Chris Selwyn James decided to self-publish after creative differences with his literary agent left him disappointed with traditional publishing. While he is an experienced writer, he knew he needed reputable publishing professionals to help him meet his goal — making PANIK a success despite leaving the conventional route behind. Reedsy was the perfect fit for his ambition.
Finding a marketer who adds real value
When I started looking into self-publishing, I knew next to nothing about marketing, other than that it was very important. I researched marketing strategies I could implement myself, but quickly learnt that certain marketing areas were better left to professionals. Since Reedsy had already previously provided me with great editors and designers, I knew I could turn to them again for a reputable marketer.
Having done my research on the Reedsy blog and other websites, I knew exactly what kind of support I needed. I wanted a marketer who could help me with PANIK’s visibility on Amazon — a challenge since my book cuts across multiple genres. Due to her expertise in optimizing Amazon metadata, I decided to go with Heather Wallace.
Hiring an expert to boost my visibility on Amazon
From the beginning, it was clear that Heather knew the ins and outs of Amazon. We started off with a worksheet in order to categorize my book. It had detailed questions about PANIK itself, its target audience, and books similar to my novel. From my answers, she identified optimal keywords and book categories, helping me with metadata optimization and general visibility on Amazon.
Throughout the collaboration, Heather was extremely professional. She was very clear about the scope of her marketing services, always quick to respond to my queries, and flexible when I asked for additional support. On top of helping me with my Amazon landing page, she also kindly provided me with some book reviewing resources.
It would be great if authors could write books and then see immediate success. However, the reality is, without actively working on exposure, their books have much less chance of finding an audience. As a book marketer, I specialize in creating marketing plans, performing metadata optimization, and writing book blurbs. With these three pieces of the marketing puzzle, plus a great story and an eye-catching book cover, authors stand a better chance of success in the competitive world of publishing.
When Chris approached me to work on PANIK, it was the exceptional writing and genre-mixing that really got me interested in working with him. I knew that he had created a page-turner that had the potential to succeed and I wanted to give him the help he needed to get his book noticed. With our collaboration, he primarily looked to maximize his Amazon presence, so we focused the bulk of our marketing efforts on metadata optimization.
This involved investigating ideal keywords for Chris to target within Amazon’s KDP, as well as researching the best categories to increase his chance of achieving bestseller status. As a result, I was happy to see that PANIK became a Hot New Release within at least three of the categories that I had advised Chris to choose.
— Heather Wallace, Book Marketer
My book ranked #3 on Amazon in medical thrillers
While I had no sales expectations, I hoped Heather’s support would sway the odds in my book’s favour in terms of visibility. By picking print and Kindle categories with large enough audiences but less competition, my book reached #3 in Amazon’s Hot New Releases for medical thrillers! Visibility of course impacts sales, and I’m happy to say PANIK is selling pretty well.
There are some great resources out there about marketing a book (such as Reedsy Learning). But the value of working with a professional can't be beat, and I wouldn't have had the same results if I tried to do the marketing all on my own. Hiring Heather was worth every penny!