6 Ways To Re-Boot kindle Sales

Just like any author out there I need to work pretty hard to keep sales of my books above the poverty line, and let me tell you that it’s a tough roller-coaster ride for both authors and publishers.

Even though I believe that Amazon’s KDP service is a great little platform for self-published authors to get their books out into the world, you’ll eventually find that you can pretty much control everything bar the customer. Nope, we can’t control those valuable entities, and so there will come a point in your self-publishing career when those lovely little spikes in your sales graph may naturally dip without warning, or just start to fall.

Such is life.

So, I’ve come up with a few methods of my own on how to get that little motor running again, (bearing in mind that they have worked for me in the past and I am sharing them here in good faith.)  Always bear in mind that if something isn’t working, push it aside and try something else.

1. DESIGN A NEW COVER

Design or invest in a  new book/kindle cover. Don’t groan at this because yes I know, making that original one was a headache in itself, plus it took forever, but sometimes a new interface is as good as a fresh start. This doesn’t mean that you should change your book cover every few weeks. Simply re-vamping something that people have already seen in their Amazon searches multiple times to something that looks new may not guarantee a new spurt of sales, but it could prick up some interest again, right?

And you don’t have to ditch the previous cover permanently either.

2. ORGANISE A GIVEAWAY

If you head over to Goodreads.com and offer a paperback giveaway competition, you may see a rise in sales. I would recommend a short burst giveaway, say two to three weeks, giving away a couple of signed copies. Include multiple countries on your list and make sure that you link your giveaway to your site and other various places FB, (twitter) #goodreads #giveaways. You won’t have earned royalties for those free copies (perhaps the royalty owed if you buy your own book from Amazon) but you have broadened the visibility of your book which encourages viewers to head back to your sales page.

3. CHANGE THE PRICE

I don’t recommend fiddling incessently with your book pricing structure, but if your book has been on sale for £2.99 for a long time and sales aren’t happening, you might want to lower the price to 0.99 for a short period of time.  Remember that there are thousands of books available for that price, and most readers will be sifting around there for good stuff first, before they consider paying any more, (that’s not to mention all FREE books they can get out there already.)

Whilst you don’t want to lessen the value of your book you’re going to have to play an experimental and angular game with the pricing market and act like those professionals do… monitoring your price structure, and seeing how well it does or doesn’t fare at any given quarter. Simply slapping a price on your book and hoping for the best for the next six months is not good enough. Whatever you do, just keep it all moving now and then.

4. CHANGE YOUR DESCRIPTION/KEYWORDS/CATEGORIES

There are many missed opportunities in sales due to lacklustre and badly written book descriptions.  If you see a drop in sales how about re-writing it with a bit more oomph! Add a review of your book to the description.

You could also try and play with a few of those keywords and re-define some categories which Amazon allow you to change in your dashboard at any time. Sometimes just a little nudge could get that ball rolling. Don’t give up!

5. ADD QR CODES AND LINK UP YOUR BOOKS

Here is something you can try for multiple books. Edit the text of your first book by adding a new page at the very end which mentions your second book, a sample of your second book’s leading chapter and a URL or a pre-order link. (Also throw in your best review here.) Link all your books together this way.

You can also add a QR Code (matrix barcode) to your kindle books. The QR code can be scanned and direct any potential customers to a book trailer, promotional copy.. etc. You can generate one right now over at this site: https://www.qrstuff.com/

6. INCLUDE READING GROUPS

I can’t believe that I didn’t figure out this little nifty idea when I started publishing my books because it really works in setting up an interesting lead for reading groups. I had some reading groups contact me via email and thank me for including some interesting notes and reading group questions inside my book. And it was so darn easy! Don’t forget that readers DO have viewpoints of their own and reading groups love to gather them around to base discussions around selected titles.

Remember, once your readers have finished the last page of your book, they are summing up all their feelings about your story. They are working out who did what… and why they did it, and generally basking in the glory of all the emotions you have stirred in them throughout. Needless to say, once they have descended from their reverie, that is the moment in which you need to grab them by the question mark! Yep, at the end of your book.

So here is what you do:

Add approximately 8 to 10 questions at the back of your book which encourage a talking point about some aspect of your theme or plot. It is easy to do this with historical fiction but even if you have say, a romance novel, you can urge readers to think upon topics of marriage or divorce etc.

Remember, ‘Reading Group Material’ is NOT a platform for you to put forward your own views.

Here is an example. My novel ‘The Whitechapel Virgin,’ bears a lot of contentious historical content due to elements based on actual events. One of the points I included for discussion in my reading group list is: ‘In Chapter 3 Annie helps Nellie abort her baby. Discuss the general attitude of Victorian women on the topic of motherhood and abortion.’

I also wanted anyone who picked up my book to see that there was valuable content. Hell, there’s juicy stuff inside that’s worth talking about! So to get them inside it made sense to grab them from the outside so I added a note to the back cover which states, (Includes Additional Reading Group Material). You will find that some very good traditionally published novels also use this technique.

Remember, inviting readers to discuss and think about your story is a sure-fire way to encourage them to review it and recommend or pass it on to the next person to read.

I hope my tips to boot your kindle sales have been of some use. If you have any tips yourself, please don’t be afraid to comment below.


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How You Can Earn Money on Amazon’s KENP

I’ve been partnered with KDP for several years now and closely followed every piece of data, chart and method they provide.

One of the questions I am often asked is: “How beneficial is KENP on Amazon, and how do you actually earn money from it?”

In this post I’ll explain just how you can benefit from the feature.

You need to be part of KDP to benefit for a start, which means signing up to the independent publishing service. KENP stands for Kindle Edition Normalised Pages  where some of your earnings are determined by how many of your book’s pages are read.

Breaking it down further, these are ebook pages which have been read by customers who have used the following service to purchase or lend your book – KOLL (Kindle Owners Lending Library) and KU (Kindle Unlimited.) Amazon determines how many pages of each book is read during each month using its own algorithm.

Below is a screengrab  (1 week view) of one of my kindle book’s KENP data.

On December 15,  2017 – (517 of my book’s pages) were read on a kindle device. Whilst I have no idea how they actually calculate the sum, (said to be something like a little more than half a penny per page) Amazon divides a fund amount by the total number of pages read and pays you (the author) a share.

Don’t feel daunted by this math. You literally don’t have to do a thing. The information is all calculated for you, and what I can say is that it really does work. Amazon paid me the sum of $1,417.50 in KENP earnings alone for one of my kindle titles over a quarterly period.

PROS: Not only can you opt in to receive up to 70% royalty ‘per book’ sale (if you price your book at $1.99 and above) but you also get paid this additional amount per pages read. KENP makes up a third of my monthly income so it certainly ‘pays’ to have as many books (pages) published as you can. Get writing, folks!

CONS: The flip side is that you must be enrolled with KDP Select to benefit, and this means making your ebook exclusive to Amazon.

My advice to self-publishing authors is to take advantage of this before some bright spark tries to abuse the system and Amazon change or clear the feature entirely. But remember, quality counts. If a reader opens a kindle title and finds a terrible book they won’t get any further in flipping more than a couple of those pages. Quality is still the key to getting readers to read an entire kindle book which is where YOU will benefit most from the KENP module.

Here is a link to a more detailed explanation of how the global fund is calculated and distributed.


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The Whitechapel Virgin – Chapter 1

A Sample Chapter from The Whitechapel Virgin.

Genre: Historical Fiction.

Published by Charlotte Greene, 2016.

All Rights Reserved.

ONE

The gentleman looked down at the young girl who had tripped before him and lay sprawled on the ground with one thigh exposed.

‘Young miss, are you all right?’

She glanced up at the dark-clothed stranger apprehensively, before taking hold of the black-gloved hand he offered her in assistance.

‘Thank you kind sir,’ she replied, rising to her feet.

He studied her with interest, narrowing his eyes to examine her features beneath the yellow hue cast from the lantern above, taking particular interest in her attractive almond-shaped eyes.

Lowering his gaze, the threadbare fabric of her clothing indicated an obvious sign of poverty right down to her scuffed dirty boots. Though if such shabby attire were to be discarded, standing before him would be a thing of innocent beauty and her sudden appearance served only to arouse his interest further. He examined the swell of her bosom where he might instinctively fathom her age, and by its relative flatness deduced that she was still at the cusp of womanhood.

Discovering a young lady carrying a case along the squalid and dangerous streets of Whitechapel at such a late hour could only signify that she was either a runaway, or a fallen woman caught between lodgings.

Of that he had no doubt.

He ought to know, he had spent his entire life residing amongst these women, who sought their best custom late at night when gentlemen exited the many drinking establishments more than mildly intoxicated. He recognised their mischievous scent, dubious expressions, doubtful eyes and that invisible aura of desperation they each carried upon their person. It was the latter which drove them behind the gloomiest alleyways or beneath the sheets of unfamiliar beds.

The girl had begun trembling now, fearful eyes ringed with dark shadows darted left and right as if she were lost or confused. For which direction she were headed it appeared that she could not decide.

‘Are you all right?’ he questioned her again.

‘Yes sir, I am looking for…’ her words trailed off at the appearance of a brawling gang of youths who were exiting a tavern a short distance away. A bell rang above the door and the girl swept her eyes to the location and kept them focused there.

‘I beg your pardon sir, but I must move on,’ she told him, and began to walk away before he could raise any objection or delay her.

He nodded, tipped his hat and allowed her to proceed.

There would be no point in bothering the girl with questions, he thought to himself. It was likely that she was fleeing from a troublesome customer, the very ones, who in all respects, either refused to pay their dues or requested more from these girls than they were willing to provide.

He watched her approach the tavern, partly to satisfy his own curiosity and partly to ensure her safety on the last few steps of her journey. There were more than a few offbeat characters about at this ungodly hour, for he had encountered more than a few himself over the years whilst roaming the narrow streets by twilight. He watched the girl open the door, sensing uncertainty and fear in her movements. She appeared completely unfamiliar with the popular haunt. Had she paused to enquire of him, he would have warned her that inside the Boars Tavern she might find many fallen women, for this particular district alone was heaving with them.

He could also, if one insisted, describe his most favourite belles-de-nuit in full and accurate detail. The pallid tinge of their skin, the promiscuous display of soft flesh above their bodices, the sanguine pout of their lips. Particularly tantalising to him was the more costly and better fed class of whore. Much more difficult to locate, but these particular ladies wore playful expressions as they peeled away layer upon layer of frilly apparel and under-garments. It was an act often repeated by twilight and many of them, by his own conclusion, offered an exemplary standard of service.

Of course, there were also the highly personal details of his interactions with them that he could not reveal quite so openly.

And these he saved for his diary.

They were the sort of scandalous details he had convinced himself to be bright modern musings for a man of his time.

One day he, Edward Cross, would make certain that his hobby-by-description procured some extreme wealth. Well, that is once he had found a way to debunk society’s unnecessary and old-fashioned scorn of the female naked body.

Yes, the day would come when he would make that act popular again, the pleasures of the flesh. He would bring it back into fashion, just as, “Harris’ List,” had done in the past with its well-documented and highly sought after list of Covent Garden whores.

It was only a matter of time before his publication would tear down the veils of prudery to excite and delight men throughout the country. Men such as – well him of course. A middle class gentleman with charm, intelligence and ambition.

And what of this lovely new handsome wench?

He began to whistle a popular tune as he continued along the uneven cobbled path, the fog thickening around him. He cast a quick glance over his shoulder to see that the girl had long since disappeared inside the tavern. Best to trouble her no further then, though he would certainly keep her in mind. Perhaps he would even pay a visit to the brewery shortly, for it was possible that the girl was ‘virgen in tactus’ and in the Whitechapel district of London, those untainted gems were becoming harder and harder to find.

 


This is Chapter One of The Whitechapel Virgin.

If you’d like to purchase the kindle version of this book please click on the amazon link below.