Whether you are a new author, or a multiple book author, there are several common avoidable mistakes that every author must know about to stop leaving money on the table with their book-writing efforts. They are:
1. Not doing Keyword research. To avoid writing a book nobody wants to buy, or not enough people want to buy, you MUST do the keyword research before you write your book. Keywords are how people find your book; if they can’t find it they can’t buy it. Plus, once you publish, you get seven keywords in Amazon to help people locate your book and figure out the keywords people are actually searching for, plus you’ll use them in your title, description, and overall marketing as well.
I work with authors on this as part of the overall marketing research , but for keywords analysis alone, a good tool to have Publisher Rocket. It will not only help you find the right keywords, but it will give you the less competitive ones so you get noticed more easily. It makes no sense to guess at what people are looking up when the data exists to tell you the exact ones you need to increase sales.
2. Not including links in your book, especially in the ebook version. Sometimes, authors leave them out because they are only thinking about book sales, and the links don’t work in the physical book version, but they do in the ebook version. By including links, you can let readers know about your other books, as well as telling them about other products and services that may benefit them that are beyond, or in addition to, what you can offer them.
3. Not writing more books. It’s a lot easier to sell more books when you have multiple books than when you only have one. Plus, not all books will sell equally well, and by giving your audience more choices, they are more apt to find something they want. And it may surprise you which ones sell! For instance, in my case, I started out writing about book writing and marketing, but I have also written a book on how to get clients to pay you five figures or more (How to Turn Your Book into 10K Clients) and I wrote a book on overcoming depression for entrepreneurs (How to Crush it in Business Without Crushing Your Spirit, How Entrepreneurs can Overcome Depression and Find Success). My coach at the time told me not to bother writing that book because he didn’t think it would make me money. So far, it has made me the most money in book sales of all my books.
4. Not taking the time to write a killer title and subtitle. Too many authors wait until their book is finished and they are exhausted and ready to move on to something new, and then slap a title and subtitle on their book. This is a huge mistake. Your title must capture the reader’s attention and tell them the benefit they are going to get for reading it. That means you have to hook them into your concept, and then explain why they should keep reading. That takes time and thought. I suggest writing your title as soon as you have your keywords. That way, you’re fresh and excited about the project and if you can’t come up with a title right away, you’ll at least have the raw materials to work with and the time to mull it over and work on it until you get it right.
5. Never collaborate with others. Some authors think that if they co-write, it won’t give them the credibility they are looking for. Or, they don’t want to share royalties. But, if you’re writing a lot of books, you don’t have to worry about credibility or profits and you’re able to reach a bigger audience, plus you can be writing more than one book at a time with multiple collaborators.
6. Don’t have a back end. Think about the profits beyond your book sales. I’m always surprised at how many authors write books and then don’t have a call to action. You should know what your readers want next before you even write the book because it can affect how you approach your topic. You also have a content upgrade at the end of the chapter. That way you turn your readers into email subscribers. $2.99-$3.99 don’t make a lot of money on the book sales. You can put a bonus at the beginning of the book and get some to opt in but more are going to get onto your list from upgrades within the book and they are better leads anyway because they take action.
7. Making them too long. People want to be able to reach a book in one sitting. It’s best to keep them under 100 pages. And if you’re at a book signing, a smaller book is easier for someone to carry around, and if at a conference for instance, it’s easier to pack. Also, you can expand on your book with your content upgrades, not making the book longer. Plus, you can chop up the content into more books so where before you might have written one book, now you might have two or three from the same content. Also, they are usually cheaper, so easier for people to purchase them.
Bonus: Sell one book for .99 cents so you can use it as a lead generator to introduce your audience to your work at an easy purchase price to get more people in the door. Once they like what you do, they will most likely buy more of your books.
Need help? I have a limited number of complimentary Bestseller Breakthrough Consultations available to help you create a customized marketing (and writing if needed) plan for this holiday season! To get started go to www.booksopendoors.com/questionnaire. Fill out the short questionnaire. And then if we’re a fit, we’ll get on a call, if not, I’ll point you in the right direction for your project
Ellen Violette helps busy creative visionaries, leaders, speakers, and authors, write, publish, launch to #1 bestseller, and market their book to get more clients, make more money, make a bigger impact, and leave a legacy. She is an award-winning book and business coach, podcast host, CEO of Create a Splash Marketing & Grammy-nominated songwriter.