us at info@skillbites.net.

2. In the News

Last month, I spoke at the Summit on Authorship Rules & Regulations on copyright law, covering such topics as who owns a copyright interest, the Fair Use doctrine, which pertains to when you can use someone else’s content without first getting permission, what to do when your copyright interest has been infringed, and other relevant issues for authors. I put together a summary of some of the main points. If you would like a copy of that, click here.

This month I will be speaking on another summit called Author Success Tips, on October 21. My presentation is called “Boosting Book Sales: Strategies for Optimizing Your Amazon Presence”, and will be on creating an effective book description and selecting appropriate key words, categories and pricing to attract readers. Click here to attend this free, virtual summit or go to https://bit.ly/3Q7vAwf.

3. SkillBites Podcast

Each month, we bring you an expert to help you get your book done, leverage your book, grow your business or improve your life. The shows are recorded, and you can listen to the recording by clicking here.

This month, my podcast will be on strategies for optimizing your book’s presence on Amazon. I’ll share six key ways to optimize your book. In my next podcast, I’ll delve deeper into strategies for crafting a compelling book description, selecting the best keywords and categories, and choosing the right price for your eBook and print book.

Last month, I recorded a demo of a program called Mockup Shots that enables you to create amazing images of your book in just seconds to promote and sell your book on any platform or medium! With this app, you can easily create:

  • 3D book cover images for your website, landing pages, bookmark or marketing material;
  • Images of your book in a large variety of interesting settings for social media;
  • Book promo videos;
  • Action shot GIFs;
  • Testimonial graphics;
  • Cover reveal images to peak people’s interest;
  • Images of your book series
  • You can listen to these episodes by clicking here. Note, the special promotion mentioned in the podcast may no longer be available.

    Do you have expertise that you believe would benefit the SkillBites community of entrepreneurs and authors? If you would like to be the guest on the monthly SkillBites Show, contact me at judy@skillbites.net or 610-783-4519. If there is a topic you would like to hear on the podcast, let me know and I’ll look for an expert to cover that.

    4. Amazon Update

    In last month’s newsletter, I shared two recent Amazon changes – the first concerned the number and selection of book categories and the second pertained to the use of AI-generating tools for writing a book. Amazon has come out with another change this month: per Amazon’s October 3, 2023 announcement, authors now have the option to decide when their book’s detail page becomes available to readers on Amazon for their KDP paperback and hardcover books. When creating a new print book, you'll see an option to release your book now or schedule a release date. If you choose to schedule a release date, you'll be able to select a date 5 to 90 days in the future for your book to go live on Amazon. On this date, the book’s detail page will become visible for readers to purchase your KDP book on Amazon everywhere you have territory rights.

    This is a welcome change for those who want to plan a book launch or other promotional activities for their book. By scheduling the release of your KDP book, you can spend the time before your book is available focusing on engaging readers and doing some pre-publication marketing to build buzz for your book launch. If you have a large number of people buying your book when it first comes out, you could get on Amazon’s Hot New Releases, which will help you sell even more copies.

    One of my clients planned to hold a book launch shortly after her book was published. She ordered author copies of her book, which arrived right before her big launch event. Unfortunately, the book printing was done poorly – some of the images in the book came out blurry. Amazon acknowledged the poor printing was their fault and replaced the books for free; but there wasn’t enough time for the books to arrive in time for her launch. With the ability to schedule the release, you can get your author copies and make sure they are good before the book is released and you hold your book launch.

    Once your book is scheduled for release, you can order author copies and schedule your book release for after you confirm that the author copies look fine. Shipments of author copies typically take about 2 weeks for book delivery.

    Scheduling a release date is not the same as setting a preorder for your print title, which KDP doesn’t offer for print books at this time. To learn more about release date options, supported formats, and requirements, visit Amazon’s Help page: https://kdp.amazon.com/help/topic/GZUV7SNV728WT4QE

    5. Tip of the Month: Running an Amazon Ad Campaign

    In its September/October 2023 magazine, the Independent Book Publishers Association published an article entitled “How to Successfully Set Up and Run Amazon Ads that Sell.” The article covered the following topics:

    • The four types of Amazon ads, advising that the one that performs the best is the Sponsored Product Ad;
    • Why use Amazon ads – to boost the visibility and sales of your book by reaching the millions of readers searching on Amazon for their next book, and thus are already in a buying mindset;
    • How to set up Amazon ads, beginning with setting up your ad account on advertising.amazon.com. That site also offers guidance on setting up a campaign;
    • How to measure the success of your Amazon ad by analyzing the percentage of people who clicked on your ad, the percentage of users who then purchased your book, the cost per click and the return on your investment;
    • Why your ads don’t work, which could be because you need better targeting, or you need a better book detail page;
    • Resources to help you with your Amazon ads, including the free Kindlepreneur Amazon Ad Course (kindlepreneur.com/free-amazon-ads-course), Amazon educational guides (advertising.amazon.com/library/guides/basics-of-success-sponsored-ads); and Samurai Seller, an automated platform for managing Amazon ads (samuraiseller.com).

    If you are looking for assistance with conducting an Amazon ad campaign, reach out to me.

    Thanks for supporting SkillBites. If there is anything you think we ought to be doing better or anything we should be doing that we’re not, please let us know. We value your input.