It’s always hard to get book sales via print on demand or independent bookstores anyway; it’s even harder when you cannot do in-person launches. So how can we improve on low book sales after Christmas, in lethargic January?
First of all, down-under we have the advantage of many parents taking a bit longer break over summer holidays — and getting bored. What do people do when they are bored… they read, of course! Or loll about on the pool or at the beach, often reading while sunning.
Trouble is, the Audible, Amazon, and other book reader feeds are chock full of bestselling books–not easy to get any sunshine there!
Unlike Self-Publishing School, I’m not going to bullshit you and say you can make a full-time income from your books, unless of course you are a talented fiction writer who is subsidised by wonderful traditional or even hybrid publishers.
Still, progress is the main aim, so you’ll have to market your book once it is published. This is because Amazon rewards books who bring in more patrons from other places to the page by pushing it into the recommended reads. In addition, more reviews help to push the book listing up the Amazon book page in search results.
Tip 1: Check out your Book’s Listings across all Retailer Sites
When you have checked out these sites, you’ll notice that descriptions may be lacking some appearance qualities. In fact, it may need much more spacing, funky bullets, and sometimes the cover image is missing.
Use this free meta description generator to make better book descriptions.
Amazon.com.au, .com, .co.uk
Goodreads – claim your own book by being an author there
Booktopia.com.au (Australian retailer)
Tip 2: Get Reviews via Niche Bloggers
This one means being nice! After being helpful by pointing out something they could add for better monetisation, or rearrange, the blogger is more likely to pay attention. Find book bloggers that review books on your subject matter (or are likely to) and approach them for review. You’ll give each blogger a free ePub or paperback copy in exchange for an honest review. (Usually it’s only on their website but some give Goodreads reviews too).
You might also arrange a virtual blog tour over a week or two pre-launch or post-launch, across multiple blogs. This means more people listing your book review or article.
Tip 3: Writer Articles with Sales Page Links
This is where you write certain length articles at online zines and news sites. If you’re trying to rank better on a particular bookseller, it’s best if your article links point there. But if you are writing for general credibility, then you’d link back to your own site.
First of all, check the Submission Requirements, including if they give you a byline and allow a link in it to the book page.
Tip 4: Run a Reader Giveaway
I have done this before with some level of ease and reward. Ideally, it’s best with a site that lets you collect email addresses – so you can tell them all next time you have written something amazing. The sites to use are StoryOrigin (best value), BookFunnel and Rafflecopter (paid $15 to have it look much better when sharing my book competition link).
You can do reader giveaways on Goodreads ($129 to do) or Amazon.
We explain exactly how to do a free promotion using ‘Select’ on Amazon in Book Creation Success. Or you can also look up the KDP Help menu, to find the basics.
You cannot run a ‘giveaway’ as such for Kindle books, but you may be able to run one for your own paperback book WHILE logged in. Don’t forget–you must log in first, using the username of your KDP account.
Also, you won’t be able to do any special activities for a book published through IngramSpark.
Tip 5: Ramp up Sales Through Seeding
Seeding is one I wasn’t game to try at first, because it involves sending physical books to literary reviewers, magazine editors, and other notables (okay, influencers).
I relented and after enquiring via email for a yes, I sent my book Power Marketing to a noted brand and marketing blogger. After that, I heard crickets. So not a great result… but if I did it 20 times, I’d then be able to say that seeding works or doesn’t work.
As they say, no risk, no reward.
That’s all I can think of today to improve low book sales, post-Xmas.
Get in touch with Jennifer Lancaster (Brisbane, Australia) for a personalised marketing mentoring session.