Do you wish you could sell more books? Whether you’ve written one book or many, every author wants to see his sales climb higher.
That can seem like a faint hope because today self-publishing is more competitive than ever. Hundreds of thousands of books are published each year. Moreover, strategies which once worked (like “free”) aren’t as useful as they were.
The upside of today’s publishing environment however is that savvy authors have an avalanche of information which they can use to sell more books. A little research on Amazon’s top seller lists and Amazon’s categories shows you what’s selling.
I’ve shared a couple of those strategies, namely Kindle Short Reads, and bundling, recently. These strategies are powerful, inexpensive to implement, and practical, whether you’re a new author or are an established pro.
Sell more books with Kindle Short Reads
I’m a huge fan of Kindle Short Reads. As we said in this blog post on Kindle Short Reads’ opportunities:
There are two primary categories for short ebooks, Short Reads and Short Stories. Of the two categories, pay attention to Short Reads — it’s a restricted category, which means that you can’t choose it as one of your two categories when you publish. Amazon slots your book into Short Reads depending on reading time.
When discussing publishing short stories and short nonfiction with my students, I’ve found that most are unaware of Kindle Short Reads. The category and its sub-categories can seem secret, because you can’t select them; Amazon drops your books into these categories via algorithm.
Sadly too, inexperienced authors are prejudiced against short fiction. (And to a lesser degree, nonfiction.)
If you want to sell more books, ditch the myths
I’ve just updated a post written five years ago, Write Kindle Short Stories and Ditch These 3 Myths, in which I discuss three myths:
- Short stories don’t sell. Readers want novels;
- You need a super-duper cover illustration for your short story, and if you’re going to pay big money for a cover, you might as well write a novel;
- You need to pay for editing on a short story.
They’re not the only myths extant about short ebooks, of course. I encourage you to experiment with shorter material because you’ll be surprised.
Let’s look at two ways in which you can use Kindle Short Reads.
Publishing veteran? Promote older titles with Kindle Short Reads
You’ve been self-publishing for years. You’ve written lots of books, and promote them as often as you can, but they’re not selling.
Here’s your challenge: Amazon’s algorithms favor NEW.
Good to know, because you can use this algorithmic quirk when you publish short stories and short nonfiction to boost your older titles.
Add a preview of an older title to your new short ebook; Amazon allows you ten per cent of bonus content.
New author? Use Kindle Short Reads to keep your title visible (this works for veterans too)
You’re a new author and you’re excited. Your newly published book is selling. Happy days.
Unfortunately, even if you keep buying advertising, your new title quickly drops off Amazon’s “new book” cliff when it’s not new anymore.
The solution? Publishing short material (with bonus content of a preview of your book) helps you to take advantage of “new” once more, until you can put your next book up for pre-order.
Publishing short material regularly helps you to sell more books
Take advantage of Kindle Short Reads. Use this “secret” category with its many sub-categories and enjoy a powerful self-publishing advantage.
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