Getting your book noticed in the indie market is always a daunting task. While there are probably hundreds of ways to market and promote your book, we can tell you six distinct reasons why your book is not selling.
#6 Your book cover looks like you had a three year old design it.
Let’s be honest. Everyone judges a book by it’s cover. This is your first impression to the reader. I can tell you from personal experience, that 9 times out of 10 when walking around a book store, I pick up a book based on if I love the cover or not.
If your book cover looks like it was made is MS Paint, then no reader is going to trust that you actually took the time to write a descent story. They are going to think that your writing is as sloppy as your photoshop skills and they won’t want to spend those few dollars on something that looks like it will be crap.
You should also keep in mind that most readers find their next book while on Amazon. So they are only seeing a thumbnail image of your cover. If it looks like a jumbled mess, they will move on to the next one.
Cover designers are can be expensive. But others are not. A lot of designers sell pre-designed covers that you can purchase for pretty reasonable amounts. Or you could call in a favor to your friend that knows their way around photoshop. Either way, get the cover done by someone that knows what they are doing.
You want a reader to swoon over your cover, not laugh at it.
#5 You have no reviews.
When I go on Amazon to find my next book, the second thing I do after checking out the cover and the blurb is see how many reviews the book has. Why do I do this? Because I want to know before buying if other people have liked it. Do I take every review to heart? No. Because I know my taste in what I like to read can be different. However, I always like to see that other people enjoyed reading it.
But how do I get early reviews before a launch? Well that’s easy. Contact book bloggers that read and review your genre and offer them an ARC. Post about offering ARCs on your Facebook Page. Contact Goodreads reviewers. There’s no wrong way to go about this, you just have to sit down and do it.
#4 Your blurb is boring.
If while reading your book blurb I am a put to sleep that is not a good sign. A book blurb is the first things (after the cover and reviews) that readers will check out before they decide to one-click. It needs to be exciting. I needs to make me want to read your book the second that I buy it. Take your time on this, and have your friends and family critique it. Ask them if they would want to read the book based on that description.
Your pricing strategy matters when it comes to e-books. If you are charging $10.99 as an indie author I can guarantee that your book is sitting at the highest rank possible in the Amazon store.
It is a sad fact that the indie community has somewhat trained its readers to expect books for 99¢ and $2.99. That being said, indie authors can step out of this expectation and charge more for their books (as long as their writing helps back up the price).
I think it’s best to play with your pricing a bit to see what price point works best for your fans. I have found that going from 99¢, to $2.99, to $3.99 and so on for the number of books in your series tends to be a great pricing strategy, however, this has not worked for everyone.
#2 You are writing outside the trend.
A market trend is a fad that a group of people follow. After Twilight, YA Paranormal Romance was a huge market trend in the indie writing community. As of right now, the market trend is on the dark, edgy and smutty side and this is all because of the huge success of Fifty Shades of Grey. Market trends are important to follow in the book industry because by watching them you are easily able to see what is “hot” right now.
If you want to write for a living in the indie community, then you need to be writing inside the market trends. By doing so, you will have a higher chance of gaining new readers, because they are looking for more books to read like Fifty Shades of Grey. Do trends change and swing back to old ones? Yes they do, which is why it is important to stay on top of where the trend is going.
Now of course there are always exceptions to this rule. Authors that have worked and cultivated their fan bases over the years are fine to write outside of the trends because their fan base is so large and excited about their books that they will purchase anything that author releases.
Am I saying that you have to quit writing your awesome Twilight-esque YA Paranormal Romance? No, but know that you will not hit the Amazon top 100 by releasing that right now during this current market trend.
#1 Your story just plain sucks or it is poorly edited.
This should be the most obvious reason, but sadly it is one of the most forgotten ones.
The EASIEST way to make sure your book is a success is to make sure you have a FANTASTIC book. Make sure that it is the best story you have ever written. Spend time on crafting that story creating wonderful plot twists instead of cliche story turns. Create characters that the readers want to root for, not Bella knock offs that make me want to fling my kindle across the room.
Once you have that story written, then get it professionally edited. Yes, this is an expense, however, it is worth it to present your book at it’s very possible best. Get real story critiques from trusted friends and family. Ask them to honestly tell you what they felt and if they see plot holes, or glaring comma mistakes, or anything that could make your story the best it can be.
After your book has undergone the editing process, then it is time to let it out into the world.
I hope these few tips help you make your book the best is can be. If you would like more book marketing advice check out our Youtube Channel where we post marketing tips and host Google Hangouts.