I’m an author. I haven’t published my own book, yet, but I have been published in a compilation book and online. Since I haven’t tried to get my own book sold, I wanted to know what I had in store when I finally do get that work finished and want to sell it. What I found out was to look at things not as an author, but as a reader. Because aren’t we all that first?
Publish It As An Ebook
The first reason it may not be selling is because you don’t offer it as an e-book.
Yes, you probably have it on Amazon, but in Kindle format? What about other sites such as Kobo, Bookbaby, Smashwords and others. Most people have an e-reader, an e-reader app on their phones or tablets and so on. To get it in the best format for publishing on multiple platforms, use a service such as Scrivener. It formats well for a bunch of them.
Another reason is probably your cover. Who designed it? Unless you are an artist or photographer professionally as well, don’t do it yourself. Face it, we do judge a book by its cover and unless that cover is amazing, most will go onto the next one.
Look at other covers in your genre. How do they look? What catches your eye? Think about the picture or art but also the font used. Not using a professional should not be an option. Use those e-book sites to your advantage, do your homework and then make sure you have the best cover going. Remember, think about it as a reader, not as the proud author.
Additional Resource: Why Having A Kick Butt Book Cover Matters So Much
More along the professional line, have you had your book professionally edited? Of course you’ve edited and edited and edited your book. You just can’t edit again. So let a pro take over and be sure you didn’t miss anything. This is important because after so many edits you are really very familiar with your story and will miss things. A new set of eyes won’t.
An editor won’t just be looking for spelling and grammar errors. They will also be an uninterested third party who can give you real input about the quality of your book. Don’t take the criticism personally. Not sure if you’re ready for an editor yet? Put the manuscript away and put some time between. Then re-read. You may find things that need to be changed, or not.
Category or Genre
Next, ask yourself if you put the book in the right category or genre? This is important because if you put it in a genre or a category and it doesn’t quite fit they’ll be disappointed and not buy, or worse, leave negative feedback.
So give a lot of consideration to deciding on the categories, tags and keywords associated with your book. It will give the reader something to set expectations about the book. It also means you could let them down if you miss-choose genre/categories.
Your Amazon Page
Want to be really sure no one buys your book? Make your Amazon sales page look worse than amateur. Use bad grammar, misspell words and leave typos. Oh, and don’t even think to include reviews of your book. Be sure to overprice the book too. In other words, make your Amazon sales page look great.
Marketing Your Book
Market the book. Use your own email list, be sure to be yourself in the emails sent. Don’t send spammy sounding emails. Build your email list and keep it up to date. You must do this because it is the only thing you have to market that is 100% yours.
There are plenty of ways to market, including book review sites, sites like Bookbub and Freebooksy to help sell them and giving free copies to those who can post reviews for you. Just be sure they know to say they got a free copy for the review, but are giving it honestly.
Just work at it. Don’t give up and you’ll see results.
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