Let's be very clear about this: digital self-publishing is a fantastic opportunity for many people. It flies in the face of many decades of traditional publishing.
Now, almost anyone can create a book of their very own without needing to submit a manuscript to a publishing house, waiting for approval, and signing a complicated contract.
This is bad news for the old-school publishing industry, but it's good news for anyone who wants to release an ebook easily and quickly.
If this sounds like you, then this article will be very helpful, since we're going to talk all about how to get your book noticed on Amazon.
Now hold on, will these tips apply only to ebooks published on Amazon? No, not all of them, but we also recognize that for first-time authors trying to publish an ebook, Amazon is easily the simplest choice of platform and also the least expensive.
Whereas ebook publishing on other platforms can require the purchase of an ISBN and passable knowledge of ebook formatting software, Amazon gives authors a suite of simple tools to get their ebook on virtual shelves, and they don't require an ISBN to publish an ebook exclusively to their platform.
But all that accessibility has some downsides, too, namely that there are a lot of other ebooks out there, literally thousands of them, and if you want your book to stand out, there are several considerations to keep in mind.
We've all heard that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but we all do it all the time, and you can bet that potential buyers are going to do it to your book as well when they're scrolling through Amazon.
Yes, when all is said and done, the actual content of your book is the most important thing. The book needs to be good.
But when it comes to standing out from thousands of others, creating an amazing 'cover' for your ebook is extremely important.
It's so important in fact that if you don't feel comfortable creating your own cover, you should seek out the help of a professional graphic designer. Your book cover is not a place to skimp.
Some general design guidelines to keep in mind when you're putting together the cover art include simplicity and clarity.
If your cover is too complicated or cluttered, it will be difficult for potential buyers to read the text and understand what it's all about, especially when that cover art gets shrunken down to fit on a computer screen or a phone screen.
In terms of clarity, only include necessary information and take some time to consider what the title of the book should be. Don't just go with the first idea and leave it at that.
You want a title that's creative, sure, but it also needs to give a very clear idea of what the book is going to talk about.
A good title can also give hints as to the genre that the book belongs to. For example, a potential customer should know just from the cover and the title whether it's fiction or nonfiction, and maybe even the overall tone of the book.
Comedies have funny titles. Cookbooks have inviting and neutral titles. Nonfiction books have informative and specific titles with just a touch of creativity.
As for colors used on your book cover, try to find a specific combination that you feel elicits a certain mood. In general, darker colors tend to be more somber or calming while brighter colors signal fun and excitement.
Advertising your book beyond its own Amazon store page is going to cost money, and knowing how you can reach your target audience is extremely important to getting the most out of your money in this area.
But since we're aiming to keep your costs low and not go off on an advertising tangent, let's talk about the marketing you can do for your book without spending any extra money at all.
When you're getting ready to post your finished book to Amazon, you'll have the chance to write a brief description of the product.
This description is extremely important to enticing potential buyers. If someone clicks on your book title, then they're already at least a little bit interested. The product description is your chance to really hook those people and encourage them to make the purchase.
Rather than talking up your book to the point of exaggeration, this is really just the time when you should describe in greater detail what the book is all about.
The title alone can say a lot, but here you can really get into the subject matter and explain why the book is special.
Be confident in your work and tell readers why they'll enjoy the book. This could very well be the difference between a purchase and a pass.
'Blurb' is a publishing industry slang term for a short quote that someone else writes about a book.
You've probably seen these a million times before. They are often included on the front and back cover of a physical book, and they work best when they come from a prominent reviewer or another writer or celebrity.
If you're publishing for the first time, you probably won't be getting any big names to contribute a blurb to your book, but you can still get blurbs from others.
Try contacting book review websites or YouTube channels. These kinds of sites often want to release as much content as they can, so there's a decent chance that they'll take a look at the book or maybe even recommend other similar sites that could help you out.
The point is, having any kind of positive blurbs on your ebook's store page immediately increases the legitimacy of the product in the eyes of potential buyers.
The more people that buy your book, the more Amazon's algorithm will start to take notice. It might even start recommending your book to users who haven't even searched for it specifically.
This success can quickly snowball until you have lots of glowing user reviews, which will also help boost sales.