23 Oct 2017

Books Don’t Sell Themselves

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Make a Living as a Professional Self-Published AuthorBooks don’t promote themselves, and they don’t jump off the shelves and demand to be purchased.

Yet it’s obvious that some authors believe their books should just sell without any effort.

If you want your book to sell, you have to do the work. You must spend time getting your work in front of readers intending to make a purchase. That’s a key component of your marketing strategy: purchases. It might feel great to get a thousand downloads of your book. It’s very fulfilling to know that 1,000 people liked your book. But did they? Or did they just download it, save it to their hard drive, and forget about it. 

So make sure you including “purchase” in your target audience.

Before you even start selling, you book must have:

  • A great cover
  • A fantastic description
  • An engaging title
  • Great content
  • Content that shows up well on the “look inside” feature
  • A great category(s)

Keywords (in the fields in your book definition) don’t seem to be important. I’ve done a lot of experimenting recently, and changing keywords has resulted in zero change.

Positive reviews will help your sales, but probably not as much as is preached, um, taught. They do help sales, just not as much as commonly believed.

If everything else is great, the good reviews will come naturally.

By far the most important factors are (1) a great cover, and (2) great content. Everything else may be forgiven, but if your cover sucks, your book won’t sell. If the content sucks, your book will not sell for long (bad reviews and word of mouth will see to that.)

What about grammar and spelling? Yes, you need to get your book proofread and, if you can, edited by professionals.

But, contrary to the Grammar Nazi’s, an error or two here and there won’t make much of a difference (if any at all) – except you will receive a couple of bad reviews. If you do, find the errors, fix them, and re-upload them. That’s the beauty of self-publishing.

If you’re going to be a perfectionist – spend the energy on your cover. If you are short of money – spend what you have on the cover.

People judge a book by the cover.

Hope that helps.

What is your experience? Let me know in the comments.

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