How To Boost Your Book Sales
Whether you’re an author or a publisher, you’re always looking for ways to start selling more books. And if you’ve done any experimentation, then you know many of the “old-school” ways just don’t work. For example, going on a book tour may turn out to be more time, expense and hassle than it’s worth.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to boost book sales right from the comfort of your home or office. Check out these ideas…
Create Stunning Covers and Compelling Titles
If you look at the bestseller lists, you’ll notice virtually all the bestselling books on both the fiction and nonfiction lists have one thing in common: they’ve got attention-getting covers and titles.
Generally speaking, your title and/or cover graphics are the first thing prospects are going to notice about your book. If this title and cover don’t catch their attention, then they’re not going to investigate your book any further. They’re not going to read your sales copy, read the reviews or read the excerpts. And they’re for sure not going to click the “order” button.
So, this brings us to two pieces of advice for boosting book sales:
- Get a professional cover created. You may know your way around Photoshop and that’s cool. But unless you’ve got some serious graphic-design skills, it’s best to outsource your cover graphics to a professional.
- Test your titles. You can start by brainstorming several titles (and subtitles) – and then track and test your best ones to see which one produces the best conversion rate.
Here’s the next tip…
Establish Your Expertise
While our other tips apply to both nonfiction and fiction books, this particular bit of advice is aimed squarely at authors and publishers who’re selling nonfiction books. The idea is that you want to establish your expertise both inside your sales letter and outside of it, which will boost your sales.
The first place to establish your expertise is on your sales letter itself. This is where you build your credibility and let people know why they should listen to you. For example:
- List your relevant experience and achievements in the niche. This includes anything the audience will value as important, such as relevant education, career experience, awards and similar. For example, if you’re writing about interior design, then you’d list the design awards you’ve won. Or if you’re writing about a wellness issue, then you can list your medical credentials to build your credibility and expertise.
- Show proof that you can produce results. This includes sharing case studies and testimonials, as well as anything else that shows you know what you’re talking about.
The second place to establish your expertise is outside your sales letter, so that they already know and respect you by the time they land on your sales page.
Obviously, this is more of a long-term strategy that takes time. One good way to do this is to distribute a lot of high-quality content throughout your niche via guest blogging, social media, YouTube videos, your own blog and more. That way, whenever someone has a specific problem related to your area of expertise, they’re likely to find your content. Even better is if they find a preview of your book. (More on that in a moment.)
Get Your Book Into the Right Hands
Whether you’re a fiction of nonfiction writer, there are quite a few “gatekeepers” in your niche or genre. These are reviewers, vloggers and bloggers who routinely review niche books – and their followers will make the decision to buy or not buy a product based entirely on the review.
Here’s why: your average prospect is quite busy. They don’t have time to do a ton of research to find out if a book is worth buying. They don’t even really have the time to try the book out themselves. As such, they identify people they know, like and trust in the niche – the “gatekeepers” – and see what those folks say about the niche.
Naturally, this isn’t something that’s new. The big publishing houses have long been the gatekeepers in the publishing world. Today, however, anyone can quickly and easily publish their own book. This is a big advantage to readers, who have access to books beyond those distributed by the publishing houses. But since there are so many choices, many prospects look for gatekeepers.
Your job is to identify the gatekeepers in your niche or genre, and then get your book into their hands. All it takes is one good review from one of these influential people, and you’ll not only see a flood of sales, you’ll also see OTHER influential people publishing their reviews as well. Pretty soon, you’ve got a big buzz going on in your niche or genre.
The key is you’re looking for well-respected people with big platforms and a lot of influence. You’ll find them on social media, vlogging on YouTube, blogging on their own sites, and publishing their own newsletters. Some of these folks actively encourage people to send them products to review. In other cases, you may need to build a little rapport and relationship first before you can get your foot in the door. Either way, it’s well worth your investment of time to get a big dog in your niche reviewing your book.
Give People a Preview
There is one “old school” method that still works really well – and that’s to give people a preview of your book.
Consider this: before online selling came along, most books were sold in places like online book stores or even grocery stores. People browsed shelves of books, and then flipped through any that looked interesting. Sometimes you’d see people sit down in the chairs provided in the bookstore so they could read the first several pages of the book.
Today if you look at places that sell a lot of books, such as Amazon, they use a “preview” feature. For example, Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature lets prospects preview the first 10% of a book (unless the author opts out of this program). It’s the next best thing to holding a book and flipping through a pages.
This is just one example of how to get exposure to your book.
However, when you look at authors who are selling books directly from their website, they don’t always have a preview. They may have a book trailer (which is a great idea). They may post excerpts here and there on their blog, on social media, and in their newsletters (all great ideas). But there is no preview that gives prospect the same feeling as if they’re flipping through the book itself.
This is important. And it’s a mistake not to have this feature.
Here’s why: in order for a prospect to move towards the order button, they need to be able to imagine themselves using the product. That’s why people flip through books in a bookstore. But a plain text excerpt on a blog or elsewhere doesn’t have quite the same effect.
That’s why you’ll want to use FlipGuardian to create a preview. This publishing platform turns a digital preview into an immersive experience with animated page turns, sound effects and more. This is truly the next best thing to having someone flip through a book (and this works for digital or physical books).
Let me show you what I mean. Here’s a demo:
Pretty cool, right? When the prospect reaches the end of the preview, they’re prompted to purchase the product. You can create a page like the demo above where the flipbook is the only thing on the page, or you can embed your flipbook in another page, such as a sales page or even a blog post.
Here’s the next tip for boosting sales…
Build a Targeted Mailing List
People may come to your sales page, blog, or other platform… once. They may even have good intentions to return. Heck, they may even bookmark your site. And yet there’s a very good chance that if they leave your site or platform right now, you’re unlikely to ever see them again. That’s why you need to get all interested parties on your mailing list, so that you can follow up with them again and again.
The key here is that you need to create a lead magnet that’s highly relevant to the book you’re promoting. For example, if you’re selling a non-fiction book on weight loss, you might provide a report with an overview of the weight-loss method and/or several weight-loss tips.
One very cool feature of the FlipGuardian flipbook player is that you use the “Lead Gate” feature to accomplish this.
Here’s how it works: you set up a preview of your lead magnet (such as your report). When the prospect reaches the end of your preview, they’ll be prompted to join your list in order to unlock full access to the freebie.
Check out this demo to see for yourself how it works:
Once you get people on your list, then you can follow up with them again and again to promote your book, as well as promote any other related offers. As you’ve no doubt heard before, “the money is in the list” – and we think building a list with FlipGuardian is hands-down one of the best ways to do it.
As you can see, selling more books really boils down to getting your prospect’s attention and keeping it. You create the stunning title and cover to get attention, you offer a preview to hold their attention, you get them on mailing list to keep them intrigued.
Also, as you just discovered, the new FlipGuardian publishing software is an important component of your marketing strategy. This software makes it easy for you to offer previews of your book and build your mailing list too. Some say this software is the most exciting thing to come down the pike in the publishing world in quite some time, and I think you’ll agree once you take a closer look.