As a disclaimer, you’re not likely to make the type of money that’s pictured above. Still, a lot of people ask me how they can improve their own book sales. I’m not lighting cigars with big bills over here, and I still mow my own lawn, but I have seen a significant bump. I’ve heard a lot of people say that selling tons of books has a lot to do with luck. Maybe. But if you take care of a few things, you’ll at least have a better chance of selling eBooks.
Covers – You can’t judge a book by its cover, and yet people still do. Did you know that red text is more likely to lead to sales, where blue text is most likely to turn a buyer away? That’s a true story, based on a study I found online. Covers typically sell for $100+ and make a significant difference in sales. BUT, by visiting shutterstock.com, you can fetch solid cover art(in sets of two) for $29. Take that cover art and visit cooltext.com and in minutes, you can work up text that will lay on your cover art perfectly – done with any photo program. Total cost: $14.50 per cover.
Editing – Editing matters. Each of the well-established indie authors has an editor.
Formatting – Formatting matters, too. If a readers grabs your book and it’s improperly formatted, they’ll likely view it as an editing issue and review it as such. Visit smashwords.com and upload your manuscript into the Smashwords Premium Catalog program(also known as the Meatgrinder), then prepare to be humbled. A book should not be publishing until it gets through the Meatgrinder successfully. If you choose to avoid the Meatgrinder and publish anyway, you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s a painstaking process, but will help you in the end.
Volume – The rules of publishing have changed. Traditional authors have lots of pipes to travel through before their work is finally published. Write hard, take care of business and you can easily put out three times as much work as a traditionally-published author. For example, Tom publishes with one of the big 6 publishing companies. Yay, right? Wrong! In the same time it takes our friend Tom to get his first book published, I’ve published three! I’ve also wrapped them up into a trilogy edition for a total of 4 hits to his 1. I have an editor, just like Tom. I have a formatting template, just like his publishing company has used and I’ve even went to the same website for cover art. At this point, Tom has 0 advantages on the indie author and will have to sell a lot of books to catch up. That usually doesn’t happen.
Trilogies – Write trilogies, folks. Why write nine standalone books when you can write nine books that break down into three trilogies – giving you a grand total of twelve books? It makes no sense to me. My trilogy editions typically bring in more sales than standalone books, too. Readers love the ability to get the entire story with a single download.
KDP Select – The answer is no.The only real benefit to the KDP Select program is giving away free books. And yes, I completely back the idea of giving away a book if I have several more in the series that can be purchased. But the elite indie authors have another way of doing things. Publish to Kobo. After publishing, set your price to free and then publish on Barnes and Noble and KDP as normal. Hopefully, in time, Barnes and Noble will price match Kobo(they normally do, but it takes a while). After B&N has matched the freebie, Amazon will begin sniffing around and likely do the same(it also takes a while). We’re talking months here, folks, but you’ll then have a permanent freebie in the Amazon Store, while avoiding the KDP Select program!
Links – They make or break an author’s success. If you’re giving away a book, load it down with links to your other work. Make sure your website has lots of links to your work, too. And ensure that they are near the top of the page somewhere and mobile friendly.
Want this plan in greater detail, along with a marketing plan that works? I have it all wrapped up for you and waiting in the Amazon Kindle Store! For the price of one cup of coffee, you can start finding your footing in the eBook world. Don’t wait any longer – GET IT TODAY!