increase book sales

How to Increase Book Sales

Ann O'Brien

August 15, 2022

You’re a self-published author with a new book that’s hot off the presses. Now, you’d like to see if your book will sell and even make a profit. As a self-publisher, you have complete control over the marketing and sales of your book. Here are some strategies to find buyers and increase book sales.

Sell It Yourself

One of the best ways to increase book sales and profits is to sell your book yourself. Have it professionally printed, and take full charge of the selling, shipping, and customer service. It is not that hard. Once you set up a system, you can automate most of it.

Most people think of selling on Amazon when they publish, but many self-published authors are moving away from the online bookseller. There are several reasons for this. Publishing on Amazon and other digital formats makes sense in some cases, but it comes with serious downsides.

  • High royalty rates. Did you know that Amazon takes 30% of your sales? You must sell a lot of books before you begin to turn a profit.
  • You sign an exclusive sales contract. Signing a contract with Amazon means you can only sell your book on Amazon. That means you can’t legally sell your book on your online site, at your local bookstore, at flea markets, or anywhere else.
  • Amazon works best for authors with many titles. Amazon works on an algorithm that works best for authors who are a known quantity to readers. For that reason, it works best for writers who have several titles already on their list and those who can produce new books at a steady pace.
  • You won’t get exposure outside Amazon. Some book titles sell better on other platforms or in other settings. You won’t get any exposure to these platforms if you have an exclusive contract with Amazon. The initial contract lasts for three months. After that, you can remove your book and try to sell it somewhere else. You may be better off spending that time marketing your book yourself.
  • Some people are turned off by Amazon. Although it seems that Amazon is everywhere, some people don’t want to buy from the online behemoth. They prefer to work with smaller retailers and individual booksellers.

Set Up an Author Website

The first step in creating your sales plan is to set up an author website. Get a domain name that is easy for your readers to find. Ideally, it should be your name.

Setting up a professional website will take a couple of days, and you must be sure to get all the details right. It will also cost a small investment of money. Once you do, however, you’ll have an established online presence that you can control. You can automate many processes to increase book sales and make more money.

  • Set up the shopping elements. Most sellers use Shopify or WooCommerce. This will simplify the ordering and shipping.
  • Set up payment processors. You want to give your customers plenty of payment options, including credit cards and PayPal. Adding Stripe and PayPal will cover all the bases.
  • Choose what you’re going to sell. Once your author’s website is ready to go, you can set up all the merchandise you want to sell from it. You can sell your book along with related merchandise like notebooks and tee shirts.

How do you set all this up? There are many places where you can easy-to-build professional websites, including:

These are all designed for beginners. They come with beautifully designed templates and many built-in features. Most have a low monthly service fee that includes ongoing technical support. They are excellent for author websites and will have you up and running in a couple of days.

Design a Great-Looking Book

To capture reader attention and increase sales, you must have an attractive, professionally printed book. Ensure your reader is getting high quality by making sure there are no typos, the layout is attractive, and the printing is professional.

Spend time designing a cover that will make your book stand out. It sounds superficial, but the cover is one of the top-selling features of any book. It’s worth spending some money to hire a professional graphic artist to design your book cover.

Build Audience Anticipation

Before you print your book, build the audience for it. This is a marketing tip that’s low-cost and available to everyone, but it does require some strategizing.

Think about who your readers are. If you’re writing a mystery set on a desert island, look for lovers of mystery or readers who live where your book is set. Does the novel feature a main character who’s a lawyer? Find lawyers who love to read mysteries.

If you’re writing a nonfiction book, find people who have the problem your book will solve. If you’re writing about cooking Japanese food, look for foodies, lovers of Japanese culture, and people who want to learn new cooking techniques.

Find your readers

Find your audience, and begin pitching the book to them. You don’t have to go overboard or hammer them on the head with it. The best way to promote your book is to offer your expertise and then mention it. For instance, you could answer a question about Japanese cooking, describe your knowledge of the subject, and then mention your book.

For fiction, you have to be a little more discreet and patient. Find your readers through social media, book clubs, reading discussion groups, and online book blogs. Create a presence on YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. Get people excited about the book before you even print it.

This takes time, but it pays off in a devoted audience ready to buy your book.

Get Reviews

Reviews can increase book sales, so reach out to book bloggers, book review sites, and other platforms that regularly highlight new books. These platforms and bloggers get contacted by dozens of publishers at a time, so don’t be discouraged if you get a slow response at first. Keep reaching out and asking for reviews. Once your book gets a mention on one of these platforms, you will see an increase in traffic to your website.

Don’t just rely on online platforms. Send a press release and a copy of your book to your local newspaper. Local papers are often looking for news items, and they’ll appreciate a well-written press release. They may write up a news item about your book or call you for an interview. It’s a terrific way to get free publicity.

Do you need help writing a press release? It should be short and to the point. You can find resources for writing and formatting press releases online, or you can hire a professional copywriter to write one for you.

Hit the Road to Increase Book Sales

You can increase book sales by selling your books at local markets. Check out local fairs, farmer’s markets, flea markets, and trade shows. They are always looking for exhibitors, and people at these events are always looking for something new and different. You may have to pay for a table, and you should find out what kind of seller’s license you need.

Once you get the legalities covered, you can set up shop with copies of your book to sign and sell. You may be able to schedule a short reading from your book. Consider teaming up with others who are selling their own merchandise to split the costs. You could even join other self-published writers to create a market stall bookstore.

Sell Your Book

We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to selling your book. Before you sell it, get it professionally printed with our help. Publishing Xpress is your source for anything related to self-publishing. Contact us today for a price estimate.

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