This is part of a series of posts about how to run a successful Twitter Ad campaign to promote your book. Start here.
Step 2: Get your book ready
I know, you are itching to get your campaign going. But remember that while a campaign will get you leads, it is up to your book page on Amazon to convert those leads to customers. That process is called “conversion” and the percentage of leads you manage to turn into customers is called your “conversion rate.” For reference, my conversion rate is about 6% at my $2.99 price point. That means 1 out of 16 people who click my Twitter Ad go on to buy my book. I have no idea how good that is. I can’t find any data to compare it to. But you can compare your performance to mine, anyway.
Fix the back matter
Remember that the objective here is not to make money on these sales. We are running a break-even campaign. We plan to spend as much on advertising as we earn on royalties. The reason this is not insane is that you have more than one book. (If you only have one book, go here.) You need the people who read this book to go on and buy your next book. That’s where the profit happens.
The best way to get a repeat customer is to have stuff at the end of your first book that promotes your next book. In this biz, they call this “back matter.” It’s the stuff in the back, after your story ends. Some people think putting the first chapter of the next book back there is good. I didn’t like that idea for my first novel, so I just put in a link to the next book. (I also put in a plea to write a review on Amazon, GoodReads, and LibraryThing.) If you haven’t done something like this, go add it to your book and update the version available for download.
Fix the blurb
When someone lands on your book’s page at Amazon, they are going to read the blurb. A great blurb is probably your best hope of achieving conversion. Get outside opinions on your blurb from people who understand marketing. Chances are very good that your blurb is too long. I say this because almost every blurb I see is too long. You want to give a feel for what the book is, but not get too detailed. If your book is fiction, take a look at this formula. It is how I wrote my blurb. You want to leave no question at all in the prospect’s mind what your book is. Lingering question = no sale.
Fix the price
Set your price to $2.99. A lower price will lead to lower royalties per book, but more books. Amazon says that $2.99 (the lowest price at which they pay 70% royalties) is the price at which royalty times sales volume will be maximized. It might be that your book will produce more profit at a higher price, but you cannot possibly know that yet. We will find the best price in Step 5. But for now, you should set it to $2.99 to maximize your conversion rate.
If you think that there is a value argument that says you should have a higher price, you are delusional. Price and value have absolutely nothing to do with each other in the book business. You should set your price to the point that produces the highest royalties for you. I’ll show you how to do that in Step 5.
While you are in the KDP dashboard, seriously consider opting in to KDP Select. That will make your book available to Kindle Unlimited (KU) users. If you aren’t familiar with KU, it’s basically Netflix for books. You get paid about a half a penny per page read, which works out to the same royalty you’d get selling an 80,000 word book at the $2.99 price. KU reads account for about 15% of my sales from ad campaigns, and over the long term have accounted for about 11% of my royalties across Kindle & Print editions. Are the other stores you are in giving you 10-15% of your sales? If not, enroll in KDP Select.
Fix the reviews
People coming to your page are going to look at your cover, your blurb, and your reviews. If you don’t have very many reviews, you really need to fix that. Badger everyone you know who has read your book to write one. It really doesn’t matter what they say. But a book with only a handful of reviews looks riskier to your prospect than one that has a lot of reviews. What’s a lot? I’m not sure. 5 is not enough. 50 is more than enough. But obviously, the more the better.
Also, you really need to have 4 stars or better. If you don’t, it’s unlikely that you are going to achieve conversion. If your book was dragged down by a few mean idiots, then getting more reviews from more people will get your stars up. If your book really is just a 3-star book, then I’d recommend abandoning marketing and promotion, and shift your focus to your writing.
Set up a mybook.to link
Amazon has a whole bunch of different stores. And the link to your book is a link to a particular store. If you send someone in the UK to Amazon.com, they won’t be able to buy. And it won’t be at all clear to them why not. It’s horrible. But there’s a solution.
Go to mybook.to and follow the instructions to make a link. You can give it a nice short name. From now on, use that as your only book link. That site magically directs anyone coming in on your link to your book in the right store.
You should make one of these links for each of your books, and this should be the link you use in the back matter of your first book.
This is the link we will use in the tweets that we are going to write in Step 3.