Episode # 15 – The Most Effective eBook Marketing Options with Kevin Leigh

In Editing, Launching, Marketing, Mindset, Social Media, Websites by Simon Whistler14 Comments

ebook marketing with Kevin Leigh

Digital marketing is important for authors and Kevin is the digital marketing director for a 1,500 employee company. While a new author he knows what he is doing when it comes to branding yourself and your book online. In the second half of the show we also talk about how to create and launch a book if you are on a budget.

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The Most Effective eBook Marketing Options with Kevin Leigh

Links:

Gollup the Woods

Amazon Profile

Kevin Leigh’s Website

Mentions:

Voice Dream – digital text reader

Lift Habit setting application

Brand Yourself Clean up your internet image

Beginners guide to SEO – SEO is important for ebook marketing both on Amazon and your own website. Worth learning about this.

The Other 8 Hours How you could be spending your time more productively

MailChimp – Good way to send emails to everyone you know when you have written the book.

Show notes:

Writing with a Busy Job

Was writing with a full time job, just got up an hour and a half earlier to write. Managed to put together the book despite working 10 hours a day. To proof the work as he goes Kevin saves the text to Dropbox and uses the Voice Dream application on a cell phone to have it read back to him digitally. Kevin uses the drive to work to listen to the text and uses a tape recorder to mark corrections. Really excellent for picking up errors in the text as the digital reader reads everything, errors and all. Kevin works in digital marketing, which gives him an excellent knowledge when doing his ebook marketing.

Online Presence

You must have a personal brand around your name. People will Google you and judge you. If you own your own space you get to make a great first impression. Clean your profiles around the web, don’t have any photos of you drinking alcohol online – inappropriate photos can put people off you instantly.

Owning the .com of your domain is important. If it hasn’t been sold yet, buy it. As a secondary consideration if your book becomes popular you should buy the name of the book as a .com as well. If it’s not available you can buy something similar, or approach the person who owns the domain to see if they want to buy.

Setting up a Site

– IXHosting inexpensive and allows installation of a WordPress site. WordPress seems to be the winner if you are not an expert web developer (we also use WordPress for the RSP site).

– There are thousands of free templates for WordPress which can make a great looking site. You can customize these to look like your books. Brand consistency is super important so match the site to your work.

– WordPress isn’t complicated but the start can be difficult – ask someone you know who knows about this stuff to get you set up. You’d be suprised how many people in your network might know how to do this.

Content on Site (and SEO)

– When you write a post, put it on twitter, this can be good for encouraging a Google to give you a better ranking (do this with ‘shortlinks’ from Goo.gl to post your content).

– Regular content is important, post it as often as you can, but more importantly don’t go months without posting something.

– A better ranking means you can rank for terms that your audience will be searching for, for example “young adult supernatural thriller”.

SEM

This is where you pay for advertising on Google. It is a way to draw people to your website to purchase your book. This can be an expensive form of ebook marketing.

1. Start to type a Google search and see what it comes up with automatically.

2. Write down the ones that relate to your work (the long ones are better).

3. Buy Google adverts for that and they will appear when someone types in that combination of works. From there people might click them and buy the book.

(Kevin details this process in much more detail in the interview).

Budget Book Launches

Ebook marketing for launching a book doesn’t need to be expensive. You can start with very little and then use the profits to reinvest in the book to make it better. Even small amounts of money can be used to improve the book, $50 can buy marketing or a decent premade cover.

Kevin managed to get a very good deal on an editor from Odesk who did the editing for $350 total for a 100k+ word novel.

He also found a great deal on a cover designer – recommends looking for up and comers as they’ll often work for less.

Google Docs is a free place to write and edit a novel.

As you can see, everything (from ebook marketing to editing) can be done for less if you spend the time looking for a good deal. Be careful to check references before agreeing to work with someone.

Quotes:

“Roadblocks are just excuses wrapped up in pretty packaging”

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Leave a comment below or get in touch with Simon by email at simon@rockingselfpublishing.com

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Simon WhistlerEpisode # 15 – The Most Effective eBook Marketing Options with Kevin Leigh
  • Roberta Loufek

    Thank you for this interview with fantastic information. Kevin Leigh knows so much, and you did a great job asking questions. This is a keeper – one I will listen to again and again.

    • SimonRSP

      Kevin shared some great insights, thanks for listening Roberta! 🙂

    • Roberta, Thanks for the comment, sorry it took me so long to notice. I never thought to look at this page for feedback until this morning.
      Kevin Leigh

  • Ari Lessiers

    Woohoo shoutouts for me!! You are awesome Simon keep at it!

    This is so interesting. My professional Web designer chum advised me that my name ‘Grant’ was
    too common, plus a middle-aged motivational speaker man had it already. So I went with a pen-name
    Ari Lessiers, which was/is pretty uncommon within Google and Amazon.

    He told me to build my site right now even though I’m only releasing my first book next year;and start blogging minimum weekly and link each post to my twitter/Fbook/wherever so that google would start ranking me. Also told me to mention the name of my book series often for the same reason.

    However there was no way I was gonna blog daily as, even I get annoyed at people who blog daily I’d rather say something interesting twice a week than just write nonsense for SEO reasons.

    Trying to find weekly topics to blog whilst using my book series titles, made me realise I could blog my ‘inspiration soundtrack’ song by song, link this to a youtube playlist that I already had for my writing. Similarly, I started Pinterest account for inspiration Art that I had been bookmarking for years. Between the art and the music, I’ve got ‘behind the scene/character/how I named this character/what myths and legends this story arc was based on/which actor would i chose to play this character’ articles coming as well. But I’m keeping in mind what I’ve loved from other author websites as reader and fan rather than as a writer.

    • SimonRSP

      Ahhh, damn, I should have mentioned your pen name, my bad!

      Blogging daily would be a real challenge, especially while trying to write, you know, a book. I was thinking it would be kind of cool if authors shared (non-spoiling) scenes from upcoming books, but I’ve not seen this elsewhere, so maybe there’s a good reason for that…

      We’ve heard it a bunch on the show how important it is to get that web presence up and running so I think at least getting the website up before the book is a great move – putting some blogs posts up as well can only help!

      Have you thought about doing a Spotify soundtrack for your tracks so far? I know it would greatly increase my chance of listening to the whole collection :).

      • Ari Lessiers

        Lindsay Buroker constantly posts cut scenes and character interviews on her website.

        I’m going to look into spotify , don’t know much about it, can anyone use it?. My reason for youtube is that is that it is big for the demographic of a YA audience. I’m constantly reminding myself to think of audience, even thought I don’t have one yet. I need to be doing stuff for an audience of readers rather than one of writers, which is something i see a LOT of writers doing.. Plus i get to blog one song from the ‘Book Soundtrack’ per post with a little write up of how/where in the novel it fits, so my Book 1 soundtrack = 16 individual blog posts.Though I might do a wrap-up post with the whole list and add a spotify soundtrack there…

        YA readers are also demographically on Wattpad and tumblr. I will use the former to post up short stories and perhaps my first book, but tumblr is just another avenue that I’m hesitating to join as I’ve got so much already, and I don’t know anything about it at all… Maybe later in the year? Or if I could automatically hook my blogposts to a tumblr feed…

        • SimonRSP

          Spotify is 100% amazing! I think it’s only open in a few countries at the moment – I know US and UK are included, so anyone in those countries would be able to listen :). If you’re elsewhere I think you can sign up and just say you are in the US… might need a proxy or some such to do that though (TunnelBear is free and easy 🙂 ).

          I can see why you went for YouTube though and I think it’s great that you are getting the word out before the book. Building some anticipation and all that good stuff :).

  • E.S. Ivy

    I have been listening on my phone but I wanted to come over and comment. Thanks for telling us your background, just like writers reaching readers, rather than other writers, I think doing a blog/podcast for the audience you wanted to reach was an awesome idea! And you really ask good questions and provide lots of good information. Keep it up!

    • SimonRSP

      Thanks E.S. I was on the fence about it (for the reasons I mentioned in the episode) but it went down well :). I’m glad you are enjoying the show and finding the information useful. Keep on listening! 🙂

  • Victoria Danann

    Just listened to this episode and picked up a couple of marvelous tips including the scooping up of related domain names. I have purchased an additional seven, including a couple of popular character names, and pointed them to my blog. I’m also converting all posts to Google short links and tweeting the links. Wonderful info. Thank you.

    • SimonRSP

      Advice into action! Love it. If you are tech savvy (or have a friend who is), it can be fun to set up your own shortening service. I use “rspcast.com” to redirect people to the right page on the podcast/twitter/facebook. Totally free using ‘YOURLS’

      • Victoria Danann

        Ooh! I’m on it. THANK YOU for the follow up.

  • Tracy Kunzler

    This is SO great! I am going to listen to this one a second time, as there is so much information and so many fantastic tips! Thanks to both Simon and Kevin for your generosity in sharing so much great information!

    • SimonRSP

      You’re welcome Tracy, it was great to have Kevin on to share some of his knowledge. It’s also great to see that people continue to enjoy the archived episodes :). If you liked this one, I’d also recommend another episode with plenty of digital marketing advice (rspcast.com/17).