16
Nov

How to Increase Your Ebook Sales – 5 Tips

Do you have a new interesting book for your readers? Great.

Do you offer it in the form of an ebook? Also great.

Do you have weak sales figures?

Not that great, but we collected the five most essential tips for you which can instantly help you increase your ebook sales.

  1. Design a professional cover

How do you know that the cover is the main reason for declining sales? The answer is simple: If your book always gets good reviews but it is not selling.

Your book cover is the first contact to your potential customers. It has to get the first interests and make readers want to look into your ebook. It should raise attention, but at the same time, the style of your book cover has to fit both to your target group’s taste and also to the content.

Here are some good examples of what a professional book cover should look like:

      Ebook cover example to increase ebook sales              Everyone's a Genius - ebook cover that increases ebook sales

 

These covers are delightful, attractive and doing a good job giving visual form to the written content in the book.

Some common mistakes to avoid when designing your book cover:

  • Too much information on the front cover
  • Long titles
  • Poor background
  • Utilization of poor images
  • Using too many colors
  • You want to do it all by yourself

Keep in mind that a good cover is an advertisement for your book, an opportunity to stand out in the crowd. So keep it simple and clean.

As a famous book cover designer, Chip Kidd, once said: “a book cover is a distillation. It is the haiku of the story.”

Finally, don’t forget an attractive book cover is an investment: hire a professional designer for it. At Dribbble, you can choose from more than 11,000 designers from all over the world, and you can define who are you looking for.

  1. Find the right price level that increases ebook sales

The production costs of an ebook are much lower than that of the printed ones. Accordingly, your sales price should also be set at a lower level. As a rule of thumb we advise you to always stay under $ 10 and use price promotions to attract new readers.

Due to the fact that selling more books doesn’t increase your production costs, you can also try out a lower price level (0,99 – 2,99 $ per book) or even there is a way to sell your book for a few days for free. Finding the perfect price for your ebook is not easy, and you can completely get lost looking through all the different kinds of ebook pricing models.

If you want to read more about the existing business models in the ebook industry, take a look at our previous blog post here, where we discussed ebook pricing models in greater detail.

  1. Sell your ebook in different online stores

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket: sell your books through various retailers globally. You can hear a lot about the big players in the industry such as Amazon, Kobo or Apple but keep in mind: there are a lot of other retailers and wholesalers in the marketplace that you might want to consider make your ebook available through.

Some retailers like Barnes & Noble, Apple or Amazon have also self-publishing services to interact with their distribution platforms smoothly.

Others, like Scribd, OverDrive, Baker & Taylor or Gardners are book wholesalers, bringing digital books into certain marketplaces. If you pick a self-publishing service to do the digital uploading to ebook sellers for you, make sure your book gets into – at least – the big players and take a look at the niche sellers as well to see if they fit your books target market.

Publishing is not about Amazon anymore, especially not in emerging markets where the growth rate of the ebook market is above 200% and the major ebook stores are not dominant. More customer contact will result in higher sales volumes, so publish your ebook on multiple platforms. However, searching for, finding and contracting new retailers takes a lot of time and so money. Use professional aggregation sites who will help you through the ebook management process as the ERP for digital publishing.

  1. Help your readers find your ebook

Writing your book is only the first step in the book making process, but hard work comes when you try to sell it to your audience. Defining your target group is not enough. You have to guide them to find your book. And how will they find your book? You need to build a strong web presence.

If you have a website or a blog use it to promote your book to generate leads and drive traffic by displaying your book on the home page.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Goodreads can help you to interact with your audience. Make sure you have regular updates on your social media sites and provide useful content to your readers.

Don’t forget to build an email list to develop your target audience. An attractive cover, the right categorization and a nice preview of your content are also essential elements in finding your audience and increase your ebook sales.

The key points are:

  • use your website/blog to promote your book
  • social media sites are valuable marketing tools
  • use SEO to build traffic
  • build a mailing list
  1. Get your ebook reviewed

A good review can make all the difference regarding ebook sales. It provides you the chance to interact with your readers and build engagement among them.

A good book review and word-of-mouth attract more customers because customers trust more on other people’s opinion than on classical company advertisement.

For that, you cannot buy reviews, but you can build out your professional partnership with bloggers who may be the right marketing channel for your readers. Give free ebook copies to bloggers who will hopefully promote your ebook on their platform. Keep in mind that sample-giving is an excellent marketing tool, but it is not allowed via your website if you want to sell your ebook also in online stores.

Instead of your homepage use the different media tools, like Facebook and Twitter to give samples to your potential readers and fans who will be grateful for them.

Improving your ebook sales take up a lot of work, and you have to put the time in to see results. These tips can help you start learning about the right techniques and methods to use when you want to increase your ebook sales. Remember always to communicate and interact with your readers, which not only can increase your sales but also bring awareness to your work.

You have additional thoughts or insights on the topic? Share it in the comments.

 

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  • InklingBooks

    Good advice. I would make an additional suggestion that builds on this remark: “Due to the fact that selling more books doesn’t increase your production costs, you can also try out a lower price level (0,99 – 2,99 $ per book)”

    No, don’t price your ebook at $0.99 or $1.99 if you’re selling for Kindles. Amazon—curse its greedy heart—only pays 35% for ebooks under $2.99. For that $0.99 ebook, Apple will pay you $0.70. Amazon will only pay you $0.35. The latter is an insult to your hard work.

    Do the math. You’re very unlikely to recoup your losses with a 300% decrease in price if your income per sale has dropped by 600%. You’ll need to sell six times as many books on Amazon at $0.99 to make up for what you have lost per sale. Possible? Yes. Likely? No. Don’t take the risk.

    If you’ve got a fan base that you can reach and that wants your books as soon as they come out, there is a solution. When your book first comes out, sell it everywhere but Amazon for perhaps $1.99 and give that as much publicity as you can. You’ll get about $1.40 for each sale and attract buyers with that initial discount. Then a month or two after your release, add it to Amazon and raise the price everywhere to $2.99. You’ve given your fans an initial discount without being ripped off by Amazon. And you’ve kept those Amazon fanboys happy.

    Again, do the math. You’ve given loyal fans a 30% discount without incuring a hefty penalty. Cutting that price by 30% on Apple only reduces your per sale income by 30%, which is certainly tolerable. Cutting it by that same 30% on Amazon, will reduce your per-sale income from $2.10 to $0.70. That’s taking a 300% loss to give your fans a 30% discount. That makes no business sense.

    Note too that by offering these better deals via ebook stores that pay better, you’re encouraging your fans to buy where you earn more without costing them a penny more. That is a smart business move.

    And this isn’t just about single volumes. Assume you’re got a seven-volume series that sells well at $2.99 each. You’d like to reward eager new fans by offering those seven volumes in one package at a discount. Seven times $2.99 is just under $21, so you decide $14.99 is a good discounted price. Its about a 30% discount.

    Ah, but at that point you’ve slammed into Amazon’s terrible 35% policy at the other end. Above $9.99, Amazon again only pays 35%. With this new bundle, Apple will pay you almost $10.50 for each bundle sold, while Amazon will only pay you half that or or $5.25—only a little more than what you’d get selling two of those seven volumes at $2.99. The bundle makes sense with Apple. It makes no sense with Amazon.

    That’s when having fans who will buy from sources other than Amazon reaps its benefits. You’ve taught them the value of buying from a retailer that doubles your income per sale without costing them a penny more. And in this case, you’re best bet would be to offer the bundle at Apple, along with any other ebook retailer who doesn’t unfairly penalize a $14.99 bundle. Let those who shop only Amazon pay more as a lesson to them. You’ll also be pressuring Amazon to dump this foul policy.

    One final note. I’ve used Apple as an example because its 70% at all retail prices plan is the simplest. Others, including B&N and Kobo also pay better than Amazon, but their plans tend to be more complicated, somewhere between Apple and Amazon. If your fans are tech-savvy, you might encourage them to buy through Smashwords, whose direct purchase payments beat even Apple’s.

    And remember as a author to always “do the math” to establish your real costs and beneifts of price changes.

    Hope that helps!

    –Michael W. Perry, co-author of Lily’s Ride (a YA novel)

    • Ramona Tanay

      Dear Michael,

      thank you for your thoughts on the post.

      As an author you have different options how to sell your books. You can sell them through retailers, using aggregators or you can sell your books through your own website. In this case you will have higher revenues and will get to know your audience better. Eventually the goal is to increase your ebook sales so, do the math! 🙂

      Ramona Tanay
      Junior Growth Hacker
      PublishDrive