Saturday, December 31, 2011

Marketing Thoughts - by Stephanie Burkhart

Happy New Year!

I was working on my blog post for 4RV when I saw Katie Raines had a great post on social networking and marketing strategies, so I decided to revamp mine and talk a little about everything today.


When you're first starting out, it can be uncomfortable reaching out to others – especially readers. One place where you have to be careful is the Amazon forums.

I've discovered the Amazon forums are where readers hang out, but if you don't carefully follow the rules you may sabotage your attempts to successfully market your product.

THE RULES: If you're an author, Amazon has created "Meet Our Authors" just for you. Keep your promotion about your book in this forum.

However, to be effective, you have to be social and branch out – explore other threads. They have threads for Kindles, children's writing, romance – find threads that interest you. Engage in conversations. TIP: Lurk before your post and get the "feel" for the thread and don't self-promote your book outside of the "Meet our Authors" forum or the Amazon "mean" peeps will call you out.

ANOTHER TIP: Marketing and networking can be time consuming. Be mindful of how much time you have to spend on this. I try to allot about 30-45 minutes for this.

If you stick to the above guidance, you'll gradually earn readers and before you know it, you'll see an increase in sales. Amazon readers want to read and are always looking for a good recommendation. If you can build up a solid reputation, the readers will come, but it requires patience, time, and respect for Amazon's rules.

Patience may be the crux of the marketing stragedy. In today's world, we expect results instantly and when we don't get instant results we get disappointed. If you venture out on the Amazon forums remember patience is the key to becoming successful.


I love Crystalee Calderwood's "Angeline Jellybean." Why? Because it’s a story that easily relates to young children. The 3-year-olds in my Little Church preschool class light up and love to say "Blah" right along with Angeline. When I read the book to my son's kindergarten class, they got the giggles watching the jellybeans dance in Angeline's tummy. Both classes want encores.

I love sharing books from the 4RV catalog with children and other adults I meet. The books always get a warm reception. As an author, for me, it's important to support my fellow authors. Publishing and marketing takes a team. 

Who's on the team? You, the author, your editor, your illustrator, and other authors who will help cross market your book. Build the bonds of teamwork by reaching out to other authors. "Like" their Amazon pages, Facebook pages, follow them on Twitter, buy one of their books, read it, and support. You'll find most are receptive and will do the same for you.


It's that time of the year when we look back at 2011, evaluate our ups and downs, and look forward to 2012. Some of us make resolutions, some of us prefer goals. My big resolution/goal for the upcoming year is weight loss. My #2 is to grow as a writer and a marketer. My #3 is to conquer the Amazon forums. Wish me luck.

Do you have any tips about how to be successful on Amazon? Do you want to make a comment or have a question about social networking? Do you want to share your resolutions or goals your have for 2012?

Bio: Stephanie Burkhart was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. She spent 11 years in the military and now calls Castaic, CA her home. She works for LAPD as a 911 Dispatcher. Her book, "The Giving Meadow" was published with 4RV Publishing.

"Inspiration flows from the exchange of ideas."
Happy New Year to All!


  1. Steph,
    I don't recall ever reading anything about marketing on Amazon before. This was quite valuable! Thanks for sharing.

    I thought I'd add that public libraries offer classes on topics that can benefit writers. In my area, social networking and Linkedin are being held in the near future. Writers might like to check their library's schedule of events.

    Happy New Year. I wish you much continued success in your writing.

  2. Great post, Stephanie. I don't take advantage of Amazon's author tools as much as I should. Even Linkedin has a number of tools that can be helpful if you take advantage of them.

    Thanks for sharing - I'll pass the link to this post around.

    Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

  3. Linda, I have specific posts for Twitter, to help out those who are just learning and the service, Facebook, and Amazon forums. I'm glad I could help. Thanks for sharing the stuff about the libraries, I didn't know that. That's very helpful and netorking in person, IMHO, is much better.

    Karen, thanks for popping in. Remember, if you venture out on Amazon, go slow, lurk, get the feel for the forum. Have patience. It will pay off and you'll meet some great readers.


  4. Steph,
    Thanks for sharing this. I've just ventured into Facebook and Twitter and there's obviously plenty more to learn about all these new things.

    Angela Britnell

  5. I think you need to be very careful on some of the Amazon Forums, if someone has an issue with one of your comments they can cause some internet harm.

    Amazon is a very good place to use or participate in as long as you know the quirks related to the forum you choose.

    Sally the Cautious

  6. Sally, I agree and I don't mean to downplay that in my post. Amazon Forums can work very well for you, but you've got to be careful and I can't stress that enough.


  7. Hmmm ... never knew about Amazon Forum ... thanks for the tip.

  8. Hi Steph,
    Thanks for the interesting, informative post.

  9. I've never participated in the forums for authors. I'll have to check that out. Thanks for the tip!

  10. I think the amazon Author Page has been most helpful. You are so right about limiting the time you spend on promotion. I use Facebook often but, although I have a Twitter Account, I suck at tweeting. Just saying...
    Good and helpful post, Steph.