SNM118: How to Improve a Book Listing

My first book on Amazon was a disaster.  The launch method I learned was incorrect.  I followed a broken model and that gave me broken results.  I had no strategy for garnering reviews and after the first two weeks, my book disappeared into the back of Amazon, never to be seen again.  Or so I thought…

The Game is Never Over

When Fitzgerald died, he thought that The Great Gatsby was a massive failure.

Nearly one hundred years later, students in high school English class read this book all over America.

There have been multiple major movies about his book.

By any scale of success, his book is a superstar.

[easy-tweet tweet=”No matter how cold and lonely your book is, we can bring it back to life.” user=”ServeNoJonathan” hashtags=”servenomaster”]

And the good news is, we don’t have to wait until after your demise!

Books are a Business

It’s very easy to become emotional about a book your write.

Each negative review is an arrow directly into your heart.

But is this the mindset of success?

Most passion project movies are terrible.

A director spends ten or twenty years trying to make their dream movie and when it finally comes out it’s awful.

You have to decide if ego or financial success is more important to you.

I don’t care who reads my book, I just want people to read it.

If someone wants to read my book “ironically” that’s absolutely fine with me.

My motivation is to sell as many books as possible and that drives my book strategy.

I run promotions and buy traffic for my books every single month.

I promote each book anywhere that will have me.

There Shall Be No Golden Cows

If there is a part of your book sales page that is set in stone, then you are in trouble.

The best way to boost sales is to change your book cover.

That is always step one, but so often people form emotional attachments to bad covers.

I’m sorry if you spent hundreds of dollars on a cover, but if it doesn’t work then you have to change it.

I’ve had to change covers in the past multiple times, including the one cover I designed myself.

It didn’t feel great, but it was necessary.

There are many ways to bring your book back to life, you just have to do them.

Show Notes:


Key Points:

  1. It’s never too late
  2. Let go of emotion
  3. Start with changing the cover

Resources Mentioned:

Breaking Orbit

Serve No Master on Amazon

Most other links can be found in my TOOLBOX


Send in your questions to podcast [at] servenomaster [dot] com


Read Full Transcript

How to improve a book listing on today's episode today's episode is brought to you by SCM rush started in 2008 with one mission to make online competition fair and transparent with equal opportunities for all to find out how Essam Russ can help you compete with the big boys go to serve no\SCM rush today are you tired of dealing with your boss do you feel underpaid and underappreciated if you want to make it online fire your boss and start living your retirement dreams now then you come to the right place welcome to serve no master podcast where you learn how to open new revenue streams and make money while you sleep presented live from a tropical island in the South Pacific by best-selling author Jonathan Greene now your post sometimes people find me after had a book out for a few years and it's living in basically the middle of nowhere the book is selling a copy year copy of them a couple months and we don't really think of a book as an asset of its make us less than a dollar a year we find more change in the couch that we make from Amazon and when you're in that situation in your thinking my book is tank is nothing I can do wrong book can be saved and turned around recently actually so I work with approached me and said I have a sold book we help me out and so it motivated me to put together this lesson together today's episode three signature you talked about before but it certainly bears repeating kind of dialing into the message stay strong and these exact things I did took his book from basically being a corpse digital corpse into something sexy doing pretty well now it's now it's run number three in force category will hit number one probably couple of days students are really simple steps he's not putting money into the book is just putting a little strategy to the book so one of the first things you can do and have got about 70s key changes that you can make to improve your book listings a limitation to all of them the first one is change the cover and I find that this is actually critical step it really makes a difference I do change the covers I view my own books before what happens when you change the cover is really magical most people on Amazon the search around they see your book cover in the clicker don't click for sales are really low that means double-clicking so people's only knowledge of your book is the title the cover and I don't member the title very well a lot of books have the same title there dozens of books with really similar titles in fact if you receive and search serve no matter I think there's a couple of other books that have similar type titles that come up as an exact match for that title but a lot of other books have similar titles about don't serve that master though serving a master I think there's a lot of romance books that I think about them to remember the blessings of Stalin checked it there's don't know fortune is no exact matches in the same niche as me but if you have a book on potty training how many different ways can you say that Oracle can get more sleep or get more yoga titles are very similar if you change the cover if you will only receive the cover of one of the listing it really becomes a brand-new book to people haven't seen that one before and as we talked about again and again and again the cover determines whether people click to change the cover can you merely turn your book into selling once a month so twice it will nearly double your sales is will increase your number of clicks that's the first step I always recommend it even if you are in love with her cover this is a way to kind of get a fresh start I find that most people can't make a couple of key mistakes will covers the biggest one is that it's hard to read when in small so when you're designing a cover the first step is make sure it can be read when signs of postage I by Lexi I 90% of books I read I get to Canada Limited so what I choose it can unlimited download the covers everything because I do it through my Kindle I get my device of the covers in black and white small all I can see when I'm scrolling through are the cover and the name now for a lot of covers to cover the waste because I can tell it's happening probably at least half the covers I am pretty much exclusively read sci-fi and a little bit of fencing even though I almost look socially write nonfiction I don't read nonfiction very often I guess it's just a matter matter to being different from my work but when I'm scrolling through so often I look at the cover and I can't tell what's happening and for me undercover I look for one of two things for science fiction book but I want to send the cover really is space. I was a person and it looks like a robot our planet shooting laser soon as I see that exonerated us lately them in a couple of books that have been on the cover that are really about space Marines basil gravel because I cover works on me otherwise I look for something that shows like a spaceship shooting a laser in front of planet those the two things work out for me it's a very simple formula that makes me know okay that's what this is about it tells me future space and combat those are things I like to read about I read every subgenre of science fiction I don't really enjoy classic 1950s style science fiction Ray Bradbury era I read a couple of those books I'm just in different phase about those books usually had heavy morals in the story like it was always a really strong heavy message and there's nothing wrong with that it just doesn't appeal to me very much when my friends only likes basically pre-1980 science-fiction which is a different style story and that's actually fine but the cover tells me what type of book I'm looking at so the book is that right hi, I often skip over changing cover making it readable black-and-white and small will get you a larger audience is people to know your books about a lot of people don't click on your book is he can't figure what it's about you also want to be sure your name is readable a lot of people there go my names are that important but it is the name of the author often determines if I read a book sometimes I see a book and if I see the author's names to initials in the last name I go it's probably a ghost writer from your lower quality book and almost always is it almost always is that's why my pen names have a first and last because I don't trust there's no reason now for person not to use a real first or last name no I understand back in the day their authors want to hide her gender behind their initials hundred and 50 years ago nowadays you can just use a pen name it's the problem these little things add up so I like to see the author's name and also one someone likes onto the one read more more of your books to change the cover make it readable making a pot making the different colors all the things we talk about grading great covers it's a great way to bring little new life and your book that's one act you can do the costs five dollars and will immediately change the trajectory of your book 2nd step is to add formats a lot of the books I see that are in purgatory or worse their e-book only I talk to someone about that they go it seems really hard to turn a new paperback book you can hire someone in fiber for five or $10 to form a book to paperback worst-case area you can do yourself you can if you had a copy and paste in the word you can spend five or $10 so one or two copies your book you cover those costs soon as you have a paperback version your sales increased by about 40% that's my experience when I've done it for people see Eva going to go not a real book that a real author independent author, not a good book it's another flag similar to the two initials: if you have a paperback version give you little more credit if you have the audiobook version as well and I tell you how to do this over and over again in previous episodes if you have the three versions you start to look like a real book when you have three versions you start selling copies of all three versions but you also increase your Kindle sales people see Kindle paperback audiobook by more of the conversion it all ties together the other's book is more real by and that's a good thing the next step you can take is to change the description in fact I just rewrote the entire certain raster description of the last week my prime book but you know what a lot of people have Artie seen this description some people who respond description of seen it but in new descriptions of now a new batch of people see my book if you change your color and your description of a cemetery to book that's all it takes to give people a brand-new 100% new experience though now look at your booking on the system they have ever seen before because the first welcome their click click on who had clicked on the other book will click on it think it's a new book on the redescription if it's the same intrusion vertigo I've seen this of his nutrition dear Brenda lease on life change your description tightening up the messaging to really connect with your audience is critical having a really good really crisp message I find this is a very common error for people who approach me and say I have an older book as promptly dinner is how important inscription was it's never the date donating intentional similar they didn't know how critical that step as in they have like three or four sentences or two paragraphs describing the book when really what you want as to max out the word count that Amazon will give you and follow the formula we have headlined you have bullet points you have benefits to the reader why the book is awesome all those things are really porting and with the call action hey this book is also click had a car right now your love it to rewrite your description you don't have to be a copywriting master I'm not a copyright master have workflow way up to where I'm opaque operator tier 2 and the tier 1 probably hit tier 1 in about a year I continue to take Launcelot to copywriting jobs I want to master the craft but even so each time I get a little better redo my descriptions become find a really good book in your category use there it was a great description gonna model this that's how I've always done it I just run better better models as I've improved my book as of improvement operating skills as a sales to take the time to rewrite your description it takes a couple of hours it's okay as a long-term investment I leaching transcriptions every three months or so you can do it less frequently if you have less time once a year's fine 33 much is the most relation related to it is was going back and tweaking going you what I changed things about the book in my opinion we tweak it when we added new reviews these little steps will keep your book fresh keep it in motion more people notice it because that when the listing change the book gets a little traction once you've got the new description absolutely need to create an HTML version of the description now I'm making a piece of software to specifically address this prominence can be free it's a free little tool limits put on my new website and I'll post the link below this video because I haven't finished the 12 and going back and forth with the designer for the past week and hopefully by the time you get this episode the time it takes to edit and releases episode all of finished editing and customizing my software but it's good to be on my other websites. My Kindle cipher website my e-book tool so that'll be the main tool on our website to help people with Kindle and it's can help you to write and convert your description in HTML I use the tool on Friday to write and a description of Servicemaster and Sica found as you do a couple of small problems and I'm just tweaking those once there complete once there perfected and all release the tool post the link below I'm really excited about that to make my own been using some of the tools out of there okay but this can be even better because with my tools you can type in your description and Alexa show you what your page look like you click a button and say preview me in a show your book cover your book title and how the description likes the look in sit to Outlook when it's inside Amazon and it's very valuable piece of Intel having an HTML description will make your description popular increase your conversions and it will get you more sales that symbol is that having words and was HCl and having words that are bolded having words like headlines having words are underlined words in italics having words or actual pointless little dots all those little things really add up very valuable little steps and their great way to jazz up and prettify your listing step five is the more reviews you can always get more reviews you can always send him were for copies you can always use I've so many of previous absent dealers in the older episode about getting podcast reviews but are getting more book reviews you have the fresher book abuse the better so always send offering free copies to face the groups are the offering for cops on Twitter to give away copies to people that are fans of your other books where you can do to get copies out there in the world if you email every single person and one of them free copy all those things are great giveaway copies anyway you can to get reviews that I know they do so time to QA hundred copies of her newly if I refused so what the fire is worth it absolutely as you get more reviews we do not step number six which is editorial reviews Amazon if you log in author Central after you create your profile and added some pictures you can go to your book listings pays and gives you more section 0 inerrancy was really top-of-the-line books that says about the author it has a section that says from the back cover and from the other has 45 extra section you while this is so pro rata your Pro listing studying Pro it simply Amazon author Central when you log an author Central gives the ability to create your author profile and if you look at my page you can see a picture of me I chose my picture I wrote a script is links to my blog and social media presences have it connected to my blog so every podcast episode actually gets shown on my author page all these things add up your value create a custom link so if you go to\I think user authors something\serve no masterful that my both you or you consider to be your often increased customer and worth doing at a really memorable link every time I can try to capture the name serve no master as much real estate as possible so that when people Google serve the master only things that come up are my properties rather than a competitor or fan or anything as an Iranian fandom certainly happy when fans follow me but I certainly don't want to leave the sun has nothing to do with me catching that real estate is a first step executive blog can upload some videos easily connect to YouTube and a chain nourishing the rules for your Amazon author pay that's why don't give a lot of advice that it because the rules of change so often used to be able to connect your twitter feed a case will take you to feed a cat so I don't know where Amazon is going it seems that the cut have a plan I think he may be doing something integrate with good reads so is very good chance by time you share this episode or in the future Amazon will change how the author profiles are presented again but as of right now you can upload videos directly to the profile you can connected to your blog's RSS feeds of Joe's blog post you can upload around to attend pictures all that's really worth doing if that profile and then once you've done that you then go and click on your book and you can manage your listings you can combine your different dish and you say hey this is the paperback version this is my book audio versions on her exams I will list your book is three different books separately the three different editions you want to merge them into one so then you review start show for all editions great way to get your Kindle reviews on the paperback version listing onto the audiobook listing all very valuable and one of the really great things happen: editorial reviews and most people use this section 4 a copy paste and they get a review of her famous author from the New York Times and that's wonderful to have the sty certainly don't not that fancy reviews from primate celebrities we can do is take the best reviews from Amazon reviews and just pull a copy of a sentence all have a really great sentence is elixir roster change my life I can't wait to see what life holds for me and this is from Stan Lewis Agassi – Dan Lewis so what you can do is create a section adjuster best reviews your favorite reviews and and what you do whatever you want there so that's what I do and scheduling unnecessary the other thing you can do is if someone leaves a review on a blog available on Amazon you can leave a review and then he said in expressing cinnamon blog which is really cool is little things you can do to beef up the perspective of your listing and if you have an order listing taken the time the others are views you might as well put them in a really great presentation what you're doing is here is improving the presentation aesthetics are everything when people scroll down feels AOL's editorial reviews the just a cosmos degree but becoming read him half the time the decedent there there and change how they perceive the book what were trying to do was alter perception we want people to perceive your book as a professional book published by real publishing company that is real reviews if we can do that we can move you out of the fly-by-night e-book home published appearance category people taking more seriously and bring a lot of new life into this old book listing the seven step our littlest of seven is working your author center profound IR described all those things I what had so to make up for them to give you special bonus number eight or number 7.5 if you want to call it that have elected count is to change categories once you've made all of these changes will be your book in a new category is awesome is now get freshens every two categories Amazon gives you a shot he belittled a freshening unmissable was inside his overall category in this happy before I told you had a book that was dead so your copy among the notes is a copy of couple copies today this is a funny guy in the right category Amazon allows you have two categories for evil to categories for paperback and one category for the audiobook version of your book so having different additions when you start to appear more more categories we play things right sometimes will your listing etc. showing a rating of three categories of tree ranking seven which is awesome take the time to check for new categories that relate to your book and jump into them there's a new guy would exist before that's happened to me the most relevant categories my book continues to exist as soon as our existing eye-movement look into it and got some amazing traction these really simple steps the seven or eight steps if you will like I merged the author Central and with that and her views what these really good helping bring new life into a book when you've done all these things evenly have a change the content of a good alright I was anything that you don't need to change a single word inside the book then that needs change for this it will seem like a brand-new book is now it's in a new category so different people are seeing in a different cover different description 99.999% of people will assume it's a totally different book and wanting to make the connection with the first before the wasn't selling the site overlook new brand-new book and get you some amazing results it can really help you to go to the next level so just because he made mistakes a year ago two years ago five years ago the book doesn't mean you're stuck you can now do things to turn everything around these are some powerful ways you can rebuild an old Amazon listing and bring new life into an old book and start getting the sales you deserve thank you for listening to this week's episode of serve no master make sure you subscribe so you never miss another episode will be back tomorrow with more tips and tactics on how to escape that rat race it over to serve no now for your chance to win a free copy of Jonathan's bestseller serve no master all you have to do is leave a five-star review of this podcast see you tomorrow thank you for listening serve no master podcast email your questions to in your question with my answer might appear in the next episode

Jonathan Green

Living the dream on a tropical island, Jonathan is the author of Serve No Master and the host of the Serve No Master Podcast.

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