I don’t know if the following graphic is true or not; let’s say it is. The sample is the biggest seller of books.
That means a reader is shopping (on Amazon, most likely) in their preferred genre. Doesn’t make sense that they’d read samples on a random basis.
So I assume they are shopping their genre (or not) but THE COVER must be catching their eye or it wouldn’t be ranked so high. That means you need a professional looking cover. Is yours professional looking? Do you know how to test that?
The next highest ranked item is the blurb – pretty much can’t read a blurb without seeing the cover first. It’s hard to scan just for blurbs. The cover makes them pause to read the blurb. The blurb causes them to want more story.
Then comes the sample, because rarely would somebody read a sample without a blurb that makes them WANT to read the sample.
But assuming they DO skip the blurb and go to the sample OR they read the blurb first, the sample has to make them engaged enough to buy. The sample is the opening lines of your story, and maybe as much as 10% or 20% of your book available to readers. (Do you think they skip to page ten to start reading, or start on page one?)
That means you need a story that sets a hook quickly and I mean from the opening paragraph, probably in the opening sentence, maybe the opening words.
All the other stuff is a distant second – according to this graphic. Which I believe is fairly accurate. And you’ll notice price is way down the list. Yeah, try charging $250 for your eBook and you’ll see price suddenly matters, but a book that appears to be fairly priced is a book where price isn’t much of an object.
Think about it. Just more evidence that what we’re telling you in our marketing books (and future Write Better Books book) is true – and you should adjust accordingly, starting with getting a cover that looks professional, followed by a blurb that sells readers on your book, and writing a great opening to your story. THEN market the hell our of your book. (Oh, and a cover and blurb ARE marketing.)
But give yourself the best chance to succeed before you spend money on stuff that doesn’t matter much.
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Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the amazingly great upcoming sci fi action thriller “The Navigators.” Click HERE to check out his other works.