Is your book selling as well as you would like? If your book sales have slowed down or are lacking, maybe your book needs refreshing.
Ponder the following four points to determine if you need to engage in updating or refreshing your book to improve sales.
1. Book Reviews
I am amazed at the number of books that have no reviews on Amazon. Some of these are indie authors that are paying for advertising for their books, yet their books have no reviews on the largest book selling website. Reviews are essential for selling books.
My advice is that before you launch a marketing campaign for your book, get reviews. Give readers a free copy of your book in exchange for a review. You need reviews.
If the average rating of reviews for your book on Amazon or any other bookseller site is less than four stars, this means either your book needs some work or you are not targeting the right audience for your message.
The competition is stiff. Readers have exponentially more choices of books to read than they have time to read. An average rating of less than four stars means your book is just that—average. Your book needs to be more than average to sell well. It needs to be compelling.
2. Provide a Sample
Buyers like to have some assurance that what they are buying is worth their money. This is why when browsing for books in a physical bookstore or library, readers will not only read the book’s cover, they will open the book and read a section of the interior to decide if they want to invest in the book.
Buyers need this same access to the interior of your book when browsing online. Give your potential buyers the ability to sample your work so they can make an informed decision that leads to a purchase. You can offer the following samples for potential readers:
- Enable the Amazon Look Inside feature for your book.
- Offer a link to read the first chapter of your book.
- Offer a digital prequel, short story, or tip sheet for free to potential readers.
3. Update Your Cover
First and foremost, your book should be sporting a professional cover image. Your cover should look as good as or better than the top 10 sellers in your category or genre. Your cover needs to be eye-catching to rise above your competition.
Sometimes book sales lag because your book’s cover—your number one marketing tool—does not accurately reflect the contents of your book. Make sure the image on your cover conveys the emotion off your message to the reader. If you are selling a romance story, your cover should speak romance. If you are selling a thriller, your cover should feel suspenseful.
Do a quick review of your book’s cover. Sometimes updating or changing the image can spur sales.
4. Listen to feedback
In response to feedback around editing, I have had authors say, “This is the message God gave me.” Good editing does not change the message. Instead, it makes your message more relatable and compelling.
Once I told an author who requested my help that her book was too long for her target age group. I suggested that she either condense it or break it into a series of books. Her response was that children needed the whole message so she was going to leave it the way she had it.
Clearly, she was not open to my suggestion. I would rather my children eat part of their meal than none of it. At least by eating part they are getting some nutrition. The same can be true for a message. Pieces eventually add up to the whole.
Listen to the feedback you receive from your readers. Take the strengths from the positive reviews and improve the weaknesses pointed out in the negative reviews. Your book (and you) will be better for it.
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Photo courtesy of Malte Luk.