These 5 simple steps can help boost your book sales
With nearly 5 million Kindle ebooks available, plus an even larger number of paperback and hardcover books listed on Amazon, it’s no wonder that your book can get lost in the crowd.
Sure, some book promotion can help a little, but most book sales are made by book buyers who search Amazon, or other online ebook and book retailers for their next read. So the key to improving your book sales is to make your book not only easier to find but also more tempting to buy.
So let’s get started on making some simple changes that will improve your chances.
Step 1. Change your two categories.
On Amazon as well as most other self-publishing sites, you can choose two categories (genres) for your book. If you are currently listed in broad categories, it’s time to hunt for much more narrowly focused niche categories.
For instance, listing your book under ‘Kindle eBooks > Romance’ is a surefire way to have your book lost among hundreds of thousands of other books.
A better listing would be ‘Kindle eBooks > Romance > Inspirational’, as it has narrowed down the number of competing titles.
But even better, is to drill down even further, to a listing such as, ‘Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Romance’. This category will give your book a far better chance of being found.
When selecting your two categories, my advice is to drill as deep as possible and avoid broad header categories at all costs.
Step 2. Find and use much better keywords.
You can add seven keywords on Kindle and more on some other sites. Keywords can be a single word or a short phrase, so it’s no surprise that short phrases work very well. To find keywords, use the Search Field on Amazon and look at the results, and in particular the drop down list of suggestions. These suggestions are terms that people have used on Amazon, so by selecting one of these, you improve your chances of your book being found by search.
However, certain single keywords on Kindle have a surprising use. Amazon list many keywords that when used with the right category will give your book a third or even fourth category listing. For instance, if your book is listed under Historical Fiction, by adding the keyword, medieval, Kindle will give your book an addition category of, Historical Fiction Time Periods/Medieval’.
You can find more information in this article, How to Use Keywords to Sell More Kindle Ebooks.
Step 3. Ditch the Prologue!
Book buyers need to be hooked immediately, so don’t waste the opportunity by boring a potential reader with a preview read full of credits, thank yous to your family and editor, a prologue or foreword or any other text that is going to have them clicking ‘close preview’ in a hurry. If you have some background to add to your book, move it to the back of the book.
Hook your reader by getting into chapter one, and the story, as soon as possible!
Step 4. Change your cover.
You might love your cover, but do potential book buyers? Take a little time to look at books that are selling well in your genre. How does your cover compare?
If you are not a graphic artist, and you have a homemade cover, do yourself a big favour and buy a professional cover.
If you buy pre-made covers, which are inexpensive, have you thought of buying two or three so you can see which one works best?
Sometimes something as simple as the overriding colour of a cover can make a huge difference. For instance, if your book is Contemporary Romance look at the covers of popular titles. They are mostly pink, blue and pastel. If yours is olive green, it really is time to change your cover!
Again, if you buy a cover, ask the designer if they can make two or three versions, but with differing background colours so you can experiment.
Step 5. Repeat steps 1 & 2
Keep experimenting with categories, but more importantly, with keywords, until you strike success. If one of your keywords fails to list your book in the top fifty titles for the keyword search, hunt for a better one. If a keyword lists your book in the top fifty, keep it!
These five steps can make a big difference to your book sales, so give social media a miss for a few hours, and take some positive actions that will help potential readers want to buy your book. Applying these measures, possibly in combination with online book promotion, can only help more potential book buyers find your book.