While authors are generally focused on writing and selling their books, I want you to wear a different hat for the next few minutes. Instead of approaching book sales from the viewpoint of the author, I want you to pay attention to your own shopping habits when buying books from Amazon.com.
As a customer, what do you look for during your search? Of course, the title is all-important. If the title doesn’t capture attention and convey a solid message about what the reader can expect, you’re in trouble right from the start. But what else appeals to you when looking for a book online?
If you’re like most customers, the book description is crucial in convincing you that the publication you thought you might like to buy is a must-read for sure. If you take the time to look around at best-selling books on Amazon, you’ll see that the heavy hitters have a lot of things in common when it comes to their descriptions. I’ll evaluate the top three here so you can use them to write (or beef up) your listings and make more sales.
#1 – Focus On End Results
People buy books for a reason. Most don’t just purchase and then store them on a physical or virtual shelf as collector’s items. They want something from your book. What is it? And is that “something” enough to convince shoppers that your work is worth their time and money?
There’s an old marketing question that encapsulates the customer’s mindset: What’s in it for me? Will your book provide information that:
• entertains – novels or autobiographies
• educates – textbooks or how-to books
• empowers – business books that teach money-making skills
• enlightens – reference books
…or something else?
Here’s a fictitious example. Let’s say your book is a business publication that will teach people a new skill. Is learning that skill set the end result? Nope! The result is what readers will be able to accomplish with that new skill. If your book entitled “The ABCs of List Building” is about showing authors how to build a list of adoring fans, that’s great. Most people would love to have a loyal following, but the interest in your book would be short-lived if the authors didn’t understand how to apply that to their business and get something in return. A result.
Explain to your prospective readers that — using the list-building magic you talk about in your book — they can develop a marketing plan that automatically promotes their current books and new publications so they literally earn money while they sleep. Now, that’s interesting!
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