The sad reality (for authors, that is) is that barely any Amazon book descriptions have a call-to-action for their books. Why?
Because most of the time these blurbs (or book descriptions) are written by the author themselves or by someone doesn’t know anything about direct response copywriting.
If we learned anything from the advent of sales landing pages is that you need a call-to-action to make a sale. A sales landing page is a direct response medium. In other words, you want people to respond directly to the advertising message—unlike Coca Cola who don’t really expect you to jump off your sofa and get a Coke. That’s called branding.
So, a book is no different from a sales landing page. The message, or book description, needs to be a direct response message. What developers of landing pages have discovered over time is that you really do need to tell your audient what to do. You can’t just describe your book and leave it at that. You need to tell them to buy the book… click the button… make the purchase… get it for a friend, a colleague and so on. You need to instruct them on exactly on what you want them to do.
How to Get People to BUY Your Book, Rather Than Just BROWSE Your Book
Calls-to-action are important because they trigger the brain into a “buying mode” rather than a “browsing mode.” Lots of people are on Amazon just browsing, and they may come upon your book. Or they may have gotten onto Amazon based on a book recommendation and are just checking things out. In either case, your book description’s call-to-action will have to convert them from a browser of your book to a buyer of your book.
Has this ever happened to you?
You go to Amazon based on a book recommendation from a friend, Facebook, New York Times, etc. and you look at the book, read the description and the reviews; and then find yourself browsing around and looking at other books.
What happened is the book just didn’t seal the deal for you. Maybe the ratings didn’t jibe or you didn’t like the price, but most likely it was the book description that just didn’t sell it to you—and most importantly it didn’t get you into the buying mode. It kept you in the browsing mode.
Amazon has done all it can to get you to buy with their easy “Buy now with 1-Click®” button, it’s up to the author (or rather the book description) to really seal the deal. Amazon can only do so much. While Amazon’s button and call-to-action is generic and applies to all books, your call-to-action should be very specific to your book and your audience.
Here are a few more examples of persuasive calls-to-action:
- Get this book while it’s still just $2.95.
- $12.95 will be the best investment you made all day. Click the buy button now and get [name of book] instantly.
- The cost of this book can mean hundreds or thousands of dollars to you. Get it now.
- For the price of a cup of coffee, you could hold in your hands the secret to solving your most pressing problems, so get this book right now so you don’t miss this valuable opportunity.
- Would you trade in $12.95 for a $100 bill? You bet! For just $12.95 you could have the knowledge that could enable you to reap a handful of Benjamins. Buy the book now; it will be the best investment you made all day!
Jeremy Smith said on MarketingLand.com that, “There’s no such thing as a successful marketing campaign unless there is a successful CTA [Call-to-Action].”
Since authors and publishers haven’t caught on to using calls-to-action in Amazon book descriptions, below I listed some very successful calls-to-action that have been used very successfully for online retailer’s landing pages:
- Wait! Before you go: Download our most popular guide to increase conversions
- Subscribe to our blog. It’s free!
- Try Ganttic Free.
- Get PRO Now!
- Join Free for one month.
- Start selling today. Click to get started.
- Start riding with Uber.
Yes, these really do work. The beauty of online sales letters is that hundreds of versions can be tested simultaneously and therefore it can be determined quite quickly which one resonates with the audience, and thus produces the most sales. And that’s what we want, right? Right!
Now for your call-to-action in your Amazon book description, you’ll have to word things differently because you won’t have a clickable button and chances are you aren’t offering anything free, but the same rules apply.
Here are three books that have the same title of Summary: The Art of the Deal on Amazon.
Let’s take a look at their ratings:
You can see that books #1 and #3 have a lot more ratings than book #2. If ratings are any indication of sales, then it’s safe to say that books #1 and #3 sold much more than book #2. Let’s see why.
Here are the calls-to-action associated with each book’s book description:
Book #1: Scroll Up and Click on “buy now with 1-Click” to Download Your Copy Right Now
Book #2: None. Just some text about the book’s author.
Book #3: Download your copy today! Thanks you for downloading this book summary; I hope you enjoy it!
As you can see from the screenshot above, that books #1 and #3 fared a lot better than book #2. Now, a lot of factors go into that, but one cannot dismiss the strong calls-to-action in the books that have most reviews.
Here’s a few more I found on Amazon:
“There is no better time like the present. Scroll back up to the top and select the BUY button now. Soon you will be on your way to creating a peaceful family life and an unbreakable bond with you children!!”
–Sandra Leon, author of Discipline Made Easy
“Scroll Up and Click on “buy now with 1-Click” to Download Your Copy Right Now” –by Book Summary
It is widely known in the world direct response copywriting that direct response copywriting is “salesmanship in print.” In other words, unless you have a salesman standing there selling your book, you will need a powerful and persuasive direct response message and call-to-action to persuade people to buy your book. Just writing a summary of your isn’t going to do it.
One of the integral parts of all sales it to ASK FOR THE SALE. A friend of mine, who’s in sales, often tells me, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” So, true.
- You want a new bike under the Christmas tree this year? Ask for it.
- Want a raise at the office? Ask for it.
- Want to get married? Propose.
If you want someone to BUY YOUR BOOK, ask for the sale!
You will get a lot more sales if you just simply ask for the sale. Here are a few more calls-to-action to get you started:
- You’ve come this far; click the BUY button at the top and complete your mission for the day.
- For just 99 cents, you can’t go wrong. Scroll to the top, and buy this book now before you forget.
- Buy it now before you lose your Wi-Fi connection.
The longer your book description and the stronger your call-to-action is, the higher price point you can sell your book. So, instead of lowering your book price more and more to get better ratings and more sales, try writing a longer book description with a strong call-to-action at the end.
For more information on this, or how I can create an Amazon book description for you, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-209-5284.
Ash Waechter is a sales copy writer who specializes in helping authors and speakers sell more books and products.