Here are some self-publishing tips to help propel your book higher up the seller list in your genre, increase book sales and increase author credibility.
Hire an Editor
If you’re not a professional editor yourself then you need to hire one. You can find some good freelance editors online. Don’t just find an editor who can check your book for spelling and grammatical mistakes. You want an editor who can check whether the book has any obvious factual mistakes, and whether there is a lack of coherence, clarity and continuity anywhere in the text.
An Eye Catching Book Cover
A professionally designed book cover can go a long way in building credibility and attracting attention. This is particularly true of the cover which should reflect the content of the book, its genre and target audience. A great cover can make your book stand out amongst the others and propel book sales. For many authors this means you may need to hire a book designer such as myself. If however you insist on doing it yourself here are some tips on designing a book cover that sells.
Professional Interior Design
A professionally formatted and designed book with the correct front and back matter, correct typography, leading (line spacing), margins, hyphenation, layout, chapter and sub-chapter formatting can give your book a more professional and consistent appearance. It can also increase comprehension and make it more enjoyable to read. Make sure you are familiar with the rules of formatting a book or get a professional interior book designer and typographer such as myself to do this job for you. If you want to do this job yourself here are some Interior book design tips.
Make sure to use a descriptive title, subtitle and series name that make it clear what the book is about. This will attract readers most interested in your genre, who are most likley to enjoy your book and leave positive reviews.
This is an obvious point but worth mentioning. Proper categorization means you target those who are looking for related subjects within your niche. Knowing your target audience will help you do that.
Proper use of Keywords in the Meta
For e-books such as those listed on Amazon you want to use keywords that readers are searching for and keywords that they cannot select by clicking on the categories. You could use Google Adwords or other keyword research tools to see what keywords within your niche readers are using.
Opening that Grabs Attention
The opening of the book is perhaps the most important part of the content. You want an opening that grabs the readers attention and maintains their attention to the point where they want to read more.
Get a Blurb
A blurb is a comment from a review (often by another author praising the particular book). This is usually situated on the dustjacket of a book cover but you could also include a short excerpt on the sales page so that evokes interest in the book.
Links to other Work
Add links to your other work from within the e-book. You could add these at the back just after they’ve finished reading your ebook and are keen to read more.
Use Sequels and Series to your Advantage
You could make the first book in a series free or lower-priced than your other books. Once they’ve finished reading your first book this can act as a great hook for getting them to read the others and is particularly important if you are a new publisher trying to get recognized.
Increase the Price Gradually
Don’t price yourself so high at first that no one will take a chance on it. More people will buy at a lower price. Even if you think your book is worth $9.99 you may be better off starting for under $4.99 or even as low as $0.99 at first. Increased purchases at a lower price combined with some good reviews can propel your book higher up the list for more visibility. You could later on increase the price.
Have it listed on POI and ENT
If you start out promoting your book at a low price or for free you should request that your book be listed in Pixel of Ink and Ereaders News Today. They list kindle books that are currently free or at a bargain price. It’s free and it can help your work become more visible.
Get a BookBub ad in your Genre
BookBub is a service that promotes limited-time discounts on eBooks. Readers sign up to receive a daily email alerting them to deals in categories that match their interests. Placing an add means you can reach some of the millions of book lovers who use their service.
Contact Book Reviewers
Contact book reviewers that review books. If your book makes it onto their home page you can often expect a spike in sales.
Consider Writing in a Popular Genre
If your books aren’t selling it may simply be that there is just too much supply and not enough demand within your genre. Some genre’s are just more popular than others. You may not have to change genre’s completely. You could try writing in a sub-genre that sells better. If romance sells well but you write science fiction, you could try combining the two.
Although not necessary consider having a personal blog. This has a number of benefits. Blogs are easy to update and someone who has seen one of your books elsewhere may search your name and find more of your books listed on your blog. You could have a mailing, perhaps providing free advice and tips. You could then use this mailing list to announce your next book release or simply to remind people of what you have on offer. Contact me and I’ll help you set up your own personal blog with your own domain name.
Smart use of Social Media
Facebook: Facebook is a great place to build a fan base. By building a fan page you can interact with those already interested in what you have to offer, announce events related to your books and provide related links, photos and supporting media.
Twitter: Use twitter to attract a following of people in your niche, follow those who write in a related genre and interact with experts in the field of book publishing and writing. If you own a blog or website that mentions your books, use twitter to drive traffic to it.
Google+: The advantage of Google plus is that you can post longer articles, and have a circle dedicated just to interacting and collaborating with those who share your passion. You can use the quick video conferencing feature to interact with fans or organise virtual meetings with other writers or co-authors.
Youtube: Build subscribers on your channel by providing tips to other writers, particularly in your genre, you could talk about your experiences and answer questions. Once you have plenty of subscribers you will get a lot more views once it comes to promoting your book by means of a book trailer.
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