Amazon has completely flipped the book publishing world on its side with the release of Kindle. This innovative device has led to a resurgence of avid book readers from all genres. It has also given the indie authors the ability to become published authors – a right once reserved for those hand-picked by traditional publishing companies.
What’s the downside? The only real downside to self-publishing is that all of the risk falls on the author. It’s one thing to publish a book; it’s quite another to actually sell copies. Whether you’re planning to release your book on Kindle, iBooks, or even use a print-on-demand service, here are some easy tips that will help you sell more books.
#1 Put Yourself into the Reader’s Shoes
There are three important steps that a reader goes through before buying a book.
- They have to find your book.
- They will read the book description.
- If they are still interested, then they will read a sample of the book.
It’s important that you put yourself into their shoes during both of these important steps. Let’s start by taking a look at how a reader will find your book.
If you were browsing a bookstore, then you would start by browsing the best-sellers rack. After which, you would find the aisle that houses books within the genre you’re looking for. Once you find a title that catches your attention, you would then read the back cover. This process works exactly the same with eBooks.
- A potential reader is greeted by a page of best-sellers before they start browsing.
- Then they will dive into the category and browse books.
- When one grabs their attention, they read the description.
You have full control over the second and third steps listed above so be sure to focus on those. Place your book into the correct category and be sure that you write a compelling description.
Once the reader buys your book, they will read it. So having a professionally edited, formatted, and compelling book is just as important as all of the stuff required to get them to buy it. If you’ve ever bought and read a book littered with errors then you know exactly what I mean. It’s annoying! Remember that readers are very likely to buy future books from authors who provide well-written books.
#2 Editing and Sales Copy is Just as Important as a Well-Written Book
Editing, formatting, and sales copy are three of the most important elements of a book’s success. When a reader likes a book enough to click on it, they are going to read the description. This should always be treated like sales copy, which is a mistake made by many self-published authors. The same can be said of formatting and editing. Many self-published authors tend to try and do these themselves. Some succeed but most are too attached to their writing to judge it fairly. Readers are not very likely to buy a book that is poorly edited and formatted. If you are going to invest money in your book, then editing, formatting, and a compelling description are the best areas to spend money.
#3 Correctly Price your Book
In my experience, I either see new authors overprice their book or they try and lowball the market. Neither are going to work. For beginners, I often recommend a price between $2.99 – $4.99. This seems to be the optimal price range for new authors. Anything below $2.99 and you will only see a measly 35% of your royalties – anything over $4.99 and readers are not very likely to trust you.
Amazon does not rank based on the number of books sold. They rank based on the royalties received from a book. Let me show you an example:
Using the chart above, you will notice that 200 people purchased Book A while only 50 purchased Book B. However, Book B will be ranked higher since it made more money. My number one rule for new authors is to never sell your book for less than $2.99, unless they are lowering the price for a promotion.
#4 Place your Book in the Correct Category
If you were going to sell your book in a traditional bookstore, you would want it to be placed with other books of its genre. This is known as a category. Amazon allows you to assign two categories to your book so be sure to take full advantage of this. The best case scenario is that your book becomes a best-seller and gets placed at the front of the pack. The absolute worst case scenario is that you accidentally assign your book to an irrelevant category and it gets mixed in with books that are unrelated. Placing your book into the correct category has two very powerful impacts:
- It allows a buyer to find it easily.
- It will place your book into Amazon’s famous “Recommended for You” list, where they automatically show your book to buyers who have viewed or bought similar books.
#5 Encourage Readers to Write a Review
This one is easy, yet often overlooked. Include a page at the end of the book that asks readers to leave a review for your book. Reviews are the backbone of any book’s success.