Friday, May 31, 2013

Increasing Book Sales on Amazon With Improved Book Descriptions

There is no doubt many factors drive an individual's decision to purchase a book using Amazon as the retailer of choice. Word of mouth, the book's cover, pricing and past purchases of the author's work are certainly some of the driving forces responsible for a significant number of sales.

When it comes to generating sales on Amazon, one of the most important, and often overlooked factors an author can control is the book's product description.

I hate the feeling that I am being "sold" something. How many of us enjoy the experience of buying a car? But does that mean as authors, particularly self-publishing authors who do not have anyone else to do our marketing and sales for us, can we ignore the fact that if we want to sell our books we need to be engaged in the act of selling?

Since I "aim" most of my sales at Amazon, I need to do everything I can to generate the maximum number of sales through Amazon. I need to learn as much as possible about sales and the copyrighting tactics that work well.

In my research I have come up with three consistently recommended tactics that must be done effectively to generate the desired sales. They are:
  • headlines that draw the reader in
  • actionable words
  • focus on benefits for the reader
With another book to be available for sale soon I have started thinking about the description I plan to write for the book on Amazon. It has been much more difficult than in the past as I have been writing, editing, and discarding my efforts. It has been a learning process. It has also made me realize I need to edit and re-post all of my book descriptions on Amazon.

Why is the description headline so important? The title and cover have piqued the reader's interest, causing the reader to click on the product description page. Within the next second or so, the reader will decide whether or not to read the description or to click back to the previous page and continue the search.

What will determine this yes or no decision? Whether or not the descriptive headline captures the reader's attention and draws the reader into reading the body of the description.

Research shows actionable words need to be included in the description. Tell the reader what you want the reader to do. Be specific.  You might be surprised at how much research has gone into the use of actionable words. For example, copywriters have determined "click here" produces more clickthroughs than using the word "order." "Add to Cart" is much more effective than "Buy Now."

Why? I have no idea, but this is what research indicates. Take the time to learn about actionable words that will fight your target customer/reader and the niche and genre of your book.

Finally, focus on benefits for the reader, not the features of the book that we, as authors, are so proud of. View the book through the eyes of the potential reader and customer. How will this book benefit that individual, not you the author?

Will the book provide needed information that will make the reader's life easier, less costly, provide actionable information, etc? Will a work of fiction be entertaining, thought provoking, funny or provide some much needed escapism for the reader? You must make the reader believe purchasing and reading your book will benefit that individual in a positive way.

This is all easy to say. It is much harder to actually carry out. Put as much thought into your book's Amazon product description as you do in the cover and the writing of the book itself. After all, you don't want to just sell your book, you want to have readers! If your intended audience never purchases your book, how can you have readers?