Live and learn. That was the slogan of our marketing team at Pics.io when we started our self-publishing journey on Amazon. Of course, at least once in our lives, each of us has bought a Kindle book. But none of us has ever imagined becoming an actual author of a book - right there on Amazon.
Yet, here we are. Our newly published book on Digital Asset Management is available on this renowned marketplace that attracts 194 million users monthly.
Anyway, this is the time you might ask a very reasonable & timely question. Why should a SaaS company such as Pics.io go to the trouble of writing and publishing a nonfiction book on Amazon?
Why publish a business book on Amazon?
Like any other business, we think a lot about our marketing, sales, referral programs, and all things related. Over the past few years, we have tried various approaches, many of which have brought us good results. For example,
- We have reinforced our blog by moving it from Medium to a different platform. That has greatly improved our performance, brought more traffic, and given more transparent analytics.
- We have greatly improved our sales funnel with more structured demos that have increased our paid conversion rate to the unbelievable 65% in just eleven months.
- We have embarked on a massive outreach campaign which proved to be so effective that we are now even considering hiring a new person who will deal solely with outreach.
Putting it briefly, we’ve always been on the lookout for new ways to expand our presence and drive more sales. For this purpose, some time ago we even enrolled in the SaaS Academy run by Dan Martell. There, among many other things, we learned that self-publishing on Amazon can be a great marketing tool.
So, why should you self-publish on Amazon?
- Your content gets massive exposure on one of the largest marketplaces, and that costs you absolutely nothing. Isn’t it a bargain?
- Publishing a useful book is a chance for you to establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry. Something that other people may refer to.
- With a good promotion, you can earn money. Amazon royalties range from 30% to 70%. But with traditional publishing, it is only about 10% to 15% tops. Again, the publication itself costs you nothing!
All these sounded like reasonable reasons to try this new marketing approach.
How to publish a book on Amazon?
First of all, you shouldn’t be scared. The whole process is quite doable, and everything can be done on a shoestring. So, buckle up - I’ll walk through all the steps you have to take before you see your manuscript on the Amazon bookshelf.
- Content. Like any other business, you surely have a lot to say to your current and potential users. You most certainly have your blog or some sort of help center where you regularly entertain and educate your audience. Over time, you generate a huge volume of useful content that can make a pretty good book.
Avoid “stitching” it all together mechanically, though. It should be a coherent narrative with good internal logic - easy to follow, with clear takeaways. Another thing you should avoid is bragging too much about your flagship product. The book you are writing should have a broad perspective and bring value to your target audience, no matter whether they are your users or not.
- Formatting & design. All this turned out to be much easier than it looked in the beginning. Amazon has very detailed guidelines on how your manuscript should look. You just can’t miss a thing.
We did the whole formatting and cover design on the house, without outsourcing this work to somebody else. So, it didn’t cost us anything except the time of our in-house designer. And if you don’t have a designer on your team, Amazon has free tools where you can do it yourself, including a free Cover Creator tool.
- Filling in the details. This refers to all the additional information you add about your book. And believe me, this is something you should take very seriously. Why? Because the findability of your book largely depends on what you write here. Plus, much of this information is locked and cannot be modified later, after the book is published.
How to make sure you enter the right keywords or put your book in the relevant category? Well, we’ve read a ton of help articles on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) and watched lots of help videos before we were confident enough to make this step.
Besides, there are a lot of businesses out there who help new writers to get their publication shipshape. And of course, they share quite a lot of tips and lifehacks in their blogs and podcasts. I for one recommend Dave Chesson from Kindlepreneur. His Channel on YouTube was a huge help.
Promotion. Let’s be realistic. There are thousands (if not millions) of books on Amazon. If you want to get your book noticed, you have to do something. Again, there is a vast collection of help articles on Amazon about promotion. Make sure you read at least some of them and watch their videos. This will help you shape your marketing strategy for the book you publish.
Here are some ideas you can use:
- Networking. Contact as many people as you can and tell them about your book. This includes your users, business partners, friends, people from professional communities that may be interested in your proposal. The more the better. And if they respond positively, do not lose a chance to ask them for a review. That will help your ranking immensely.
- Kindle Select program. This is a deal you can get from Amazon. By giving them exclusive digital rights to your publication, your book gets more exposure with Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
Plus, (and this is my favorite part) enrollment in this program makes you eligible for Free Promotion - several days per month when you can give away your book for free. If you ask me, this looks like a great freebie for your new users or a stocking-stuffer for your business partners on Christmas.
By the way, right now we are running a free promotion campaign for your DAM guide. If you want to know everything about digital asset management, welcome to grab your free copy.
Amazon advertising tools. Amazon itself provides a bunch of opportunities to promote your book and get more sales. The system looks pretty much like pay-per-click advertising in Google. So, if you have some experience with that, it won’t be very difficult for you. Again, you can start small and see how it works in your case.
So, what’s inside our DAM guide?
Briefly, this is everything we know about digital asset management. Pics.io has been in the market since 2012, with more than 40,000 current active users from different industries. So, we know exactly what we are talking about.
Here are some of the most important milestones in our book.
- Do I need a DAM service or not? We give a very honest opinion on why your business needs a DAM service or, maybe, why it doesn’t. It really depends on many factors. Some teams may do well with Google Drive storage alone, but some will stumble against its limitations very soon. It’s important to understand where you belong to avoid costly mistakes in the future. And our guide helps you decide that.
- Criteria for choosing the DAM. There are many DAM products on the market. How to choose the right one? Which things should you pay close attention to? Our guide answers all of these questions: which features are absolute must-haves, which integrations are very desirable, how you can cut costs on your DAM storage, etc.
- Practical advice for implementation. It happens quite often that you buy some solution because you are attracted by so many opportunities it offers. But in the long run, you end up just scratching the surface, using only the basic features. The whole purchase looks like an overkill. That’s why our guide helps you make the most of your DAM solution, explaining how this or that feature can support your business process.
- Case studies. That goes without saying. Practical advice from our actual clients - what could better illustrate the value of digital asset management? We have a lot of them in our guide, so you can easily use somebody else’s experience to solve your own business tasks.
This is just a brief overview of what we have in your DAM guide. Welcome to have a look at it on Amazon. You can flip through the first few pages and read the table of contents.
And if you believe our guide may come in handy, welcome to download it for free during our Free Promotion campaign.
Do you happen to know someone who could benefit from our guide (or this article, perhaps)? Please, share it with them.