22 May 2018: 2 Disruptor Rules for Indie Authors on Amazon
Your Goal: Monetize on Amazon
Indie author? On Amazon's CreateSpace or KDP? Then you have a goal. Or two. Or three. But one takes precedence over most others: monetize. Make money selling your books on Amazon.
Your Problem: No One's Buying
Isn't happening, is it? I know, I know. It's frustrating. You're a pro. You've devoted your life, well a chunk of it, to writing your fantastic novels and . . . no one but your mom or your BFF is buying.
What's Stopping You from Selling?
Question: What's your Share of Voice? If you can't answer, you're like many indie authors and, as a result, you're making zip from your books or barely enough to buy your Starbucks. I didn't know what share of voice (SoV) meant either, but I've spent the last year learning. As a technical writer with a Master's in Comp Rhet and years of experience examining software systems, I realized that the frustration my indie friends like you--and I--were experiencing, as the result of low or no SoV, was the result of ignorance. We don't know what Amazon is doing, how it works, or how we should interact with it. And that's stopping us all from selling.
What's Amazon's Business Model?
Here's another question (I'm so full of 'em): What's Amazon's business model?
Note: A business model is a design for the successful operation of a business. It identifies revenue sources, customer base, products, and details of financing.
As stated, I'm full of 'em, so question: what's YOUR business model? Okay, so you don't have one, and as a result you've set yourself up to become Amazon's perfect value vampire victim. Because Amazon's business model is a value dominated relationship with readers, it means that you give away freebies, or you sell for .99, or your books sit on Amazon, while you languish as they say "in obscurity."
Amazon is the innovator in the Value as a Service Model. It is reader centric and focused on providing value to readers. Value is realized through readers' Amazon experience, which is a huge value driver, and through Amazon's seamless integration into readers' lives, a key plank in Amazon's value platform.
My point: Amazon's relationship with readers is value dominated, so any way the disruptive value vampire can suck your blood and give it back to readers as value keeps Amazon fat and happy, while you . . .
2 Disruptor Rules You Can Follow Starting Now
Rule 1: Hammer out your business model. Few know how to develop one, but you can and should start defining yours now because unless you have a business model, you have no clear strategy for marketing and selling on Amazon. And no clear strategy means few or no sales. I'd like to tell you it's easy and that you can formulate a loose business model overnight, but it's an impassioned endeavor with a steep learning curve. It requires that you identify and put in place things like your platform, products and services matrices, sales channels, your marketing strategy, and much more.
Rule 2: Identify your value drivers for readers or clients of your business. A value driver is anything added to a product (your books) that will increase its value to readers. These differentiate your product or books from those of your competitor and make them more appealing to readers.
Don't know? Don't understand? Better get busy Googling and figuring out what your value drivers are. It's a new "free" economy, and every reader's shopping options are infinite. Identify what differentiates your books from your competitors' and then figure out how to turn that into value for your readers.
Where You Can Learn More
I can't tell you how to follow these two rules in a blog post, but I'm happy to tell you about how I've implemented them in my platform. I can share your pain and help ease it by telling you the steps I took, and those I plan to take, to become a value vampire slayer. Find me on my Facebook channel, My Facebook Page, Mary McFarland Writer.
All definitions were taken from the Web.