Self-published authors Louise Voss and Mark Edward’s have achieved digital-publishing success, gaining top download rankings for their co-written eBooks Catch Your Death and Killing Cupid in Amazon’s Kindle store.
Using an Amazon service that allows writers to turn their manuscripts into digital books, the pair made their books available for purchase on Kindle devices and Kindle apps. After four days in the Top 100, Catch Your Death went to number one in both the Amazon Kindle and Amazon Fiction charts, where it has remained for two weeks, achieving the slot without being represented by a publishing house. What’s interesting is how they achieved this.
Louise said: “It was a collaborative process. Mark and I wrote the books some time ago but updated them to put on Amazon; his sister-in-law designed the digital covers, and we worked very hard to publicise them ourselves.”
To promote the book and help it rocket up the bestseller list, Louise and Mark used an innovative marketing trick currently causing ripples in the world of self-publishing. The pair listed the full title of the ebook on Amazon as Catch Your Death (for fans of Dan Brown and Stieg Larsson). This cross-promotional technique – comparing one author to another – is used widely by trade publishers when launching new authors.
In a digital environment, this keyword technique, known as search optimisation, had a dazzling effect. So dazzling that Amazon decided to remove the ‘subtitle’, thus blocking self-publishers hoping to use the same ploy. This marks a sea-change in how self-publishers will be able to promote their work in future. Louise said: “After four days the subtitle was removed. Cross-promotion is used by book publishers every day, but despite Amazon’s move we are still doing very well.”