Whether or not your ebook will sell in large part comes down to the title, the description and the category.
A stellar title will move thousands of copies; while a title that’s mediocre will fail in selling the exact same ebook. Titles generally aren’t “okay” or “good” – They either sell or they don’t sell. In other words, they’re either great or they don’t work at all.
The same applies to descriptions. A great description should make your eyes pop out with excitement. People who read that description should be eager to read the rest of the ebook.
The category is critical because it helps you connect your ebook with the right audience. Never guess on the category and do your homework first.
Here’s how to come up with a stellar title, a great description and a category that facilitates sales.
Getting the Title Right
The title is the most important sentence you’ll write in your entire ebook.
Don’t think of writing your title as an action or a task. Instead, think of it as a process. Don’t commit to a title until the very end.
Start writing titles as soon as you begin your ebook. Write them in a separate document. Write a many titles as possible. Write them down as they come to you.
By the time you finish your ebook, you should have a document with at least 30 possible titles in it. Most authors find that as they’re writing their ebook, possible titles will just continually pop into their minds.
Throughout this process, try to involve other people in the title choosing process. Ask other people for suggestions or possible titles. Run your favorite titles by other people and see what they think.
Treat coming up with a title as a long-term brainstorming process. Instead of a normal brainstorming process, where you let ideas flow freely for an hour or so, this process is instead extended over the course of several weeks and months. Just let the titles flow and edit as little as possible.
You can also look through stores like the Kindle ebook store and see what titles catch your eye. What titles are likely to get noticed?
Once you’ve finished your ebook, that’s when you should finally sit down and make a pick.
The title you choose should have a certain “snap” to it. It should be simple and easy to understand. The title should just have one concept in it, rather than try to convey everything in the ebook. It should have a rhythmic feel to it. It should grab attention and it should tempt people to read the description.
Getting the Description Right
Much like writing the title, the description writing process should start early on.
Begin by looking at how other authors in your industry wrote their descriptions. Start to collect a swipe file – A collection of descriptions that you can reference to for inspiration.
Come up with a few different ways to approach the description. Write several different descriptions, then ask friends which one is the most compelling. For example, you might have one description that factually describes the ebook and another description that paints a vivid picture with words.
Focus on the first sentence. The job of the first sentence is to capture attention and get people to read the rest of the description. People who read the first sentence should feel hooked and sucked in to reading the rest of the description.
Have testimonials. Try to get testimonials and/or editorial reviews from names that people in your industry would recognize. Just a handful of great testimonials can make all the difference.
Reference your swipe file often. Never steal words, but don’t be afraid to steal ideas. If someone phrased a topic in a certain way or painted a picture in a certain way, don’t be afraid to take that writing style and make it your own. Copy what made other ebooks successful.
Picking the Right Category
You should pick the category that gives you the highest chance of ranking in the top charts. Of course, the category needs to be relevant to what your ebook is about.
Let’s say you’re releasing a ebook about how to trade commodities. The ebook could go under business, it could go under finance or it could go under economics. Which do you choose?
The answer: Choose the one that gives you the highest chances of breaking the top charts.
Take a look at the other ebooks in the categories you’re considering. What kinds of ebooks are they? Are ebooks like yours succeeding or failing? Naturally, you want to choose the category(s) that have a natural affinity for your kind of ebook.
In our example, it’s entirely possible that all finance discussions seem to be limited to personal finance. In that case, you might put your ebook under economics. On the flip side, it’s possible that economics is filled with only theoretical ebooks; while finance is filled with ebooks by other traders. In that case, finance would be the better bet.
Sometimes you’ll want to deliberately target categories that seem slow. This tactic works only if you have an extremely strong marketing engine. If you sense that a category is weak in sales, you could try to pop yourself into the top charts by listing your ebook in that category, then sending in a flood of traffic. Even so, the ebook still has to make sense within that category.
Choosing the category can be quite straightforward. Just see what your competitors are doing and do the same. That said, sometimes you’ll want to put your ebook in a different category if your research shows that your audience seems to respond better in those other categories.
These three factors – The title, the description and the category – Make up the bulk of your selling power. Get these three things right, add in a stellar front cover and a strong marketing plan and you’ll be off to the races.
2 thoughts on “Baby Steps for Getting E-book Sales”
Putting my book in the right category is next on my list.
Thanks! Will keep this in mind. Your tips are very helpful and reminds me that we need to make sure that small or big we should make sure details are correct.