It seems that many writers I speak with nowadays share a similar sentiment. Book marketing is no fun. It’s too complicated and time-consuming. I’d rather just write another book.
I kind of see where they’re coming from. In a perfect world, literary masterpieces wouldn’t need marketing. The better you write, the better your book would sell. And while that is true to a point, the fact of the matter is… there are so many high quality books and novels out there that remain completely unknown by readers.
In today’s modern age, the ability to write and publish a book has become easier than ever before. Everybody with an original story and internet access can independently publish a book within minutes. On one hand, this is awesome! I love having so many great books to read. But on the flip side, it now becomes a real challenge for new authors to get noticed with so many books out there.
But here’s some good news. With the right book marketing strategies, you can get noticed. And not every aspect of book marketing has to be super time-consuming. As a matter of fact, there are some steps you can take in a single afternoon to give your book a better chance of reaching your ideal readers.
Let’s take a look at 3 of these quick-fix techniques that you can implement today!
Expand Your Amazon Reach to 10 Categories
This first tactic is Amazon applicable only. But with Amazon making up the overwhelmingly vast majority of online book sales, it would behoove you to know this trick if you ever plan on publishing your book there.
When you publish on Amazon, you have the ability to choose which categories your book will be featured in. These are very important to consider. For example, if you’ve written a LitRPG like Ready, Player One, you won’t want to bury it in a list of barbecue cookbooks. While that might sound intuitive, there are literally thousands of Amazon categories, and what if your book fits into more than one?
At first glance, Amazon allows for you to put your book into 3 categories, which is pretty good. But there’s actually a way to put your book in 10 categories and get in front of more readers by doing so! It’s a very simple step that can give you a secret advantage against all the other books that can only be found in 3 categories.
Strengthen Your Blurb or Book Description
Perhaps one of the simplest–but among the most important–book marketing steps you can take is making sure your book description is super dialed in.
It doesn’t matter how many people find your book on Amazon. If your description isn’t compelling, you’ll be letting sales slip away.
Since I don’t know what kind of book you’re writing, I can’t give you specific advice on improvements you should make. But what I would recommend is looking at the descriptions of some bestselling books in your main categories. See what they’re doing well and look for ways to imitate them.
And just remember, the goal of your description is to sell the book. Some authors don’t like the feeling of being pushy, but if you have something great to share, you need to make the greatness obvious.
Look at how the description for this children’s book about feelings, The Color Monster, shows how the book will be a win for both kids and their parents:
One day, Color Monster wakes up feeling very confused. His emotions are all over the place; he feels angry, happy, calm, sad and scared all at once! To help him, a little girl shows him what each feeling means through color. As this adorable monster learns to sort and define his mixed up emotions, he gains self-awareness and peace as a result. Caregivers will enjoy sharing this concept book that taps into both socio-emotional growth and color concepts in a simple, friendly way.
Or check out this last paragraph of the book description for Slow Cooker Cookbook: 500 Recipes for Everyday Cooking:
“Enjoy amazing breakfasts, simple and sweet desserts, lunch dishes, side dishes, poultry, meat and fish recipes collected in one slow cooker cookbook. Every recipe is easy to cook and the directions are easy to follow. If you were looking for slow cooker cookbook for dummies – this one would be a great choice!”
There are over 5,000 results for slow cooker cookbooks listed on Amazon (seriously, search it yourself). Chances are, your book has many competitors as well. And one of the fastest ways to set yourself apart is with a compelling description.
Treat your description with the same attention you would if it were an official part of the book.
Go Round Up a Few More Reviews
Whether you’re publishing on Amazon or some other platform, chances are there’s a place where readers can leave reviews. When it comes to selling books, reviews are gold. Good reviews are a signal to online retailers and to readers that your book is worth caring about. But many authors are a bit skittish about asking for honest reviews.
I get that it can seem scary, but it’s really not. You’re just asking people to share their opinions, and there’s nothing humans love more than that, right? So why not reach out to every friend you know who has a copy of your book and ask them to share their honest thoughts on Amazon?
These reviews can lead to more exposure, higher conversion rates, and an upward cycle of success. Not bad for one afternoon’s work.
Book Marketing Isn’t as Tough as You Think.
I believe the biggest aversion people have to book marketing is they think it’s just too hard. But in all reality, it can be pretty simple.
There are lots of little things you can do to further expand your book marketing strategies. And while they may not seem like much at first… Believe me, the little things do add up.
About the author: This is a guest post by Dave Chesson. He teaches authors advanced book marketing tactics at Kindlepreneur.com. His most recent project is the Book Marketing Show, Dave’s contribution to the world of publishing podcasts. He is also the creator of the leading Kindle research and advertising software, KDP Rocket.