Covers Sell Indie Nonfiction
Around the middle of the month I changed the cover and title of my existing book – I talked about it previously. Well I know it’s been said before but – covers sell books.
Because you know something, my first book, used to sit in the 20’s for a ranking under the travel tips category, then I talked about it, changed the cover, and it bounced up to first page of tips hitting #8, and the sales have stayed up. In fact I’ve just had the best month EVER for sales for the first book, and I didn’t publish the new book until the 25th – so it’s not the multiple book effect! The figures aren’t big, but the percentage is – I’ve sold 50% more copies of The Non-Boring Vacation Packing Guide in July, than I have in any other month (sales figures here).
Launching Indie Books – Doing It Differently
There’s an awful lot written about and discussed on how to launch an Indie book. Almost all the time the discussion is around fiction, and somewhat flawed I think.
In the old days e.g. 2010, paper books had a limited shelf life. If you book didn’t have good sales within a few weeks, it was pulled off the shelves and remaindered or pulped. I book had about 12 weeks to make it or die. After all, shelf space was a valuable and limited commodity.
Hence the tradition of the “book launch” – a big splash over a whole lot of media, writer doing interviews all around the place, and hopefully enough sales to keep the book in print. It was a concept that Indie writers have taken and developed into the online equivalent e.g. blog tours, social media love-in’s etc. All the same work as a traditional launch, without the booze and nibbles – that’s got to be wrong!
Fortunately, these days we all know that whatever you write on the Internet is there forever, equally Amazon may have over 1.2 million books in the Kindle eBook Store – but it’s not running out of shelf space any time soon. So the need to make a big splash, is less compelling.
My priority was to get my book live on Amazon. While it was still on my hard drive it was definitely not earning any money! So instead of a lot of promotion I focussed on two things:
- a quality book;
- a backend to build my buyer’s list
To Do List For A Nonfiction Book Launch
Here’s a short list of the stuff I’ve found that you need to do to launch a book:
- sort out your typos get the final copy,
- get cool cover done,
- find more typos, this is definitely the final copy,
- format the book, while finding more typos,
- format the book some more, work out how to format books correctly (save that thought for later),
- publish book,
- notice more typos, fix them up and re-publish,
- leave the price at 99c for a few days to get some reviews,
- update your book’s sales page or in the case of re-branding the entire series, launch a new website,
- re-do formatting for existing book to match the new one
- update the old book to promote the new book at the end
- setup an email capture page for each book.
Building a List With A Book
Look I was late to the party in terms of building a list of interested peeps from my websites, but I got there eventually. And now I notice, with amazement, that hardly any of the books that peeps are selling, have a signup at the back! WTF? It can’t be a BAD idea to have readers emails can it? Hey maybe everybody tried this already and readers don’t sign up. Maybe. But hell it costs nothing to try does it?
Using AWeber I’m setting up a signup to the The Non-Boring Travel Newsletter, so that I can communicate updates and new promos to the people I know who have bought the book. How do I know they bought the book, or stole it I guess, because the signup page is not indexed and not linked to from front page of the site, so you will only find it at the back of the book. I’m curious to see just what percentage of readers will go to this trouble.
I’d My Like Books To Be Self-Promoting
I have a vision.
What if everytime I released a book that was in the same niche I could email a list of buyers, people who’d already bought my previous book, and offer them the limited-time opportunity to purchase a book for a discounted price? I wonder what that would do to my book’s rankings? I’d immediately get reviews and buys from people who were buying other travel books, so my book would show with relevant “also boughts” showing at the bottom of the page.
Maybe it’s a pipe-dream, but it just seems that I have so much more control over a mailing list than I do social media sites that now want to charge me to have my updates show in subscribers news feeds (Facebook). Does anyone else think I’m on to something?