This post, from switch11, originally appeared on the Kindle Review – Kindle 2 Review, Books site on 8/19/09.
We’ll call this the ‘Own Your Niche’ strategy. Joshua Talent at Kindle Formatting has already demonstrated it. However, it’s Aileen Harkwood’s Kindling Romance that really shows how powerful it is, and that authors can do this.
Picking the Right Niche
This is pretty simple – pick the niche that your book or kindle related product is in.
Take Kindling Romance – the author writes romance novels so she picked ‘romance ebooks and kindle romance’.
One thing to note is that you should own www.yourname.com – However, it has ZERO value until you’re a big author. So there’s no point in making it your main blog.
Things to take note of –
- By choosing ‘kindling romance’, it still shows up for ‘kindle romance’ on Google. In fact it shows up in the top 5 results.
- Her own book is prominently advertised on the right.
- The site’s general focus is ebooks from various companies, not just Amazon.
- She blogs relatively often and provides good value (see section on value).
- Cater to authors and readers. More on this later, perhaps in another post.
- She started on July 11th, 2009. In approximately 1 month she’s #5 on google for kindle romance books.
The last one is crucially important. The two sites running ads are paying hard money and she gets traffic for free.
Things to avoid –
- If you must go with a free hosted solution like wordpress, at the minimum buy your own domain name so that all links are to your domain, and not to wordpress.
- If you can, host your own site and use your own domain. WordPress does not let you run ads, does not allow affiliate links except to Amazon, etc.
- Trademarks. Check with a lawyer.
Providing Value and Owning the Channel
At the moment, if you are an independent author, there is no one who has much incentive to promote you.
Readers might – however, the middlemen control everything.
How you change that is by providing value to people, and thus making them use your site (and you) as a resource. Let’s look at Kindling Romance –
- Daily features such as Bestsellers in Romance eBooks, New Releases, eBook Stats.
- A blog that provides updates on romance book deals and news.
- A blog that lets authors promote their books.
Provide a ton of value so that users use you as the channel for books and ebooks in your niche.
Handling Competition – Authors