In this tutorial I will show you how to sell more ebooks on Amazon KDP.
This is part 3 of my author platform special
Part 1: Marketing Self Published Ebooks
Part 2: Writing Bestselling Ebooks
Let’s get started.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP
*For the first 40 parts, refer to the previous links (above)
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 41: Have a professionally designed cover:
Or if you have design skills, a cover that is good enough to stand up to the competition.
To test the effectiveness of your ebook cover, line your book up alongside all its competitors. Does it look as good? How about better? Plenty of poorly written books have sold millions simply on the strength of their cover. Imagine what your amazing book will achieve when it’s matched with an amazing cover.
You can make a decent cover without hiring a professional designer. I put together the cover for my book Zen And Now using Photoshop. It took a couple of hours.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 42: Have it professionally edited:
People will judge your book quickly. Those little typos that you made can really cost you. Because think about it, if you were reading a book and in the first few pages someone used “Your” instead of “You’re”, you wouldn’t continue reading, and you’re readers will adopt the same mentality with you (by the way, the incorrect “You’re” in this sentence is just there for irony’s sake).
The problem is, a lot of “Professional proofreading and editing services” aren’t all they’re stacked up to be. I personally have had the displeasure of having to point out several errors to authors when I’m writing book reviews. Oftentimes the author angrily responds that there “can’t possibly be any typos. I had it professionally edited”. Yet the misspelling or grammatical error remains.
Even if you’ve had your book “Professionally edited” (note the quotation marks), you should still double check it.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 43: Choose the right categories:
If you’re selling your book through a store like Amazon, make sure you’re putting it in the right categories.
Give yourself some time to get used to the Amazon categories before you even start to write your book. Take a look through each of the categories you’re interested in. See what people have written, how they’ve written it, and how they’ve marketed it. Acquaint yourself with the way in which Amazon organises books, because you’re going to want them to conveniently organise your book into becoming a bestseller.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 44: While you’re doing that, also look at the reviews:
Read the reviews of bestselling books in your categories. Take particular note of two things: 1) What people loved about the book, and 2) What they found was missing.
Then, when it comes to planning out your book, make sure you include both the things people loved about those other books and the things they found missing. That way you can create an ebook that will give your readers precisely what they want.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 45: Make sure your cover immediately tells the reader precisely what they need to know about your book:
Take the words off your book cover. Now ask yourself “Does this cover tell the reader what they need to know?” For instance, if you’re writing the book “How To Sell A Million Indie Books”, ask yourself whether your image has conveyed that message. If it hasn’t, redo it.
Your reader should be able to tell within 3 seconds precisely what your book is about without reading the words. If you’re writing non-fiction take a look at the bestsellers on Amazon. Notice how even the small thumbnail image on those bestsellers is enough to tell you what kind of book it is?
The Four Hour Workweek is a really great example of a cover that clearly conveys the message and promise of the book. The image makes you think of a prosperous and carefree life.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 46: Write a great blurb:
This point demands an article in itself (follow me on Twitter and Facebook and I’ll tell you when I write that article). But suffice to say your book blurb needs to be excellent. Refer to other bestsellers in your niche, look at their strengths and weaknesses, pen the blurb of your own self published ebook accordingly.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 47: Make it really, really easy to buy:
You want your reader to be able to buy your book as quickly and easily as possible. If you’re selling your book on your own blog you want to design your blog in such a way that your customers can see, read, and buy your book almost instantaneously.
Obviously this is not relevant if you’re using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). But if you’re selling your book on your own website then you must ensure that your site has a design suitable for eCommerce. The biggest question to ask is: How quickly and easily can someone see and buy my book? If it takes more than 3 clicks to get from your homepage to thepoint of actually buying your book, you’re doing something wrong.
Easy buys = More buys.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 48: The eternal question of pricing:
This is a big one. How do you price an ebook? Because the truth of the matter is that price isn’t just about selling something for how much it’s genuinely worth. If that were the case a MacDonald’s would cost approximately minus a grand, because it’s less than worthless.
So how do you price your self published ebook?
Start off by asking what the nature of your book is. For instance if you’re writing a book about saving your marriage, people want to spend money on it because they deem the subject to be worthy of expense. But if you’re writing a piece of fluff romance that is intended to just be stupid and fun, you want your price to reflect that carefree attitude, meaning it should be cheap.
In my opinion the question is not “What is this book worth?” it’s “What do I want the perceived value of this book to be”.
That’s the question.
Once you’ve chosen the ideal perceived value, make your book based fairly on that price. If you sell an ebook for $50 because it precisely documents how to create a rocket in which to fly to the moon, then go ahead and sell it for $50 but make sure the end book reflects that cost.
Decide perceived value first, and then make the book reflect that value. Because price, at the end of the day, is not just about money, it’s about psychology.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 49: Test different price points:
If you find that people aren’t buying your book at $1 it could very well be because they want something more upmarket. In that case put the price up. And conversely, if you’re $10 novella isn’t selling make it $1. Experiment until you find the right price.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 50: Make it available on all major formats:
Total no brainer. If you’re selling your book yourself make it available in all formats. Personally I create my books in word, save them as a PDF using Word itself, and then convert it to different file formats using Calibre. Calibre is a great piece of software that is truly helpful for self published authors. I recommend it.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 51: Get reviews from your friends for Amazon:
Urgghhhh. If you’re bored of every book in the world (even the trash ones) getting 4 or 5 stars on Amazon, trust me I get it. Amazon reviews suck. But they are a part of the puzzle and you need them. Ask your friends and family to review your book so you get some five star reviews to kick things off.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 52: Use heat-maps and analytics to determine where people are in the sales process:
If you’re self publishing on your own site you have to be mindful of the design of your site and of the sales process because each individual node in your sales channel is a hurdle that your customers have to get over.
Let’s say, for instance, that you do what I do and you put the ad for your book in your sidebar. You need to know whether people are seeing that ad and then whether they’re clicking on it. If people are making it through to your sales page you then need to know whereabouts they’re getting to on the sales page. Are they reading the description? Are they clicking on the book preview? Are they reading the book preview? It goes on.
The more you understand your own sales process the more sales you’re going to get.
This information can help you to find weak spots in your site design and in your sales process, and then to correct them.
The importance of site design cannot be overlooked when you’re self publishing your book on your blog.
Heatmaps and other data allow you to visualise how your customers are interacting with your site. This helps you to optimise site design and maximise sales.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 53: Write out every part of your sales process:
Your book itself is just one tiny part of the sales and marketing process. You need to know as much about your sales process as possible. To begin, write down a complete chart showing every stage in your sales process. For instance, let’s say the user starts on Facebook. In this instance you would write:
Facebook.com > See post > Click posts > Visit Site > Click on book > See sales page > See cover > Read description > Read preview > Click “Buy” > Process the sale.
The sale can stop at any point in this chart and for various reasons. The more clearly you can perceive the sales process the more you can find potential problem areas and then correct them.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 54: Remember that price = perceived value:
People might be quicker to buy a cheap book, but the price also shapes the audience’s perceived value of the product. If you create a stellar book and sell it for a buck, people will presume it’s only worth a buck. If you put a mediocre book out for $10 people may question it, but they’ll also presume that there must be something of value within the pages (even though this is not always the case).
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 55: Create a book cover that stands out and that you can readily adapt into a Facebook / Twitter image:
When it comes to marketing your self published book, Facebook and Twitter are your best friends. You want your book to get as many shares, likes, and post clicks as possible.
One of the most important aspects of achieving a high engagement rate on Facebook and Twitter is the post thumbnail, he image that runs alongside the post. This image needs to grab people’s attention and make them click.
Some of the best ways to create / choose a highly clickable image are
- Use an image with high contrast
- Use close-ups
- Show people’s faces
- Two tone images are known to produce good clickthrough rates.
- Show something people want (e.g. money).
- Show something that creates an immediate emotional response (e.g. cute cats).
The more clickable your image is the more traction it will get on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 56: Use KDP promotions:
KDP promotions are a great way to get your book discovered. Give your book a promotion and then notify the bigger ebook blogs. This will give you some free publicity. Be sure to tell your social media followers about your promotions too.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 57: Make it very obvious that readers can read the book easily and on any device:
A lot of people are not tech savy. This is especially true if you’re dealing with an older demographic. You need to make it very clear to your audience that they can buy and read your book easily. Obviously this is irrelevant if you’re on Amazon, but imperative when self publishing on your own blog.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP 58: Create a high quality ebook landing page:
This subject could fill a book all by itself. But suffice to say you need a landing page that truly makes people want to buy your book. Make your book look like the best thing since cinnamon waffles. The packaging is half the product.
And That’s How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon KDP
Part 3: Selling more books on Amazon
Part 4: Digital marketing for authors
Part 5: Social Media for Authors
Part 6: Building an author platform