Imagine Amazon sending you business leads regularly and even paying you to do so. Amazon is desperate for reading material and you can publish your content for free as Kindle books. The twist is to use them as a generation system for sales leads.
The audience is huge. Kindle is no longer just for people who purchase Kindle tablets. Amazon has also written Kindle Reader applications for every major smartphone, tablet and computer, including the Android phone or tablet, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows 8 PC or tablet, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 7.
Most businesses hesitate to use Kindle to generate sales leads because they think they need to write an actual book. But that’s not true. You can write and publish short reports, and as long as the content is original, of high quality and does not violate its Terms of Service, Amazon will publish your material.
The key is to include a compelling free offer with a strong call to action and a link to a lead capture page--the page on your website where people can sign up for more information, special offers, your newsletter, etc. And Amazon will even help market your book for free.
When a new Kindle book is approved and published, Amazon will:
- Feature it in their new releases section.
- Email their customer base announcing it to those who have previously purchased a Kindle book in that genre.
- Offer the Kindle KDP Select Program for ongoing free promotion.
- Allow customers to highlight, make notes, and share your book’s content via Twitter and other social networks.
By enrolling in the free Kindle KDP Select Program, you give Amazon exclusivity on a renewable 90-day basis. This program allows their readers to borrow your book from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and when they do, Amazon pays you a royalty, as well as for book sales. However, the real benefit is that Amazon provides five days per quarter to give your book away for free.
Why give your Kindle book away for free? Because, as a lead-generation system, you want as many individuals as possible to download your Kindle book and visit your lead capture page. Additionally, Amazon views each book download as a vote and rewards your book with higher page ranking. The more downloads, the better the chance of an Amazon Page 1 placement.
Creating a kindle report
To create your Kindle report, use the following steps:
- Use Amazon to determine what current Kindle books or paperbacks are published about your topic.
- Decide what information will be helpful to your potential customers. Make sure it is original and offers value. Avoid information that is easily found on the internet.
- Create your report in Microsoft Word and include images if appropriate.
- Include your call to action--a message that prompts readers to visit your website--and link to your website’s lead capture page.
- Create a cover graphic.
To publish on Kindle, take the following steps:
- Go to http://kdp.amazon.com and sign up for a free Kindle account.
- Watch the “How To” Kindle publishing video.
- Fill out the Amazon Author Page to track your statistics.
- Reference the book on your website and link to your Amazon book page.
- Announce it on your Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter accounts.
The goal is not to sell books, but rather to generate leads from Amazon’s huge customer base. An additional benefit is that you will differentiate yourself from the competition by being a published author. If your content is excellent and helpful, you will also build trust that will help to increase sales from these new leads.
By Michael Santoro and John Rizzo
John S. Rizzo spent three years as a consultant for Amazon's publishing group. He has assisted several businesses with digital marketing strategy and has served in leadership positions for multiple initiatives for the Charleston, S.C., Chamber of Commerce.
V. Michael Santoro has more than 10 years of experience in the digital marketing field. His prior experience includes international senior marketing positions in technology fields. He was an adjunct professor in the computer science department of Western Connecticut State University.