8 ways to sell more books

booksEven though writing a book is not easy for most people, many authors tell me that selling their books is far harder for them than writing them.

Most people are writers OR marketers – not both.

That said, here are some tips you can use to sell more copies of your book – even if you’re horrific at marketing:

1. Turn your book into an audiobook.

Audiobooks are a super-simple way to sell more copies of your books.  There are lots of people who only consume books by listening to them when working out, driving, or running errands. I find that offering audiobooks often accounts for 10-20% of all of my book sales.

There are lots of ways you can create an audio book. Read it yourself, hire a voice-over artist, or, if you’re based in the USA, go on ACX.com and work with a voiceover artist on a no-money-down, 50-50 royalty split. This makes it risk free for you.

2.  Post on Goodreads.

Goodreads is a social networking site for readers and it’s very powerful in getting the word out about your book. Studies show that more people buy books based off of Goodreads recommendations than Amazon reviews. Post your book on the site and get active there.

3. Get your book translated.

Many countries are hungry for new information. Depending on what your book topic is about, it could be very profitable to get your book translated into other languages. You can either pay for translations or use a site like Babelcube (thanks to Steve Scott for sharing that with me) that’ll work with you on a royalty split.

4. Put your book on more than just Kindle.

Use a free tool like SmashWords to distribute your book to Apple, B&N, OverDrive, Scribd, Oyster, Kobo, and more. If you’re not using the Kindle Select system, you may as well get the free sales from other places. There’s no cost for you to submit them.

5. Get a better cover.

Out of all of my tests, I’ve found that the #1 thing that helps increase book sales is a great cover. Make sure yours looks like something you’d find on a bookstore shelf.

Until recently, I always used this gal on Fiverr. She has been great, but I just tried hiring someone over at 99Designs.com to see if a more expensive cover will help book sales a lot more. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. Send me a tweet in a week or so and I’ll tell you what performed better.

6. Offer bonuses for buying.

Use your social media and/or email list to offer a bonus for people buy your book. Not only does this give people incentive to buy from you, but when they do, your book’s sales rankings will increase. This will help even more people see your book.

7. Reach out to podcasters in your niche to do interviews.

There are lots of podcast hosts who are eager to get new content for their shows. Go to the iTunes store, do a search for your niche, and contact people who have shows in your field. You can offer to do interviews or submit episodes for them. This is a great win-win that lots of hosts go for.

8. Get more reviews.

There are all kinds of ways you can get reviews. Here are a few ideas: join a review exchange, beg your friends and family, post a Goodreads giveaway, offer Free Days, contact reviewers on Amazon who have reviewed similar books and offer them a free copy in exchange for their review.

Even if you follow one of these tips, you should see more book sales. If you follow multiple, expect to see a pretty spectacular compound effect.

15 comments on “8 ways to sell more books

  1. Some great tips here, thanks! I was especially interested in the mention of the translation service. Apparently it works similar to ACX/Audible, where you can find a translator to do it for free and you split the profits. One thing I’m wondering is how this might affect rights on Amazon. When you publish on Kindle, for example, I believe you get a higher commission if you give Amazon exclusive rights. So if you publish the same work in another language, does that count as a new work or is it considered another version of the English language edition? This may not be the right forum to ask this question, but just thought I’d throw it out in case Rachel or anyone else reading this might know :)

    • RachelR2013 on said:

      You don’t get higher commission when you’re exclusive to Amazon, you get 5 days to offer your book for free per quarter. And I don’t believe it counts for other languages. :)

  2. Hi Rachel,

    I give away a bunch of my eBooks – library at 10 and counting – to attract more reviews. Reviews are pure gold; we want chatter about our books so give ’em away like hotcakes, get reviews and they’ll sell like hotcakes. That tip is dead on. I recall the world’s best authors – James Patterson, John Grisham, etc – giving away scores of their eBooks for free before hitting it big. Give away free copies, generate a buzz, nail down reviews and you’ll set an abundant precedent which boosts your sales.

    Ryan

  3. Useful!
    Rachel, selling an eBook is easier said than done, but enthusiasm and passion can make it possible and easy.

    “Get your book translated” is interesting and I think it would be expensive, but it’s a bright idea since people around the globe are hungry for new information (as what you have said). Therefore, if marketers is interested of going all out and be read by people from different places, then, getting your book translated is a must thing to do.

  4. Hello Rachel.

    First time here – love the layout and look of your blog!

    This is a really solid list full of good ideas. Thanks for the great tip on Goodreads. Never heard of it before and will check it out right now.

    And another one to add to your list – FORUMS! Forums are a really untapped resource, many people overlook them. If you have a book or eBook in a specific niche, chances are there will be a forum.

    They are great places to promote your wares.

    thanks Rachel, hope you have a great week ahead. I saw this on kingged where I kingged and shared it on social media.

  5. Hi Rachel,

    These are some great tips than can vastly improve sells for a book. I think creating an audio book is a really good one, because a lot of people like to listen to stories and they can listen to the story while doing anything that does not require their undivided attention. Therefore doing this and other things that you mentioned, such as getting the book translated will allow you to reach a larger audience. Thanks for sharing!

    Regards,
    Lawrence

    • RachelR2013 on said:

      Lawrence,

      Thank you for your feedback! Yes, audiobooks can be a really slam-dunk easy way to make more sales, especially if you’re in the USA and can do it with no risk. :)

  6. Hello Rachel,

    You article “8 Ways To Sell More Books On-line” has full of information. You have enough talent, but you don’t know how to sell it more though on-line, then you won’t able to earn.

    I don’t have idea about Goodreads. Its good to know here we can post about our Book. People prefers its review before buying a book.

    I agree that attractive Cover will help to increase your Book sales. And the rest of ideas which you have mentioned above are really useful to sell your Books on-line.

    Thanks a lot for sharing it on here. Wish you have great weekend ahead.

    Regards,
    Swapnadip…..

  7. Wow! Rachel!
    This is refreshing! I know a friend who is finding it difficult to market the book she has written. I guess the ideas shared here should help her make the most of her book marketing!

    Converting books into audio books, Posting on Goodreads, and translating into other languages are new insights I personally would like to try out. Thanks for this helpful post!

    I left this comment in kingged.com where this post was found.

  8. Neat article Rachel. One addition to your list is “to get a good editor.” When I wrote my book, the money that we spent on hiring a good editor truly transformed the book.

    On the other hand, I see so many books that have great content but poor editing. And this definitely affects the experience of the reader.

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