Finishing your novel, formatting it, publishing it, this all feels great. It is a tremendous step in your literary career. Unfortunately, it does not stop there.
You may self publish your book, place it on Amazon for people to buy. But if you stop there, you will never make a decent amount of sales.
Sorry to have to tell you all.
Your work is not yet done!
So how does one go about selling a book on Amazon? Be it fact or fiction, there are a few things you will want to be doing. Read on to find my top ten tips in making a sale on Amazon.
10: Family & Friends.
What are friends for?
Constructive criticism and support. Ask them t review your book on Amazon. A verified purchase review can go a long way to getting that sale.
Ask your family to do the same.
These may seem like small and, potentially, embarrassing tasks, but they are worth it.
What do you do when looking for a book to read? Do you read the reviews? Most people do. Think about it honestly. If you saw a book for sale with 5* reviews and another with no reviews, which one are you more likely to buy? Do not underestimate the power of a few reviews.
Plus side on this, it normally costs you nothing. And if you ask them at the same time as you host a FREE promo through the KDP program (more about that later) it won’t cost them anything either.
9: Use Your Amazon Author Page
What is an Amazon Author page?
It is the page where you can claim your book, advertise the other books you’ve written, add photos, a bio, links to your social media platforms, or your own website. It is a place where readers can be endeared towards you as a writer.
Does it help?
Yes. The psychology of it being people like to get to know the authors, understand the authors, mentally see the authors as friends. Authors have been utilising this human tendency for years, normally through an ‘about me’ or ‘about the author’ section inside the published novel.
Give them a chance to get to know you a bit more and they are more likely to purchase your work.
If you are writing fact; what makes you so qualified? Why are you passionate about this subject?
If you are writing fiction; When did you start? Why did you start? Why that genre?
COMING SOON: the Amazon author page is improving to include a blog or a link to one. This would be a great way to connect with your readers, tell them about what you are working on, explain more about yourself, give background on characters that’s not in the novels and more.
8: KDP Promotions
If you have published through Kindle Direct Publishing you can access the above tolls. To do so go to 1) home page, 2) navigate to the book you want to promote, 3) click on the vertical … at the right of the book, 4) click on promotions and adds, 5) you will get the above choices.
How do these choices help?
You have seen these advertisements plenty of times, even if you haven’t realised it. They are the items that appear first on your list with a little box saying sponsored on it.
They show up when someone is looking for an item similar to yours. For example; if you have written a cook book, it will show up when someone is looking at cooking books. If you have written a romance, it might show up when someone looks for Mills and Boon, or another romantic brand, etc.
These adds run on cost per click. You set the budget and get charged every time someone clicks until the budget or time limit runs out.
More than sponsored products. This is going to advertise you, what you sell, your brand name, your logo. You can customise your own header.
Not suitable if you are selling a single book. But if you have created a whole brand around that a book series then this could help you.
My personal favourite. But only because it is these lock screen ads that helped me to find several books that I really enjoyed reading. However, that tells you it works!
Downside. Since I stopped using the kindle and started using phone app, I don’t see these anymore. It limits your audience in this sense.
You have more of a chance to make an impact with a full-screen lock screen and it works on the same pay per click system as Sponsered products. You will need to make sure your cover is eyecatching for this one, with one line to draw attention.
7: Seek Reviews
Don’t stop with a few reviews from family and friends. The more reviews you have, the more chance you have of making a sale.
There are many ways to get people to review your book. Here are a few handy suggestions:
- Hire a book reviewer on sites like FIVER, UPWORK, DEVIANT ART.
- Ask a reviewer nicely on writing forums, facebook groups, or online book clubs.
- Pay for a proffessional reviewer. Try Readers Favourite or The Online Book Club.
- Use our own book reviewing service.
6: Advertise, Advertise, Advertise
People will not buy your book if they do not know about it. This is your chance to brag. Make use of Social media. Talk about your book on Twitter, PinInterest, Facebook, Tiktok, pinit, YouTube, and Instagram.
How? And how do I do it without being Salesy.
Different platforms have different approaches. To go into these approaches in detail will take another blog. For the purpose of this one, I’ll keep it brief.
- TWITTER: One liners from the book / a line asking them to check out the book / a line saying how you’ve accomplished something in finishing the book, etc.
- PinInterest: Bookcovers, Artwork, A brief recording of someone relaxing while reading the book. If a fact book, some brief facts you’ll find inside.
- Facebook: All of the above, plus links for more information, requets for reviews, giveaways, polls, photos of the manuscript when it was covered in notes.
- YouTube: Create a book trailer, read a bit out loud,talk about the writing process.
- Instagram. Think Lifestyle. Show through pictures the writing process, the joy of holding that book, picture of others reading that book, pictures of manuscript covered in notes, pictures of the waste bin full of discarded notes, pictures of you at work writing that novel.
- TiKTok: Still figuuring this one out, but I did find someone on there, in fancy dress, speaking with a lovely voice, reading from a book. Storytime style. She does this with extracts of books she likes. Why not d somehting similar with yours?
5: Blitz Marketing
People go to these sites looking for the next free book to read.
Wait a minute…
Then how does this cost make me money?
What is happening here is that you set up a time period where your book will be free. You then use their forms and cost to post it in the correct genre with information on your other books, the time period when the book is free, and a blurb to entice buyers. Now people will be more likely to read the book for free and leave a review. If they enjoy it most will go on to buy the next book.
Ultimately, you are paying fr those reviews and that exposure. Remember, the more people who read your book and leave a review, the more likely you are to get a sale. And, the more sales you make in a short period of time, the higher you will rank in Amazon (though no one understands fully how the amazon algorithm works, this is a consensus on one of the things that can help.)
4: Don’t Stop at 1.
Repeat your marketing every 3 months / 90 days.
That’s it, simple huh?
Seriously. Once is not going to be enough. In order to maintain your momentum keep repeating your marketing program, keep asking for reviews, keep doing promos, give that novel some traction and exposure. Soon the world will know your name.
Take to places like deviant art to get some affordable, quality artwork. You will find many artists in that place, all with different prices and a variety of styles. These people can bring your story to life.
Think of some amazing books that have artwork. Think of The Lord of the Rings. The work of Alan lee comes to mind, he depicted many scenes. These scenes bring your story to life and make people want to read to find out what is going on.
What better way to gain someone’s interest?!
After all, a picture speaks a thousand words.
2: Your own Website
When people enjoy a good book they often go hunting for more information. If you do not have your own page somewhere on the website to offer this, you are missing an opportunity.
A website of your own doesn’t have to cost, you can use places like Wix to get one started. Though, I would recommend Wealthy Affiliate. This is a free hosting site that gives you access to training, SEO, community support, research tools and there’s no site like it.
This site is run by Wealthy Affiliate services. SEO means you have the chance of being ranked in google if you follow Wealthy Affiliate instructions, the community is there to help if you get stuck and you can learn how to make money online while you are at it.
Use a website to start a blog, talk about:
- Your books
- The people in your books
- The places in your books
- The process of riting books
- Milestones in your life
- Writing tips that helped you
- Or if this book is a how to type;
- In depth look at a step.
- More ideas on how to.
- History on the topic.
- Selling something related to the topic. (see Wealthy Affiliate on how to gain commission on Amazon sales).
1: Write More Than 1.
Do a series, do little books. Make people see you as an established author.
A one shot fling might sell well but people will not put much stock in a book if you’ve only written one. If you have other books to show then you are a step closer to being seen as an established author. When readers visit our author page it will look a little sad with just one.
This does not mean you have to go out and write 10 full size novels to get noticed. Some people have that one move they always wanted to write, complemented by a book of short stories or a travel series, D&D ideas, cook books, joke books, notepads. Basically, something to expand you inventory and show you as a creator.
My first book Outlaws The Eagles, sold better when Outlaws The Slave Trade was released. (The first editions before I put them into one volume and took them off the market as individuals – these copies are no longer for sale).
Kelly is an author and blogger who completed her first novel while still in high school.
She is currently a full time writer. Her works include the outlaws series (4 books), The Lady in the Loft collection (Anthologies), Gaming blogs and guides (hired work), travel writing and more.
While Kelly has been writing stories for many years she got her start at online blogging through a free online course. This is what led to her being a full time work from home writer. To this day she states “It’s the best move I ever made.”
To learn how to earn money from home yourself you can sign up here at no cost. (Premium options available.)