Kindle Bookstore New Target for Internet Marketers
Although I have published three books, like most of you, I wear a number of different hats in addition to my author’s fedora. My full-time job is as a consultant to small businesses assisting them with their online marketing needs. I have been doing this since my partners and I launched one of the first ISPs in the country way back in 1993.
As an internet marketer I try to stay abreast of all the Google algorithm updates, marketing tactics and trends happening in the online world. As many of you know, such things are always fluid and changing every day. After twenty years in the business I have a fairly good idea of what is important (from a marketing perspective) and what is a tactic that could get your website banned by Google.
A walk down memory lane
It wasn’t that long ago (2-3 years) that online marketers had almost destroyed Google’s search results by gaming the system to display results that were mostly garbage. They did this because they figured out that Google would rank results based on certain criteria (such as the number of links pointing to a website) and then they would focus on those ranking methods to push a garbage site to the top of SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages).
Google fortunately began cracking down on such tricks and launched a number of algorithm updates intended to separate the quality sites from the crap sites by focusing on more realistic ranking criteria. Quality content and unique information sites began to appear at the top of the search results and most of the garbage sites were shoved to the bottom of the list results or even delisted by Google.
Kindle Books Under Attack
The vast majority of Internet Marketers are people who do nothing but sell other people’s information. Typically they have not created a product or service of their own; they just serve as an affiliate of other marketers. What’s even more ironic is that most of the information products they sell are programs that teach others how to sell online.
Kindle books have been discovered by the Internet marketing community. Once it became known that a few authors were making five or six figures per month selling Kindle books, the marketing “gurus” set their sights on Kindle. For the past year Kindle programs have become the “opportunity de jour” and are being pedaled by dozens of the recognized “gurus” of online marketing fame. In just the past month alone, I have seen at least 10 different programs being hyped.
What does the Kindle hype mean to legitimate authors?
Just as it was with the old methods of Internet marketing, the new Kindle tactics don’t have anything to do with actually writing a book. The idea is to collect readily available information, repackage it, paste it into something that resembles a book, add a keyword-rich title, an eye-catching cover and upload it to the Kindle bookstore.
Once the “new” book is listed on Amazon the standard marketing tactics are employed and the race begins. The idea being promoted by these marketing types is to have dozens (or hundreds) of such books listed on Kindle in hopes of leveraging Amazon’s (and Google’s) extraordinary search traffic. As an example, if millions of people are searching for “weight loss” information, the odds are that enough of them will stumble upon your Kindle book and download it. And yes, some marketers are making substantial incomes using this method.
The problem for legitimate authors and the Kindle bookstore is that this crowded list of titles is starting to resemble the old Google’s search results. The books that are rising to the top of the lists are oftentimes garbage books being driven there by bogus reviews, likes and sales. Amazon is now facing the same challenges that Google fights to overcome every day.
How do you compete with this onslaught of spurious books?
First and foremost, produce a quality product. An interesting and well-written book will always gain a following regardless of the competition. Amazon is struggling to address this and is starting to clamp down on these bogus books and even removing those that they discover. When the dust settles, the books that remain will be those that have good reviews, likes and a sales history.
Secondly, employ the proven tactics I outline in my book, “Kindle, How To Publish, Promote & Profit”. My marketing strategy and the blueprint I lay out for you is based on my years of online marketing experience and having written three books over the past decade. I understand the challenges we authors face and I know what it takes to get traction online selling any product.
Help Amazon Take Out the Garbage
We authors tend to buy a lot of books. If you are like me, you most likely buy other books in your genre to see how other authors treat your topic and to get new ideas for future books. When you download a book that is obviously junk or appears to be a “cut & paste” compilation, give it the review it deserves and take the time to return the book to Amazon. Collectively we can help take out the garbage and preserve this marketplace for those who have something original to say.