Tuesday, May 12, 2015

iRead Book Tour with Penny C. Sansevieri

I had the pleasure of asking Penny Sansevieri some questions about her book. 1. Penny, what is the best piece of advice you can give an author that he/she could do to boost their sales on Amazon? The biggest piece of the whole Amazon mystery is to understand that they are a search engine, not just a shopping site. When you look at Amazon in terms of the search engine components, like keywords - having the right ones and the right categories. This makes a huge difference and authors often think that their book should be in one category but in fact, belongs elsewhere. So you'll want to look around to see what's a better market for you. How do you know? Well first off the sales rank will tell you a lot. If you're sitting in a category with a bunch of books that have a high sales rank (the higher the rank, the less they are selling) this might not be the best place for your book to be because clearly, no one is really buying these books. Next your keywords - think keyword strings. Just like a search on Google we don't search with single keywords and you'd be amazed how often I see authors with just one keyword. Consumers don't search that way, instead consider keyword strings, like "romance and suspense" or something like that. It'll bring you far more traction! 2. If you have an Indie book on Amazon for a while, how can you generate more sales--create a buzz? I would look at the keywords and categories - that's the first place I'd turn to. So, what keywords are you using, what categories i​s​ your book in​?​ Are you using single keywords or keyword strings? Keyword strings, hands down is a better way to gain visibility on Amazon. 3. You speak of super fans, how do you build them? Literally you build super fans one fan at a time by doing things that make them feel engaged and involved and part of your world. Bring them in with eBook freebies or some other promotion and then communicate with them, get their feedback and insight, involve them in your world. Make them feel important. By doing this - making them feel important, you will potentially build fans for life. Also, sell less and communicate more. By this I mean that if you're trying to build super fans, don't sell to them. People are tired of being sold. They are already there because they bought something, now make them feel special. 4. Key word, you emphasize them, how do you build them? Well you start by doing searches on Amazon - so finding keywords that people (readers) are searching on to find your book. For example, consumers generally don't go into Google and just type in one keyword like "romance" and hope to find the exact right book they are looking for. They are more likely to type in something like: "romance and suspense" which helps narrow the market down considerably and turns in better search results and less for them to sift through. 5. How did you start helping writers sell their books? It's a funny story really - though it wasn't funny at the time. I'm sort of an accidental entrepreneur. I was let go of a job twice in one year. Once when I was working directly for the CEO and he was let go so a bunch of his support staff was also dismissed, then the 2nd time was a company I joined not long after that shuttered their doors. I decided to do some consulting till I could find a job, then consulting turned into marketing and marketing turned into teaching and writing books and now, here we are … 15 years later. 6. The book market is constantly changing, what do you see as a trend in the near future? That's a very good question… Well, one of the biggest trends I've authors collaborating on book bundles. We’ve already seen big-named bestselling authors are doing this as well. We saw this in 2014 with David Baldacci when he edited the book series FaceOff, I think we’re going to see a lot more of that. With all of the new books out there it will be important for authors with a strong following to help and support each other with combined books and perhaps even combining book tours. Thanks, Penny for your input and advise.


  1. Nice to meet you Penny! This was interesting and great information. I find the book bundle tread intriguing. Tell us more about that.

  2. Yes! So there’s a hot new marketing trend and it’s called the book bundle. Readers love bundled books because they feel like they are getting a great deal. Often bundles are priced pretty reasonably so instead of paying $10 per book you’re getting an entire bundle for well under $20 and often under $10. Just know that bundling has become a hot new book marketing trend and authors are doing it for a variety of reasons; as a way to market a book, or to breathe life into an older book. Book bundles are always eBooks and you can bundle 2, 3, 4 or more books in a single bundle!