You'd think that would be easy, right?
After all, you've spent every waking and sleeping hour for the past 20 years thinking about your book and working on it.
But absolutely necessary if you want to actually sell your ebook.
I'm right at that stage. Today I finished reading/editing/proofing/tweaking my manuscript for the umpteenth--and last time. (Can I get a HOORAY???!!!!)
Tomorrow is my big day: I upload the manuscript and cover art onto BookBaby's website (disclosure here) and with enormous fanfare I'll click the "submit" button. You'll hear me cheering and jumping for joy and dancing and celebrating!
So today I had a long chat with BookBaby customer service rep Nikola about the last steps before I do all that--and she told me a few important things:
Writing the description for your ebook is critical.
That's because your description will be what Amazon and every other ebook seller uses to promote your book. It's the stuff you always skip to when you're checking out a book on Amazon, right?
Your description is really, really important for an ebook so don’t rush writing it. You can have the best book in the world but if no one knows it’s there, no one will buy it. How do they know it’s there? You’ll create buzz, but people will also find it by searching for it on Amazon and other ebook retailers. That's why you want to build really good keywords into your description (more on that in a moment).
So how do you know what to write? Nikola told me to....
Pretend you're shopping for your ebook on Amazon.
In other words, "Check out the competition," says Nikola. Go to www.amazon.com and in the search box scroll down to "Kindle store." Then type your book name or keywords related to your book.
You’ll learn 3 things:
1. How should you describe your book?
Descriptions are really important because that’s what people read to make their buying decisions. Nikola told me to see which descriptions catch my eye and which ones I ignore.
"Don’t waste words in your description," she said. "You want your 1st line to really grab people so don't start with, 'This book is about...'"
Think up some search words (keywords) that might describe your book and type them into Amazon's search box and see what you get. You're looking for the best words that you'll then use in your book description--so when people search for books using those words, they'll find you.
Don't use the banal usual search words that are too general (like "novel" or "cookbook") or you'll pull up 1 million books and never narrow them down. Instead try some different words. Read the descriptions and see what keywords pop up over and over again. (Yes, you are learning SEO--search engine optimization.)
I found that the “tag” feature in Amazon helped me come up with good keywords. Tags are labels that customers can use to classify a book. Look at a book similar to yours and scroll down to find the words that reviewers have tagged it with. You can also click on “most popular tags.” More frequently used tags are larger and more recently used tags will appear darker. I found a lot of words I can use and I'll sprinkle them throughout my book's description.
3. What price you should charge for your book?
Your research on Amazon will help you answer this important question. You can, of course, charge whatever you want. But there are factors to consider.
If your ebook is less than $2.99 or higher than $9.99, you keep only 35% of your Amazon sales. But if you price your ebook somewhere between $2.99 and $9.99, you keep 70% of your Amazon sales.
"For a new author," Nikola says, "a lower price point is better. People will browse the lower priced books." And you can always change it any time.
* * *
When Nikola told me to spend half an hour on Amazon checking out the competition, I thought, "There's no way I can spend that long." Ha! I spent at least an hour reading and taking notes. I'm working on my description now. Thankfully I do have my elevator statement down pat but I'm still working on that description.
Tomorrow I'll hit the "send" button on everything...and will blog again right here to let you know (as if you won't hear me yelling and dancing and shouting with joy).
And maybe then I'll finally tell you what my book is about.
Watch this space....