5 Simple Actions You Can Take If Your Book Is Not Selling

5 Simple Actions You Can Take If Your Book Is Not SellingThese 5 simple steps can help boost your book sales

With over 5 million Kindle ebooks currently 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 of gaining book buyers.

Step 1. Change your two book 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 very broad top categories, it’s time to hunt for much more narrowly focused niche categories. Broad categories will have your book lost among thousands of others, so narrowing down will help your book discoverability.

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 down as deep as possible and avoid broad header categories at all costs. Look for niche categories that really fit your book.

Step 2. Find and use much better search 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 so much better.

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 lists 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 out a lot more about keywords plus more information in this article, How to Use Keywords to Sell More Kindle Ebooks.

Step 3. Ditch the prologue and credits!

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 information to add to your book, move it to the back of the book.

Hook your potential reader and book buyer by letting then get into reading chapter one, and the story, as quick as possible!

Step 4. Change your cover colour.

You might love your book 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 about buying two or three with different design or colour variations so you can see which one works best? Do an A, B, C test over a few weeks to see which one works better.

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 colours of covers of the most popular titles.

They are mostly pink, blue and pastel. If yours is olive green, it really is time to change your cover, isn’t it?

Again, if you buy a cover, ask the designer if they can make two or three versions for a good price, but with different background colours so you can experiment.

Step 5. Rinse and 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 again 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 find and 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.

Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

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