So, you have just finished your book and you rush off to Amazon and upload it with a sigh of relief. Ideas are popping into your head for the next one and you cannot wait to start. Have you given any thought to marketing your book now that it is uploaded? No? Do you have a marketing strategy? No? Are you too busy with your next book? Yes, you probably are. Congratulations! You have just started killing your book, slowly, but surely.

Your book will do well if you have the following:

  1. A good cover. People do judge a book by its cover. However, covers can be expensive and you need to recoup any outlay before your book turns a profit. Buy a good pre-made cover for your first book. Once you have made a profit from the first book, then your second cover can be designed. However, keep your costs down so that you have money for the most crucial step in this whole process – marketing. Without selling your book, the best cover in the world becomes an expensive white elephant.
  2. A good story. If you don’t have a great story, and if it is not free of grammatical and spelling errors, people will not bother reading the next one. Get a good editor but not one that will want an arm, a leg and a kidney. Shop around. There are good editors available who will charge a few hundred dollars to look at your manuscript, not a few thousand! Also, know what type of editor you need. Do you need a line editor who will look at grammar, usage and spelling, or do you want a content editor who will advise on characters, plot development and structure?
  3. Reviews. No matter how old your book you need reviews. Aim for at least 100 on each site for visibility. This is where your launch teams come in handy. Never stop looking for reviews for your books.
  4. Good categories. If your book is more than half a million overall in the kindle store it means two things. First of all, you are not selling any books. Secondly, you probably have categories that are too broad and you accepted the categories offered to you by KDP when you first uploaded. Always mark your choice as “unclassified” when uploading to KDP and research your categories thoroughly. Go deep. If there is another level after a broad category and it fits your book, take it. You can halve your stats if you just have the right categories. Once you have researched them, message KDP with the 3 categories of your choice for both the USA and UK markets. Choose 3 more for your paperback and for your audio books. Yes, you are allowed to do this.
  5. Pick your keywords carefully. Look for phrases rather than single words. Think about what you would use when searching for your book. Would you be typing in “crime” or would you be typing in “crime fiction set in Scotland” or “crime fiction based on a true story”? These are the keywords you should be using.
  6. A good marketing strategy. Never stop marketing your books, no matter how old they are, and never turn down an opportunity to promote your book. Make sure that you pay for 2 marketing spots a month, every month. Do your homework. Which days work better for you? Which advertising platforms give you the best ROI? What social media platforms should you be using that you don’t use at the moment? Think about your branding. How can you become a household name? Are you doing enough to promote your book? No matter how hard you are working, there is always room for improvement.

I use KDSpy (see our membership page for a reduce price) where I can see roughly how many sales authors make each month on the books they have on the Amazon platform. It never ceases to amaze me that some authors will have multiple titles, but the sales per month collectively are only in the 100s. Why bother? Oh, I hear some of you say, I write because I love to do so, money doesn’t matter. Rubbish! We all write because we love to do so. If you don’t write to make money, don’t offer your books for sale.

Start looking at where your weaknesses are in the above chain to success and start fixing them. You will be surprised at the differences just a few tweaks can make. Your book deserves to be seen and you deserve the rewards for the hours of work that went into creating them.

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