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My Freedom Flame

Motivating Writers Worldwide

Tag: Amazon

Gain an Edge at the Amazon Kindle Store

Essential, Yet Easily Overlooked Tips to Succeed at Amazon

Publishing at the Amazon Kindle Store is a must for any indie-author to get their work in front of as many sets of eyes as possible. It’s by far the largest online bookstore and while Nook, Kobo, and iBooks are great to publish on, Amazon is still a must.

But, Amazon has tens of millions of e-books and it’s easy for your new book, or debut book, to get lost in a sea of books.

Fear not, because I’m sharing a few tips I’m currently and have used to boost Northern Knights’ visibility on Amazon.

While I’m still relatively new to the indie-author (and marketer) gig, constant research has led me to trial and error, and something I could find that will be of value to my writing audience.

Below are five essentials you need to get your books visible on Amazon.

 

Keywords are a Must

First off, update your keywords. If you have a keyword or SEO tool, put it to good use. If not, Google and Amazon is fine to start your searches in.

Start with your book’s genre and subgenre for your primary keywords. Amazon will favor this, and make sure they’re in your book description a few times.

For instance, my primary keywords are:

1. New adult urban fantasy

2. Military fantasy

3. College fantasy

Okay, so you have your initial primary keywords. Now, you have four more keywords that are essential to not your plot, but also your genres. A cool tip here is it might get you into more sub-genres, up to five, per some indie-authors.

Kind of cool.

But, follow a few helpful hints I’m outlining here.

1. Find a keyword that isn’t too saturated. Anything more than one-thousand in the Amazon search results, forget it.

2. Find a keyword that is popular enough to have about 200 search results at minimum. In other words, don’t use a keyword that’s too obscure. One of my keywords is element magic, as it pertains to Northern Knights and has a decent return on search results at 832.

3. Don’t use anything that may not be related to your genre or plot. Amazon will yell at you.

 

Book Description

Okay so you wrote a killer book but it’s not worth jack if you can’t sell it.

How do you sell a book?

How do you go about buying a book?

Yep, you look at the cover and you read the description. I’m sure you aren’t blindly buying a book. I wouldn’t.

So, write a killer description.

Use the following in your description:

1. One of your primary keywords. So, I used new adult urban fantasy in mine. Do this near the top, as in the first sentence.

2. Use as many characters as you can. Amazon’s KDP portal allows up to 4,000. Use as many as you can, especially in Book One of a series.

3. Use hyperbole and hint, hint, hint. For Northern Knights, I used hints such as ‘Cain’s getting more than he bargained for’ and I spoke of his dark, disturbing backstory. I also hinted at the imperial threat now facing Cain and who’s after him. Leave cliffhangers and force a prospective reader to buy.

Rule of Thumb: If you wrote an awesome book, the book description must be better. A good description can sell a bad book but a bad description can’t sell a good book.

It’s like a book cover. People do judge books by their covers. For any book you launch you wish to charge money for, the cover better look professional. Homemade covers can pass for free books but paid books better have a professional cover.

Back Matter

This one is new to me and it’s ideal if you’re writing a series.

First off, you’ll want to have a link in there for customers to leave a review. You can do this by creating a hyperlink in your manuscript.

Second, have an acknowledgment section and make sure you credit the cover artist. It’ll only help their business as they’ve helped yours.

Third, have a link to other books you’ve written. Since my only other books are freebie novelettes (still 99 cents on Amazon but that should change soon), I haven’t had to do this but with Swords of Destiny on the way, the time’s coming. So, I went ahead and updated the backmatter to an excerpt of my second book.

 

Invest in Paid Promotion

Yep, paid promotion will work, especially if the book’s free. Imagine getting 3,600 downloads in one setting.
First, you’ll have to enroll in KDP Select, which grants Amazon exclusivity but it’s worth the time in the short run. Just remember to opt out of KDP Select after ninety days.

Second, make sure you have two books going for free at the same time.

Why two books?

If this is a series, you’ll going to want as many downloads as possible.

My strategy for Swords of Destiny?

Promote Northern Knights (most promotions only allow the first in a series to be promoted) and launch Swords of Destiny that same day.

Why?

Because of the loose ends that remain open in Northern Knights, people will want to see what’s up in Swords of Destiny if they liked the work.

Not just that, but you’ve the opportunity to get some favorable Amazon rankings after the five-day giveaway is all said and done.

That’s going to look good for your books, email list, and income.

Buy a promotion at Freebooksy or Books Butterfly and watch the magic happen.

Sure, paying for a promotion to promote free books seems counterintuitive, but sales will erupt due to higher rankings.

 

Funnel Your Blog Traffic

If you look to the sidebar on my site you’ll see a buy button for Northern Knights. This funnels interested readers on my blog straight to Amazon with one click. Here, they can view my book description, my Look Inside feature, and see if the book’s right for them.

To do this, you’ll need to go to your book’s page on Amazon, scroll down the right-hand side and notice you’ll see the embed button. Click on it and you’ll get some html code to type into your website.

Here, everyone who visits your blog will have easy access to your book. If you get 1,000 visitors a month to your blog, 1,000 eyes will be on your work as they read through your posts. It’s kind of a cool thing here.

 

Make Your Adjustments

These are little-known tips I’ve learned over my first three months as an indie-author. Some of what I’ve preached here I’m still learning myself, but by relaying the information over to you, we can all do one thing: increase our book’s visibility.

Now it’s your turn.

Go make adjustments right now and let your book rise above the competition.

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Lord of Columbia: A Pro-Freedom, Anti-Socialist, Anti-Corporatist Manifesto

The Idea of Liberty Lies Between the Notes

From page one, the reader of Northern Knights, Book One in the Lord of Columbia Series is going to get a sense this book has a pro-freedom feel. But, it’s also anti-socialist and anti-corporatist. As stated in previous articles, Lord of Columbia is a Manifesto for a Libertarian Revolution.

 
The idea of liberty in Lord of Columbia runs rampant. The pro-freedom manifesto discusses not only a colonial uprising against an abusive empire, but there’s always a real-life allegory behind my work.

 

To preserve, save, and spread ideas of liberty. Even if such ideas are frowned upon by the Left, whose entire ideology, socialism, is based on hate.

 
For instance, the early portion of Northern Knights, the reader is exposed to the dystopian nature of socialism. Take Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and multiply it by ten.

 
I paint a bleak picture when police threaten, harass, and beat individuals on the street. Their crime? Oh, just standing around, minding their own business. Heaven-forbid they spread ideas. Oh, God, no.

 

Or how about the propaganda PA system constantly reminding a docile public what imperial patriotism is? Fulfill its patriotic duty to an empire by invading and exterminating a native population, erasing its culture and history, so the imperialists have access to its resources.

 

And anyone against this sick agenda is anti-patriotic, the mainstream media will let you know. And once freedom of speech becomes intolerable because spreading of ideas pushes back against the grain of socialism, which involves theft by force of an authoritative figure, us thought criminals will be persecuted, singled out, and labled untouchables.

 

Hmm, and at this moment Black Lives Matter (see the link at the bottom) wishes to embrace socialism. They might want to rethink that if they’ll living in denial about the fact socialism is fueled by hate.

 
Or worse yet, the living conditions that come with totalitarianism. And in a free society, totalitarianism is intolerable. Much of the West has resisted such dangerous ideology for most of its existence, but as Ludwig von Mises wrote in his book Liberalism, true liberal ideology, that of our Founding Fathers, as been washed out by authoritarians.

 
And in the 21st Century, the idea of liberty is something Amazon is trying to curtail, and it’s scary.

 
How does one create a Pro-Libertarian Manifesto without being subject to Amazon’s thought police?

 
Write an awesome story. Include outer themes like friendship, teamwork, a common goal, and sports, yes, sports, in addition to the inner-theme, which is anti-state, anti-police, and pro-freedom.

 

Yes, beat the Left at its own game. Entertain mindlessly with the hidden pro-freedom agenda. And boy, I hope and pray my readers embrace liberty.

 

Amazon’s Censorship

Amazon gives us authors a list of guidelines, stating it will censor any work that promotes offensive speech. However, what is the offensive speech?

 

They never get to it.

 

So, what is Amazon?

 
It’s a monopoly preying off an unsuspecting public wishing to indulge in mindless entertainment.

 
Amazon thrives because it offers convenience at a reasonable price.

 
Yet, the Amazon monopoly has censored many works that challenge mainstream thought, as My Freedom Flame does.

 
A peep of anything regarded as sensitive material will cause Amazon’s thought police to ban the book, send an email to an unsuspecting author looking, working, making a living, off sharing ideas.

 
Only to be censored.

 
As is the case of Michael Hoffman, whose writings have been banned by Amazon Kindle.

 
As Hoffman points out in the article, if your book isn’t on Amazon, it doesn’t exist…thank the Lord and Lady Kobo struck a deal with Wal-Mart to carry its e-reader, the Aura. Bezos might finally have some competition.

 

Liberty Lies Between the Notes

It’s a sad state of the world we live in where freedom to spread ideas is threatened.

 
Many so-called Libertarians state Amazon has the right to ban anyone it deems necessary because it’s a private company. At times, I would agree, but when a company achieves monopoly or near-monopoly status, questions must be asked.

 
It’s important to remember the US allows monopolistic corporations to exist to engage in what is called censorship by proxy. It basically means such monopolies, at the permission of the US Government, to bypass both US and International Laws to tell people what to say and ultimately, how to think.

 
Knowing the US Government allows monopolies when the Sherman Antitrust Act was passed in 1890, banning agreements in restraint of trade and abuse in 1890.

 
Well, the US Government has failed with Amazon, while not a monopoly in a literal sense, owns sixty to seventy percent of the e-book market, again, this will hopefully change with the Kobo-Walmart deal.

 
For Lord of Columbia, the ideas of liberty must be passed by inserting ideas. Inserting ideas such as truth doesn’t come from authority. Truth is truth even if one percent of individuals believe in the truth while ninety-nine percent believe in the comforting lie.

 
Sad.

 
The truth is socialism always involves mandatory price fixing, curtailment of free speech…um…ideas, state-controlled monopolies, and extermination of “backward races.”

 

Backward races as in, those unable to evolve to a higher level of society as deemed by the elites in power. Just look at how many innocent people Stalin had killed.

 

Conclusion: Bypassing Amazon’s Monopoly

A story. A story about a group of friends, who saw the government-laden socialist dystopia they’re living in is Hell on Earth.

 
And when one’s athletic career is threatened, their entire life goal, the one career they’ve always worked for, is about to go down the drain due to the insistence of serving a tyrannical socialist dictatorship, sounds like something from Hitler and Stalin, action must be taken.

 
Human action, as in the terms of Ludwig von Mises, Classic Liberal, Libertarian, and Pro-Capitalist, but not a corporatist sense scholar.

 
Turn the information into entertainment. Tweak the author’s purpose. Turn it into a story. One for the ages. A book. A series. A pro-freedom manifesto spreading the ideas of liberty at the expense of state-run propaganda where a government hides behind the shield of private corporations like Amazon, and you just outsmarted Jeff Bezos and the rest of his thought police.

 
Anti-corporatist, anti-socialist, pro-freedom.

 
Lord of Columbia.

 

Links

https://fee.org/articles/anti-racists-should-think-twice-about-allying-with-socialism/

 

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50261.htm

 

Washington’s Matrix Is Closing Down Truth

 

 

How to Kill Amazon’s Bookstore Monopoly

Build Your Tribe, Platform, and Reputation

Though I’m a rookie indie-author, I’ve already picked up dozens of awesome tips regarding book sales and promotions. Also, I’m a rookie indie-author who relishes in controversy to the point my friends have branded me a young Alex Jones (though I’m a Trump-Critic Libertarian and not a Pro-Trump Republican).

 
Either way, as a true capitalist, I love finding ways to hand borderline monopolies a death blow, and Amazon is no different. Sure, I’ll put my titles listed there, but my ultimate goal is to find ways to get readers to buy without relying on a corporate giant who engages in the following:

 
1. Changes terms and conditions at will.

 
2. Will ban authors for suspecting wrongdoing, when said authors are completely innocent.

 
3. Inconveniences authors not enrolled in their KDP Select Program (which from my young experience does absolutely nothing in increasing book sales). I’ve open-published another book and it’s doing rather well.

 
4. As a continuation of number three, has now found ways to inconvenience authors enrolled in KDP Select.

 

Do Authors Need Amazon?

I’ll be honest; I published a second book called Fighting Tyranny and open-published the work on any website not named Amazon, just to experiment with a few things. I’m using Fighting Tyranny as a reader magnet, so she’s only a small novella, around 71 pages, 11,000 words.

 
But, Fighting Tyranny is just that; a reader magnet I’m using to do the following:

 
1. Build the Tribe.

 
2. Build the Platform.

 
3. Build my Reputation as an author.

 

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So far, the results have been decent. On Instafreebie, for example, I’ve already had hundreds of hits and around eighty email addresses in the first few days. Nothing crazy, but for a new author with readers interested in what he has to say, it’s rewarding.

 
The Tribe, Platform, and Reputation are all intertwined, but different in their own regard. For instance, I consider my Tribe to be my inner-circle of like-minded individuals, reading my work for the message I’m conveying. Such messages have strong Libertarian, nationalist, anti-imperial and globalist leanings, as well as desires for sound currency over fiat currency.

 
My Platform consists of all readers on my growing mailing list. These are readers who love my work enough to give me their email. They might like my voice, the way I tell the story, or something about my plot or characters that might entice them to come back for more. They may or may not be in it for my deeper themes and messages but are my solid fanbase.

 
My Reputation is even broader. Sure, not everyone’s going to give you their email; I’m selective on handing mine out because I don’t like being sold to. These people are ones who come across my work, like it, may hand me a good review, and tell their friends about this awesome book they read. In other words, my reputation as an author is traveling far and wide by people who may or may not read another one of my works.

 

You Have Hundreds of Thousands of Fans

Yep, even if you’re a newbie like me you have hundreds of thousands of fans, so it’s your job to lead them to your blog and website. Think of the following:

 
1. Friends

 
2. Friends of friends

 
3. Family

 
4. Family of family

 
5. Friends of family

 
6. Peers

 
7. Friends and family of peers

 
8. Co-workers

 
9. Friends and family of co-workers

 
10. Old teachers

 
11. Friends and family of old teachers

 
The list is endless.

 
At least one-hundred-thousand people know your name, guaranteed, or your reach is one-hundred-thousand.

 
Notice I haven’t mentioned anything online here, because these people are offline. Good old-fashioned word-of-mouth. Say one of your old teachers has a son or daughter who loves epic or urban fantasy and they heard a former student of theirs has two books out that will suit their needs.

 
This son or daughter of your former teacher just found out your name. Maybe they take a flier on your $2.99 e-book with a few decent reviews and like the work. Or if they don’t, they may know someone who likes the work. You just expanded your reach and never even knew it.

 

People Work for You

People work for you, not giant search engines like Amazon unless your book’s surging. So, now that you just found out your reach is far greater than you’ve ever imagined, they’re working for you.

 
And no, they don’t realize it. People don’t realize they work for one another. Put it this way, I know of a business owner over in Wintersville. His business consists of tires and other mechanics. The man has no website, no sign pointing toward his business, and he doesn’t even carry a cell phone.

 
Guess what?

 
He’s got the best tire business in town.

 
In fact, if you Google Search the business, it won’t even come up.

 
The guy’s raking in the cash and he has some of the best mechanics working for him.

 
I just told you all about this tire business owner in Wintersville, Ohio who totally rocks at what he does for a living. Oh and by the way, he has great customer service skills.
I just promoted him and his business (Pro Tire), so if you know anyone in the Wintersville area who’s in need of a tire change, kindly direct them to him and not the other place across town.

 
By the way, there are a lot of dissatisfied customers from the other place, who always places ads on TV, has done hundreds of commercials, has flashy signs all over the place, plus electronic billboards. In my own personal experience, his “mechanics” once almost killed my old car’s wheel-bearing. Needless to say, I haven’t been there since nor do I plan on going back, and no, I’m not naming the business on this site.

 
Once again, people work for people by telling people about their awesome experience at the person’s business.

 
And people will work for you, too, if they love your product.

 

What Have We Covered So Far?

We’ve covered both offline and online promotion without needing a search engine like Amazon, their confusing algorithms, corporate structure, intimidation tactics, and will to change the rules every other day.

 
We also covered the fact I’ve seen greater results open publishing on Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Instafreebie (though this is simply a giveaway site), Google Play, Scribd, Playster, and other aggregate sites for my magnet book…without putting the thing on Amazon!

 
And even better news; writers, I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but Kobo struck a deal with Wal-Mart to sell the Aura, which is their version of the Kindle. With iBooks being the second largest market to Amazon and Kobo striking this deal, Amazon will be sent panicking, and rightfully so, as all borderline monopolies deserve to collapse.

 
But, guys, seriously, for us writers, relying on Amazon will eventually be a nail in the coffin. I read articles about when KDP Select first came out, and it was great. Then, things were pretty good. After a while, they were okay. After that, hardly a soul has been satisfied with KDP Select. But, I wanted to try it with one of my books just to see what would happen…nothing good; I should’ve open published both, and I can’t wait until November 2nd so I can open-publish both and try like hell to direct people to the other sites over rules-loving Amazon.

 
At the end of the day, I’d love to sell my products on my own website, My Freedom Flame, as the books all present an identical message to what I preach on my blog:

 
1. Self-Reliance

 
2. Independence

 
3. Current Events

 

Conclusion

So, do we need Amazon as authors?

 
Of course not.

 
But, Amazon owns sixty to seventy percent of the market, which is why authors gravitate toward them.

 
What’s amazing is that in a free-market, we don’t have to abide by Amazon’s forceful ways. I’ve read enough about Amazon that I’m to the point of just open publishing my other book without worry what they do to my existing account, and the fact Kobo made a huge deal just in time for the holidays is a major plus.

 
What’s next for me (and you)?

 
Build the Tribe, build the Email List, build the Reputation.

 
We all have readers interested in reading our work; it’s all about making them visible to us. Be engaging on social media, give people a reason to give you their email, don’t try to sell them a million things, and let them admire your writing.

 
If readers love your style, voice, message, and ability to tell a compelling story, they’ll buy your work, and they couldn’t care less if it’s on Amazon or not. Ideally, I’d love to see the day where we’re all selling on our own blogs and smaller book sites, which will deal such a major blow to Amazon their near-monopoly on the book business will implode faster than the Houston Oilers in the 1992 Wildcard Playoffs (they blew a 35 to 3 lead).

 
Find your people, drive them to your stores and other outlets, forget Amazon is the only kid in the park, and do your part on bringing competition back to the bookstores. In the future, I’ll be adding Amazon to my list of ‘Truth’ posts each time I come across posts of authors they’ve inconvenienced in the past. The more we know about this, the more we can combat this borderline monopoly.

 
It’s time we’ve brought competition back to bookstores. It’s time we take a stand against Amazon.

 
I’d like to thank everyone for coming across My Freedom Flame, please come back soon.

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