Fortunately, with Author Marketing Club, there was a difference. There was absolutely no pressure to immediately plonk for its Premium Membership. So if you so wished, you could become a FREE member first, use the site’s tool and training videos and see for yourself whether you would like to graduate to the next level.
I did exactly that. I used Author Marketing Club as a FREE member for a couple of months and got to experiment with the following:
AMC’s Free submission tool: If you are running a KDP Select Free Promotion, you would know that you can’t just tick a box on Amazon and relax. You actually need to inform websites such as Pixel of Ink, Free Booksy, e-Reader Café and others (who have thousands of subscribers) days in advance of your FREE offer days, to ensure that your FREE download mission is successful. Googling all such sites and then filling up their forms can be quite a cumbersome process. But with AMC’s Free submission tool, you find all the forms in one place and can get done with them in just a few minutes.
AMC’s training videos: These FREE videos teach you all the basics of being a self-published author. I went through the ones that taught me how to pre-sell your books even before you write them, introduced Goodreads for Authors 101, discussed Amazon reviews and why they matter and various other book marketing tips and strategies.
So, if you are not a FREE member, I strongly recommend that you become one. You will not regret it.
AMC offers additional promotional tools to its Premium Members at a price. As a new author, I thought it prudent to wait till I earned $105 in royalties out of the sale of my Kindle and Print books to purchase the Premium Membership. That done, I dived headlong into the intricate tools on offer and found the following really useful:
Author Secret Mastermind: Most reviews, that I have read so far, say that the best part of Premium Membership was the reviewer grabber tool. However, I feel that the greatest benefit of Premium Membership is the Author Secret Mastermind videos. I believe that as self-published authors, our biggest weakness lies in marketing our books. These videos have personally helped me a lot to hone my marketing skills. Jim Kukral talks about marketing strategies that you will not find anywhere else on the internet (and definitely not on Amazon where you will otherwise find hundreds of books on how to market your book). Most of Jim’s strategies are eminently implementable by any Author, including those who do not have an Author Platform and have a zero fan base.
Amazon Enhanced Description Maker: This tool makes your Amazon book description pop out by using HTML coding. It is very easy to use and makes your book description look very attractive using orange headlines, pointers and bold sub-heading.
You can compare the two book descriptions of my Amazon Sales page, the first I wrote without using the AMC tool and the other with the tool:
Reviewer Grabber Tool: Most Authors find the reviewer grabber tool to be the highlight of Premium Membership but, to be frank, I was a little disappointed. I used the tool with the intention to capture a good chunk of a bestselling book’s 2000 reviewers e-mail addresses but it could capture just 11 and that too after trying four times. I manually managed to grab the e-mail addresses of over 60 reviewers, but it took me days to do so. I hope Jim works on to refine this tool further. Till then, do continue to use this tool to grab reviewers in your genre’s competing books if you are short of time. But bear in mind, contacting “professional” reviewers is a double edged sword. Some may not like your book and when they leave reviews, they bash you hard (when I say hard I mean it!).
Author Success interviews: You simply fill up a form to tell your Author story and AMC makes it available to all its premium members.
Book Promotional Tools: These include the Book Discovery Sundays where every Sunday AMC features books of its members (but you need at least 10 Amazon reviews to feature in this programme), promote your $.99 book every Friday, AMC Holiday Bonanza (where it promotes your books during holiday season usually Christmas), etc.
Book Marketing and training workshops: If you are unsure whether your book’s sales page looks professional enough to buyers, you can submit your book listings to experts and they give you the necessary advice. So far I have not used these workshops. Similarly, if you are struggling with your writing, there are various training videos to help you improve that.
Pre-made book covers: AMC has got an entire catalogue of really beautiful book cover templates ranging from fiction to non-fiction including cookbooks. As a Premium Member, you get one cover free, rest come for a price. When you select a cover template, AMC introduces you to the cover designer, where from you work directly with the cover designer. This is one $30 value offer that shouldn’t be missed.
I could go on and on, but the short point is that it is definitely a good deal becoming AMC’s Premium Member. But if you cannot afford it, or are cautious by nature, then at least start with its Free Membership and upgrade whenever you think you are ready.
The AMC has been evolving a lot and it keeps adding new tools for its Premium Membership. This makes AMC a very vibrant community on the internet.