Mike Balmaceda is an author and online marketing genius. He helps authors sell more books and build a massive following of raving fan readers. In today’s show, Mike shares a few powerful marketing tips on how you can sell more books starting right now including:
- How to use Facebook ads to skyrocket your book sales (while still earning a profit – which is something very few authors have pulled off until now.)
- How to price your Paperback books to maximize your royalties and help you sell more eBooks (if you’ve already published print books and eBooks before, you will immediately see why this simple free strategy is so powerful).
- How to get audiobooks produced and published professionally 100% for free, and earn an extra $50 to $300 a month or more per book by NOT doing the narration, production and mastering for your audiobook.
- Plus, you’ll learn a super-powerful book promotion strategy that can dramatically boost your sales and email list for free.
I met Mike Balmaceda through Derek Doepker. When I was just starting to have success publishing on Amazon a lot of people sought me out for advice.
Derek was one of those people. Derek and I had several conversations, and I gave him some strategies to launch his future Kindle books. I didn’t charge Derek for those conversations, although some people certainly would have. All I asked was that Derek pay it forward by helping someone else in the future.
Derek implemented the strategies I shared with him and became a massive success in very short time.
Mike is someone Derek mentored in the same way that I mentored him. Derek introduced Mike to me a couple weeks ago and I’m very happy he’s here to talk with us today.
How Mike Started
Mike got started by reading information on how to sell books on Kindle. I was one of the first authors he read to learn about marketing on amazon. He began publishing his own books and implementing the strategies he read.
Mike was successful very quickly and he found a handful of strategies that got him a lot of sales on Kindle.
Mike began to attract clients because of his success selling his own books on Kindle. Each successful step on his journey lifted him up to the next step.
Now he is a recognized authority on how to sell books on Kindle.
The Four Pillars of E-Book Marketing on Amazon and Other Platforms
1. The Book Title
The title of your book is perhaps your most important marketing tool. Amazon isn’t just an online store. It’s a buyer search engine.
You want to make sure your title has keywords that people will search for when looking for a book on your topic, or in your fiction genre.
This is why you’re starting to see fiction authors identify the genre in the subtitle of their book. It helps Amazon customers find the type of book they want and leads to better conversions for you, which causes you to have a higher Amazon rank and more traffic to your book.
It’s an upward spiral to success.
2. The Book Cover
Your cover is the second most important piece of your marketing toolkit. The purpose of your cover is to be eye-catching and to get people to click on it.
This is why you want your cover to look good in a thumbnail. You want your cover to look like it belongs in the categories you have placed it in.
It’s important to do cover research so that you can figure out the best type of cover to convey in an instant what kind of book you are selling.
That’s why you need to invest the time to find a good book cover designer.
3. Your Keywords
Amazon is a buyer search engine. Choosing the right keywords helps Amazon put your book in front of your target readers.
Make sure that your title has some keywords in it but don’t keyword stuff your title. Make it readable by putting keywords in your title that would occur naturally when talking about your subject.
If you’re a nonfiction author mention the benefit readers will get from reading your book.
If you’re a fiction author mention your specific genre as a subtitle. That way people who are searching for your genre have a better chance to find your particular book.
4. The Book Description
This is the final tool in your Amazon sales toolbox. Again, you want to have keywords in here that makes sense. Don’t keyword-stuff. Use keywords naturally as you write.
Also make sure you make use of Amazon’s HTML to format your book description so it looks great. Being able to use bullet points, bold, and italics properly on your book page really makes your book stand out from the crowd.
Make sure that your book description page looks good before you allow it to go live.
Audiobook Royalty Split Strategy
You can actually have your Kindle book produced as an audiobook for free. This is how it works.
- You have a completed book published as an e-book on Amazon.
- You go to ACX.com and sign up for an account.
- You choose a royalty split structure with exclusive rights for Audible to sell your book on audible.com, iTunes, and Amazon.
- You find a narrator willing to do at a royalty split with you on ACX.
- You collect 20% of the royalties that your book gets (the narrator gets the other half from ACX, 20% of the royalties from sales)
- Audible has exclusive rights to your audiobook for seven years.
That is a good chunk of time. But during that time your book is available in another format that is more expensive than the e-book. You have an audience you wouldn’t have had access to before, and it doesn’t cost you any more time or money to make this new version of your book available to audiobook listeners.
Price Your Paperback for Value
You should price your paperback for value. Mike doesn’t get many sales on the paperback versions of his books.
He likes to price his paperbacks at around $18. When he does that he is not necessarily hoping to sell a copy. He wants customers to see the $18 value so they properly value the information in the book in their minds because most customers are going to buy the eBook anyway.
The Charity Promotion Strategy
“Reach out to a charity that has a good following, that is related to your niche. If you have multiple books this helps a lot. You can say, ‘Hey, I’m launching this book and I want to give 100% of the revenue to the charity. Would you mind giving it some exposure and sending it out to your followers?'” – Mike Balmaceda
This strategy is truly innovative. Basically, you find a charity who connects with the book you want to sell.
You contact the charity and tell them that you would like to sell this book and give 100% of the profits to that charity.
This is a win-win situation. Your raising money for charity and getting exposure for your author brand at the same time.
This works particularly well if you have an email list set up and/or you have a series of books.
If you have an email list set up you can gain subscribers by promoting your philanthropic efforts. Once those people are on your email list you can email them whenever you want forever in the future.
If you have more than one book in a series that connects to the book you’re promoting for charity, some of the people who read your charity book will buy future books in the series. And you don’t have to give money from those sales to charity.
You can then ask the charity to help share the book with their audience as well so it becomes a win-win for everyone.
The Permafree Strategy
Another excellent way to build your email list and get a bump in your Amazon ranking is to set the first book in a series of books as permafree.
To do this you have to publish the eBook on at least one other eBook retailer site like Smashwords. You can also use Draft2Digital. You distribute your book to other booksellers through their service and set your price to free.
Then when you put your book on Amazon, email customer service and ask them to price match the book so it’s free on Amazon too. Let them know that your book is available on other websites for free.
It usually takes about two days for Amazon to update the price of your book.
A permafree book works really well if it’s the first book in a series. That way you have a ton of readers who’ve read your first book. It gives you both exposure and many of those people will buy your next book (especially if you price it at $.99 or $2.99.) Then you’d price the third book at something higher $3.99 or more.
If you want to take things a step further you can switch your book from permafree back to paid when your downloads are at their peak.
All you have to do is remove your book from the other eBook retailers and ask Amazon to change the price again.
This allows you to maintain momentum in Amazons algorithms, maintain visibility, and get some actual sales. That will boost you in Amazon’s algorithms even more, so that you have a boost in visibility for that book.
Mike has seen as many as 45 sales happen after a book switched from permafree to paid. The book was priced at $.99.
Forty-five sales in a short time on Amazon can lead to a real uptick in visibility on the website especially in certain categories.
Using Facebook Advertising to Make Your Book a Bestseller
Another strategy that Mike is using successfully is using pay per click advertising on Facebook. The key to having massive success on Facebook’s advertising platform is to have very targeted campaigns where you have a very specific advertising audience.
Facebook allows you to limit your potential audience based on common interest. The best way to come up with a small sample size of highly targeted customers is to build an advertising campaign around people who are interested in authors who are very similar to you, and books that are very similar to yours.
You can use services such as pagedatapro.com.websiteoutlook.com to find Facebook pages with large audiences on your list.
You also want to make sure that you’re paying per click and not per one thousand impressions (CPM).
By paying per click you’re more certain that this customer is a potential paying customer.
Final Words of Marketing Advice
There are two things you can do to give your book its best chance to succeed.
- Give it a cover that makes it look like it belongs in the category you place it in.
- Use a rich text format description with keywords so people will have a better chance of finding your book.
Links and Resources Mentioned in This Interview
Aweber – Tom and Mike’s go to autoresponder. You can get thirty days free to try aWeber out for yourself.
Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing – a book about subliminal marketing techniques.
http://pagedatapro.com.websiteoutlook.com/ – a service that helps you find popular Facebook pages in your niche.
For audiobook narration, production and distribution, check out www.ACX.com. It’s your one-stop shop for turning your books into audiobooks.
Check out Tom’s newest training course and software product for author market research and more, Bestseller Ranking Pro at www.BestsellerRankingPro.com
Watch the Video
Prefer video? Watch the interview with Mike on YouTube below.
Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.