There is one thing almost every author overlooks when self publishing—and it may surprise you.
Sure, there's lots of talk about the importance of professional editing. Even I've written about it. And everyone knows it's important to have test readers or a writing group who critique your novel.
But I'm going to let you in on a secret: writing a good book won't guarantee sales.
At least not directly.
So, How Can You Sell More Books?
The secret is simple: write really great sales copy.
When a potential reader considers buying your book online they have three things to help them make their decision: a "sneak peak" or preview of your book's content, reader reviews, and the book's description. Out of the three, that final influencer is by far the most important.
Shoppers want to make their decision as quickly as possible; if they aren't going to buy your book, they want to know immediately. Reading a preview takes time. Looking over reviews can also be time consuming, since most books get both bad and good reviews (and if a book only has one or the other, it tends to make a shopper suspicious).
The book description, however, tends to be an easy way to get a feel for what the book is about so they can decide if it's worth investing time to look over reviews and/or read the sneak peak.
How to Write a Killer Book Description
Yet it's not easy to shorten the novel you've poured blood and sweat into down to a few short sentences—never mind making those sentences so compelling it will convince a reader to buy your book right-this-very-second. In addition to my work as an editor, I freelance as a copywriter. What copywriters do is sell things using words. So I've taken my copywriting chops and created a series of posts for authors to help them sell more books by writing a great book description.
- The Truth About the Back of Your Book: This post breaks down the three parts of every successful book description.
- Compacting Your Whole Plot Into Paragraphs: How to craft a character driven plot summary that will turn shoppers into buyers.
- Two More Ways to Sell More of Your Novel on Amazon: Two options for structuring your plot summary that are not character driven—including both a pyramid description and just using bullet points.
- Crafting an Author Bio that Helps Sell Your Book: I think this one is self-explanatory.
My name is Melissa Breau & I’m a Raleigh-based tea-drinker and dog aficionado. If you’re local, let me know—I’d love to grab a drink.
By day, I’m a keyboard junkie, and (shameless plug) craft killer marketing content for small business owners far and wide.
By night (and sometimes on the weekend) I help out at several nonprofits, teach my dog new tricks, and try to spend as much time outside in the sunshine as I can.
Before joining the world of marketing I spent several years at various publishing companies in NYC, including both magazine publishers and book publishers. I also earned my Masters in Publishing from Pace University.
Latest posts by Melissa Breau (see all)
- How You Can Maximize Your eBook Sales Today - June 17, 2013
- 4 Types of Editing & How To Choose Which Your Book Needs - June 10, 2013
- A Proofreading Checklist: What to look for before calling it done - April 16, 2013
- Show Don’t Tell — An Example Done Right - April 2, 2013
- How to Market A Book in 3 Minutes Or Less - January 31, 2013