A newsletter all about SUCCESSFUL publishing and POWERFUL promotion.
February 27, 2014 Issue #319
in this issue
-- Note From The Editor
-- Sign up for a Marketing Consultation Today!
-- Get Red Hot Internet Publicity Now
-- Feature Article: Making the Sale: How to Sell More on Your Website 
-- How to Convert Your eBook File: EPUB Converter Sites
-- Book Marketing Resources From AME
-- Why Should You Attend EPICon 2014? 
-- Webinar: How to Get More Fans on Facebook
-- 110 Tools to Help Indie Authors Find Readers/Reviewers
-- 3 Clever Ways to Use Images to Promote Your Book
-- AME in the News
-- Register Today: Build Your Author Brand
-- Editorial Tid Bytes
-- It's Award Season, Submit Your Book Now!
-- New Event: How to Publish and Thrive as An Author
-- Ready for a Custom Book Trailer?
-- 64 Tips to Increase Blog Reach
-- Reader Tip: Twitter Cards
-- Social Media Snippet: 3 Ways to Use Google+ to Increase Search Rankings
-- Social Media Snippet: Authors: When is it Time to Shift Gears on Twitter?
-- Reader Tip!
-- ------------------------------------------------------------
Penny C. Sansevieri, Editor

You are receiving this newsletter compliments of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. To opt out, please scroll down to the bottom of this newsletter.
Note From The Editor
Welcome to another issue of the Book Marketing Expert Newsletter!

Dear Author,
One of the things I always hear from authors is this: I want to sell more off of my website or, alternatively, they want to circumvent Amazon altogether and sell from their site instead. This does get tricky though because selling from a website brings with it a whole slew of issues mostly related to effective selling, security, and enticing the consumer away from Amazon. None of these are impossible but some may be trickier than others so this week we'll look at the bottom line on selling more from your site.

In other news, I have another book out that I'm pretty stoked about. It's the updated edition of How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon and it rocks (if I do say so myself). It covers everything from metrics, to keywords, categories and reviews. We'll be doing some freebies shortly so keep an eye out. In the meantime, here's the link to the book:

And finally, do you think that online reviews hurt book sales? Check out: It’s an interesting notion and one I plan to write about in the future because to a point, she's right. Sometimes reviews do sway us and not always in the right away. What do you think? I'd love your thoughts, and if you want to email me, I may include you in this piece. Reach me at:

As always, we love that you're here and reading this newsletter and we thank you for being such a faithful audience. If we can ever help you market your book, please let us know!

Best wishes for your publishing and marketing success,
Penny, Paula, Amy, Katie and everyone at Author Marketing Experts, Inc.

Sign up for a Marketing Consultation Today!
Need some marketing help? We offer full service marketing programs, publicity, and coaching. Contact us today for a free 30-minute marketing consultation! Email:

Get Red Hot Internet Publicity Now
Authors, speakers, small business owners:
Listen to an expert who can show you how to get your website noticed, visited, and purchased from - who can show you how to be smart and successful online while keeping your dollars in your own wallet, and whose own site is in the top 1 percent* for traffic of all the sites in the world.
Penny Sansevieri is that expert, and this book is your road map. In the rapidly changing world of Internet publicity, this book is up-to-the-minute (covering social media in detail - not just Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn but also recent powerhouse sites like Pinterest and Google Plus - even a chapter on the reputation-rating site Klout).
"Comprehensive, but easy to understand and apply, and anyone who implements her suggestions is sure to gain a ton of publicity."
- Amy Porterfield, Author, Facebook Marketing All-in-One For Dummies
Get your copy today!
Feature Article: Making the Sale: How to Sell More on Your Website 
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years of marketing, it’s that no matter how much authors love what Amazon can do for them, they’d rather sell books on their own site than share a cut with the giant online e-tailer. Doing this, however, can be tricky.

It seems that every time we turn around, some big chain is admitting that they were hacked. If you were one of the millions who shopped there, your information could be in the hands of God-knows-who. With so much attention on shopper security, it’s leaving a lot of shoppers even more hesitant to shop online.

Last year, Baymard Institute released a staggering statistic: 67.89% of shoppers abandon their carts before completing the purchase. That translates to around $1.79 trillion dollars in product or services purchased online. Why does this happen? Well, there are a lot of theories on this. According to Shopify, this is a list of some of the top reasons that people abandon their purchase with you: 
  • Presented with unexpected costs
  • Just browsing
  • Found a better price elsewhere
  • Overall price too expensive
  • Decided against buying
  • Website navigation too complicated
  • Website crashed
Though I don’t disagree with this per se, I would take this a step further, because not only are security concerns at an all-time high, there are a variety of additional reasons you may be losing people. Also, how to get shoppers and keep them varies by industry so let’s look at the ones that will matter to authors and publishers:

1) Overall Look of Site: There’s a high trust factor with a site that looks professional. I don’t want to buy from a site that looks sketchy. Would you? If you want to sell from your site, you’ll need to have one that’s professionally designed. I would say that this goes even before we start the shopping cart discussion because you won’t get anyone to even entertain buying off of your site if it doesn’t look like a place they’d want to shop. 

2) Checkout Process: I see a lot of authors (and even business owners) who make the shopping process difficult. I’m not sure why they do this or why their web designers recommend this. Every click you make someone do can cost you 5% of your traffic, meaning that if you require customers to make several clicks just to get an item into their shopping cart, you’ve now lost 20% of your traffic. Make the buying process easy. Put “Shop” or “Store” or (if you have one product) “Buy Now” on the home page so folks immediately know where to click. Visitors won’t take the time to figure it out. If they can’t find it on your site, they’ll go elsewhere and in the age of Amazon they’re likely to just default back there.

3) Site security: Show shoppers that their purchase is secure - this is also very important. Buyers want to know you’re taking care of their personal details so showing security messages – even things like “Secure checkout” make all the difference. In fact, according to a recent Entrepreneur Magazine article, adding security messages can increase a buy by 16%. 

4) Sign in/Sign up: I don’t know about you, but the minute someone wants me to create an account before buying an item, I’m usually gone. If you want folks to sign up on your site, have them do it after they’ve made a purchase. Studies show that conversion rates can increase by 45% if you allow buyers to shop as “guests” throughout their visit. 

5) Unexpected Costs: We all know that Amazon has pretty much ruined us for shipping costs. Thanks to things like Amazon Prime, and other free shipping opportunities, most of us abhor these added costs. If you feel charging for shipping is something you have to do, consider offering free shipping as an incentive instead of a guarantee. Staples, for instance, offers free shipping when you buy a certain dollar amount. Other e-tailers have free shipping days, or, if you want to further incentivize site sign-up, you could offer free shipping to members only which would encourage them to join your site so you could remarket to them later. 

6) Cart abandonment: Window shopping happens, even online. SeeWhy did a study last year and found that 99% of people won’t buy on their first visit to your website. This is why having an email newsletter, or some other benefit-driven giveaway, is not only important, but mandatory if you want to make the sale. Email newsletters allow you to remarket to your visitor. No, they may not buy on the first try, but a helpful, content-rich newsletter will remind them who you are and encourage a buy for later. It is a lot of work, yes, but so is building a store on your site that no one buys from. Alternatively, you could also consider pop-ups or sidebar messages that show up during the purchase process, offering customers 5% off.

7) eCommerce options: I know many folks who have extensive eCommerce options which are great but also costly. Being able to take credit cards, especially if you are small, is an added cost you may want to incur but, you may not need to. When we switched from our extensive pay system to just offering PayPal, we found that our shopper conversion almost doubled. Also, PayPal no longer requires users to register with their system so you can give your shoppers the peace of mind of using a secure system, without having to register. 

8) Love the Love: People like what other people like, which is why for most (if not all) retailers, you’ll see reviews and customer feedback right on the page. Most authors don’t have the bandwidth, time, or money to create a sales system that’s quite that elaborate, so adding reviews to the sales pages is very helpful. Adding reviews with a picture adds even more credibility to the page. Remember that your customer can, with one click, meander over to Amazon and buy the book there so give them a reason to stay.

9) Pricing: If you’re going to keep shoppers on your site, you’d better up the ante on your pricing. We already know you need to ship for free (at least on certain days or with minimum orders) now let’s consider your “offer.” Maybe you just wanted to offer the book. Sure, that’s fine, albeit a tad boring. Sorry, but they can get the book on Amazon, too. If you really want to lure folks to your site and make the sale, you’ll need to give them a slam-dunk deal they can’t resist. As an example, when we changed the offer on our store page from 3 books for $20 to four, sales doubled.

Keep in mind that there is only one print book that’s mailed, the rest are digital and delivered as soon as payment is taken so there’s nothing else for me to do. Digital product is easy to add on because there are no hard costs with it, beyond the initial creation of the product. So what else can you add on to your book to help entice shoppers? What about offering the eBook with the print book so they can have one for their Kindle and a print book in hand (something a lot of readers still enjoy)? Maybe you could pair your book with someone else’s e-product. When you take some time to brainstorm, the possibilities are endless. 

In the end, what you really need to do is think of your website as a brick and mortar store. If you created any of these roadblocks at Macy’s, or a Barnes & Noble, you’d really hurt your sales process. Authors often assume that a website store is different. It’s not. We want easy, we want fast, and we want the best price. If you can bring all of these elements into your website store, you’ll increase sales considerably. 
How to Convert Your eBook File: EPUB Converter Sites
Description: If you Google “epub conversion,” you’ll get more than 6.3 million results. Instead of going through each of these results, we’ll examine one in particular and discuss why you might use it.

When you upload a Word document to Kindle Direct Publishing or Nook, you trust everything to these services. You’ll be able to see a preview in a web browser after you upload your book, but you won’t see your book on a real device until it’s available for sale.

By using a conversion site like 2Epub, you can preview your book on an actual Kindle or Nook before uploading it. Based on our experience, 2Epub provides an accurate conversion to EPUB from Word. So, while we do not recommend using an EPUB conversion site as the best option, you can use these sites to check your manuscript.

Getting started: Go to 2Epub and upload your document. It accepts DOC, DOCX, EPUB, FB2, HTML, LIT, LRF, MOBI, ODT, PDB, PDF, PRC, RTF, and TXT, and it exports EPUB, FB2, LIT, LRF, and MOBI.

Fine print:
  • 2Epub does not accept files larger than twenty-five megabytes.
  • It’s a good idea to double-check the privacy policies and terms of use of converter sites. We couldn’t find any red flags in 2Epub, but we didn’t check any other converter site, so uploader beware.
  • Sometimes Word-to-EPUB conversion works better if you use HTML as an interim step. In the File menu of Word you can save as HTM (instead of DOCX). This gives you the option to edit the HTML and clean up the junk that Word sometimes exports. Then instead of uploading the DOCX file, you upload the cleaner HTML files. The cleaner your files are before EPUB conversion, the better. 
Guy Kawasaki has written 12 books, 10 of which were traditionally published. His newest book is APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur - How to Publish a Book, which helps people understand how and why to self-publish.
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur - How to Publish a Book, by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch, is available as an eBook ($9.99) and in paperback ($24.99). Visit
Book Marketing Resources From AME
* Please add AME to your circles on Google+ at:

* "Like" our Facebook Page for marketing articles and tips, YouTube videos from our book marketing channel, notices about upcoming webinars, and more:

* If you need book marketing content, visit the articles page on our AME website and you'll find a range of articles by Penny, which may be used along with her byline (provided at the top of the page) at no cost. The complete list is at:

* View "Creating a Great Book Trailer" and much more on AME's Book Marketing Channel on YouTube. New videos are added regularly to keep you up to date on all things book marketing!
Why Should You Attend EPICon 2014?
We have workshops to help Doctor a Sick Manuscript, Branding in the Digital Marketplace, The ABCs of Social Media and even Taxes - the Dreaded Monster in the Closet.  What about When Opportuntiy Strikes? The Perfect Pitch? Speed Dating with Publishers? The Gritty Details of Prison Life? Oh yes, and don't forget Body Language for Writers and Paint the Picture.

All of this while networking with industry professionals, seeing old friends and making new ones at the eFiesta and Gala eBook Awards Banquet. Delight your senses on a San Antonio River Cruise and gear up for a Ghost tour of the historic - and haunted - Menger Hotel.

To register, visit:

Webinar: How to Get More Fans on Facebook
We have a great opportunity for you! Amy Porterfield, author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies, is offering a Facebook course that will walk you through everything you need to know to create, monitor, and track your ads. You'll learn how to grow your fans, create Facebook ad campaigns, use ads to drive Facebook traffic to reports, eBooks, videos and other products, and sell your products and services.
Don't miss out! Here's how to sign  up:
110 Tools to Help Indie Authors Find Readers/Reviewers
This is a great, comprehensive resource:

3 Clever Ways to Use Images to Promote Your Book
This video will show you how you can use images more effectively to market your book:

AME in the News
* EContent Magazine quoted Penny in the article “What Can We Believe About Google+?”

* Keep up with Penny's latest articles for Huffington Post:
Register Today: Build Your Author Brand
Building your author or expert brand can feel like a big job, and many people aren't sure where to start. Others aren't sure if building a brand is the right place to spend their time and resources.

After this session, attendees will:
  • Know whether building a brand is right for them
  • Understand some key tactics that others have used to begin their brand building
  • Understand how authors and experts in various genres can use branding principles to accomplish their goals
  • Have examples of great brands to follow

Editorial Tid Bytes
When you are picking art for your book, check how the cover will look in a thumbprint because this is how it will look on an online site.
Sandi Gelles-Cole is the founder of Gelles-Cole Literary Enterprises, an editorial consultancy in business since 1983.  She is also a member of The Consulting Editors Alliance
It's Award Season, Submit Your Book Now!
The National Indie Excellence® Awards (NIEA) was created to help establish self-publishing as a proud, legitimate, and strong facet of the publishing industry. Entries due March 31, 2014.

USA Regional Excellence Book Awards recognizes and rewards excellence in books that take readers into the heart of a “place.” If your book delivers the experience of a locale – whether it’s the glitz of Hollywood of any era, the historic sense of New England, the glamour of a Beverly Hills, the grandeur of one of the great plains states, the high powered bustle of a New York City, the distinctive character of any locale -- and your book is produced with excellence, then it is a perfect candidate for a USA REBA award. Submissions accepted through Sept. 15, 2014.

New Event: How to Publish and Thrive as An Author
Do you want to be seriously successful with your book? Attend the AuthorU Extravaganza, "How to Successfully Publish and Thrive as an Author," May 1-3 in Denver.

This event is 3 jam-packed days of working with amazing book marketing strategists, publicists, Internet gurus … all done in an intense workshop environment. Experts include Mark Coker, Penny Sansevieri, John Kremer, Joan Stewart, Susan Gilbert, Judith Briles, Dan Poynter and many more!

Learn more at:

Ready for a Custom Book Trailer?
In today's multimedia world it's not enough to write your book then Twitter your friends. You need a media plan. An essential part of that plan is to visually represent your book with an exciting trailer.

That is Turn Page Media's expertise; setting mood and telling the visceral emotion of your story. Book trailers give your writing an advantage in a competitive and crowded market place; let us help you get that edge.

For more information, visit


64 Tips to Increase Blog Reach
Getting people to read your blog takes more than writing and posting. These ideas will help you build a following:


Reader Tip: Twitter Cards
Twitter has a new perk for you. You have probably seen what they call "cards."  They are embedded into tweets and they contain links like “View Media,"  “View Summary” and "View Media." When your reader clicks on them they give him or her more information about web pages, blog posts, or even images or videos. It does take some time to incorporate the metatags or html they require to work on the sites, blogs, and videos you want your followers to see, but you can do it. The directions are clear. Find them at I discuss making Twitter work for authors in The Frugal Book Promoter, but for that book, I keep ideas pared to the simplest features—all you really need to make Twitter work for you.

Tip offered by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of how-to books for writers.

Social Media Snippet: 3 Ways to Use Google+ to Increase Search Rankings
Being active on Google+ offers a number of benefits, including ways to make your website easier to find:


Social Media Snippet: Authors: When is it Time to Shift Gears on Twitter?
Once your following has reached a certain level, how do you continue to support your loyal followers?

Reader Tip!
If you've got a Reader Tip you'd like to share, please send it to with the subject line "reader tip." Submissions should be 75 words or less.
Author Marketing Experts, Inc. is a full-service book marketing, promotion, and publicity company. We serve authors at all stages of marketing and promotion. We offer a full range of packages and services to choose from. 

To see a price list or schedule a free consultation, send your e-mail to with the subject line "Author Services Info." You can also visit our website at

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