SEVEN DAYS TO $1K – AUTHOR MARKETING TRAINING

PART TWO: SIMPLE TWEAKS TO OPTIMISE YOUR BOOKS FOR BETTER SALES (AND TWO SIMPLE TWEAKS THAT TRIPLED OUR RESULTS)

This free multi-part course will show you how to come up with compelling story ideas, how to flesh them out into full books, get them edited, designed, published, and marketed in record time. So you can focus on enjoying the publishing process and start building your author career – without all the headaches. Scroll down for part two…

As we slide into disk 2 of “Now That’s What I Call a British Summer”, I’m following up Saturday’s email with the next installment of my ongoing series all about how to hit $1k per month (or more) from book sales.

We’d better get started before my office gets flooded…

image
^^ you don’t tend to notice you live at the bottom of a slope until it rains like this for 6 hours straight #freeswimmingpool

In my last email, I talked about how “knowing your numbers” can be a huge advantage – insofar as if you know how much each click will earn you, you’ll know how many clicks per day you’ll need to hit your revenue goals.

(In the examples I gave, hitting $1k per month from 1 book took 95 clicks, with 6 books it took 44 clicks – neither being particularly insurmountable even for beginners).

So the obvious question is: “how do I get those clicks then, Nick?”

Naturally, we’ll get to that.

But first… we want to make sure those clicks will actually do something useful before we invest time, energy, or money in getting them.

I spent some time re-tweaking some titles, and found overall sales quadrupled. Which is awesome, because you just do the work once – and it’s done.

So that’s what we’re talking about today – how to make those clicks convert up to four times higher (along with some examples).

And if you’d like to go into all this in a ton more detail, join me for Thursday’s live webinar – the last one I’m doing in 2020 – and I’ll take you through the whole thing (and give you a bunch of resources to take away).

I’ve spent a long time re-jiggering all the teaching materials to help (a) authors who are just getting started, and (b) authors with a few books under their belt – so I can guarantee there’ll be something new for you:

Click here for full info on all that – limited spots

So, with that in mind, let’s get started with Part Two…

image

Part Two: Optimise for Conversions
Before we start sending traffic to our books and websites, we need to make sure that traffic is going to “do something useful” once it gets there. After all, there’s no sense spending all that time and effort getting clicks if those clicks don’t convert!

In most cases, we want our traffic to do two things:

Buy something
Join our email list (so we can sell to them multiple times later)
Both actions have tons of value for you, and in some cases you can get people to do both.

But before we get to that, we need to make sure our “online assets” (books, webpages, etc.) are geared up to convert as many people as possible to do one (or both) of those two things.

The first place to cast your eye will be your book pages on Amazon and the other stores. In this case, we want as many clicks as possible to turn into sales – and getting this right can make a massive difference – and there are two main things to look at…

Starting with your book covers.

image
^^ Nick hit the top of his categories by following some of the strategies we’ll cover in this email series and in more detail during Thursday’s workshop.

Your Book Cover
Everyone knows (or hopefully knows) that your cover design can make or break your chances – but what makes a good cover? And why is it so important?

In a nutshell, the perfect cover won’t just help you convert more clicks into sales, it’ll help you get more clicks in the first place.

Think about all the thumbnail book covers readers see when they’re browsing for something to read – if your cover isn’t quite right, you won’t get as many clicks.

We ran a little experiment to see how this worked in real life – and ran 20 million Amazon Advertising impressions across 3 different covers to see what worked.

Here were the three contenders:

image

What Happened?
Interestingly, the improvement in clicks (the “click through rate”) from cover 1 to cover 2 was close to 50%. Even more interesting, the improvement from cover 2 to cover 3 (which only looks to be a slight change) was nearly 50% again!

In other words, we nearly doubled the number of people clicking through to our book page by changing out the cover.

Not half bad!

But what made it such a big change? It all comes down to “what readers expect”.

image
^^ see how the compositions are different? There are a few other subtle things going on too. We’ll cover all this in Thursday’s workshop).

Reader Expectations
For thrillers, readers expect an image that “sucks you in” – like a tunnel – and you see rather a lot of red text and bold fonts. Simple changes on the surface, but it goes to show that “having a nice image” isn’t as important as “giving readers what they’re used to”.

So, if you’re planning a cover design, make sure you research “what’s working” in your genre (as they’re all different). And don’t try to re-invent the wheel.

A cover that “meets expectations” will outperform “unusual and interesting” all day long.

And, thankfully, it’s fairly straightforward to figure out where you need to be – a quick research of similar titles selling well in your genre will give you an idea of where to start (not all genres are the same, so definitely do a little research).

Your cover is the #1 reason why readers click through to your book – so it’s important to get right.

But what happens once readers DO click through?

If getting the right cover can double your clicks, how can we improve the conversion rate once people land on your book page?

At this point, another factor takes over when determining the actual sale – and getting this right can make a huge difference (we doubled sales doing this – for a total 4x improvement).

We’ll look at that in tomorrow’s email 🙂

In the meantime, if you’d like me to run through all this (plus everything else I’ll show you in this series) come along to Thursday’s live workshop where I’ll break it all down for you and give you a bunch of resources to take home.

***

A Quick Recap!
In Saturday’s email we looked at how to figure out “how many clicks you need” to hit that $1k per month figure (scale up and down as needed).

The answer: not all that many, really.

Then yesterday, we looked at nailing down your cover design to make sure you get as many clicks as possible whenever your book pops up (doing this doubled our click-through rate).

And today we’re going to look at that final piece of the “optimising for conversions” puzzle – namely, once someone has landed on your book page, what makes them buy?

Sure reviews, pricing, the Look Inside, and various other factors play a role – but by far the biggest influencer when it comes to an actual purchase is the book description.

You know, that 3-4 paragraphs that somehow has to sum up an entire book? That we authors obsess over and worry about above all others?

Yes, that one.

Getting this right can double your sales. Meaning, if you can ALSO double your click-through rate with a perfect cover, you’ve just quadrupled your results.

Not bad, right?

Let’s take a look…

image

Part Three: Nail Your Book Description
Your cover will get people to your “buy now” page – but the #1 influence on whether or not the reader, you know, actually “buys now” is the description. Or, in other words, what the book’s about.

The problem? Authors are good at writing stories, novels, and other long-form copy. What we’re not so good at? Condensing all that down into 3 paragraphs.

A problem I see all the time is authors who write a book description by simply listing out “what happens” in a blow-by-blow rundown of the book’s plot. This is great for a Wikipedia entry, but not so great for getting people to buy.

At the end of the day, your book description is sales copy – which requires a slight shift in mindset…

image
^^ Brandon hit the top of his categories with his first book following some of the strategies we’ll cover in this email series and in more detail during Thursday’s workshop.

Example – Bad Book Description:
THE LORD OF THE RINGS

Set in Middle-earth, the story tells of the Dark Lord Sauron, who seeks the One Ring, which will help him rule the world.

The Ring has found its way to the young hobbit Frodo Baggins. The fate of Middle-earth hangs in the balance as Frodo and eight companions begin their journey to Mount Doom in the land of Mordor, the only place where the Ring can be destroyed.

Summary: This is what most authors do. List out the main plot points. On the plus side, we’ve covered the main protagonist, antagonist, conflict, and stakes. But it’s not very interesting… It’s basically just a premise.

image

Example – Good Book Description:
Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring – the ring that rules them all – which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.

In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

Summary: the information we’re presented with is the same (e.g. – we know what the premise of the book is) but the language used gives us a better emotional connection to the characters and events that are about to unfold.

image

And again, we tried out a few different book descriptions with our Amazon Advertising experiment – and found that amping up the language (rather than focusing on plot points) helped us double conversions.

Which isn’t half bad…

And the other good news? This stuff is easy to change. If you decide you’d like to try out a cover tweak or a new description, all you need is a few clicks and you’re done!

So with that in mind – and with all your ducks in a row – your books are set up to convert clicks as effectively as possible, and you have a good idea of how many clicks you need to hit your revenue goals.

The next question being, “Where do we get those clicks from, Nick?”

We’ll look at that in tomorrow’s email 🙂

In the meantime, if you’d like me to run through all this (plus everything else I’ll show you in this series) come along to Thursday’s live workshop where I’ll break it all down for you and give you a bunch of resources to take home.