Tag Archives: Keywords

What you need to do to sell your books on Amazon – by Derek Haines

Just Publishing Advice is a great website written by Derek Haines.  Generally I reblog the good stuff…like this. This time I have to share instead.  Enjoy the read and You’ll find the rest on their website with many more interesting articles.

https://justpublishingadvice.com/what-you-need-to-do-to-sell-your-books-on-amazon/

You can’t sell books. You can only bring your books to the attention of book buyers.

The most difficult task for all authors is maintaining consistent book sales.

There is a catch 22 that applies to most new books. It is that you need book sales to get book reviews, but you need book reviews to get sales.

Then you need to get enough regular unit sales to keep a good sales rank, so you can sell more copies. It is a fact that the top-ranking books in a genre, sell far better than lower ranked books. And by a huge factor.

Can you answer some of these questions?

What can I do to give my books the best chance of sales success?
What are my niche genres?
What are my best performing keywords?
How can I make my book more visible?
How can I get potential book buyers to notice my book?
Who are the best book retailers for my book?
Is my book price too high or too low?

 

Are you having trouble answering these questions? Here are a few tips to help you improve your book sales potential.

Does your book get an A grade pass on these three fundamentals?

These three elements are key to selling books online.

Your book cover

You know you need a great book cover and probably have one. But have you considered that the colour or font might be a problem?

Look at the top ranking books in certain genres. You will see that there is often a commonality about colours. For instance, science fiction books are generally dark, and very often blue.

For romance, pastel colours are predominant. For mystery and thriller, heavy and dark, with black shades are common.

What about your title font? Romance titles use a lot of fancy script fonts, whereas mystery and suspense use bold san serif fonts. But paranormal and fantasy often use fine serif fonts.

Compare your cover with the 50 top-selling titles in your genre. See if you can make your cover better suited to what readers expect.

Your manuscript

Yes, you checked it one hundred times. But check it again now. Is it totally error and typo free?

If it has been some time since you published, it is a very good time to revisit your book and make sure it is perfect.

Your book description

Did you write your book description in a hurry when you published?

Your book description is second only to your cover in attracting reader interest. Make sure it contains hooks that will instantly gain interest or intrigue.

It should scream, please enter! Also, why not write three versions and then you can test which one works best?

Like a book cover, compare your book description with bestselling books. Can you get a few clues from them to improve yours?

Do you know your niche genres?

When you published, did you quickly choose your two broad categories? Romance and Fantasy? If you did, your book is lost amongst thousands of other similar types of books.

You need to drill down through the categories to find two niche categories for your book. It will have a much better chance of being found by buyer search. It will reduce competition and help you to rank better and sell better.

Again, check top-selling books in your genre and look at their categories. Here are two examples of a good niche.

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Sword & Sorcery

Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Spies & Politics > Espionage

Another way to get your book into a niche category is to ask Amazon. Yes, you can ask Amazon to add a specific category to your book.

Your search keywords

Did you do any keyword research? Do you have a list of your book’s keywords? Have you checked if they are performing well?

Your seven search keywords on Amazon, and sometimes more on other retailers are vital for getting book sales. It is because these keywords are how people will find your book when using retailer search.

Your keywords can also be used on your blog or website to help get organic traffic from Google.

So they are very, very important!

One mistake new authors often make is that they select seven individual words, thinking that a keyword must be singular. This is not true.

A keyword can and should be a short phrase. Think about your book and make a list of seven keyword phrases related to your book’s story that you can use. Then test them by using them in Google search.

Good keywords often use only verbs, adjectives and nouns, so avoid prepositions and conjunctions. Short questions can sometimes work too. But you don’t need to add a question mark.

Examples:

 

Italian love story
Where was she killed
Hot tropical island adventure
Dark days long nights

Online book retailer visibility and discoverability

Can tick off all the tips so far in this article? If you can, you will be a long way towards getting your book seen more often. You will start to attract online book buyers and readers who have an interest in your genre.

Getting your book looking right and in the right place is the very best you can do.

Book buyers make the decision. But make sure you give them the best means to find your book and every reason to consider buying your book.

Outside the bookstore

You can help your book a lot by listing it in narrow niche categories and using solid keyword phrases. It helps your book discovery in online bookstores such as Amazon, iBooks, B&N and Kobo.

To promote your book more broadly, you will need to leverage the Internet. Your two best avenues are your website or blog and using social media as best you can.

One overlooked avenue to gain a lot of potential readers is Google. To give you an idea of how powerful Google Search is, I can give you the example of one book that was listed on our book promotion site in 2016.

During an SEO upgrade of our site, we began adding sub-titles where possible in an H3 tag and in the SEO title.

This book had gained some traffic during the time it was listed. But after these two simple SEO improvements, it began ranking quickly on Google.

What did we change? The title and author could not change, of course. But by adding the sub-title, “Japanese Love Story” as a keyword, it soared.

As I mentioned before about keywords, it obeyed the rule of only adjectives and nouns.

Apply strong keyword phrases and add them to your title. Also, add them to H2 or H3 tags, as well as your SEO title and description. For your blog posts and web pages, it is the best way to get your book discovered organically.

For social media, the best lure by far to gain clicks to your book is your cover. Images are the most powerful means of attracting attention on social media.

Find other powerful images you can use for your blog posts. It will add variety when you share on Facebook or Twitter. Make sure that they are connected to your book’s theme. This will stop you from blasting your cover all the time.

For Google Search, keywords and text rule. For social media, images rule. That’s the rule.

FOR MORE ON THIS ARTICLE

Uploading your Self-Published eBook to Lulu

Welcome to the world of LULU Uploading.  As promised here is the second installment about UPLOADING…This time it’s for eBOOKS.

WE start with picking what we wish to publish, of course this time it is the ebook we wish to do. So follow the images and I’ll explain what is what as you scroll through them.

You picked the ebook now it is time to think about if you wish to do this for FREE or need to ask for help.  This of course depends on how proficient you are at formatting and if you can format the way LULU need you to. 

One think I have noticed with ebook distribution sites, they all have their own styles of formatting. Some are easier than others. Once in the know…it becomes easy.

This blog is about how to publish your book for FREE and we would hit ‘MAKE YOUR EBOOK’ Tab to continue.  

Meanwhile. If you need any assistance and a guiding hand you can ask for some professional support  from LULU – who will handle the heavy lifting for you.

The choice is made and you are starting a NEW PROJECT. It’s time for the TITLE and AUTHOR NAME.  It also asks what you wish to do with your project. Most people want to sell their books and this is the recommended route to take. After your choices are made click save and continue.

Next you get to choose your ISBN for your book.  You can pick the FREE LULU ISBN which can only be used on books you distribute via LULU. 

If you are uploading to another site, it is likely they will offer their own FREE ISBN.  If you have already purchased a set of ISBN then use them.  There is a link on the below image on how to purchase your own numbers. 

If you don’t wish to use an ISBN then you WON’T be able to distribute through LULU retail channels.

Below is shows the FREE ISBN for my book which they will email to me.  Since you haven’t yet uploaded your manuscript, now is the time to add the ISBN to your copyright page and save it again.

DO NOT UPLOAD YOUR MANUSCRIPT UNTIL YOU HAVE SET UP YOUR CHAPTER HEADINGS IN ACCORDANCE WITH LULU RULES.  YOU CAN ALSO DELETE YOUR CONTENTS PAGE HYPERLINKS…LULU WILL MAKE THIS FOR YOU.

Choose you manuscript and upload. You will see the BAR below turn and orange-yellow.

Once it has uploaded it will show the document as below.  If you have to make amendments later make sure you delete this file first on the X

Remember back to when you organised the HEADINGS in your manuscript.  Well this is what LULU do. They show you the list for your contents table which you can adjust by changing the headings.  When you do the HEADINGS you can use HEADING 1 – 3 ONLY You will also need to change the style to what you wish to see, making sure you embed the fonts as well.

Most Authors will also have their own BOOK COVERS by this stage in the process. If you do then you will need to upload the cover during this next stage.  Having your own BOOK COVER means you can use any Theme, they are technically irrelevant though you still need to choose one.  As you can see I stayed with the gold one with my name in the bottom right corner.

Click onto Backgrounds & Pictures. You can see where you can change the colour and edit the image.  If you have a BOOK COVER already made you will need to EDIT the IMAGE. If you need to build your own you can ask for professional help from a LULU Cover Designer.

Once again LULU have a criteria for the BOOK COVER.  This is where you will USE A DIFFERENT FILE – as shown below. Or you can accept this image and proceed to building your own cover.

Since you have clicked ‘Use a different file’ this new box will appear asking you to either upload your cover from your computer or browse the LULU GALLERY.  When you upload your own file make sure the sizing is correct or….

Before the ‘OR’   The file will upload the same way as the manuscript did…One the bar has finished loading you will be asked to ACCEPT or TRY AGAIN due to sizing requirements.

As show here…The first time I uploaded my BOOK COVER the requirements weren’t met, meaning they rejected my file asking me to alter it and upload it again.

Once the BOOK COVER file meets their criteria you will see the image – like shown below. Now you can ACCEPT the file and move on to the next stage.

Now you can see your cover you will need to click on TEXT. If you have a ready-made cover you will need to take out the TITLE and AUTHOR information as shown below.

If you have built your cover here then you can now edit your TITLE & AUTHOR name, give them the font, size and colour you wish them to have.

Once you have done, click SAVE and CONTINUE to go to the next stage.

You’ve nearly finished now. Unlike Kindle, Createspace & Draft to Digital where you describe your project at the beginning. With LULU you do this towards the end

Fill in the blanks. On my children’s book this is what I choose to go with. You can change this at any stage.

My children’s story is all about adventures in the Insect world in a Country Garden. It is suitable for ages 3 upwards though parents, grandparents, siblings etc would need to read to the younger children.

Fill in the description which you would usually find on the back of a PRINT Book. This will show on your AUTHOR PAGE and in the LULU Shop. I choose the Standard Copyright License though there are quite a few you can look through and choose from.

YES YOU MADE IT…IT’S TIME TO REVIEW, DOWNLOAD THE INTERIOR, CHECK THE FORMATTING, SEE IF IT ALL WORKS CORRECTLY. IF NOT THEN YOU HAVE SOME WORK TO DO, OTHERWISE IT IS TIME TO PRICE YOUR BOOK

DISTRIBUTION TIME – PLEASE REMEMBER IF YOU HAVE UPLOADED YOUR EBOOK ELSEWHERE THEN UN-TICK IT HERE.  ALSO REMEMBER YOU CAN GET YOUR BOOKS DISTRIBUTED VIA INGRAM SPARK WITH LULU

Make sure your LULU website is in the country where you live. Then pick the price and how much royalty you wish to make. Tick the boxes you need and hit REVIEW PROJECT. 

Next is the eBook Distribution Terms and Condition. Read them and ACCEPT if you wish to publish.

The next slide shows your REVENUE excl taxes. Once you are satisfied you have what you wish go to the last TAB – SAVE and FINISH.

CONGRATULATIONS YOU HAVE PUBLISHED

 

This is all from me for now. I hope it helps.  I will be making a post on how the HEADINGS work next week. Meanwhile enjoy the read and please SHARE.

Uploading your Self-Publishing Paperback to KDP Print

We all know that KDP Print is likely to be taking over from Createspace when they finally close their doors (after all we’ve seen go on in the last 12 mth) I thought it would be good to do a presentation for those who wish to use KDP Print.

In the early days, I heard a lot of complaints.  Their book cover wrap kept rejecting book covers which Createspace always accepted. There were no Author priced copies, the author was paying the same as any other customer… etc.

Needless to say they have slowly improved as the last 12 mths progressed. People are happier with their service. I have just put up my first book to see what all the fuss is about and so I can give this presentation to you all.  

How it Works

 

PAPERBACK DETAILS

As you can see from the above image you need to select what you wish to do. For this presentation is it the Paperback. Click on this and you will go to the next image shown.

Following the details, you need to  pick the language, put in your book title and any subtitles it may have along with any series information.  As you scroll down you’ll see more area’s to fill in. What is the edition? Who is the Author? Are there any contributors?

Now for the description or synopsis.  These are difficult to write and need to be in about 500 words. It needs to give a brief glance into your story. Who are the main characters? What is the story about?

Next you choice your copyright and Keywords.  I will talk about the keywords below the image. They can be really tricky.

KEYWORDS  You need to use short phrases, make a list on a piece of paper about your story, narrow down the words, think of different words you can use or what readers may search for to find your book. The smaller the category the bigger your chances of being in the top 100.

Categories – I really dislike these.  They aren’t brilliant. In my opinion they’re too vague. You still need to pick two which you think are closest to your story.  If it has adult content then make sure you put in YES.  

CONTENT DETAILS

On the second page of KDP Print you get to choose a FREE ISBN or use one you already own. There’s also a publication date…However I’ve never used this either here or on Createspace.

The next part is the same as LULU – though as you can see it is at a later stage in the process. Below are the details where you can pick what you wish the interior of your book to look like. The ones you see highlighted are the ones generally used by most paperback distributors.  The costs will vary to what you pick in size and page count.

After you have chosen the interior details, you can upload your formatted manuscript.  Make sure your manuscript matches the above details – margins, paper size etc. You will want it to look professional and like any other book you may find in your local bookstore or library.

The second part of the above image is all about your cover.  Many Authors have covers made for them, 95% of the time they will be wrap book covers which fit the page count.  This means they are front, back and spine.  They will be delivered to you from your graphic artist as a PDF and you or your publisher will upload it.  

If you don’t have a print ready PDF Cover then you will need to launch the Cover Creator. Of course I forgot to get images of this process.  However it is rather simple.  You get to choose a book cover template and upload the e-book cover to it. Next you will need to type in or copy and paste the synopsis on the back cover and add any logos, profile image, bio…etc.  Next you will review the cover.

The above image shows the book cover and interior so you can check it is what you wanted. As you can see I have missed a few things on mine. Page numbers at the bottom. copyright page and author name/book title in the header.  I did this to show everyone that mistakes can be made. I will be updating this book Later.  If they pick out any errors you will need to fix them.

PRICING YOUR BOOK

Since the site is American you will need to pick a price for the book which is higher than the Min.  The List Price shows the book needs to be above $3.58 So depending on how much royalty you wish to make on your book is how you price is.  As you can see i priced at $3.99  – It is a novella in length.  After the American pricing you can then sell it on the other 6 market places. Once again you can price it what you want or base it on the American price.  You can use which marketplaces you wish.

In the next image you can see the Japanese Price List.  I’ve never sold on there, though I know a few who have. Make sure you read the terms and conditions, especially if you are a first time author.  Once done you can purchase your proof copy.  Some authors like to get the paperback in hand prior to pressing PUBLISH…which you can see on the bottom right of the image.

Of course once you hit PUBLISH you get the Congratulations notice along with being asked if you have yoru story as an ebook.

Once you go back to your BOOKSHELF you will find your book will be under REVIEW, just like in Createspace. Now is the time to wait for your email to see what you’ve missed or if you’re in the clear and it can go LIVE

Thank you for reading my presentation.

I do hope it helps with your publishing.