You wrote a book for a few reasons…
To fulfill a need in your life and also likely to make some passive income.
Both of which are great reasons to write a book but what if only one outcome is coming to fruition and in fact, you’re not making much—if anything—off the hard work you put into your book?
It can be really frustrating but we can help. After all, that’s part of what we do here at Self-Publishing School.
Low Book Sales
Many self-published authors who are doing this on their own may see an encouraging spike in sales early on in their publishing journey.
After their launch, however, they check their stats, only to be let down by the low book sales they see. What happened to this vision of an author who actually made a living from their books?
While it’s challenging, making a full-time income from your books is possible. You just have to have the right system in place.
Our very own coach here at Self-Publishing School, Lise Cartwright, has been able to grow her passive income to over $4,000 per month in sales.
And we want to teach you how to do the same.
Nobody likes low book sales. If you did, you’d never publish a book in the first place but instead, just hoard your books for yourself to read.
But it’s not always just about the money, either. More book sales means that more people are reading your book and changing their lives as a result.
Since sharing your book’s deep purpose is linked to book sales, it’s only reasonable to want to learn how to sell more books.
Plus, we all like to be paid fairly for the work we put into our books, right?
NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about how to build a platform and maintain consistent book sales in our Sell More Books Program. Learn more about it here
How to Sell More Books
So you did it. You went through the arduous process of self-publishing and now you’re left with more questions than when you started.
Here at Self-Publishing School, we know what it takes to self-publish and maintain your book sales.
Just take a look at this student’s results with our methods. Jed Jurchenko
Here’s how you can get rid of your low book sales and actually sell more books.
#1 – Realize the marketing doesn’t stop once you hit “publish”
The best thing for you to do is realize that just because you’ve published, it doesn’t mean the work is done.
In order to maintain steady, continuous book sales, you have to set up a foundation in which you can grow from. This often means marketing regularly in order to keep your book in the limelight.
For example, the more you market your book, the more visitors you’ll get on your book’s page.
Why is this important?
Because the Amazon algorithm uses other user’s information to make sure your book pops up in the “Customers who bought this item also bought…” section, as seen in the example below.
The more people visit your book’s page, the more information Amazon gathers about those users, and this helps your book land in that spot, which increases sales.
#2 – Adjust your book description on Amazon
The description you put on Amazon is much like a short sales letter.
Why should someone buy your book? What’s in it for them? If they’re going to be paying you money, they often want to ensure they’re getting their money’s worth.
Is your Amazon book description written in a captivating way?
This is an example of a strong, powerful book description that helps pull in thousands of dollars in sales per month.
Here are a few HTLM tips to ensure your book description on Amazon is helping increase your book sales:
- <br> Create line breaks
- <em> Emphasize the enclosed text in italics
- <font> Determines the appearance of the text within these brackets
- <h1> to <h6> Determines the size of the text (<h1> is the largest)
- <hr> This creates a horizontal line used to divide sections
- <li> is used to create lists (it stands for list item)
- <ol> creates a numbered list
- <strong> created bolded text
- <u> underlines enclosed text
If you need more help, we have an entire blog post all about this topic, you can read right here.
#3 – Get more reviews
Reviews are so important for book sales. Not only do they help readers discover if the book is a good fit for them, but Amazon relies on book reviews heavily in order to determine where to rank your book.
The way the algorithm works is to reward authors who are getting consistent, high rating reviews. Meaning, if your book got 50 4 or 5 star reviews during launch and nothing since, it might fall in the rankings compared to a book that has fewer reviews, but had received them on a consistent basis.
The reason for this is because Amazon wants to promote books that are consistently getting sales and are pleasing the people actually buying them.
So it’s your job to get out there and increase your reviews!
Here are a few ways you can work to get more reviews (and we have a whole blog post about this here if you want to head over and read that):
- Add a section about reviewing the book within your book
- Host giveaways with a review as one of the criteria to enter
- Remind people to write a review if they reach out about your book
In order to increase your book sales, getting more reviews is essential. Don’t underestimate the power of a book review.
#4 – Create ads
If you’re willing to invest in your book, creating ads on Amazon and even BookBubs is a great way to increase your sales.
Make sure you’re not putting more in than what you’re making. In order to ensure you’re using the ads to the best of your abilities, check out this post about how to create unique Amazon ads to help your book stand out against the rest.
#5 – Host a relaunch
A great way to help your book gain momentum again is to host a relaunch. This could be just a fun event where you get another launch team together to promote your book, or you could also put out a hardcover copy and host a launch for it.
As of right now, Amazon does not allow printing of hardcover books, but you can use other sources like IngramSpark for your hardcover.
This will bring new attention to your book and when you have more than one version (paperback, hardback, and kindle), you’re seen as more of an authority, which can skyrocket your sales.
#6 – Reassess your keywords on Amazon
Authors need to start treating Amazon like a search engine, because that’s what it is. But in its case, you’re searching for products and not just information, like you do in Google.
Without hitting the right keywords, you can lose out on sales that should rightfully be yours, simply because your book isn’t’ showing up when someone looks for its contents.
Take this, for example.
If you search for the term “be happier” in the “books” category on Amazon, a number of results pop up.
We go into even more details of this in our VIP Self-Publishing course, which you can check out right here.
#7 – Assess your categories
The categories you place your book in can make or break your chances of becoming an Amazon bestselling author!
Do not make light of this.
When you put in your information on Amazon, you’re able to select which categories your book belongs in. These are what’s shown in the example image below.
We have a blog post covering this topic in much more detail than you can read right here, but we’ll give you the basics for getting approved for more categories:
- Use Amazon Keyword Selection.
- Place your categories in strategic places.
- Contact Amazon.
These category placements are what will attract the right readers and help you become a bestseller – remember that!
#8 – Upgrade your author bio
You want to make sure that people searching Amazon for the types of books you write can find you easily. And sometimes, that means optimizing your Amazon Author bio so others can do so.
Take this example of Joanna Penn’s author bio.
As you can see, she has a few keywords right away in her biography, which can help those searching for authors who cover the same material she does.
Not only that, but she also posts “author updates” to keep her bio fresh. This shows others that she’s active, which can motivate them to purchase from her, since they know she’s frequently available.
#9 – Get book endorsements
Book endorsements are one of the best ways you can place yourself as more of an authority in your field. When others see that your book has an endorsement by someone they deem as highly credible, it can prompt them to purchase from you.
The reason for this is because they already trust the person who is endorsing you.
Since they may not have heard of you before, they might feel less inclined to purchase from you.
But having a book endorsement from someone they trust will help calm their qualms so they purchase.
Take this example of a book endorsement by one of our students, Cloris Kylie, and her book Beyond Influencer Marketing.
#10 – Land interviews
Interviews are a powerful way to get your name out and show people just how much you know about the topic you’ve discussed.
Whether this is an in-person interview, like one of our youngest students, Emma Sumner as she discusses her book, The Fairies of Waterfall Island: The Search for the Missing Crystal, or an interview on a podcast, you can only benefit from allowing others to ask you questions about your book.
Because you’re leveraging someone else’s audience, you can increase your book sales from those who may not have been able to find you or your book through other means.
#11 – Be consistent
Overall, the best thing you can do for you and your low book sales is to be consistent with your methods of marketing.
As scary as the term “marketing” can be, there are many ways you can up your exposure in order to increase your book sales.
Our most successful students are those who put in the work and remain consistent in their efforts to sell more books.
Extra tip: If you want to make sure that your sales efforts are scaled up and organized, consider using a Sales CRM like Pipedrive to turn your book publishing strategy into a business.
What’s to do Next
Are you ready to increase your low book sales and turn your passion into consistent passive income?
We’re ready for you!