You would think that after ten years in the writing racket I’d know a little more than I do. Well, then you’d be wrong. Every day is a learning experience. That’s why I’m such an avid fan of The Story Reading Ape, or, as he is affectionately known to his peers, Mr. Ape. Not a day goes by that he does not enlighten us with articles on the many ins-and-outs of self-publishing. Sometimes he’ll even throw in a chuckle or two by posting pictures of cats (ya’all know what I’m talkin’ about).
Anyway, I’m here today to tell you about a few things I recently learned that are going to help me sell more books going forward. Some of the things were known to me, but I was too lazy to delve into them (i.e., research them). Others came as a complete surprise. I’ll tell you what they are and provide links so you can get the particulars. Hey, I can’t do all the work! As mentioned above, I’m an indolent sort.
I’m going to talk about selling books on Amazon because they are the 800-pound gorilla in the room when it comes to selling books. So let’s get to it. Did you know there are things you can do before you even start writing your book that will help sales? Such as using trigger words for your title, subtitle, and book description.
The next thing that is important is your selection of keywords. Amazon allows you seven and they better be good (and relevant) if you want to move some books. Whenever it came time for me to choose keywords for my novels, I was like a deer in the headlights. I froze. For my latest book, I bit the bullet and did some research on how to come up with keywords that would get my book near the top of search lists on Amazon. Here’s an excellent article that tells you how to do so.
The selection of categories is very important to how Amazon promotes your books. The higher your ranking in a given category, the more apt Amazon will be to move your title up the list when people search that category. And did you know that there is a secret way to get Amazon to add more categories for your book than the two allowed when you first publish? Neither did I. So, here’s a piece that will fill you in on Amazon categories and how to choose what’s best for your book.
And when it comes time to write the description (blurb) of your book for your sales page on Amazon, do it like the big boys do. Use bold text or bullet points or whatever. Read some of the descriptions from the big publishers, get some ideas. Then go to town. You’ll need to use code, but here’s a neat little tool that writes it for you. It’s very easy to use. Even I figured it out.
Now that you have your book written, a dynamite title, great keywords, and relevant categories, you might want to advertise it on Amazon. Well, good luck, because I have found out that is not easy. I mean, it’s easy to buy an ad, but it’s not easy to do it right if you want your ad shown to people who are apt to buy your book. But luckily, there’s a free course we can take that walks us through the minefield. I’ve taken it twice (there’s a lot to know) and will probably do it a third time before I test the waters with my first Amazon ad. And from what I’ve been learning from my research, Amazon gives you a lot more bang for your buck than Facebook nowadays.
In the interest of full disclosure, all the links I supplied will take you to various pages of the same outfit, a place called Kindlepreneur. I have nothing to do with them. It’s just that when I was doing my latest research into marketing, I kept coming across them. I checked them out in forums and blog posts and couldn’t find a bad word about ’em. Just the opposite—nothing but rave reviews. They do sell a product, but everything I mentioned above is free.
That’s it. That’s all I gotta say for this go-round.