I’m happy to share some great ideas and suggestions I’ve gathered over my time as a bestselling author. We’ve talked about marketing https://danalatorre.com/2015/03/01/learn-to-embrace-whatever-success-comes-your-way/ and building a fan base, but what comes before that?
My bestselling cookbook “35 Great Recipes You Wish Your Mother Made” became my first big hit, and it was a result of many people helping me with marketing ideas and suggestions (once I got smart enough to realize I needed some help). Before that, when I did my first book, “Savvy Stories,” I was clueless – and it didn’t sell. Like, at all. It gathered e-dust for a long time while I wandered alone in the abyss. It was a sad time. I don’t like to talk about it.
From what I learned doing my successful cook book, I was able to re-launch “Savvy Stories” into a #1 Bestseller (that’s called learning from mistakes and embracing whatever success comes your way https://danalatorre.com/2015/03/01/learn-to-embrace-whatever-success-comes-your-way/ ). Then I was able to put together a string of bestsellers to follow it.
Here are some important things I learned early on.
- The title “35 Great Recipes You Wish Your Mother Made” came from a “tease” suggestion and some other ideas I read about. Author friends I made online said that books with numbers in the title sell well because on some sites they get put in front of the titles that start with letters, and that top 10 lists, etc. are popular with readers. (For example, what attracted you to this blog post? Check the title. Busted.) The “tease” aspect was suggested because it’s telling the reader/prospective buyer: you don’t know these things and if you read the book, you will.
- The MAIN thing is the cover. It is eye catching enough for people to click on, and that makes such a difference. Keep it simple and effective. I can’t emphasize that enough. It’s a mini billboard. Use it like one. But remember it’s mini. Looking back, the cover of “35 Great” is probably too busy. Look at it compared to my upcoming cookbook cover, “All American Favorites.”
3. Inside, I have asked for reviews several times – I say “please say a few kind words” and provide links to my author page (to get readers to my other books) and to the actual referral site for this book on Amazon. The best time to ask for the reader to buy is right after they finish the book. If they liked it, they have a higher likelihood of following through and buying another book in the series. Make it easy for them to do so; give them the link. Yes, right there in the eBook.
4. Nobody wants to write a review. Not normal people, anyway. Many more people will be inclined to “say a few kind words” about you – so use that phrase and provide the link. When you go to the book listing, click where it says “write a review” and copy paste that link into your document. Make it easy for your reader to help you, and SAY that it’s a big help. People like to help, and it also continues that one-on-one relationship you’ve established in the book. PS, no harm in asking for a review BEFORE the reader starts reading. People get busy. Maybe they don’t finish the book! I ask at least twice. At the end of the book, right after “the end” and once in the beginning, right after the title. I also sometimes ask in the “About the Author section” or “Other Books By This Author.”
PPS, you should have a section at the end of your book for the “About the Author.” here’s mine: https://danalatorre.com/2015/05/06/about-the-author-dan-alatorre/ and “Other Books By This Author” https://danalatorre.com/2015/05/06/other-books-by-dan-alatorre/ It is a place for a little advertising and socializing for fans who go there. Have your website link, Facebook, Twitter – all with active links – in there.
- Put an email address or a link to your website that says “If you’d like to receive updates from this author on upcoming books, click here.” Then you’re collecting email addresses of fans, and that will be a direct link to them from now on. There are services to help you with that, too. (I’ll give out their names when they start paying me to do so, but you’ll find them easily enough in an internet search.)
- One more thing: when readers DO write a review, click that it was helpful. (There’s an option on the review to do that, on the Amazon book link.) The reader will usually get an email saying that someone found their review of your book helpful. Who doesn’t like that? It will encourage them through positive reinforcement to do it again for you!
These are just a few tips that have helped me. What are some things that have helped you? If you are struggling, ASK your questions. We won’t make fun of you (probably) and you will likely find a solution! .
For the next six days, you can get my newest cookbook “All American Favorites” on preorder at Amazon for just 0.99 cents.
The regular price will be $2.99, so ORDER TODAY and be sure to say a few kind words!