Saturday, January 24, 2015

Interact with Readers and Sell Books

(Updated May 2017)
Though it may seem surprising, the Kindle Boards offer you a way to interact with readers and publicize your books across multiple markets. Regardless of whether you use the boards for this purpose, it's worth getting familiar with them. 

When you go to the registration page (link below), you'll see a few paragraphs on treating other people respectfully. These appear before you enter identifying information because provocative comments (in the sense of flaming) and insults are not welcome or allowed. If you're insulted by not being able to be insulting toward others, the following sums up the Kindle Boards' perspective.

-  If the...guidelines irk you, and you're ready to get on your soapbox about free speech on the web... this is probably not the place for you.
-  If, on the other hand, you enjoy respectful and engaging dialogue and have a sense of courtesy to others... welcome! Enjoy! 

Assuming you follow the concept in the second bullet, here's the registration page.

After the usual steps and responding to the typical verification email, you're ready to go. 

The home page looks plain compared to the blinking buttons and dancing icons on some pages, but you can get right down to business. A menu at the top guides to you topics of interest to readers, authors, and more. 

A few inches below are headings for:
Amazon Devices
Authors' Boards
Content (as in the books themselves)
Reviews (geared to Kindle readers, but there is an 'other' category)
KB Boards Forum Central
KB Boards Info Center (lots of posts from authors about formatting, marketing, more)

Spend an hour or so figuring how you want to fit in. Find a forum you like and interact with readers and other authors.

If you're an author, you can create a topic for each book in the Book Bazaar (in the Content area)--but that's the only place you can do so. The single topic entry per book is firm. You can update it (to publicize a sale), but if you do a separate post about the same book, the moderators will merge it with the original page. Make sure you bookmark your topic so you can get to it easily.

Use the Book Profile Pages to Reach Beyond Amazon

This is how you reach readers beyond Amazon. Not that most readers want to, but some authors (like me) make most of their books available on all ebook retail sites.

Use the address below, and substitute the Amazon ASIN for your book after the equal sign. (First take out my ASIN and put in that for one of your books.) Because you have not created a book profile page, you will get an option to do so. The link page noted here is to one of my books (Ground to a Halt), which already has a profile page.

At the top of the finished profile page are flags that correspond to all of the Amazon sale sites. You can add three more purchase options, so you'll see BN, Google Play, and Smashwords on my book's profile page.

Imagine that -- one place to send readers to buy your books! Put in a link to your web page, too.

There is also a spot at the top of a book's profile page for you to write a note. Sometimes I quote a review, sometimes a thought about the book that is not in the description. You only have a few hundred characters (not words), so keep it short.

There is a place to link to the book's topic in the Kboards Book Bazaar. That's important. You publicize bargain or free days there, and may choose to add links to all sites that sell the book, not just three sites.

When you're done, save the profile page.

What's the best part about all of this? It's all free. When I created a Book Bazaar topic (different from the profile) for Ground to a Halt, 1,300 people viewed it before it went on sale. 

Get busy, and good luck!
                                            *   *   *
Elaine Orr writes the Jolie Gentil and River's Edge mystery series.
Check out Elaine's web page or sign up for her newsletter.