Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Amazon Book Campaigns: Why They Work and Why They Fail

Question: Can you please summarize what big mistakes almost all publishers make selling books via an Amazon.com bestseller campaign?

John's Answer: The biggest mistake authors or publishers make in trying to become an Amazon.com bestseller is simple: They don't line up enough owners of lists who are committed to sending out the promotional message about the book.

The second biggest mistake: They don't line up enough partners who are giving away something nice for those people who place an order for the author's book.

An Amazon bestseller campaign only works if there are enough bonuses to encourage potential buyers to act right away. And if enough people get the message so the author can make a dent in the Amazon sales.

There is no shortcut to make this happen. You can't rent lists. You can't settle for mailing to just three or four lists. You need at least 15 to 20 lists to make a dent. And you can't provide all the bonuses yourself. That simply does not work. Because then you do not have any incentive for other list owners to mail to their customers. The only reason a list owner announces a new Amazon.com bestseller book promotion is in the expectation of adding to his or her list via the giveaways that he will send out as part of the overall promotion.

Each participating list owner offers something free — a report, an audio MP3, an e-book — that can be fulfilled via email. When the recipients of the Amazon.com promotion buy the promoted book, they also are sent the other free items, either via a download link at the list owner's site or via email from the list owner providing the free item.

It is the obligation of the person carrying out the promotion to share the emails of everyone who bought a copy of the book as a result of the promotion. It is those email addresses that the various participating list owners can add to their lists.

The list owner, thus, gains two valuable assets by participating in the Amazon.com promotion. 1. He gets to add the names of the people who bought the book (these are good names because they are the names of people who bought via email notice). 2. He gets to expose these buyers to his work via the item that he is giving away free. If your report or e-book is good, chances are that the person will want to buy something else from you.

That's the key elements of a good Amazon.com bestseller promotion. And in almost every case where such a promotion has failed, it's either because there are not enough list owners involved (with a cumulative list total of 100,000 or more) or because the freebies are not enticing enough to get the potential buyer to act right away. In both cases, the fault is in the bookselling promoter who was not willing to go out and sell his promotion to targeted list owners with something valuable to give away to potential buyers (something that the buyers want as much as the promoter's book).

If you want to learn more about how to carry out an Amazon.com Bestseller Campaign, listen in to a teleseminar being given by Steve Harrison where he will be interviewing Randy Gilbert and Peggy McColl, two experts who help people create such campaigns. The teleseminar is this Wednesday (July 20) at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time. To register, go to: http://www.freepublicity.com/Amazon/?10005.
blog comments powered by Disqus