Last week I was doing a certain type of promo for one of my Kindle books and it was going awesome… until I got an email from Amazon.
Listen or watch for what happened…
Things mentioned in this episode:
Alright, welcome to the podcast, this is episode 20 of the Passive Profits podcast. I am Nate rivers, and this is strayblogger.com, for those of you who do not know, what we are gonna talk about today is the kindle publishing mistake I made last week that ended up costing me a lot of money, a big sales ranking inside the kindle store, and it is really stupid that I did this because I had a warning. And I just went with it anyway. I was trying to get this promotion set up and done, I did some preparation for it. Anyway, I will get into what I am talking about here in a second, I will tell you exactly what happened.
First I want to read one of these 5 star reviews from iTunes. If you’ve gone to iTunes and found the podcast, you can search strayblogger or Passive Profits podcast, or you can search Nate Rivers, you’ll find the podcast, and leave a review; I would love that.
So Azadel said “Love this guy, he shares so much info, some of it is out of the box. Just found his website and it is awesome. Just wish he would make new podcasts more frequently. I’ve listened to them all, many of them twice. Keep it up Nate.”
Thank you for the review, I love seeing those reviews. I will, I am gonna start podcasting more, making more episodes, and again, one more thing before we get into this, we are gonna go to a reader question. This reader asked a bunch of stuff, but this was essentially the question. How can I know that the system I am following is not going to be obsolete in 6 months? That’s a great question, and I know that this exact idea in its different forms is what paralyzes people from taking action and working hard in their business every single day. The common thing that people do is they will get excited about a certain program or format or some model that they are gonna try, and they will work on it for a week or so, and not see immediate results, and start wondering, okay, am I, the reason they start going back and reading more sales pages and buying more courses and things like that is because really it comes down to this question, they are worrying in the back of their mind, am I spending a bunch of time doing something that’s not gonna lead to anywhere?
So my answer to this question is earlier this year I just kinda had this realization that there are basic things online and it is really just general business principles. You need to follow and it is basically back to the basics approach. You need to have something that you sell and you need prospects that you turn into customers, and as far as online goes, the easiest way to do that is starting out with the kindle eBook, and building an email list. Those things will, I cannot say never go away, but those are things that are gonna be around for years and years and years. And building an email list, that’s I could talk about 10 or 15 different reasons why you should do that.
But it is an asset that you own, that you control, it is push button traffic, and it is just the easiest way that’s the path of least resistance to turn a prospect into a paying customer. Because you follow up with them, remarket to them over and over, help them see you as someone they should trust and buy things from. Take advice from. So it is a back to the basics approach. Having your own product and building an email list and your website is the communication channel, you send emails, let them know about new blog posts, things like that. So the website’s kind of your home base. So let us get into this little issue I had.
So last week I made a huge mistake. It cost me a lot of money, what happened was I was running a kindle countdown promo for one of my books. I do not use the free promos anymore, you have to choose between a countdown promo or a free where you make your book free for a while. The kindle countdown, I admit to make these, you’ll see a little spike in sales, but it is not gonna be crazy. But if you have a list which I do, for these certain kindle books I am talking about, I have I think like 5 or 6 books on this certain topic, and kind of my strategy is every week or two I put a new one on for 99 cents. That are normally 2.99, and I just email my list several times.
So what happened was I made some changes to the book before the promo. I re-uploaded it in the kindle publishing interface thing, and when I did that, it said no spelling errors or anything, and a lot of times I do not even do this because I’ve gotten used to having my word document that I upload and everything’s been fine. I’ve never had a problem with this.
I uploaded this and looked at it in the previewer, and for the kindle fire preview, it showed like all the text was smushed over onto the left column into one letter per line. So it looked really weird, the text was all messed up, that’s what I am trying to say. And so I clicked on an iPhone, clicked on an android preview, clicked on the regular kindle or paper white thing, and they all looked fine, so I thought okay, that’s fine. So I published it, within 12 hours I got the email it was up for sale, the revised version, so the next morning the price went to 99 cents, this countdown started. And I had emailed my list a couple times over a few days.
The promo is doing awesome, so it shot my book up into the top 4000 paid on kindle, and it was getting a bunch of downloads each day. And these are 99 cents, but they’re still paid downloads, and the reason this is better is because you are fully, still in the paid kindle rankings.
The free rankings, those do not correspond to real sales after your promo’s over anymore. You have to get a ton of downloads for that to make any difference anymore. And so the countdown deal works better because it will just send your book up the actual regular paid rankings. So I had gotten this book in the top 4000 with these emails, putting it in 99 cents, then I got this notice from amazon that my book was taken down because of an error. And it said it was gonna be unavailable for sale until I got this error fixed.
So right around there it was in the top 4 or 5 thousand, but it was unavailable, so all night, let us see. I got this notice in the morning. So I am not even sure when it went unavailable, probably the night before. So it was unavailable, so I hurried and fixed it. It took me a while to figure out what was wrong. Basically I had made my, I had the document in pages for mac, and I exported as a word doc and immediately uploaded it, I did not look at it, and it looked fine once I opened it in word later, but the margins were 1.25 inches left and right, in the pages document, and I changed them back to 1 inch like the kindle formatting guide said online. And that fixed it. Whatever the issue was, that fixed it.
So I reuploaded it, took another 12 hours, so it was unavailable for a little over 24 hours, I think. and being unavailable, it couldn’t be bought at all, so it dropped into the 15 thousands, and then the 20 thousands. So overall the promotion still helped the book, but it would have slowly, your books will always slowly go down in the rankings at this point, there’s so much competition, but it would have stayed in the top 10 thousand for several weeks because I’ve done this before.
So the takeaway is always check your book in all versions of the previewer and the last thing, it does not matter what you write it in, but check your book in Microsoft word at the end, before you upload the .doc, the document, and check it against kindle’s recommended formatting guidelines. So that’s it for this episode, for more tips and stuff like this, if you like this kinda stuff, go back to strayblogger.com, opt into the email form, I send my best stuff through the email, let you know about new content through that, so get on the newsletter on my list, whatever you want to call it. And yeah, I would love it if you went to iTunes, found the podcast, type in stray blogger or Nate rivers and leave a review. Thank you for listening.