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Tag Archives: selling ebooks on Amazon

How to Become a Successful Author

Brian W. Foster

This post is the final part of my Analyzing the Behavior of Book Buyers Series.  See Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

There’s a lot of bad news if you’re trying to replace your day-job income with your passion for writing:

  • There are millions of books out there, and people just keep writing more!  Would they just stop already?  It’s hard to stand out from the crowd.
  • If someone does happen to find your book page, you have opportunities to lose them with you description, the reviews, your preview section, and the price.

There is, however, one piece of very good news: Book Buyers actively look for books.

I’ll buy somewhere between 20 and 30 novels this year.  There are a lot of Goodreads members who have goals of reading more than 50 a year.  In order to buy that many books, we’re going…

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Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Marketing, Publishing

 

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Nook Sales Are Falling and That’s not a Good Thing

Brian W. Foster

Check out this article: Amazon is Gutting Barnes and Noble.  And this one: Barnes & Noble sells fewer Nooks, retail revenue falls.

If you don’t feel like clicking the links, they basically say that Nook sales are falling and indications are that B&N is having a hard time holding onto its market share in ebooks.

Not good.

Amazon, as the market leader by far in ebook sales, has already shown a propensity to push people around.  Imagine what will happen if they’re the only game in town.

If I have a choice (and sometimes I don’t because Amazon has a bigger library), I buy from Barnes and Noble.  I own a Nook, not a Kindle.  In fact, I am a fan of B&N in general and think that their stores offer a good shopping experience.

Their online platform, not so much.  I often find myself searching for books and…

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Posted by on January 6, 2013 in Self Publishing

 

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Analyzing the Behavior of Book Buyers Pt 5 – Price

Brian W. Foster

See Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 of this series.

If a browser reads your sample and likes it, he’s going to buy it, right?  Nope.  You still have one big hurdle to clear — price.  A few thoughts on the subject:

  • Price isn’t necessarily the last thing the browser considers.  It’s a factor that can lose you the sale at any point during the process.  It might even be the first thing the potential buyer examines.
  • Sometimes, setting price is about maximizing profit.  Selling fewer books at a higher margin may bring you more money than selling a lot at a smaller margin.
  • Sometimes, setting price is about exposure.  In the long run, getting a sample of your work into the hands of as many people as possible may outweigh short term profit.
  • A price point that is too low may indicate to the potential customer…

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Analyzing the Behavior of Book Buyers Part 3 – Reviews

Next comes the dreaded reading of the reviews. Some browsers will read a bunch of comments; other only a few. You can be sure, though, that they’ll all look at the top rated one for the “Most Helpful Customer Reviews” and that they’re all looking for the following:

  • Assurance that someone out there has actually bought and read your book.
  • Assurance that the book isn’t total crap.
  • Highly individual criteria.

Brian W. Foster

In Part 1 of this series, I examined how book buyers find your page.  In Part 2, I wrote about the first thing they look at on your page.

At this point, the potential customer has found your book and, after reading the description, is intrigued.  You’re home free, right?  Wrong.

Next comes the dreaded reading of the reviews.  Some browsers will read a bunch of comments; other only a few.  You can be sure, though, that they’ll all look at the top rated one for the “Most Helpful Customer Reviews” and that they’re all looking for the following:

  • Assurance that someone out there has actually bought and read your book.
  • Assurance that the book isn’t total crap.
  • Highly individual criteria.

We can’t control that a potential buyer might read something innocuous in a review that makes him click away.  There’s no accounting for taste, and you have to…

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Posted by on December 26, 2012 in Marketing, Self Publishing

 

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Analyzing the Behavior of Book Buyers Pt 2 – Reading Your Description

The first thing the book buyer is going to do on your book page is look at the description. If they like it, they’ll continue on in their research process. If not, it’s on to the next author.

Brian W. Foster

Last Thursday, I examined Step 1 of the Book Buyers’ Process – Finding Your Book.  Now that you’ve got them at your book page, you’re done.  Right?

Wrong.  Your job has only just begun.  You’ve got three opportunities for these potential customers to walk out the virtual door never to return.

Step 2 of the Book Buyers’ Process – Reading the Description

The first thing the book buyer is going to do on your book page is look at the description.  If they like it, they’ll continue on in their research process.  If not, it’s on to the next author.

Takeaways:

  • If they’ve made it this far in the process, they’re rooting for you to convert them into a customer.  They’d much rather find a book now than to have to continue on.
  • This stage is only Step 2 of 5.  You cannot get them to click buy from your…

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Posted by on December 26, 2012 in Marketing, Self Publishing

 

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Analyzing Behavior of Book Buyers Part 1 – Finding Your Book

I’m no marketing guru, but I think the first step in selling your product is to understand your customer. An author needs to know how people find his book and how those people choose their purchases. I haven’t conducted surveys on the subject, but, in this two part series, I’ll share what my experience, logic, and research tells me.

Brian W. Foster

My research indicates that the vast majority of self published authors sell few books.  Some, however, do become successful, and I think that the major difference between the two groups is that the ones who do well treat it as a business.

I’m no marketing guru, but I think the first step in selling your product is to understand your customer.  An author needs to know how people find his book and how those people choose their purchases.  I haven’t conducted surveys on the subject, but, in this two part series, I’ll share what my experience, logic, and research tells me.

How Buyers Find Books:

  1. Recommendations – Readers tend to associate with other readers, and a personal recommendation is, by far, the best way for someone to be introduced to your book.  It may not be the most common method of finding a book, but the conversion rate from browser…

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