The Five Key Sales Factors Every Author Needs to Have in Order to Make Their Book a Success on Amazon
Like many authors who self-publish a book, you are faced with the same realization after you publish your book…
At first you hopeful that everything would go well and sell.
Then there are NO sales, NO reviews, low rankings and so on.
And every day you feel more and more depressed and disillusioned about the self-publishing career you were supposed to have.
And you probably feel overwhelmed by all the stuff you have to do just to make a sale.
But you won’t have to see when you have these five key sales factors in place
Your days are filled with looking at dismal stats…
Or you’re spending your days blogging to death—or whatever your promotional method is.
But that is about to change.
Instead of feeling like a loser because your book is not selling and your publishing career is not what you told everyone it was going to be, you will now be the King or Queen of the Hill (of book publishing).
You will no longer feel worried and overwhelmed about low sales, no reviews and low rankings. Once you have these five key sales factors in place, you will feel relieved and confident in your ability to make many sales.
Let’s get started…
Key Sales Factor for Authors #1: High Converting Keywords and Categories
There are a lot of gimmicks going around about how to be a bestseller in a category that is not related to your book. This may work to give you bestseller status, but it won’t make for long term sales.
The best way to make long-term sales is to use proper categories.
How easy would it be for you to find shoes in the underpants section of your local clothing store? Well if you were in the underpants section, the shoes would stand out. But if you were set on looking for shoes you wouldn’t look in the underpants section.
So it doesn’t matter that you got to #1 in Art History if your book is about dieting. No one will look there!
I’ve seen too many examples of people trying to game the system. It doesn’t work long term. Just in any endeavor where you try to cheat your way to the top, it never works.
But it’s important to be in all available categories.
I see too many people in the wrong categories. They may be #1 or #22 in a category, but if it’s in the wrong category, then it’s worthless.
If you believe that getting your book in front of the right audience, then you will see the futility in this strategy.
Would you go looking for a lawn mower in a zoo? Or how about a Gorilla in the men’s department?
So if you have a book about time management, don’t pick “Creativity & Genius” as your category even though you can rank high.
Games and gimmicks don’t work in the long run.
This is critical. Many authors remember to sprinkle keywords in their title, but they forget to sprinkle those same keywords in their book description.
And when you think of keywords, don’t just think of works like “cooking,” “dieting” “time-management.”
Think in terms of keyword phrases like “cooking with a wok”, “dieting for seniors”, or “time-management for the self-employed.”
These terms are what people type into search engines and on Amazon.
Because they learned that they won’t find what they are looking for if the just type “fitness,” when they are really looking for a “fitness regime while traveling.”
Now, keywords and keyword phrases have no effect if they are only used once. So, pick a few and use them often.
Remember, you are trying to let a computer (search engine algorithm) know what your book description is all about.
So, you need to be clear about what kind of audience you want to attract.
Key Sales Factor for Authors #2: Completed Authors Page
If you don’t have a photo, get one. Link your Twitter or your blog to your page. You will have an instant link to y our website. You can just keep your blog about signing up.
Offer something free on your page.
Successful author, Pete Hollins offers a FREE cheat sheet on his website.
Key Sales Factor for Authors #3: Attractive Book Cover
This should be obvious, but many authors get this wrong. If you’re a somebody, then you can put your photo on the cover. If you’re a nobody, then don’t—until you become a somebody.
What you should have on your book cover is a nice pleasing image that sums up what your book is about.
This is no time to be clever or mysterious. Yes, you want to arouse curiosity as I mentioned many times, but you also want to be very clear and direct.
Don’t use cheap book cover designers like you would see on Fiverr. Expect to pay a few hundred dollars for a really good book cover design that tells your story in an inviting and captivating way.
You could also get premade covers like on this site: https://thebookcoverdesigner.com/product-category/premade-book-covers/
People do judge a book by its cover, so whatever you do…
Don’t design your own book cover!
And with all the competition on Amazon, you cannot afford to have a below average book cover.
Think about it. Would you get a $2 haircut and wear a $7 suit to a job interview? Didn’t think so.
If you’re not going to take book publishing seriously, then don’t even start. But if you are determined to be a successful author, then you first need to invest in a good book cover.
Good book cover designers have designed hundreds and even thousands of book covers. They know what they are doing.
The best place for me is 99 Designs. This way you will get multiple design ideas for one low price. I have found many great book designers on that site. It is more than $5, but it’s worth every penny
Once you get a few design concepts, take a survey on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Don’t make your book look like a self-titled publication. Here’s a neat trick. A lot of books have “new York Time bestseller in small writing at the time.”
If you can’t make that claim, put anything in that spot, and it will seem equally as important.
A poor book cover will reflect poorly on you.
Even if your book is doing really well with your lousy book cover, imagine how much better it would do with a really good book cover.
I recently consulted with a woman who wrote a book about her unique diet. She did a lot of research into the diet. But she wanted to put a smart looking woman (with the stereotypical glasses) in front of a chalkboard covered in math equations. I told her that image made my “head hurt” because it made achieving the diet too hard.
Don’t make your solution look hard. People want fast and easy. Your book cover should portray that. Even a plain book cover with lots of whitespace will achieve that.
Key Sales Factor for Authors #4: Attention Grabbing and Benefit-Rich Headlines
The next thing after your book cover is the title of your book.
Here’s a real boring one I came across the other day:
Where are the benefits?
No one wants to be their own boss and start up their own business unless there is some big payoff.
In addition, the title is a little redundant. If you started your own business, you’re probably your own boss. And vice versa: if you are your own boss, there’s a good chance you started your own business.
Don’t waste words!
Words are precious when it comes to book titles. Choose them carefully.
Here’s a better title:
Do you see how benefit-rich this book title is?
- Rock star rich
- Fast (“99 Minute”)
Five clearly definable benefits are right there in the title
When you come up with a title, think terms of “The Four Hour Week.”
That is the shortest benefit-rich title I’ve ever come across, except for Think and Grow Rich
But your book title doesn’t have to be short.
In fact, you can make your main title to be short and catchy, and your subtitle can be long and benefit rich.
Here’s an example…
Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Think about How to Win Friends and Influence People.
This book title says it all!
Here’s another headline that is redundant:
The Procrastination Cure: 21 Proven Tactics For Conquering Your Inner Procrastinator, Mastering Your Time, And Boosting Your Productivity!
Yes, this is a real book title.
Make sure you use your words wisely.
If you are going to be redundant, at least use the same keywords, so you can get the algorithms working for you.
Key Sales Factor for Authors #5: Have a Well-Written Book Description
Too many authors neglect this.
Would you neglect telling someone about your book if someone asked you about it? Probably not.
Would you keep quiet if someone asked what your book was about it? Probably not.
Would you bother to answer someone if they asked you why they should by your book? Yes, you would!
Not having a good book description is showing that you don’t care.
You need to show how your book is the only book your prospect will need.
BONUS: If your book is 90 pages or less, then the words fast, quick and easy should be used. Don’t say “complete” with a 72 page book!
Too many authors are trying to make a short book look like a big book.
Don’t try to fool people.
Because you won’t.
There is nothing wrong with writing a short book to sell on Amazon. Just make it clear that’s what it is.
Too many authors try to fool people, and that’s why these short books get very poor reviews. They are NOT meeting expectations.
Make it perfectly clear that your book is short. Some people WANT a short book.
Just make sure your book and the associated verbiage clearly says a “fast and easy.” Instead of “complete guide” or “everything you need to know” etc.
You should have these key sales factors for your Amazon eBook to be a success on Amazon:
- High Converting Keywords and Categories
- Completed Authors Page
- Attractive Book Cover
- Attention Grabbing and Benefit-Rich Headlines
- Have a Well-Written Book Description
These key sales factors make up the core of your presence on Amazon. If you have all these in order, you should do well on Amazon. Don’t resort to gimmicks and shortcuts. As the old saying goes, “Winners never cheat. And cheaters never win.”
Ash Waechter is a sales copy writer who specializes in helping authors and speakers sell more books and products.