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Messages - erikhanberg

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Bookstore Opening November 3
« on: November 05, 2015, 12:32:26 pm »
How about books from Amazon's imprints: 47North, Thomas & Mercer, Montlake, etc.?

Yep. I've found all those. So far I've found two CreateSpace books. One in parenting and one in self-help. My hunch is they are measuring by sales/ratings of paperbacks specifically.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Bookstore Opening November 3
« on: November 05, 2015, 12:05:08 pm »
I'm at Amazon Books right now. Still haven't found a title published by CreateSpace, even in the Romance section. Anything anyone wants me to look for in particular? I'll be here for a bit.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Bookstore Opening November 3
« on: November 04, 2015, 03:06:43 pm »

Sadly, a lot (most?) refuse to put our books on their shelves even if we say, "pay me when it sells" instead of paying us when they buy the book. (I know there's a word for that but I don't remember what it is. If anyone wants to help me out, it's fine.  :-*) So, for those stores, *shoulder shrug*

-said the wrongiest wrong that ever wronged. ;)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Advertising Without Discounting
« on: November 04, 2015, 02:54:26 pm »
Amazon PPC and Facebook advertising doesn't generally need to be done at a discount.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Bookstore Opening November 3
« on: November 04, 2015, 01:52:52 pm »
So I have seen lots and lots of pictures of the store people took, different sites. Yet, I not seen one photo of an isle or books that in any of the genres I read. Romance, UF, HM, just general popular fiction really. I see lots of pics with kids books, non fiction, cook books, biography stuff, etc. Don't tell me this is yet another book store where us romance readers have to go into the dingy dark corner? Followed by those "looks"? I haven't been in a store in a long time, but that was one of the reasons I didn't enjoy the experience. My local library is even worse. Its not just dark, but damp and stuffed so tight in a corner its scary. The romance section that is.

Just wondering since this is suppose to be about what is popular on, right? Even their own imprints I have seen none on any of the pics.

This is a really interesting point. I will look for it when I go tomorrow!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Bookstore Opening November 3
« on: November 04, 2015, 01:47:41 pm »
I can't believe I'm saying this but Amazon is thinking small.
How many empty or "ghost" malls are there in America? Amazon should make a sweetheart deal with a local community on taxes, (they happen all the time) then take over the whole mall. Yes, a bookstore. A big fat giant huge one. But then sell a ton of other stuff... you know... like Amazon does. Shoes. Clothes. Stuff.
Or am I wrong?

I think you're wrong. :)

Amazon doesn't need to have everything in stock. They have warehouses for that. Right now in many cities, you can get Amazon packages delivered to lockers in strategic places, for example. What if you could have packages delivered to their bookstores? With Amazon's huge fleet of grocery delivery trucks in Seattle, not to mention their experiment with crowd-sourcing package delivery (Uber-style), they don't need a place to hold a bunch of stuff in a showroom. But a place to pick it up might be useful!

Imagine this: you have Amazon prime and buy a lamp. It can get to you tomorrow, or you can go to an Amazon Books and pick it up in 30 minutes. So you do that. While you're there, you ask if the new Hugh Howey book is out. They don't carry that one, but they put it on the next truck from the warehouse. Thirty minutes later you leave with your lamp, the new Hugh Howey, and two books you found while you browsed. Not bad!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon's Brick and Mortar Bookstore | Seattle
« on: November 04, 2015, 12:52:08 pm »
I'm going tomorrow. No listings posted that I've seen. They are stocking based on review average and sales volume apparently. A "data driven" selection.

Writers' Cafe / KDP Author Experience Survey
« on: November 04, 2015, 10:38:22 am »
Interesting, I got a survey from Amazon about my experience publishing to Kindle.

How satisfied am I with images, fonts, indents. The software I use to create books, etc. No thread here yet on it so I started one. Anyone else receive it?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Bookstore Opening November 3
« on: November 03, 2015, 09:24:58 am »
I have a morning meeting in Seattle on Thursday and will go to the bookstore after that. I will report on any indie/CreateSpace titles I can find if another KBoarder doesn't get there first. Very intrigued!

45 minute drive for me. Tempted to go and check out of they have any indie CreateSpace books stocked. ;)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Question about Amazon Advertising
« on: October 27, 2015, 07:45:50 pm »
When I tested this, you couldn't target other titles at all. The narrowest it got was e.g. "Science Fiction." Useless. Do you also get data on which targeted titles produced the best CPC? And were these ads actually appearing in the "Sponsored Products" section at the bottom of search pages?

So you have two options in the non-beta version.

One is targeting "by product" which will show your ads on the product pages of other books that you target. This is by title (you pick the titles) and it doesn't show on Kindle reader lock screens. Pretty much as absolutely fine-tuned as you can get. (maybe a little too fined tune, because that can be a pretty small audience if you don't pick a lot of titles). No data on what titles specifically were producing clicks unfortunately.

The second is "by interest" and that is what you're talking about. BIG buckets. But you can specific subgenre. Science Fiction and Fantasy > Dystopian. Mystery > Heist. Etc. No more specific than that. And those DO show up on Kindle lock screens (a friend told me he saw my book on the lock screen of his Kindle) as well as product pages of books in the genre(s) you select.

Sponsored Products, which is the one in beta right now, shows at the bottom of the search results list. It's targeted by keywords (that you select).

So between the three, you have options to target by individual book, subgenre, or keyword, which in theory, gives some pretty powerful options.

But that's in theory. To be clear: I paused it because after two months it appeared to have paid for itself, but only just. So I'm not sure how great the system is. But it's possible that continued testing and working might yield real results. With everyone flocking to Facebook advertising right now, I am intrigued by the idea of going where other authors aren't.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Question about Amazon Advertising
« on: October 27, 2015, 07:44:43 am »
The first one I tested was for my nonprofit fundraising guide. I targeted 22 other nonprofit titles that I selected. That's pretty good granularity. The problem was, it was a pretty small target pool, so it didn't do incredibly well. But I bet if I increased the pool of titles it could have moved faster. Maybe I should run some new tests and update that thread... Getting inspired on some new ideas!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is everyone ok on kboards?
« on: October 27, 2015, 07:26:39 am »
She was talking to the other Annie, I believe, who I don't think has a book with justice in the title ;)

Dang. I think you're right. I hate being wrong. Oh the Heartache! ;)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Question about Amazon Advertising
« on: October 27, 2015, 07:15:12 am »
The ad options available through the KDP dashboard are very limited and do not include the ad area the OP was describing. It's possible Amazon is just beta testing the linking of KDP and ad services and might expand these options in the future. Right now product vendors get a lot more tools at their disposal.

OK, I checked through my emails and found the invite from Amazon offering to have me beta test sponsored product ads on August 11. We are talking about the same thing. So Amazon IS beta-testing sponsored products for books in KDP Select. I just happen to be one of the beta testers, which is why I thought it was wide.

I've been testing Amazon ads on and off since June. I've written about it on this thread if you want to read more. There's nothing specific there about sponsored products but you can see what I've been up to.,215862.msg3008786.html#msg300878

That said, the options that aren't in beta through KDP Select aren't as limited as you might think. I've placed my books on the lock screens of Kindles and across a variety of options on You can target by other specific titles or by genre. If you have a book in KDP Select, it's worth clicking "promote and advertise" and then "run an ad campaign" just to see what your options are in AMS.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is everyone ok on kboards?
« on: October 26, 2015, 11:00:17 pm »
Random note to Becca, telling Annie that "justice is coming on a white horse" was a serious missed opportunity to quote her own Book I title back to her. Ah well. ;)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Question about Amazon Advertising
« on: October 26, 2015, 10:24:11 pm »
You can sign in to the system with your KDP account or from the bookshelf in KDP, click on the advertising and marketing link for a book that is in Select and set it up.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Question about Amazon Advertising
« on: October 26, 2015, 10:22:45 pm »
Maybe I'm talking about a different thing, but I think I've done this through the AMS system.

With a book that is in Select, you can set up an ad for a sponsored product. It *has* to be in Select. But I think you can do it there.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is my cover good enough to become a best-seller?
« on: October 22, 2015, 02:53:36 pm »
The best advice I gleaned from KB is to keep writing and publishing. I've seen my income continually rise with each book published, then fall when I stopped releasing books (more will be released soon). Every month without a book being released has cost me visibility because I do little marketing. Marketing helps but with only one book, you have only one product to sell.

I concur with this wholeheartedly. I have three nonfiction books for nonprofits (in sig) and they sell reasonably well, considering how small the niche is. Multiple books has helped all of them. Plus blog posts and other platform building work. I'm being paid to fly to Atlanta this weekend to facilitate a 2-day board retreat thanks to those books. So the payoff for nonfiction isn't always in book sales.

Writers' Cafe / Re: The Liliana Nirvana Technique
« on: October 22, 2015, 12:36:44 pm »
I really am fascinated with this strategy. When I finish this trilogy, I am tempted by the idea of launching a new series with this in mind.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is my cover good enough to become a best-seller?
« on: October 22, 2015, 12:23:53 pm »
It's hard to read at thumbnail size, but the image is pretty good. Generally, I agree with those who have said that three weeks is too early to judge. 23 reviews in 3 weeks is pretty good!

One small note: can you find a more professional head shot? You're dressed well, but something more formal might go well for a nonfiction book like this.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Focusing on the Writer's Cafe's Unifying Principle
« on: October 22, 2015, 11:59:37 am »
Publishing Book II of my sci-fi trilogy in January (think I'm going to set it up as a pre-order).

I hope to finish Book III by the end of the year. 10,000 words in. Here's hoping!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is everyone ok on kboards?
« on: October 21, 2015, 08:35:09 pm »
Maybe I hang out in all the wrong corners of the WC.

I post drafts of covers and get good, honest (if a little blunt) feedback.

I share screenshots from when I try out PPC ads and even when it doesn't work very well, no one calls me an idiot for it (though many say they aren't going to try it themselves).

I post my milestones (still low—in the tens of thousands) and get kudos.

I guess I do avoid the 20 pagers on whether KU is a good idea or a bad idea. Is that where all this goes down?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is everyone ok on kboards?
« on: October 21, 2015, 02:05:09 pm »
I feel like 99% percent of the locked threads come from expectations held by new members who think that Kboards should be more (fill in the blank) and longer-term members telling them that they should stop foisting their expectations onto a community they just joined.

(Generally, I side with the longer-term members on that score.)

What is that "fill in the blank"? Why isn't KBoards WC ...

  • ...a place to talk about the craft of writing not marketing/ins & outs of self-publishing?
  • ... a place where Hugh Howey will volunteer to read my book and tweet about it?
  • ... a place where I can get thousands of customers for my sketchy business without proof I have any skills whatsoever?

Many kboards members have been here for years. They have built relationships over time. They help more often than they ask for help.

I'm sure it's hard to be new, but from what I've seen, Kboards is generally a lot more friendly to new people than a lot of forums like this. Especially new people who are actively writing, publishing, sharing their experience, and treating the forum like any other social interaction where you're meeting new people.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Interviewed on one of the podcasts
« on: October 11, 2015, 10:29:48 am »
Thank you for sharing the link, Annie!

Glad you could join us for a round number. Episode 50 has a good ring to it. ;)

Writers' Cafe / Re: sci-fi cover. Looking for feedback!
« on: October 09, 2015, 07:12:40 pm »
I think you should be commended for taking another shot at doing the covers in a style that readers are expecting from that genre. I know it's hard to leave behind artwork you've grown attached to, so kudos for taking the suggestions to heart. The new covers are much better for the genre. Good luck!

Thanks, Dan. Only the first is published and the sales have been very slow. I still feel quite good about the quality, so I'm hoping this steps it up. Glad you think the new covers are good! I'm excited as well.

And thanks, TheLemontree. Great idea!

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