Barbara Winkes on Getting The Most Out Of Amazon

On this episode of For Love & Money with Rae D Magdon we hear Barbara Winkes on Getting The Most Out Of Amazon

Barbara Winkes discusses:
  • her new release
  • Impressions
  • as well as explaining the ins and outs of Amazon and Kindle Unlimited
  • Keywords
  • Reaching a wide audience
  • Targeted marketing

Barbara Winkes Online

Rae Online
Listen to this podcast here


please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect

Music] hello everyone and welcome to The Lesbian Talk Show’s For Love And Money, I’m your host Rae D Magdon and today we have a very special guest who I’m really excited to talk to Barbara Winkes how are you I’m great thank you good morning thanks so much for agreeing to be on for love and money I really am excited to discuss some stuff with you thank you for having me I’m looking forward to it the first thing I want to do is you have an upcoming new release this January that I will link to in the show notes the eighth book in the carpenter Harding series can you tell us a little about that yes what like you said it’s number eight in the series I started the series in 2015 so it’s about detective and an officer who in the first book hunting a serial killer and also starting their relationship with each other on a pretty rocky basis and the books follow them with their cases the different cases and their relationship up to number eight right now and I think it’s really interesting for people who have followed the serious to see where they are now and it’s been a while it’s been seven months since the last book so I think this is going to be interesting for the fans of the series well I’m certainly interested I’ll have to pick up the first one now you have released eight books or will have released eight books in a span of three to four years in this series do you think that doing such a long series with frequent releases has helped grow your audience and keep people engaged I think serious in any case it is interesting for readers I also put all my books in Kindle unlimited so people who like to binge on serious or different titles of one author I mean that helps them but I like to add on it a little bit between a book in the series and stand-alones so people can come in at any point and see if they want to follow certain characters over a long time or if they just want to try and see that particular style or genres for them so some people don’t like to use Kindle unlimited and haven’t found it effective for their business model but I’ve talked to a lot of authors who stand by it and think that they make a really good profit from it has that been your experience as Kindle unlimited really helped grow your audience and in sales absolutely I am one of those people who really stand by it because I mean I I was in it from the beginning pretty much I was already I already have had my books in the program when it was paper download and of course there was a lot of discussion when the change to pay per page read and it’s certainly true that failure makes him what and downloads in Kindle unlimited but in the end the number of people who download it and then come back for more make the difference for me we I think it also helps the ranking right out of the gate when you release a book and so in the end for me it has a lot of advantages so some people use it like lust at the beginning and go white later but for me it’s also a thing of saving time if I have to deal with just Amazon which is not always without frustration but really it saves time in the end also for me okay that is a very sound strategy no arguments here so when you release your new release in January impressions what is at the top of your to-do list when you start promoting it I have a number of different things that go for every book this is a little different and a little more subdued maybe because it’s like we said very far in the series so what I do is but I’ve already done before is to promote the first book in the series and also a last winter I had standalone release that was in the same machaca at Willo called killer instinct this one is gonna have I mean a book but coming early in February so I try to combine the promotion of books that are similar in Java and to see to keep more than one at at all times in the top 100 of my primary categories so I’ve learnt a little bit over the years that that is really helpful if you have one new release one that is that’s a good promotion going night the book part in the combination of both often helps it all together and I would have preferred of course to get the first in the series I haven’t managed that yet to get that one into pop pop but I’ll keep trying for that based on the experience I had last year that is really a good combination of things yeah that’s the strategy I used to to discount one of your older releases on bookbub at the same time as you have a new release to drive sales toward you I have another question when I looked you up on Google as I do when I have interview guests I saw right at the top it said author Barbara Pincus and then it said all of your books below like it was the first Google result and that’s really cool when I usually Google let’s pick authors I don’t see that how did you add yourself as an official author on Google so that people when they see your name see that that banner above the search results with all your thoughts I think pasta sauce had to do with the the banner that you see actually it shows some of my alter cough that I stay with the cover with the or publisher that I had in the beginning and so I assumed that there was still a connection there I try to change the cover switch I realized what’s really tough and I’m still in the process of doing that so really the cover show up that presently on my books but I I started out with a small press and I I learnt a lot of things there and it was not such a bad thing to do to really learn things about the business and like there’s somebody like me with very little idea I was more like okay I write a story what do I do next and so now I I have learned some things about yeah how to make myself more visible that is really the main priority would you say that you prioritize social media or mailing lists in your efforts to engage with your audience and keep them updated about your work I did prioritize social media for a long time and I would say like one 2015/16 still used to work very well but I have shifted a little bit from that also because I’ve learned more things over time about a lot of strategies of marketing and yeah there are other options out there also that that weren’t there all the time like for example my last newsletter that I’ve used often and will continue to use and I have to admit that I’m not I don’t yet have my personal awesome newsletter that I will take care of in the coming weeks because that was something I have to say that I put off for a long time and it is something that I have now become a little bit more urgent I feel so your last week newsletter it has offerings from other authors as well do you find that a promoting other authors gets them to promote you in return in the spirit of collaboration this my last bit newsletter I I don’t know if you wrote about it it was started by Harper Blitzen survived I know exactly what you’re talking about okay yes so so this is something I was aware of when they first started and I mean I tried it out a few months after and it was really happy and surprised with the results and have used it ever since so this was sort of like a book path but just for less fake and it works very well I think well targeted advertising can be really effective we talked about rankings on Amazon and since you put a lot of your ranking and since you put a lot of your books in the Amazon basket with Kindle unlimited ranking must be very important to your sales numbers it is I believe and just recently have started shifting things around a little bit and adjusting keywords I’ve started last year with the AMS ads on Amazon and those those were all things that I follow for a long time I wasn’t so sure I didn’t know very well how to make those particular aspects work for me because especially in the beginning with the publisher I didn’t have to really very much about that but yeah as like just in keyboards sometimes it can really make a difference to keep you higher in the ranking it keeps you more visible and that is like really the basis for people to see you and buy your books and I think that’s very important what keywords have you found are effective for you in your genre so for example I always start out with lesbian and go then more specific like lesbians we’ll all like lesbian romantic suspense like lesbian detective novel recently those are things you can you can check on Amazon when you search yourself for for certain keywords and you see what shows up the first and you-you-you think what what do I want people to search for so so I show up in that category and how do I make it happen that I show up really high in that category for example if somebody such as for lesbians Willa I I want them to find my box I and that in their search so and and you can really make it happen with just a few okay I think now I need a moment of us just talking for the word I mean yeah with a few small tips and tricks on Amazon on in the keywords in your subtitles for example you’re listening to the lesbian talk show the lesbian so check on you have of podcast information so you mentioned your previous publisher are you with a different publisher now or are you doing the independent thing I’m completely self-published now I was hired for a while really just to try it out and I could see if that over time that was working better for me what are some of the advantages with being an independent now that made it appeal to you most people will say of course you have more control but also you have more access to a lot of data like you obviously a lot of things that you don’t get to see when you just get your quaterly statement from the publisher of course also monthly payments or quarterly payments that was a an improvement and really and you can change around things and fix things much faster then when you have somebody in between so of course it was for me starting out an advantage that somebody was taking care of most of the things that were also on publishing and I was grateful for that at the time and it gave me the time to look at and learn other things in the mean time and when I thought I was ready to try it out with the short story I saw the results and I was yeah building on that since then it seems to me that if you’re self-published it gives you a lot more freedom to look at data and adjust things like keywords and genre tags a lot easier and if you have to prepare a publisher right and also you you feed them with us pretty quickly which is not something you can with the publisher you would have to have more in between and it’s like for example you want to try out a book back or my last week I mean you would have to communicate whether it’s okay to discount a book if the publishers are going to do it and we had a few changes in mine and then some people were for our discounts but others were not and so so it’s almost a little bit more communication and a little bit more time spent and if that’s your business model and if it’s okay for you to leave that part because of course it takes part of your time on the other hand you know and when you take care of everything yourself so it’s always for me it’s always been a thing of evaluating choices that I made and does it still work for me and going forward what what do I want to achieve so that it is for me always important because so many people think that it’s like it’s people with the publisher against the indie publishing or people in Kindle unlimited mass of people who are white and I don’t really feel that’s that I I see it as different business models that benefit the people who use them I completely agree I don’t think the same business model works for everybody and you can be an effective sales person of your work in a multitude of ways of course yes that’s what I think both we go one last question you mentioned earlier tips and tricks what is the most important tip or trick that you would tell a new author who is getting started with the whole promotional thing for their new releases what I would say now is to get as specific as you can because in the beginning I would go to different blocks if I had the chance and I would try out different things like at rate of last year and something out there and with mixed results some better some not so good now first of all it’s very important to know what you want to do what you want to achieve and what you want to sell also so then you’ll see where are the best places to sell it and for me that’s really like something that is specific LESBIAN specific and LGBT specific because for example like pop pop pop or my last week then then you know those particular newsletters for example are targeted to the audience you want to reach and the thing is I always say that everyone is welcome to read my books of course I I would like to say that or to think that goes without saying but for example the Amazon icon rhythm it doesn’t really understand everybody is welcome so you have to boil it down depending on what your genre is and who you want to reach I absolutely agree with that my intended audience is definitely lesbian bisexual trans women but on the other hand I am happy when straight men or trans men read my work yes I think that’s important too I had a few reviews when people say well when when I can from the profile see it’s maybe a man or it’s a straight woman who says it in revenue and I think that’s great it’s like I would not specifically target my marketing and maybe my marketing dollars to this audience but if they find me it’s great and of course they are welcome that was a couple of books that I’ve written one of them was with the publisher and I have now for the moment it’s not available but I will put it up again at some point that was a mystery I wrote with the straight woman as a main character but her sister is a lesbian and I had to moderate yeah not not the same success really with the that I have or when I have a clear lesbian couple in the book but I thought that was a little bit a story that could also make a bridge between the Johnsons because it’s not exactly mainstream it’s not exactly less fit but as a as an additional offering I would say I would still like to put it up again at some point okay thank you so much for joining me on the show I really appreciate your insights and I’ve enjoyed talking to you a whole lot I’m sure that my listeners will enjoy hearing your advice and your wisdom thank you so much what happened we huh this is the lesbian talk shows for love and money with Rae D Magdon today our guest was Barbara Winkes I will add a link to her latest release impressions in the show notes as well as a link to the first book in the series and links to her website and social media please go to our patreon page where you can hear exclusive clips not found anywhere else if you want to continue the conversation join the lesbian talk shows Facebook group and you can engage with other listeners thank you and have a great week [Music]