Yesterday, my friend, Jerome Dumont, told us how he’d uploaded his French language e-book using Apple’s registration process . Today he takes us through some of the marketing steps he tried, including translating his book into English to reach a larger maraket, and how he fared with the Kindle.
As I was selling only a few e-books a day, mostly in France, I decided to try to market my book using Google’s Adwords. I quickly created a text based ad, and set up an ad campaign.
Adwords’ principle is based upon bids you place to get the best spot in user’s queries. You won’t be listed as result of a Google search (this is for websites), but next to the results of those searches (like those small text ads, often promising penis enlargement or other things, depending on your search, of course).
You set up keywords and establish the bid you want to place on those keywords., and you set a daily budget. Mine was three Canadian dollars and the maximum bid was .50 cents as I just wanted to give it a try. You can also set the territory and the age of people you’re targeting: I targeted France and people aged 18-60.
Well, it worked, but not that well. I had four downloads some days, but also zero downloads some other days. I guess I should have invested more, or raised my bids, but I didn’t want to spend all my book revenues on this and to be honest, I didn’t think I’d sell more than 100 books anyway.
And that gave me the idea of reaching out to a larger market, full of potential clients: the USA and the rest of the world. But I had to translate my book first.
I did it myself and, as it’s a 60 page book, it was quite fast, although I spent some time correcting it. It’s amazing how French uses LOTS of words to say things that take only the third amount of words in English. I put my English book through the approval process and I uploaded the translated version on September 16th.
But there is another big book seller on the web: Amazon. Their registration process is much easier than Apple’s. All you have to do is sign in on their website. If you already have an Amazon account, it’s even faster.
As a regular user of the Kindle Apps, I wanted to give it a try but it wasn’t exactly a smooth ride! The conversion process is definitely a pain in the butt, especially for a Mac user. You have to start from a MS Word document, save it in HTML format, and then convert it into .mobi format, the one used by Amazon. Apparently, you can also upload your MS Word doc directly on the Kindle self publishing website, but I didn’t try as I had some images and special formatting in my book.
After a dozen tries, I finally ended with an acceptable Kindle version, which I checked on my ipad, iphone, and on the Kindle emulator. I uploaded my book, my cover page, entered my metadata, and set a price.
I priced it a little higher than the price on the Apple ibooks store because I had to translate it and that took some time, and also because the market is much bigger. Kindle book prices are usually around 10-20 USD. So my price is going to be 4.99 USD – still good for the impulse buyer!
The approval process takes around 24 hours, and may take 72 hours if the book is not in English. But yesterday, my book was approved! I don’t know if I’m going to be the next diet guru or not, but I’m definitely sure of one thing: No “real” book editor would have taken my book and published it. The e-publishing gave me the opportunity to share worldwide my experience, to make some sales, and when I see what Peggy went through with her book, I can tell you that it was much easier for me.
As long as you respect the guidelines and formats, e-publishing is not that hard (although people consider me a geek, so I may have a slight advantage in dealing with technology…). But there are also web services to help you e-publish your book although they do take a fee in the process.
Anyway, bestseller or not, e-publishing is quite affordable nowadays and believe me, it’s quite an exciting adventure. I’m really eager to see how many sales I’ll get with my book translated, both on the Apple’s ibook store and on the Kindle!