Michal Stawicki is a personal development author from Poland. This week he joins us to talk about how he learned from established authors in his field to write and publish 15 books in four years, how to use Quora to drive traffic and affect Amazon’s algorithms, how he’s making Amazon Marketing Services ads work for him, and the importance of persistence.
In 2012, Michal read Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, the first personal development book he had read in 16 years. This ignited a passion for personal development that Michal applied directly to his own life, leading him to write 15 books so far, become a life coach, and earn enough income to buy a house and renovate it…all while maintaining a full-time job and raising three kids with his wife.
Michal describes his books as “Proven techniques from a practitioner. True stories.”
His first book A Personal Mission Statement: Your Road Map to Happiness grew from the encouragement of a friend who had read a blog post Michal had written on the the topic. He has recently published Directed By Purpose: How to Focus on Work That Matters, Ignore Distractions and Manage Your Attention Over the Long Haul, the fifth book in his well-reviewed series Six Simple Steps to Success.
Michal’s Top 3 Marketing Strategies
Although Michal has been able to build his author platform mostly through organic growth and targeted keywords, here are his top three marketing strategies for authors:
- Establish and grow your email list. Your best targeted audience you want to be communicating with are going to be readers who intentionally signed up for your email list. Nurture and grow that list.
- Nurture relationships in your field. It takes time to build community and relationships with other writers in your field, but putting in the work will create opportunities. Steve Scott, one of the authors Michal learned so much from at the beginning, has promoted Michal’s books to his own readership…but that was through diligent, value-adding, and consistent contact on Michal’s part.
- Maintain consistent social media presence within the same group of people. Michal met many fellow authors in his field like Nick Loper and Steve Scott through Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Facebook group. Michal focuses not only on consistency in his social media presence, but added-value in his interactions. (Check out Michal’s article on how he uses Quora to promote business growth as a blogger.)
Amazon Marketing Services
Michal reports he’s had very good success using Amazon’s ad platform Amazon Marketing Services (AMS).
The upsides: Amazon’s ads are more affordable than Facebook ads; ad targeting allows for up to 1,000 keywords; and it’s much easier to put together an ad on Amazon as compared to Facebook, especially if you’re not adept at graphic design.
Downsides: Books have to be enrolled in Amazon’s KDP Select program in order to be eligible for ad campaigns within AMS, and the data tracking is not very good. In order to ensure ads are profitable, Michal says it’s crucial that authors track their daily stats and sales to determine the effectiveness of their ads.
An interesting outcome from his advertising efforts using AMS is Michal’s been able to increase the percentage of his paperback sales gradually from 10% to 60%. He’s not entirely certain why this is given the advertising program is geared only towards promoting digital products, but he has been able to confirm a similar outcome with fellow personal development author Derek Doepker. One reason might be that personal development readers might be more inclined to purchasing physical copies of books, but it’s difficult to ascertain what’s driving the higher paperback sales without further data.
Advice to New Authors
“I think what worked for me was simple persistence.”
Show up every day. If he didn’t show up every day, Michal says, all the tricks, tactics, and strategies he’s learned would be to no avail.
If you persist every single day, he urges, you will get more readers, new readers, and you never know who will share your book. Show up every day.
Have you used Amazon Marketing Services ads to promote your books? If so, what genre are your books in, what were your general results, and did it seem to significantly affect the sales of any paperback versions?
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