Episode 68 – Mastering Book Descriptions and Amazon Ads with Brian Meeks

In this episode, Mark interviews Brian Meeks, author of Mastering Amazon Ads and Mastering Amazon Descriptions. The interview was recorded during a Facebook Live video on the Stark Publishing Facebook page.

A Screen shot of Brian and Mark chatting

Prior to the interview, Mark shares a word from the episode’s sponsor, Findaway Voices . . .

In his personal update, Mark talks about a recent 40% off Box Set promotion that he and author Sean Costello had with Kobo for one of Sean’s digital box sets.

A Tweet about the recent Kobo promo

He also shares how they added their own push for the promo, and how sending a newsletter blast about it helped them sell more copies not just on Kobo, but also on Kindle, Apple and Nook, just by being inclusive and including links to the major retailers as well as a Books2Read link.

The Books2Read link for Sean’s Thriller Box Set

Mark talks about the detailed analysis of the promo which he published for Patreon supporters of the podcast and thanks them for their ongoing support.

In their chat, Mark and Brian talk about:

  • How Brian once put off launching a fiction title for 60 days because he wanted to avoid the task of writing the product description
  • How a description done correctly will convert at about 1 in 10 (1:10) – ie, ten views of an ad will result in a click through to the product by a potential customer
  • The most common problems that authors face when trying to write their book product description
  • The idea of using previous or existing reviews of a book to find hints and clues to what made the book special to readers
  • Ways authors can practice writing or creating compelling product descriptions
  • The ultimate goal of a product description, which is to get a potential reader to READ your book
  • Creating a logline that can be used as an “elevator pitch”
  • How the formatting of a description can be as important as the words used in that description
  • How the main goal of the FIRST line (or opening hook) of a product description is to get the reader to read the SECOND line
  • The concept of the call to action to request the reader to “buy” or “get” the book today
  • Brian’s story of the “miracle product description”
  • How customers don’t care so much the difference between $2.99 or $4.99 and that their TIME in reading the book is something they consider more valuable, more precious
  • The concept of variance, and how it can take 1000 clicks before you have enough data to accurately measure the results of a data set
  • Amazon Ads for authors who are published exclusively to Kindle (KDP Select and part of Kindle Unlimited) VS authors who publish their books “wide” to all retail platforms
  • Why an author shouldn’t spend more than 90 seconds writing up their advertising copy
  • What is a good place to start or to learn how Amazon Advertising works for you
  • The critical importance of patience and setting expectations and how much investment of time and energy it takes to perfect the process
  • How “Bid Plus” is a terrible idea for authors to use in Amazon Advertising
  • How Brian gives about 7 to 10 days for an ad to see if they are “getting turned on” and, if it isn’t, he kills it
  • The differences of playing within the Amazon Advertising world today compared to how it used to be

In his post-interview reflections, Mark talks about three things from the chat that stuck with him.

The video interview
  • The idea of NOT using the “Bid Plus” option when creating Amazon Advertising Ads
  • The concept of having a first line / log line of 4 to 6 words to grab the attention of a potential reader in your book description
  • The methodology of incorporating elements from reader reviews of your book when revising your book’s blurb

Links of Interest

Brian D. Meeks likes to tell a story.

He takes joy in crafting the silly, sprinkling on a bit of the absurd, and mixing in a dose of unexpected. When he does it well…there will be laughter.

He enjoys words. He likes their meaning, their sound, the cadence of them in groups, and how, when wielded with a deft touch, they can stop time. A tear wrought from the pages of a novel is like a magic elixir.

He wants you to wonder what comes next…to sense the excitement of a journey as it unfolds.

Beyond just writing novels, he has learned that there is much joy to be had on the publishing end, too. He’s also found that writing novels is the easy part…selling them is where the real challenge lies. Over the last few years he’s gotten a handle on publishing/marketing and enjoys writing about his discoveries along the way. He wants to help others discover the joys that come with writing and publishing…to realize their own dreams

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