What does this mean? Well, selling more books on non-Amazon retailers requires a distinctly human approach.
Building connections with company reps
One of the most effective ways to get into special features and promos on these stores is to build an actual connection with someone from the company.
That’s where writer’s conferences can come in handy. You’ll find Kobo, B&N and sometimes Apple reps at most big writing conferences (think RWA, NINC, Thrillerfest, etc.). Go talk to them. Now, don’t stalk them and sneak in your book in their bags when they’re not looking. Instead, offer to buy them a drink (surprise: book people like to drink!!), ask them for tips to get more sales on their platform, and tweet/retweet them during panels.
Sending your readers to non-Amazon retailers
Making friends with reps isn’t a requirement, though, and it certainly isn’t enough to get features or promos on their stores. Merchandising teams all share the same goal: to drive more sales. So you’ve got to prove to them that your books can sell on their store.
How do you do that? Well, you actively promote your book specifically on these retailers. For example:
Include links to your book on iBooks, Kobo, B&N, etc. on your website
Set up pre-orders exclusive to iBooks and Kobo (I’ll tell you why next week)
Do cover reveals and exclusive sneak peeks on iBooks
Run Facebook ads targeted at interests like “iBooks,” “Kobo eReaders,” etc. (crossed with your usual interests) and promoting your book’s page on these retailers
Run price promotions and use promotion sites with a known non-Amazon readership (e.g., Bookbub and BargainBooksy)
The great news is that “wide” books have a much higher chance of being accepted for a Bookbub “Featured Deal” than KU books. A single “Featured Deal” will skyrocket your sales on all retailers, which will likely get the attention of the merchandising teams, who may, in turn, feature your book in their promos, driving even more sales… And THAT’S how you build yourself a presence on non-Amazon retailers.
Until next week,
Ricardo, Founder @ Reedsy