Like many writers, I dreamed of writing a book and becoming a bestselling author for many years before I did it.
So, when I started reading articles about how self-publishing was taking off and how blogging was helping writers to grow their audience and make book sales, I decided my time had finally come. In January 2010 I started Powered by Intuition to create an audience for my books.
When I released my first book on Amazon, to my amazement it became a best-selling book and still is. I released my second book and that one became a best-selling book too. I’ve just released my third book The Intuition Principle: How to Attract the Life You Dream Of – which is my first print book. The Kindle version of my new book is now an Amazon best-selling book as well, although this time it wasn’t a surprise to me. By now, I’d figured out how to “lather, rinse and repeat.”
Amazon has its own way of determining Kindle best sellers and updates sales statistics every hour. They call it the Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store list. To have a best-selling book on Amazon, your book must be among the Top 100 Paid Kindle books in its category in the Kindle store.
Follow these tips to place your book in a place that sells well on Amazon.
Research other titles in your book’s genre among books that are on the Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store list. To find a Kindle book’s sales rank on Amazon – scroll down and look for “Product Information.” If the book is in the “top 100” it will be given a sales rank for its categories. If it’s not in the top 100 no sales rank will appear in “Product Information.”
Notice whether the top books in your book category all contain the same “keyword” or phrase. Use the Amazon “type ahead” feature (the search bar on their site) and type in your keyword or phrase and you’ll notice how it “types ahead” suggesting book titles for you. “Type ahead” phrases result from many people searching for a particular title. Incorporate that phrase or keyword into your title and your book will be found more easily on Amazon.
Books full of typos, awkward sentences, and grammatical errors are returned for a refund more often. Amazon rarely questions a return, so do whatever you can to avoid that. The money you spend on professional editing is well worth it.
Amazon Kindle books look best with “Mobi” formatting. While you can upload a book to Kindle in a Word document, it may not lay out properly, so do not skimp on paying to have your book formatted.
People judge a book by its cover. When you go to Amazon, the first thing to attract your attention is the book cover. To create a good cover design, spend some time browsing books in the same genre as your book. Pick the top 10 or 15 selling books and study their covers. Look at the typography, the layout, and the color choices and take notes and screenshots. You’ll come away with some excellent ideas for your own Amazon book that highlight your personal brand.
Amazon gives you up to 3000 words to write a description. Use as many words as necessary to write a compelling description for your book. This is your book’s “sales page” so put on your copywriting hat when you write it.
People will not buy an overpriced digital book unless you are a famous author. If your book is less than 100 pages don’t price yourself out of a sale by listing it in the top price range ($9.99) to get a 70 percent royalty on Amazon.
After playing around with the pricing on my books I found that “less is more” in terms of book sales.
Here’s what to do for your book launch. Amazon has a program called Kindle Select. You enroll your book for 90 days at a time. You cannot be selling this book on any other websites including your own during the time your book is enrolled.
Enrolling and uploading your book in KDP Select allows “borrowing” of your book for free by Amazon Prime members. It also gives you the option of choosing 5 days out of the 90 days your book is enrolled to give your book away for free.
I enrolled my second book in KDP and gave away 464 free copies over two days. The book also rose to #1 in free books in the Kindle store, but as soon as it wasn’t free it quickly sank right off the best-selling list. Before I gave it away for free the book was selling just fine and consistently ranking between #10 -20. It took nearly two weeks for it to rise back up again and to re-appear on the best-selling list.
My theory is that I saturated my market too quickly. I’m not likely to give my book away for free again. You may feel differently though and you should experiment with this. Some people love it and rave about it. If you are using your book to develop leads for your business and not to create passive income then definitely go for it. “Free” does sell.
Give your book out to people and ask them to read it and please put a review on Amazon. Amazon reviews to help sell your books. Never ever pay for reviews. All reviews must be genuine and come from the heart of your reader.
Promote your book step-by-step.