Over on Pat’s First Kindle Book Facebook Group, Alan Saxon asked about ways to boost his book sales. Below is my response which sheds light on how I think about book marketing overall. Consider this a mini, very casual case study.
Alan, I think it really is hard to have success with only one book and without an audience, BUT in the spirit of trying to be helpful, here are some thoughts. I’m no expert so take it with a grain of salt (or should I say, a pinch of sugar?)…
First, the single biggest variable to book success is just market size. How many people are searching for your topic on Amazon (as opposed to Google). I don’t know the answer to that but one thing you might do is look up the Amazon rank for all the competing books. If your has as good or better rank than they do, then you probably are doing well in what is a very small market. BUT, if you see a book or two that has dramatically better results, then you know you could do something better. For example, your book rank right now is 199,502. If I check Espresso Making Perfection, it’s rank is 267,000. You are beating it. I’d just go in and search on the likely words your target audience is using…espresso, espresso maker, coffee maker, how to make great cappuccino, and look at the top 10 books that come up in each. Are you selling better or worse.
Second, is your target audience FINDING your book. Again, search on all the search terms you expect people to use. How do you rank? Make sure you are using these keyword PHRASES in your books keyword list. I like to put the #1 phrase in the title or sub-title but most people disagree that this matters.
Third, if they have found your book, are they SELECTING it over the others. This, finally, has to do with cover, title, description, etc.
Regarding cover, my personal taste is probably more towards the photos of coffee machines/cups not illustrated BUT many prefer the other way. Your cover doesn’t look fatal. I wouldn’t worry about it.
Your book description isn’t bad. Improvements…use HTML formatting to get the color and bold. Great that you are starting with a question. Expand your “woe to win” story…you were SO excited to make your first cappuccino and then BLEH you spit it out. What was wrong? You then read a billion books and articles, you did a hundred experiments, you finally found the RIGHT way. The aroma, the flavor, your friends are stopping by on their way to work just for you to make them an espresso! Testimonial or two wouldn’t hurt either.
Setup your about the author page. No info on you when you click there.
Lastly, when I start a book I think how can I make this book worth 10 times the price? How can I make it 10x better than the competition. I don’t have the answer for you, but it might be BONUS: 5 Amazing Espresso Drink Recipes; BONUS: How to pick the right machine; BONUS: Secret url for video walk through of how to make perfect cup (Just record yourself on your phone, upload to YouTube, change the setting from Public to Unlisted, put the url int he back of the book).
Alan, I think you have a decent book for the price and if I was a betting man, the market just isn’t that big for this. But what do I know? Best of luck! -Kevin