Marketing by Stealth

An Amazon Author Page

An Amazon Author Page

This is not one of the thousands of articles … ‘Ten Things to Do to Increase Sales’
In my post last time which was about the results of my three weeks of non-marketing, I said I’d come back to mention a couple of simple ideas that I believe help to encourage sales.

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It may be accepted that we’re not going to buy a small island in the near future, but we want sales, and reviews, and recognition for our efforts. Whatever our reason for writing, if we publish, either traditionally or self-published, we’re not doing so for the exercise. It is a means to an end. We want success.
Personally, success with my writing is more important than money or fame.

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Why are eBook samples important?
It’s an obvious answer. It gives the prospective reader an insight into the story they may, or may not buy. Keeping that in mind, we must tease and please the reader with a worthwhile sample.

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How can we improve the sample?

Only have the essentials in the front pages of a book:
1. Cover
2. Title
3. Copyright
4. Acknowledgements
5. Dedication
6. Table of Contents

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That is a minimum of six pages / screens before your new reader has seen your writing.
The odd one out is ‘Dedication’, because it is not essential, but it is usually found at the front if it is to be included.
Immediately after the Table of Contents, we should expect to see the Preface if there is one and then Chapter 1.

If using a Preface, try to keep it short. I read one recently that stole a lot of the space that would otherwise have allowed me to read more of Chapter 1. A typical occasion for using a few words before the first chapter might be because the book is a sequel.

I will repeat – the Preface is an introduction so keep it short and let the story do the work.

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What information would I suggest leaving out of the front pages?

1. A word from the author
2. About the author
3. Also by the author
All of those subjects and even the dedication can be placed in the back pages.

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How do the back pages help with marketing and sales?

A lot of readers like to know about the person who wrote the story, so a page dedicated to a short bio at the back is a good idea. If the reader doesn’t want to look at it, they have a choice. If they do – it’s there for them.

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A word from the author

This can be whatever you like, but good ideas are to say something about the story the reader has just finished.
1. What inspired the story.
2. Any interesting research that was done.
3. If there are plans for a sequel
It is up to the individual author how this area is used.

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About the author

A short bio. Practise writing your bio, but keep it between 50 – 100 words.
Once again, what is said here is an individual choice, but good ideas include:
1. Use it as a writing bio, whether you are a novice, or if you have any track record.
2. Perhaps mention your nationality, and the country where you now live.
3. Family? Some do, some prefer to leave it out.
4. Pastimes when not writing.
5. Interesting careers you’ve had.

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Also by the author

A key area for marketing by stealth.
At the back of all of my books I have the titles and the blurb for all of my other books.
I believe that this is a crucial part of creating substance for your brand.
If you are new and using this in the back of your debut novel – use it to talk about your next piece of work.
If a reader likes the story and style of what they’ve just read – don’t have them going on search engines to find your name and other titles – tell them here, right after they’ve been impressed.

If you haven’t already set up an Amazon Author Page – consider setting one up on Amazon.com and also on Amazon.co.uk

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Remember, even though the prospective reader sees the sample and hasn’t read the back pages information yet – it is listed in your Table of Contents, so they know it will be there.

The ideas above are not a quick-fix, but I believe I achieve initial sales and follow-on sales by using them. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and theories – now if you haven’t done so already, please have a look at my author website:
http://www.tombensonauthor.com

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20 comments on “Marketing by Stealth

    • Hi Paul. I love that … ‘consigned to the end.’ Don’t knock yourself – it’s not ‘consigned’, it’s in a position reserved for such important information. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Now, I used to know a writer called Veronica Haidar … I wonder what ever happened to her … 😀 – Ha, ha, Thank you for dropping by and the kind comment. See you in print soon.

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  1. Good info., Tom. I like the idea of listing the books at the end…with a blurb. I’m going to try that. Also, just checked and I don’t have an author page set up on .co.uk. I’ll have to look into setting that up. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Silas and thanks for dropping by buddy. Glad you got something out of this – I know you’re pretty well up there on good info. I’m also on Amazon.de and I’ve had a couple of titles that have sold in Germany … because of that? I don’t know. 🙂

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    • Hi Mike. Hope all is good with you and thank you for dropping by. I’m pleaed if somebody like yourself finds anything useful here. 🙂
      Thank you for the tweet too !

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  2. Great advice, Tom, as always. Although it seems obvious, it never hit me that all of that beginning “stuff” would take up room in the 15-20% sample readers are offered. Duh. This has made me rethink my front-of-the-book matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Shaina my friend and I hope all is good with you. Sometimes I think it’s only when you look at somebody else’s work it makes you re-examine your own. I think it works. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Barbara and thank you for the visit my friend. I’ll be expecting to see your name up in lights soon then … glad it will be of some help. 🙂

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