Authors want to sell more ebooks. They search for a magic secret. While there are secrets, you don’t need them to sell many more copies than you’re selling at the moment.
Little things can make a big difference.
Little things: big sales
As you may know, I coach writers, and I’ve discovered that it’s NOT the super-secret marketing strategies that 80% of authors need. They just need to get back to the basics. You know: cover image, title, book description….
Today, with 80,000 ebooks flowing onto the Kindle store every month, you need to give your ebooks everything they need to be indexed correctly, and catch attention.
Tip: you can always improve. For example, check the genres into which Amazon’s placed your ebooks (scroll down the product page). Do they seem appropriate?
Let’s look at the basics.
1. Genres (categories): choose the most appropriate
How much time do you spend on the Kindle store each week? I hope you’re spending at least a little time there. Aim to familiarize yourself with the genres in which you’re writing. (Or the categories, if you’re writing nonfiction.)
Who’s in the Top 100 in a genre? Read the Look Inside excerpts for the top sellers. Ask yourself WHY they’re selling. Make lists of the top sellers. In some genres, the best selling titles change frequently.
One of my students wasn’t familiar with genres at all. She’d put her two ebooks into genres which just weren’t right. We shoved the ebooks into the genres for which they were most suited, and fixed the descriptions. Then I asked the student to spend an hour a week studying her genres on Amazon.
Her next ebook sold 145 copies on the day she published it. Her genre study wasn’t the only reason it sold — she’d started a mailing list. But she told me that more than anything else, browsing around Amazon gave her confidence. Why? Because she knew more that she did before, and she knew without a shadow of a doubt that she could sell.
2. Titles — try adding the genre
We talked about title tips here; read that if you need a little help.
Many authors add keywords to their titles on Amazon. I hate this with a passion. I hate hashtags in blog posts too, and for similar reasons. I hate it because: it looks stupid, devalues the title, and it’s a crutch.
That said, I’m all for adding your book’s genre to the title. Sometimes titles are ambiguous. Adding your book’s genre: a tale of romantic suspense, or a romantic comedy as a subtitle HELPS readers. (Hashtags in titles don’t help readers. Readers aren’t search engine robots.)
3. Use your descriptions: make them count
Pun intended on “count”. Amazon gives you 4000 characters for the description. That’s around 800 words. Use them. Make your descriptions enticing.
FWIW, be aware that your ebook’s description is advertising copy. Hire a copywriter, if you can afford it. (And NO, I’m not touting for work, perish the thought — I’m overbooked as it is. ;-)) Seriously, to repeat, your description is an advertisement.
Few authors create good descriptions. I include authors published by major companies in that group as well. If anything, traditionally published authors’ ebook descriptions are less inspiring than indies’. I’m not surprised at that.
Take this to heart, and to repeat once more: pay attention to your ebook’s description; it’s an advertisement.
4. Increase readers’ familiarity with a mailing list
Marketers are fond of saying that a buyer needs to see your name seven times before he buys. I think it’s many more times than that. The only way to appear on buyers’ radars regularly is to develop a readers’ mailing list. So — create a list, if you don’t have one.
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How would you feel if your sales doubled, then tripled — and then YOU hit the Kindle hot sellers’ lists?
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How to profit from your writing: online store.