A few weeks ago, a friend and fellow indie-author received one of those most-coveted orange “best seller” flags from Amazon. Knowing that he had been working hard on social media to attain that #1 rank, I reached out to him to see if he might be willing to share some of the methods he put into practice to get there. He agreed to put those thoughts down for you, so I’ll turn the podium over to him.
Using Social Media to Attain a Best-Seller Rank on Amazon
James Quinlan Meservy
Jenelle was kind enough to ask my thoughts on promotions on Social Media, and I hope what I have to say may be useful to you.
Here is what I did when I hit #1 in FREE DOWNLOADS & #1 IN SALES with “Sykar the Volkrog” but be warned, some of the things I did are now against Facebook Community Standards, and I recommend finding a method of promotion that will not get you banned from Facebook, or put in FB jail, or suspended in group activity because the BOTS monitoring FB activity flag you as spamming.
When “Denizens Among Us, The Realm of the Light Book 2″ was released, I wanted to increase my personal seller rating, so I posted my perma free books, “Welcome to the Realm of Rai, A Rai Saga Short Story,” and “Sykar Meets the Flause” in FREE book groups on Facebook, posted self promos on IG, Twitter, MeWe, my blog, my newsletter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr. I also asked friends and family via Messenger to help me reach my goal by sharing my promo posts, and asking if they have purchased a copy of either book yet.
I also updated my keywords and categories on Amazon using advice from an author friend.
Then I continued to post in my free & book promo groups on FB (about 10 groups an hour with different text every 5 groups) until I hit #1.
After I hit #1 twice in Free Downloads (I personally believe I was premature in saying ‘bestseller’ because they were free, but I was so emotional at finally seeing one of my books as #1 of sales in any category, Free or Paid, that I was not thinking straight and overly excited) I KNEW I was a bestseller in PAID categories, I envisioned myself as a bestseller in a PAID category for a few years now, and was determined to hit #1 with 2 paid-for titles. So I did everything the same as above, only with my 2 titles which were on sale for $0.99, ‘The United, The Realm of the Light Book 1′, was on a promo sale at the time, and ‘Sykar the Volkrog’ is a perma-$0.99.
Sykar gained traction in its category and started selling, so I continued to promote it, whereas The United was not going anywhere in its category. As I started gaining sales, I started taking screen shots of Sykar’s progress, and posted it on Twitter, my Author Page on FB, IG, and my other Social Media accounts with headlines like “Sykar is at #6,” “please help this adorable puppy become a bestseller,” and my personal favorite “let’s beat Pickachu” (the #1 in my category was a how to draw Pokeman book, when Sykar was at #2.)
Apparently my posts gained some attention because Sykar the Volkrog eventually hit #1.
Side note, I tried some different strategies on my page and blog that DID NOT work, such as “everyone who posts Proof of Purchase of the Kindle edition of ‘Sykar the Volkrog’ will receive a free audible code for the audiobook edition.” Only 1 person commented a Proof of Purchase.
I only hit #1 in sales with Sykar for a couple of hours of Amazon, and am still trying to figure out how to hit #1 on different sales platforms. This is still very much so a learning process.
Moving forward, here are my recommendations:
1. Instead of Messaging everyone individually to help me share my posts about my books, I would create a Messenger Group and then invite Friends and Family to Join, and only ask them to copy, paste, and/or share a Facebook link from my Author Page or personal profile.
2. Only ask friends and family to help you share your promo posts if you think they would be supportive and helpful, otherwise you may damage or strain your relationship with them.
3. This is my sincere advice about Facebook promotions in light of the new Community Standards, only post 1 promo post in 1 Book Group every hour or so, so choose your groups carefully.
4. Before going on a big promotional run, build your Newsletter with NL swaps, and your blog with Blog Tours.
5. Creatively think of how to phrase your promo posts. I was informed that asking people to ‘buy’ your book outright is considered illegal, so be careful on your wording.
6. Keep in mind my personal thought, “The only bad marketing idea is the one you do not try, the rest are learning experiences.” Within reason, at least. My strong advice to you is to keep within the standards and guidelines of whatever Social Media Platform and sales platform (generally Amazon) you are using.
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