Over the last 12 years, Carol McManus has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs, speakers and authors reach new markets using innovative methods of marketing, branding and social media. She prides herself on staying up to date on information that help her clients be more successful. Now, today, she'll be sharing how to drive book sales and build your own e-mail lists, using the back door secrets at Amazon.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 263
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[03:13] Tom's introduction to Carol McManus [08:18] Amazon is the biggest player in the ebook market [12:20] Kindle Direct Publishing (formally CreateSpace) [18:16] Use keywords in Amazon's book description [21:09] Set up your Author Central page [27:01] Amazon and readers love series of books [29:01] Customer reviews and social proof [33:09] Back door secrets [47:01] Sponsor message [49:17] Get what you know out there
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Episode 263 – Carol McManus
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody it's Tom here with episode 263 of Screw the Commute podcast. I'm here with Carol McManus and she I don't know if she's still calling herself the LinkedIn Lady. She was a LinkedIn expert for many years. And I was on her LinkedIn lady show I think 13 times had some kind of record. But but she's with us today with some really cool secrets about Amazon and list building and book publishing and all that stuff. So we'll bring her on in a minute. Hope you didn't miss episode 262. Very timely. I chose the topic because of what's going on in the country right now with the Coronavirus and working remotely. So that's what I told you about an episode 262. All right. Grab a copy of our automation e-book at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. It's the techniques I've used to handle up to one hundred and fifty thousand subscribers and forty thousand customers without pulling my hair out. So make sure you grab a copy of that at screwthecommute.com/automatefree and while you're at it, grab a copy of our podcast app. It's at screwthecommute.com/app and we've got complete training. You know, a lot of app developers just throw it at you and you got to figure it out yourself. Well, we've got a video and screen captures so that you can use all the cool features and take us with you on the road at screwthecommute.com/app. Now our sponsor's the Internet Marketing Training Center of Virginia currently and for the last eleven years it's been a distance learning school. But this summer we plan on opening it up for in-house classes because we're trying to get approved for the G.I. Bill and they want us to have in-house classes and we're right in the heart of military here in the Virginia Beach Norfolk area. Now we're putting out a plea to everyone. There's one little glitch holding up the application for the G.I. Bill. We need a full blown audit by a certified CPA that can do audits. But some of my big city accountants up north are trying to rape me on the price. I want a veteran friendly accountant that will give us a great deal on this to help the veterans out. The only reason I'm doing this is to help veterans out. So. So if you know, anybody have him get in touch with me at orders@Antion.com or my cell phone is also over at Screwthecommute.com site and we're willing to give them a scholarship that they can use for themselves or to gift to someone on their behalf. So check that out at IMTCVA.org.
[00:03:16] All right. Let's get to the main event. Over the last 12 years, Carol McManus has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs, speakers and authors reach new markets using innovative methods of marketing, branding and social media. She prides herself on staying up to date on information that help her clients be more successful. Now, today, she'll be sharing how to drive book sales and build your own e-mail lists, using the back door secrets at Amazon. Carol, are you ready to screw? The commute?
[00:03:50] Oh, my gosh. I am ready to screw the commute.
[00:03:54] Hey, so how you been, kiddo?
[00:03:56] I have been great. I have been great. Tom and you?
[00:04:00] Oh, I have. I had an interesting thing happen over the weekend. One of my rental properties. The. Are moving into a bigger place to take care of her mother. And so I'm showing this to a new lady. And. And I walk out on the back porch, say, look at the nice backyard, and I fall right through the deck. There was a row. There was a rotten piece of deck. So I just disappeared instantly. That's so. So guess what? She still rented it anyway. I don't know. She just felt sorry for her. But so. So I've actually got hurt. Worse of rebuilding it all day Sunday than I'd fallen through. So that gravity will get you.
[00:04:43] You know, it's hard to watch for your state story, LSD.
[00:04:47] So tell us to tell us what's going on. You've got some some big secrets to reveal to us today and then we'll go back. We also want people to go back and hear how you came up through the ranks and how you built this great business you have.
[00:05:03] Well, we can talk about that later. Yes. Chris. And, you know, to call them secret sets. That's a good hook.
[00:05:09] But the fact of the matter is they these may or may not be things that people are aware of. And I'm guessing a lot of people aren't. And what I love about what I have learned to discovered over the last all probably six, eight months of ways to use Amazon to our advantage, because we think of Amazon as like the big bag online retailer, the you know, the counterpoint to Wal-Mart in the brick and mortar space. And you got Amazon and everybody thinks they're big, bad companies. They're driving everybody out of business. And I happen to not agree with either of those statements. I believe what we have done has changed the business world and how we do business and have created new opportunities. So I thought, OK, I've got a couple of books out there on Amazon. I work with a lot of authors. I've done all the traditional things. And we're not here today to talk about a book launch or things that are going to bore people to death because they already know it. What I want to talk about is tying this to your world and the world that you introduced me to. God, how long ago? Tom here long time. Well, a long time ago about how to build an online business by not relying on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or any others. Are LinkedIn or any other social media site to be the way you communicate, but by building your own email list and having control of your connections with people and then, you know, using all of these other platforms to put that message out there, I'm still a big believer in and social media, but there's more to that.
[00:06:41] So Amazon, everybody knows what it is. But I want to just very quickly share a couple of of statistics that people may not be aware of. For example, today there are over 30 million paperback listings on Amazon. Over 10 million hardcover listings, well over 6 million. In fact, it's I think over 7 million now Kindle listings and over two hundred thousand audible listings. And that list is growing. What does that mean? It means that Amazon by far and away is the largest U.S. book retailer, and they control around 50 percent of the market of everything that was sold. In fact, specifically for the e-book market, which is where I think a lot of people are navigating today, because it is easier to get your your word out there. And there's things that you know, Tom, and I know you've shared this many times that people can do on e-books that you can't necessarily do as easily with a with a print on demand paperback. But Amazon today, e-books make up about 18 to 20 percent of the total book sales. And again, that number fluctuates, but it's about one in five sales as an e-book sale. Amazon controls almost 70 percent of the e-book market. So if you master that alone, you're gonna be ahead of the average bear as far as marketing is concerned. So knowing that the idea is OK. Well, how do I if all of those millions and millions of books are out there, how do I stand out? Wouldn't you agree? That's probably pretty legitimate question. You know, how do I make my book stand? Why am I even why am I even writing a book?
[00:08:21] There are only like seven million to be easy. But now there's.
[00:08:28] And there was more coming every day. And. And that's why I've been telling people, you know, don't bother. I don't know what you're your ideas on this. But I tell them, don't bother with Barnes and Noble Nook or these other ones, because Amazon is just the big player and they have the Kindle Select program that will give your book away. And so. So I don't fool with anything except Kindle.
[00:08:54] Good for you, and I do agree with that. I didn't. Oh, a year ago, a year ago, I was saying, hey, leverage all of your options because there are still loyal Barnes and Noble people that will go to BarnesandNoble.com and there are Nook users. But the fact of the matter is, is all of us have limited resources and even more importantly, limited time. And if you put your energy to where the market is existing and where it seems to be going, then I think you're going to be successful. And by the way, I probably should qualify this by saying, oh, my talking to his authors, the you and I tend to probably position most of our energies with people that are in the non-fiction business, broad based. They're using books, as I call it, a glorified business card. You're not going to there's very few people and probably nobody on this call or on this podcast, too, who is going to retire making money off of books. But the book becomes a valuable marketing tool for you because you're putting your expertise out there and it can augment whatever else you do in life. Maybe you're a speaker, maybe you're a podcast, or maybe you have a consulting business or a coaching business or a chiropractic business. I don't care what it is, you can fill in the blank. But the idea is, if you have a book out there available for people to get to know you and learn about your expertise, then that puts you in a special class of people, because very few people can say I'm a published author. So let's put that out. There is goal number one for the purpose of supporting whatever else is going on in your life not to retire on books. The second thing I would add to that is for those people listening who happened to write fiction, all of these principles apply to our fiction writers, too. You're not going to have necessarily the same business goals that the nonfiction writers and business writers will have. But the principles that I'm going to share today will will work for both. Fair enough.
[00:10:51] Yeah. And the big thing to me that when you're in this business realm that makes Amazon the one to go through and not waste your time on the other ones is the Kindle Select Program, where they will give the book away.
[00:11:07] I mean, I think that more than makes up for anything you would lose on the other ones. And people say, well, why give the book where? How are you gonna make money that way? Well, if you distribute like they distributed twenty five hundred copies of my shopping cart book for free in five days where it take me a year to give away that money.
[00:11:26] And and people started buying shopping carts all of a sudden. So so.
[00:11:31] So the books are always lead to something much bigger.
[00:11:35] Absolutely. I'm so glad you said that.
[00:11:38] And as soon as the authors listening to this can get wrap their head around that, that you've got to let go of the idea that you're going to make money. Maybe any money on the book, in fact. You know what? I'd even go so far as to say you may you lose a few dollars on the book because you're gonna have the investment of copywriting, hopefully and and layout and cover design and some of those other things. Yes, you can pretty much do it all through Kindle. I tend to lean toward using outside professionals to make sure it really looks good or you hire somebody to help you with that. But putting that aside, if you look at the book as your tool to achieve your bigger goals in life, which is exactly what you just said, Tom, then we're on the same page and now we have something really exciting to talk about.
[00:12:23] All right. So what are some of the methods?
[00:12:25] Ok, so we know that Amazon's the big player. Just to reinforce that, by the way, people may not know that over 70 percent of all books purchased online are excuse me are purchased online today. And of that, 70 percent, 70 percent are controlled by Amazon. So that just reinforces what you said. Just go with a big player. Don't worry about the rest. Go. So we're gonna use KDP, which for those who have been around for a while, you're thinking, well, I thought it was create space. Create space basically has gone away. It's been absorbed into this thing called KDP, which is called Kindle Direct Publishing. And I'm going to focus really on three things today. I'm going to talk about the importance of your book detail page about the author Central Account and about how to use a bait book to build your list.
[00:13:12] So that sounds like a three three good things to talk about, ma'am. OK.
[00:13:16] So I'm going to skip over gate KDP because I suspect you've probably talked about that before. And even if you haven't in any detail, it's very easy to self educate on on how to navigate through KDP. It's it's very, very user friendly. Their support team and their customer service team is fabulous. You write in the book, you can get it done and you can get it done quickly.
[00:13:36] And they even have a piece of software now that help you form a Kindle books now that you can download for free.
[00:13:43] Exactly. Exactly.
[00:13:44] So the world has changed. So, so, so much to help authors get their word out there. So let's talk about the book detail page. The book detail page is when people click on your book, that's what they go to. It's on the sales page. That tells me, why should I buy this book and. I have to tell you, almost without exception, for those clients who come to me who already have a book out there. When I go to their book detail page and by the way, they come to me because they say I'm not selling any books, and often that's often part of the problem. And I go to their book detail page and you can identify in a nanosecond why no one they haven't positioned the book properly. So what do you need to to do that? Well, it starts with a really, really good description of when you look. Pick any book. If somebody is listening to this right now and they have access to a computer or a tablet or a phone and they can go to Amazon, just pick a book randomly. I don't care which one you pick. Look at how the title, the author, the photographs and most importantly, the description that appears behind those little buy boxes where it says Kindle or paperback or hardback or whatever your particular audio, whatever your options are. What does that paragraph say? And is it your sales pitch? Think about when somebody reads that. There's two things that they're gonna make a decision on first before they even get to reviews. One is the picture of the book, which is vitally important. You have to have something. You have a little thumbnail. There isn't a lot to look at, especially when so many people using mobile devices. So make sure you put the effort into getting a book cover that's going to stand out in the sea of images that people are looking at.
[00:15:28] No, no white backgrounds on that, because it has to be something that looks like a box because the white background or just have your text slapped on the white background of Amazon, that will look really bad.
[00:15:40] And it looks really bad. You're absolutely right. And I would go the opposite end of that.
[00:15:44] Also, I would say try to stay away from all black backgrounds or black and white, because, again, it looks dark and imposing and the color is what pops. And that's a whole different conversation. So you've got let's assume you've got a good book cover. You've got a title that's gonna grab people. It came up somewhere in a search or somebody told them about your book. Doesn't matter how they got there. The next thing they're going to read is that little four, four and a half line description of what your book is about. And it's you can call it an elevator. Elevator pitch. You can call it a logline. You can call it your pitch statement that you would give to an agent or an editor. The bottom line is, what's the hook? Are people going to read that and say, oh, my God, I need to know more. I want it. I want to know more about this book. I want to know what people think about this book. This book is most importantly speaking to me. So with that in mind, as you look at the description you're looking at or looking at your own description. The question is, is it compelling? Does it speak to a specific target audience? And is there enough of a hook that's going to peak the interest of people to say, I think I want to know more, I want to investigate this because this book might be exactly what I'm looking for. So that makes sense.
[00:16:57] All right. So we're looking at the one before they would open up the full description.
[00:17:03] Now we're on the page where you've gone to a book page now. Okay. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:17:07] But the first part of it needs to be a good, great hook.
[00:17:10] Yeah, it needs to be a really, really good hook because people that's what they will gravitate to first. Now, interestingly enough, assuming that you've done that, the next place where their eye is going to go is right up to below your name. There's of five little stars there and you hope that they're all gold, or at least four of them are gold, because if they aren't filled in is gold because you've got good, solid reviews. Then the next problem you're going to have is you lack social proof. And in the world of the Internet, I don't care what you buy or where you're going. We are all influenced by what other people are saying about the product that you're thinking of buying. And I don't care whether it's a toaster, a Mercedes or a book. People want to know what other people think. So your your book detail page has to have a good description. It has to have information that's going to compel people. And you want to have gone through the effort in your launch, even pre-launch, to get some really good, solid reviews. So people are saying good things about your book because that's what your buyers are going to look at. Are enough?
[00:18:18] Yeah, a couple of things.
[00:18:21] No reviews or bad reviews will just kill your whole project right there. Did you know because because of the social proof then another little kind of secret is that I've been teaching search engine optimization for 100 years and most of the time with keywords that like to be found. And this is this is not stepping on where Carol's going to talk. Rose, just a sidebar here, but there's most of the time you don't want to put too many keywords because you look like a jack of all trades on a particular page. But there is one exception and that is an Amazon book description. I think you have 4000 characters in there, not Google search engine. Once your book to get found and get bought so you can plaster the end of your description full of keywords that apply to your book. You can't put like Britney Spears sex tape or something very cheap, but you can plaster a bunch of keywords way at the bottom by your description. Don't care if anybody reads them, but it helps your book be found.
[00:19:23] Absolutely. Absolutely. And you slid something else in there that I want to go back and reinforce to people. Amazon wants you to be successful.
[00:19:33] They want you to sell. They want to help you. So their algorithms are off the charts. Sophisticated in terms of when people are looking for keywords, they're going to help you help them find you because everybody wins. So it isn't like they're working at cross-purposes with you. Sometimes it feels like it happens on certain sites. Amazon is in your camp and it's but you have to take advantage of what they put in front of you. So just to wrap up this comment about book detail, your book sales will hinge on your book detail. Page advertising can help because we can talk just a little bit about advertising, but it's the book detail page that's going to convince readers to buy. If it's effective, it'll increase sales. If it's boring, it'll kill sales. Simple as that. I mean, it's, you know, sales and marketing one to one. If you have a boring message, people are gonna say next. Beautiful. Okay. So the elements just real quickly. Of a solid, really successful book detail page are a compelling hook, a good book description. Endorsements and endorsements and reviews are not exactly the same thing. You really want both, but we'll just say every customer reviews plus endorsements of the book. A good bio for yourself. Make sure you've got your bias. Your best excuse me, your best seller categories covered, how you position your book. And again, this is more KDP than than where I want to focus today. But be smart about where you position your book so that it's going to get found and it's going to get picked up. And then, of course, your book cover art, which I think is so, so important.
[00:21:12] Yeah. Okay. So let me throw another sidebar. So I presume what you're talking are not opposite, but different than what you're talking about. Oh, if you're writing a book, one of the best, cheapest ways to get started is go to the books in your category and click on the book that says look in and give you the whole table of contents. So somebody has already thought out all the topics that should be covered in that topic. And I'm not saying copy them exactly, but they're doing your work for you basically to get you started. So you can look at five or 10 books in your category, have your whole table of contents ready to go rather than try to sit down and think it all out yourself.
[00:21:53] I love that. That's. That's a great tip. That's a great tip. And then when you see what somebody else has done, most of us I mean, people who writer are creative people. You're gonna figure out how you can do it better and smarter. So I love that. OK. Stimulate your own juices. All right. What's the joke?
[00:22:11] Well, behind that now is you you are the author and people do want to know about you. And if you've written multiple books, this becomes even more important because a lot of people, when they go to your book page, they're going to click on your name and they're going to want to know a little bit more about you because they don't see a lot of that on the book detail page. They've only learned about the book. This is your author's Central Page. So authorcentral.amazon.com. That's where you set it up. And again, if you do this, maybe if you're listening to this and you're looking at a particular book, click on the author's page and then go to that author and see what you see. No one is there a good photograph of that author. And much like, you know, Tom, I preached for years on social media. This is not a time to get clever or cute. Don't put up a picture of your cat. Don't put up a picture of you standing on the prowl of your yacht. You want a good head shot photo because that's what resonates with people. They want to see the you know, the the the light of your eye, a load that you're going to write your biography about you, about you, the author. You have quite a bit of space to do that. This is not the time to put out your full resumé. You want to make it as compelling as your book description, as relevant to your authority to write this particular book. And a little bit interesting because again, people are now connecting with you as a human being, as the person behind those words on a page. So however you can position yourself, I mean, you know, I have a pretty long pedigree and I could go on for days talking about things I've done in my life.
[00:23:47] You know what? Nobody cares. They only care about it in relationship to what are those pieces of my life. That means something that has to do with the book that I have just put in front of you or the series of books that I put in front of you. So really spend some time on that. And here's an interesting little comment to twon is I have a lot of clients who get very upset. It's funny, they're boastful in one way, but when it comes to putting it on paper and writing something about themselves, they really falteringly, I don't know what to say about myself. So I tell them to go to somebody else who knows them well and ask, what are the things that you know about me? What are the things that you think would be important to talk about? Sometimes you can get good feedback from other people. You can look at your resumé and say, OK, what would I pull out of here? Although I really don't like resonators. They tend to be too stiff and a lot of people in the entrepreneur space don't even have reservations. But you can see the beautiful thing about the way you do it on Amazon is it can be a really narrative conversation with your reader. It can be a very intimate way to position yourself, just as you would if you were meeting somebody for a cup of coffee at Starbucks and saying, well, Tom, tell me a little bit about yourself and what you've done. And you always have an engaging way of introducing yourself. You can do that online again as long as it is logical and and relates to the book that you're trying to position.
[00:25:12] Yeah. You know, I think I'd be a little afraid to go ask somebody because what they said.
[00:25:17] Tom, you're a narcissistic jerk and probably want to write a book.
[00:25:25] You probably want to put that in people as people, you know, love and trust you. That's what I'm talking about.
[00:25:35] Hey, let me ask something about the photo again. No. You said don't stand on the boat, your yacht.
[00:25:43] But what if. I mean, are there exceptions to this? Like, would you still do a headshot if you were the yachting expert?
[00:25:54] Ok. That's a fair question. Again, it's the relevancy thing. Right. But but I would be careful that it's not, you know, self like you're you're this little pencil off, right? Right. Is that what you're saying first? Yeah.
[00:26:07] You have to see the person because you're positioning yourself as an author. You're not positioning yourself as, you know, the person who owns the yacht. So, again, there's ways to do it and do it very cleverly. But I would still try to go for that Close-Up photo with the backgrounds of the young.
[00:26:25] Maybe I'm steering the yacht or something, you know. So exactly. It's you're very visible and dominate the picture, but you can tell where you are.
[00:26:34] Exactly right. So the author Central Account, again, Amazon is great. They will walk you through it. But you want to get yourself out there and make sure that when people go to your page and don't feel bad, if you only have one book right now, chances are if you've written one, you're going to write more. But you want to make sure every book that you have out there is on your. Author Central Page, because that's where people will check you out and the formats and it's all back back burner. So there's lots lots you can do there.
[00:27:04] All right. Let me ask you your opinion on this. Because of I've been teaching this for a while that Amazon loves series of books. No one leads to the next leads to the next, lead to the next because it creates multiple sales.
[00:27:18] That is absolutely 100 percent true. And I would even go a step further. Not only does Amazon love series books, readers series books. You know, if you can do that under a brand that you've established for yourself and up and continue with a series of books and series doesn't have to mean it doesn't books it maybe two or three or four or five.
[00:27:40] But that that's a brilliant, brilliant strategy.
[00:27:44] And it could help people get started easier because let's say you're doing a tennis series. Well, you could do forehand and then you could do backhand. There's the next part of the series and overhead and serve, you know, so so it can be broken down into smaller segments to help you get started.
[00:28:02] And that, by the way, is where a lot of authors are going. And frankly, a lot of publishers are advising authors to go long tomes that we have been used to in the past. The two, three, four, even five hundred page books are really a thing of the past.
[00:28:17] People have they're busy. We're inundated with information and we like to get information in soundbites. So if you can take a 500 page book and break it down into five one hundred page books, much, much better, better for sales that are for credibility, better for everything.
[00:28:38] Just remember I had Click the ultimate guide to electronic marketing and that was a thought ended up a thousand and forty two pages and it just got to be too much. So, you know, one of the words we use is consumption. Your people have to consume your stuff or they're never going to buy anything else from you. So that's one way. Several years ago, just, you know, got rid of it and broke it down into smaller, smaller books.
[00:29:03] Yep. Yep, yep, yep. So the last thing on this whole basics of a book description, author description, of course, is customer reviews. So reviews will help close the book sales. That's the that's the bottom line is.
[00:29:18] When people see that social proof, they will undoubtedly make a decision to buy it. If they got that far, you can. It acts like a digital word of mouth. OK. We know that that sort of social media, one to one lack of reviews equals a lack of interest in the book. So it really is imperative that you solicit some reviews. But under no circumstances do you ever pay for them ever, ever, ever known fellows. Yeah, because well, first of all, Amazon won't allow incentives. But if you do it off the side, they're there. They're back. End algorithms are pretty smart. And if they see a whole bunch of things come up all of a sudden in a very compressed period of time where all the reviews look like they were written pretty much by the same person, they'll put you in the sandbox and you'll never get out. You'll never get found.
[00:30:08] Yeah. And something interesting that there was a study came out last year where a far five star reviews sell less than four point nine star reviews.
[00:30:22] That's absolutely true because nobody is that perfect. No book is that perfect.
[00:30:26] Yeah. Nobody believes the other one. So no. But you know, the problem is, you know, I recently asked people to give me honest reviews on my school.
[00:30:37] You know, nobody wants to give me any bad ones, you know? So it's still five star like 110. Five star.
[00:30:44] So I have to pay somebody to give me a bad review or at least a four star.
[00:30:51] Yeah. Come on, folks. I'm not that good. Good.
[00:30:55] I'll bet you are. OK. So how do you get reviews?
[00:31:00] Let's go to the absolute most obvious answer. All you have to do is ask people when if you are a speaker, if you are a coach, if you are a consultant, if you have friends, if you have relatives and you have people that you network with people, associations that you belong to, people at your church. Anybody that's it's in your world. The thing is, they want to support you. And you can say, I would really appreciate it if you read the book. I don't care what version you get when you get the Kindle, whether you get the print on demand. But if you like it, would you please leave a review on Amazon and people will do that. Not everybody will with them. A vast majority will in the case of books. And I don't care whether it's print on demand or Kindle. Make sure you clothes for the order. At the end of the book, ask for a review. Very easy to do on Kindle. It should be on the last page of the book. I hope you enjoyed this. I hope you'll come back for more. Please take a moment and leave a review for us on Amazon. So other friends of yours and other people will, you know, will be able to get the same value that you got out of this book?
[00:32:04] No. No. I think this is allowed. Can you gift the book to somebody and still get a review for them?
[00:32:13] Is that considered an incentive or not? Because our viewers, you'd ever make them buy a book, you know, right.
[00:32:19] In the real world. You can gift the book. But the problem is and it won't be verified purchase. It won't say exactly.
[00:32:26] It won't say verify purchaser, which isn't the end of the world. Not everybody is looking for all verify purchasers because they realize that I mean, you and I go out there and speak in front of people.
[00:32:36] You give books away and people go on Amazon and legal review. It's not going to be a verified purchaser. But the fact of the matter is, is it as long as you have some verified purchasers and then some that aren't. It's OK. Amazon is out is OK with that. Right. And the average bear average person on Amazon isn't really looking at that that closely. They just want to know what people are saying. And again, they're looking for the unique voice. They don't want to see a series of reviews that clearly were, you know, starting the ballot box. Right. Yeah. Exactly. OK, so let's let's jump to these backdoor secrets and we're gonna hit on to Facebook and we're gonna hit on an advertising. Let's talk about a bait book. And you mentioned doing Kindle Direct and doing free e-books. That is really the secret. That is what a bait book is. It's a permanently free e-book that acts as bait to hook new readers and persuade them to join your email list. And you're thinking, well, my God, I'm on Amazon. How are they going to join my email list? Well, guess what? What we're going to talk about is free. It's ethical and it identified its readers who like your content. And by the way, these free e-books don't have to be law.
[00:33:48] They can be very concise as long as the value is so great that people are gonna go, oh, my God. Not only is this good, but I want more from this person. So what what are the benefits of a beige book? It drives more traffic to you for free. There's no cost to create it. It can run by itself indefinitely. And it works for both fiction and non-fiction. It also works whether you're traditionally published or self-published. How much easier can that be? Great. OK. So on the bait book, it's up there on Kindle 4 0. And people are going to click on it. They're gonna get the Kindle version. And here's where you have to put some effort in your Kindle book. All of the magic of this is not on Amazon. The magic on Amazon. Is that simply putting it up there and making it free? That's the easy part where you have to control your audience is in the Kindle book itself. So you're going to have a free gift for authors. What if I could? Or what if you could? No. Your book will be success before you launch it. This is one person that I know that has done this very successfully. And what you do in the end of the e-book.
[00:35:04] And you can do it in the print on demand. But again, this is really for e-book, for the free book is you're going to have a page in that book that says it's sort of like the old infomercials on TV. But wait, there's more. So I just gave you this great free content, but you want more. And because you've hung with me, you're going to get more. All you need to do is click here. And when they click on that last page, it's going to take them directly to your Web site. And when they get to your Web site and now, Tom, you know, I'm in your territory of everything that you teach people is they're going to come to a landing page that repeats basically that message. What if you could you know, your book will be success before you launch it. You're gonna give them another free book, by the way. The ultimate the one that I'm using as an example here is the ultimate book marketing plan template for authors. And when they click on that, it's going to take them to a box where they have to surrender an email address in order to get their free copy. Does this sound like anything you may have taught people over time?
[00:36:10] It could be to add another little twist to it. So not only would I put it at the end of the book, I would still put it up at the beginning of the book.
[00:36:21] So you in Kindle books, you can when you're a reader, you can say go to beginning and you and the author gets the pick where the beginning of the book is. And so it lands on a freebie lead mag that whatever you want to call it, ethical bribe. But what's the beauty of that is it shows up when the people do the look in function so they can get a freebie without even buying your book and come over to opt in.
[00:36:50] So I love that both of beginning India. And the other thing that I love about what you're suggesting is we can't assume that everybody's going to get to the end of the book.
[00:36:59] Exactly right. Because they may not. I mean, that that's unfortunately the reality of life. Even if they love it, they may not get to the end.
[00:37:06] So that's a great book. I encourage everybody to do it. Some have done it just by taking a chapter out of the book, the full book. And the chapter is the bait. It drives people to the Web site. You capture an e-mail address and then they get a free download for the entire book. Again, it's really important to hear the word free here. You're not charging anybody for anything yet. OK. That all comes later. You have to be willing to put yourself out there and give some things away. And I know, Tom, you've been preaching this for years. Be generous with your content. And then people will have so much trust in you that when you do offer things for a fee, whether it's another series of books, whether it's a full blown horse, whether it's a, you know, a speaking engagement, I don't care what it is. You fill in the blank. Then they are more than willing to pay for it because they know you're the real deal and that you're going to give them something that's worthwhile.
[00:38:01] You know, my my vocab, the through a story, there's this real highfalutin lady was in the crowd.
[00:38:09] She was p_h_d_ like 10 times over. And I'm trying to get this point across that, you know, you give away freebies and they get to know you.
[00:38:17] And this is what you were just saying. And M.A.D. It was real sturdily. Hey, listen, I where spend a fortune on my p_h_d_. I'm not giving anything away. I'm starting to get she's kind of the whole day like this and I'm starting to get frustrated.
[00:38:30] And I finally blurted out, ma'am, you just gotta learn how to put out those two leaving together.
[00:38:44] Well, you know, that's the truth.
[00:38:46] You got to learn how to put out. That's give you whatever you got.
[00:38:49] You know you do. Yeah. And you know what? You and I are both living proof of the more you give, the more you do get back in spades. Is. It's just it's the it's the law of life.
[00:38:59] So let's go to the second secret, which is advertising. Now, here you are going to have to spend a little bit of money, but it is a little bit.
[00:39:09] It is this on a little bit. Exactly. Is it really worth the investment?
[00:39:14] And the answer is there are six benefits to doing some advertising on Amazon. Number one, market share. Number one, reach buyers that would never otherwise find you in a sea of those millions of bucks. The discovery of you as a new author, the discovery of your book. It's absolutely a fair way to position your book. It's affordable and it's really easy to do. So who can buy Amazon ads? And this is where there's if there is a hiccup at all, it's for those of you who are represented by publishing houses, they obviously must have an Amazon account, which I'm sure they do. But you, as the author, cannot place the ad. The publishing house who put the book on Amazon has to do it for you. So, for example, if you hired Ingram Sparks to do your book and be your fulfillment, they have to be able to do this for you, which they will, by the way. But you don't buy. Self-published people, which many of our listeners, your listeners are this you can do yourself. So if you self-publish using Katy D. And if you have control over your publishing house, you can do what I'm about to suggest. So real quickly, there's two types of ad sponsored ads and lock screen ads. Lock screen has more to do with shopping interest in Kindle e-readers and fire tablets and those things. Principally, it works the same way. I don't want to get down in the weeds of how it works. I want to talk more about the philosophy of how it works. I'm going to focus on sponsored ads, sponsored product that they are paper click ads that promote individual books.
[00:40:41] Now, for if you've been listening to Tom, you know what paperclip means? It means you only pay for the ad if somebody actually clicks on it. So this is not an endless budget that is guaranteed to be spent. Somebody has to actually click on it. Where do they appear? Ads appear on product detail pages. No, we talked about your product detail page across the desktop and mobile devices. So again, if you go back and look at a product detail page, you've already picked a book. There is going to be other suggestions that Amazon put out there. Say, well, if you want Tom's book or Carol's book, maybe you want Joe Blow's book. And if you look closely at it, it may say this is a sponsored ad page. Somebody paid to have that there to put it in front of you. So that's the where you can position yourself. So let's say you're writing off your. Let's let's talk to the fiction audience. Let's say you just finished a thriller and you're really excited about it. You've gotten great feedback. You've done everything right. You've got it up on. But how are you going to compete with Lee Child and James Patterson and John Grisham? And and, you know, the list goes on and on and on. Well, the answer is, is you pay for some advertising space so that the suggestion to buy your ad appears on their pages, go where the traffic already exists.
[00:42:02] Absolutely. Is that. Yeah. Who is that?
[00:42:05] Reminds me of Jonathan Mysel was one of the guys who's been on the Internet along with me and he said, don't try to get traffic to your website. He says, go where the traffic is and stand in front of it.
[00:42:17] I forget who said exactly, exactly why you use that metaphor. But the Grand Central Station for years. Other than there's no traffic there today, there's no trains.
[00:42:28] But this really, really works. So how do you target your target authors or to the authors can use specific keywords, categories or books. You can't actually target the author. So in other words, I mentioned Lee Child or John Grisham. So you can't target them as an author, but you can target specific books. So if I wanted to position myself as a thriller writer and I wanted to show up on a child page, I would use probably his most current book or the one that the last one that was The New York Times best seller. And that will, you know, get you positioning on that page. So again, when you start paying attention to this, because I experimented with this and I looked at some of them and so I tried, OK, I like Genitive on a pitch. So I search for Janet a Bondevik. And before I actually searched for her as an author in Amazon and the page that took me to yes, it brought up a Janet about a bitch book, but it was the third one on the list. The first two were sponsored ads for an author I had never heard of.
[00:43:27] So it works.
[00:43:28] That's how it works. And it's it's so fun to see your book on the page with the bestselling author. It's very thrilling, actually. I've got to tell you now in the nonfiction space. One could argue this is easier because it's not so much about personal notoriety as it is subject and keywords in the fiction space. It's often about the author's recognition. So you really have to think about where is the best place to position my book. And you said something earlier about, you know, not using keywords. What did you use the Britney Spears sex, drugs or something? The same thing here. If you're trying to sell a new cookbook or a book on on quilting, don't put it on a Lee child page just because you happen to likely child. OK. First of all, Amazon probably wouldn't even let it appear anyway. But don't trick people or try to do stupid things. This is a logical sequence of where do I want my book aligned with people who are reading other books, other known authors? And where are they at least going to? I'm going to have a shot at looking at it. And now we go back to the paperclip part of it. They look at your eyes and go, Oh, well, that looks kind of interesting. Oh, let's go back to where we started. You've got to have a good book description. You've got to have a good author, central page. And if you have those things and you look legitimate, like you know what you're doing, you have a compelling cover design and you've got some good rate reviews and maybe even some good endorsements that went with the book. Now, they may not know you yet because you're no, you're not John Patterson yet. But the fact of the matter is, is you have the social proof and you have the positioning and the professional positioning to say, you know what, I'm going to give this Tom Antion guy a try. Maybe, maybe this book will be of interest today.
[00:45:17] Is it a John Patterson or James Brown and James PAP's and John Curtis is trying to try to jump on James May.
[00:45:26] Yeah. Well, James, whatever. He annoys me because he doesn't write any of his own stuff in writing. Right. He's co-authored with everybody. But but who could argue? I'd love to have his bank account argue with his access.
[00:45:38] So just real quickly, because I mentioned I don't want to confuse people, there is a slight difference between sponsored product ads and my lockscreen ads. Let me just quickly give you a couple of bullet points here. Sponsored product ads appear on search results and product pages. They work both for e-books and paperbacks. The ads start as little as a dollar a day, folks. You know, that's a $30 a month budget, if that's all you want to spend to try this. And it works for both fiction and nonfiction. Lockscreen ads are a little bit different. They appear on the home screen or Kindle devices. They are for e-books only. And there is a minimum budget of one hundred dollars, which still isn't a backbreaker if you're really trying to drive book sales and get some attention. And it works best for fiction.
[00:46:24] It's one hundred dollars worth. I mean, over what? Minimum minimum budget for usually I think it's for a 30 day period. OK.
[00:46:32] Ok, so those I mean, let me stop talking for a minute and ask you if you have any questions or anything you want to add.
[00:46:38] I mean, no. I mean, I have been adding along the way it's the you know, it's just such a powerful medium to have Amazon behind you doing all this stuff on your behalf. And like you said, they're on your beat. They're on your side. They want you to sell. They want you to keep coming out with more content. And they're just driving the Nook and Apple e-books and all this stuff, it just into oblivion.
[00:47:03] So so these tips are what makes it happen. All right. We've got to take a brief sponsored message. Then we'll come back with Carol to finish it up with you with these super great tips that she's given us on the Kindle writing. And I'm a big believer in the in the medium, that's for sure.
[00:47:03] So, folks, I want to make you mad. Basically, I want you to go to IMTCVA.org. That's my school. And then put forward slash quiz and we'll have everything. Carol stuff and all these links in the show notes so you can just click on them. But it's going to make you mad. It's seven ways traditional colleges and universities are ripping off families and contributing to the student debt and lowering the educational standards and artificially raising the grade point averages and all these things. I mean, I've got this show in development in Hollywood called Scam Brigade. So I'm very in tune with fraudulent type things. These people in colleges would be in jail if they were in a regular business and did these things. So it's just outrageous. And it may not apply to you personally, but I guarantee, you know, somebody that's got kids that are thinking about going to college and wondering how they're going to pay for it and all these things. So take that quiz. And then the problem is, is, is that they're not teaching usable skills. Even Google, Apple, IBM, Bank of America and hundreds of other companies are getting rid of the college degree is as a prerequisite to apply because kids are getting out of school and all they know how to do is protest and cry about things. And these companies want people with actual skills. And that's what we teach in the school that I founded. Things that I've been living the you know, the life, the Internet lifestyle for now. Twenty six years since the commercial Internet started. So that's the hard core skill, things that are highly in-demand. So in six months or less, the kids can have a career. Even someone high school can be making their money and have a career before they graduate. So check it out at IMTCVA.org/quiz. Pass it on to somebody that might need it and haven't get in touch with me if they'd like to discuss the future on the internet.
[00:49:22] All right. Let's get back to the main event. Carol McManus is here. She's longtime friend of mine, podcast host, prolific marketer and and coaching consultant. So what else should they or should they know about this, Carol? And then tell him how to get a hold of you, OK?
[00:49:36] Well, the simple thing, Tom, is I really want everyone listening to this to know that they have it within them to write a book. If you've already got one, I gave you the tips on how to drive sales and support your business and build your e-mail list. I know Tom's talked about these things, too. For those of you who haven't taken that step yet, I really encourage you to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, get what you know out there.
[00:49:59] Get what's in your head, in your heart. I don't care if it's fiction or nonfiction, but we have an opportunity in today's world to get our message out in a way that we never could have, even a couple of dozen years ago. And it is a powerful way to connect with people. It's a powerful way to build your business. It's a powerful way just to leave a legacy behind. So if you need help doing that, that's part of what I'm doing now, is helping authors get their voice out to the world. The best way to reach me is Carol@CKCGlobalmedia.com. You can e-mail me anytime. I promise you I will respond and or you can go to CKCGlobalmedia.com and register for my e-mail list. I would love to talk to you and help you in any way I can. And Tom, I can't thank you enough for having me on again. It's always a pleasure, my friend.
[00:51:00] Well, I still owe you like 12 more time.
[00:51:04] You have me a future.
[00:51:06] Yeah, but she's really right. And on the other overriding principle, as we sit here in basic our country and the world in quarantine, your income can keep coming in if you're stuck at home. You can be producing these things in great volumes. When the world gets back to normal, you've got intellectual property that you can pass on to your kids and and can make money when bad things like this happen. So this is this is the Internet lifestyle. And the Carol gave you a good insight into the electronic book, ideas that can just so easy to create. And even if you're a terrible writer, I mean, we both know a guy. I won't mention his name, but he can barely read out loud and he's got 14 bestsellers. So, yeah, yeah. So if you have the ideas in your head, it's dirt cheap to get people to write them down for you and edit them. We got retired English teachers beg in my video. Guys go to his mother is a retired English teacher, just always desperate to keep her mind busy, taking jobs, editing and proofreading and all that kind of stuff. So this can happen. So, Carol, thanks so much for coming on.
[00:52:18] I appreciate it. Thanks, Tom. Have a good day and be safe and be healthy.
[00:52:21] All right. Thanks, everybody. We'll catch y'all on the next episode.