When you have your book on Amazon there are a number of things you can do on your sales page to increase your chances of sales. Some of these need to be thought about well before you start publishing.
Choose the right title for your book
The best titles are the ones that come up top in people’s searches on Google and Amazon.
So, for example, for my non-fiction book, I could use one of the following:
- How to write and get published in the UK
- How to write and get published: A Guide for new writers
- How to write and get published: The Ultimate Guide UK
All three of these titles start the same way, i.e. with the phrase that potential customers are likely to type into a search box.
Any one of these titles should give you top billing for a search on Amazon or Google and other search engines as they all closely match the phrase that someone might type in.
Also, the titles are easy to understand and tell the customer exactly what the book is about and what it will do for them.
If you are not sure which phrases potential customers might put in to find your book, you can use the Google keyword planner to find out which relevant phrase is searched for by the most number of people.
Front cover design
Think about what your customers would want to see. Remember the cover will appear in a small icon when it shows up in searches so the image of the front cover needs to stand out and you need to be able to clearly see what the title is.
Keep the cover simple, and make it look like a quality book.
The most important thing to include in your book description is: what is the main theme of the book.
You may want to include your chapter titles which are, after all, a summary of what is in your book so this might prove very useful to any potential buyers.
Write the description in the third person, present tense and write it as if you are talking to the reader.
The ideal length for the description is between 150 and 200 words. When people are searching online for something to buy, they don’t want to spend ages reading lots of information. They want, the key facts and quickly. They may well look at some of your reviews as well, which may well be more important to them than reading your description.
For search engine optimisation, it is good to repeat the title of the book at least two times, maybe three.
It is also helpful to use emotive words, at around 5 to 10 per description.
Some examples of emotive words that might work well for a non-fiction book are:
Amazing, belief, bravery, cheer, courage, defiance, delight, excited, eye-opening, fearless, happy, heart, magic, mind blowing, spectacular, spirit, surprising, uplifting, wonderful.
Write the description as if you are the publisher, not the author. This might help you to sell the book and blow your own trumpet!
Book reviews, and Amazon verified purchases
Book reviews will have a big impact on the number of books you sell. So it is very important that you write and publish a book that deserves good reviews. As long as you have a high quality book, you will get positive reviews. It is far better to have genuine reviews than using any underhand means. I would recommend encouraging all your readers to leave a review on Amazon (and your own website) to increase the total number that you get.
Each review, you receive will state that it is by an Amazon verified purchaser, when the customer has bought their book on Amazon or Kindle. The more Amazon verified purchaser (APV) reviews you get the better.
Your book’s ranking.
Your ranking will not have any impact on the conversion rate, (i.e., whether or not somebody buys it) as most customers are not aware of it.
However, as an author, book ranking is very important as, if you manage to reach the top 100 of any category on Amazon, you are automatically a bestseller in their eyes. You can use this bestseller status to boost sales of your book.
The way Amazon rank books is quite complicated and ever-changing, and I’m not going to go into it in detail here. Suffice as to say that it is worth trying to get into the top 100!
Frequently bought together (FBT)
On any sales page for the book on Amazon they have other titles that are ‘frequently bought together’ with this particular book. Usually there are three other books and a special price for buying all three. The more times your book is listed with another book in the FBT area, the better. Once you’ve achieved this, sales will increase significantly. And if you manage to get your book listed on the FBT section with another bestseller, you should see a big increase in sales.
Customers who bought this also bought
This section comes under the FBT section on the sales page and is a long row of books that have been bought by customers, who also got the book on the sales page. Obviously, it is an advantage to appear in this section, but as there are numerous books, it might be difficult for yours to stand out. When your book has been chosen from this section a number of times, it will move up to the FBT section, which is the best place to be.
Your Amazon author page
As an author, you are missing a trick if you don’t create your Amazon author page as this is free to do and can only be of benefit.
To create an author profile, go to: https://authorcentral.amazon.co.uk
The benefits of an author page are:
- it will help you build trust with your customers and readers
- the customer can see the real person behind the book and so are more likely to buy
- you can add a photograph, a biography, even a video, and also link your Twitter account (so that your tweets appear on your Amazon author profile).
- all the books that you have written will automatically appear on this page and you will be able to see any relevant statistics.
If you find my novel, Unlikely Neighbours, on Amazon you will see a link on my name, Gill Buchanan, which takes you to my author profile. Here you will see how I have created my author profile, and this is the biography that I have on there:
My name is Gill Buchanan and I discovered my love of creative writing in my forties. I was lucky enough to have been inspired and encouraged by a local writers’ group in the early days, who wrote short stories and novels whilst eating cake and drinking coffee. Fuelled by many lattes, l have so far published one novel and written two more which will be published soon! My stories tackle modern-day dilemmas with a gentle humour that resonates with many women and somewhat surprisingly, quite a few men.
I also write a blog as I love helping others to write and get published by sharing my own experience. The blog (at www.gillbuchanan.co.uk) includes my journey to writing a non-fiction book and the resulting book will be published in 2015. This is to help any self-employed entrepreneurs who might find showcasing their experience in a book both rewarding and valuable.
I live in rural Kent with my husband, Tony, and my cat, Gracie. A favourite pastime is sitting in a good café and scribbling away to create my next novel – but then you’ve guessed that!
Note that the biography is relatively short at 184 words; anything between 150 and 200 words is good. It is written as if I am talking to the person reading it which makes it more friendly.
I’ve included, who I am; a bit of background; how I came to writing; and the aim of my blog.
As a non-fiction author, it is important that you include:
- something personal about yourself so the reader feels they are getting to know you
- any experience qualifications or background that is relevant to your subject
- how your books will be of benefit to the reader
You can always look up other non-fiction authors that you admire, perhaps one in the same genre as yourself, to see what they have on their author profile and to get ideas.
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Many businesses fail in the first few years, and one of the main reasons that this is a lack of credibility. Not only do you have to build awareness of your brand but you have to convince potential customers that you have the skills and expertise to produce the products or service you are offering.
If you set yourself up as an expert in a particular area, for example, as a life coach, you need to find a way of building trust with potential clients and of raising your profile in their eyes.
I meet many life coaches in one form or another when I am networking either online or at the meetings I go to. One in particular that I know, has written a book called The High-Heeled Leader which teaches women to use their femininity to their advantage in the workplace. The author, Katie Day, takes her book along to all the networking meetings she goes to and promotes the book on her website. This positions her immediately as an authority on her subject and creates interest in what she does. She is an authority on how women can succeed in the workplace.
A book showcasing your expertise makes you more visible and positions you as a specialist within your chosen niche.
Here are two more examples of books that can be written:
A style consultant may write a book titled: Transform your appearance and wow the world by working with a style consultant
A business coach may write a book titled: How to succeed in business by working with a business coach
In both cases, the books are designed to appeal to the potential customers of the style consultant and the business coach.
Having published the book I would advise you to give as many as you can away, as a free gift. This will start the process of building trust between you and potential clients. This is particularly important with high-end products and services where customers are parting with a significant amount of money. They need to be reassured they are spending wisely.
Having read your book, they are more likely to take on your services and/or recommend you to their friends.
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