Writer has to become a marketer

by Heath Jones
(Sydney, Australia)

The Lost Treasure of Persia (The Adventures of Skye Belle)

The Lost Treasure of Persia (The Adventures of Skye Belle)

You need to do more than upload to Amazon

You are certainly right, how times have changed! I've been writing for many years, mostly just for the creative enjoyment. But I recently decided to self publish a children's ebook for 8-12 year olds, The Lost Treasure of Persia.

Going through the process of Amazon was much easier than I had ever thought, so once the book was up there, I breathed a huge sigh of relief then waited for the buyers to come along.

As expected (in hindsight at least) nothing happened. A couple of friends and family bought the book, but otherwise nothing. (Part of the problem is probably due to the fact that I am a writer and not a graphic designer, so the ebook cover I created reflects my lack of talent in that area.)

But I was certain that the ebook was the way of the future and that the future was with us now.

But this is a children's book, so children are the audience, and although the market of kids who read ebooks is growing, it is certainly not the same as the adult population who read ebooks.

So now, after having some really encouraging feedback from kids who had read the book (even kids I don't know, which is always better!) I am investigating the traditional print publishing route.

The weird thing though is that most applications etc. to publishers want to know about your plans for marketing the book. I thought that was what publishers did!

So, now as a writer I have to learn to become a marketer - not least of all to get the attention of a publisher. But, I have a passion for these children's stories, and wanting kids to know the truth about what they believe so that they will continue on in their faith as they grow, so I'll keep persevering.

Best of luck to all of you who want to encourage children in the Lord through stories.

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Feb 04, 2014
Thanks for the thoughtful feedback
by: Heath

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the great, thoughtful feedback. I'll certainly have a look into rewording - it seems like it's almost a SEO process to go through on the book description itself :-)

As for the cover, I'm currently working with a couple of people I know who are talented in that space, so we'll see how that one goes.

And the marketing - ah the joy. That's where I currently am at the moment. Growing a social media presence is a large part, however as a full time worker with a young family, that is much easier said than done. So at the moment the marketing phase is still in the planning stages as to what needs to be done verses what is realistic. I'll certainly keep you up to date though!

An interesting side note though, I have had two offers from Iranians (one living in Iran and the other living in Canada) who loved the book so much that they have asked for permission to translate the book into Farsi. We'll see how that one goes too :-)


Feb 04, 2014
So how DO you plan to market the book?
by: Steve B. (webmaster)

Heath, thanks for your thoughts. But I wonder if you can share more: if Amazon isn't moving the book, and publishers are going to want you to have a marketing plan anyway, could you tell us more about that plan?

I have one thought for you, re Amazon. I'm not saying anything authoritatively, but I do know a little about attracting traffic.

See at the top of your Amazon page, where it reads

More Amazon.com Search Results for "lost treasure of persia."

It kicks out 8 results, 3 of which show immediately.

What you want is to show up lots of times on other book pages in that exact spot.

So toward that end, I would consider writing a more extensive Book Description. It seems to me that the more text you write (while keeping it enticing and readable, of course), the more likely Amazon is to "notice" similarities and pop your book into that important panel!

I'd also consider working the word "girl" in there. I know you use the pronoun her, but I don't know if Amazon's algorithm is smart enough to put 2 and 2 together.

Anyway, that's my two cents. I agree with you about the cover, but the cover has to be found before it can be clicked upon...or not.

Also, you might want to check out our illustrator listings to see if one of them could do a really special e-cover for you on the cheap!

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