And there’s one company out there that collects, analyzes and shares that data better than anyone else out there: K-lytics, an expert analytics firm for indie authors and publishers company run by the brilliant Alex Newton. And I’m delighted and grateful to announce that Alex and his team has joined the 2022 Women in Publishing Summit as a Bronze Sponsor.
You might be wondering why authors need this kind of analytical data. Isn’t the job to just write a good book and market it, letting the chips fall where they may? K-lytics offers a smarter path, one where you can make informed decisions as you go through the publishing process, all in service of better sales.
What does K-Lytics do?
K-Lytics was founded by Alex Newton, a man with a mission: to help authors make better, faster decisions so they can focus on THEIR mission of writing. They’ve built a reputation by making sense of the Amazon supply and demand.
There are more than 8 million English language books on Amazon. That’s the supply. On the demand side, you have more than 20 million people in the U.S. alone who own e-reader devices and millions more who have a reading app on their smartphone or tablet.
The team at K-lytics reviews the massive amount of data available on Amazon’s website and analyzes it for trends that impact the bottom line for authors and publishers. From what genres and sub-genres are trending to what cover images and titles are selling to what average prices look like, they take massive data sets and turn them into usable information for working authors and publishers of any size, all for an affordable price.
Think of K-lytics like “Bloomberg” for the book market. What categories, covers, tropes, keywords, etc., are trending up? – Which are trending down? – Which pockets of the market offer high demand but come with a low level of competition?
What makes K-lytics different from something like a keyword report is that it’s not just a snapshot in time. Amazon sales rankings fluctuate WILDLY – something can be a “bestseller” for an hour and then drop into obscurity. K-lytics collects thousands upon thousands of data points to get an accurate big picture of what’s selling and at what price. And it’s data you can look at in broad genre categories, all the way down to sub-sub categories.
Amazon can be a black box for so many authors, but we know it’s possible to build a sustainable author career if we can just crack the code. What we love about K-lytics is that their reports guide choices by using real world, real time, real clear data instead of sound bytes.
What kind of author needs K-lytics?
K-lytics’s basic reports cover 30 different Amazon book categories, both nonfiction and fiction, and their premium reports cover more than 400 sub-categories. The elite reports cover 2400+ sub-sub-categories. So no matter what you’re writing, there is data available to use to help inform your publishing choices.
So whether you’re writing Time Travel Romance novels or Nutrition nonfiction, there is actionable data on current trends in your genre.
How can I learn more about K-lytics?
K-lytics is joining us on January 25 at 1pm EST for a free webinar about how you can use data to boost your book’s Amazon sales! Register here to check it out!
2021 has been a huge year for changes at Amazon for authors. We’re all still feeling our way around Kindle Vella, and now they’re rolling out the new-to-us Amazon A+ Content program. It’s all part of some changes that should help authors – especially indie authors – boost their bottom line and have a lot more control over their presence and revenue streams on the site. Let's explore what's available with Amazon A+ Content for Authors.
So what is Amazon A+ Content?
If you’re an Amazon shopper, you’ve probably already seen it. You know how when you go in to buy yoga leggings or a new cell phone charger, the product pages have all these additional photos and layout elements that you don’t see for your own books on KDP?
That’s Amazon A+ Content!
It’s a program rolled out in 2016 and made free (and thus more ubiquitous) in 2019, and it allows sellers to control the layout of the product page more, allowing things like additional, interesting product photos with accompanying texts, graphics and comparison charts. However, the program wasn’t available to the average author.
Now all KDP books can take advantage of this feature at last!
Why would I want to use A+ for my book?
Setting up Amazon A+ Content for your books allows your Amazon sales page to turn into something that looks a lot like a landing page. While you cannot add links or encourage anyone to leave Amazon as part of the terms of the program, as you might do in a landing page, you can tell a compelling story for why readers need to buy YOUR book. Plus you can take advantage of the links already on Amazon – after all, clicking your author name takes readers to all your books, and if your book is part of a series, it will already have that set up, too!
While the stats for books are still emerging, Amazon has made the claim that A+ Content can increase sales by 5.6%, as reported by The Hot Sheet, but we have also seen claims elsewhere on the Internet that the boost can range anywhere from 3-10% in sales. Regardless, there’s no question that using this new format and content option just makes sense to build your book’s brand and your author profile!
What can I do with Amazon A+ Content for Authors?
Right now, here are sixteen kinds of “module” options, which is what they call each block of formatting you can now use. You can stack them, as long as you don’t let your description get too long, to create the best look and impact for your book.
Some of the format options that stood out to me were:
Including your company/publisher logo – great opportunity for imprints to shine, whether you’ve got your own or you’re working with a smaller publishing company.
A few formatting options to pair images with text – justified to the right, to the left, in an image carousel, in a row with images above and text below – all of these seem perfect for both fiction and nonfiction. Whether you’re introducing characters or places; adding a map of the world in which your book takes place; using aesthetic images to establish your mood; or adding a prettier, on-the-sales-page “About the Author” section, there are SO many options here.
Comparison charts – this is one you see in Amazon’s consumer goods pages all the time. You can only include your own “owned in KDP” books in this chart, but if you have multiple series and want to get readers interested in cross-pollinating them, this could be a useful tool!
Images with text overlaid on them – these offer a great opportunity to being some really mood-establishing images to your book’s page. What a great place to put a book quote over an evocative image, or to make an almost Instagram-style collage of images and words that speak to your brand/book’s mood!
There’s a few things you CAN’T do within the rules of the program – and Amazon does actually have to approve everything that goes into these modules before they go live – and the biggest thing is that you can’t redirect anyone out of Amazon. The full rules are worth a read-through before you get started.
And while it’s not against the rules, I’d say it’s a definite no-no to use images that are any less than crystal clear – getting that best resolution image will elevate your book’s sales page, but a fuzzy one might create an impression worse than not having A+ Content at all.
How do I get started with Amazon A+ Content?
Go to your KDP dashboard and select the book – yes, you have to do this for each of your books! Click the “Promote and Advertise” button, and scroll down to A+ Content.
Now you can go through the options for different modules and come up with a combination that represents your book’s “personality” and that gives readers a compelling reason to press the “buy” button.
So are you ready to try Amazon A+ Content for authors? I’d love to see what you create! I’ll be starting a thread in our WPS Mentorship Group inviting members to show off what they’ve been able to do, so if you’re not already part of it, now’s a great time to join. I’m hoping to see some really cool ideas! You can join us here!
This month, we were delighted to have one of our favorite people, Cindy Tyler, CEO of Vervante. Cindy presented on options for selling books directly from your website. She also talked about the power of the email list, and why book marketing is an ongoing project. This is our last Women in Publishing webinar for 2019!
Where Inspiration Flows and Business Grows
Vervante offers what no other publisher does – the ability to grow by connecting with your customers. Subscriber email lists are your #1 asset for business growth, so why send your customers to another site to buy? Sell from your site, send us the order from ANY shopping cart, and we'll print and ship to your customers. Whether you need one or thousands we've got the easy, affordable solutions you need.
Independent authors certainly have a love-hate relationship with Amazon. There's no getting around the fact that Amazon is THE number one stop for readers looking for books. As hard as it can be to get your book noticed on Amazon, there are strategies to work your book up through Amazon's rankings. Having your book on Amazon comes at a cost, though. You pay a hefty commission to Amazon–essentially, Amazon makes more per book than you do for the book.
The best way to keep the lion's share of book sales is to sell books directly to readers, via your own website or in-person events. Companies such as Women in Publishing Summit sponsor Vervante, will help you put a shopping cart on your website and distribute your book to readers. It is important to note that if you have your book on Amazon, AND you are selling directly from your website, to abide by Amazon's pricing policies, namely that you cannot sell your book cheaper on your website than Amazon.
Benefits of Selling Books Directly From Your Website
You can build relationships with your readers. When someone buys your book from Amazon, there is no way to follow up with them or add them to your mailing list. When they order from you, you can capture their email and send a personal thank you!
Higher profit margins. You can sell your book at the same price as it is listed on Amazon, but pocket more money from sales.
You can create your own attractive sales page, with your own branding. Whether you design your page yourself, or use an out of the box solution such as WooCommerce or Shopify, you have creative control. The best part is that Vervante works with many of the available e-commerce solutions out there.
There is more work involved in selling books directly from your own website, but in exchange, you get to keep more of your hard-earned sales!
Join us on Thursday, October 17th for a free webinar with Cindy Tyler, CEO of Vervante.
Cindy Tyler is founder and owner of Vervante, a publishing and distribution company with a 17-year track record. The Vervante team provides services for authors and infopreneurs to create and distribute books and a wide variety of products quickly and easily. Best of all, they do so without hidden fees or any hassle. Before launching Vervante, Cindy had a 17-year career with Xerox as a highly successful account manager. She then worked for a start-up company in Silicon Valley building a print on demand business before “print on demand” was much of a concept. Several corporations were early converts to the concept of printing their books on demand rather than using traditional publishing methods. The startup company went public and was then bought out by Barnes&Noble.com. Shortly thereafter the dot-com bubble burst and the company was shut down. Within a few weeks, Cindy started Vervante and she hasn’t once looked back.
Learn more about how Vervante can help you sell more books, and participate in a live Q&A with Cindy!
If you can't attend live, we'll send you the replay.
Preregister for the 2020 Women in Publishing Summit!