Book Presentations That Win Readers
If you’ve ever published a book before, you know that having a great book itself is only half the battle. You need a professional editing job and good storytelling skills, and your writing needs to outperform the writing of a competitive market. There's no reason why the quality of your book should be any less than anything from one of the big five publishers.
But a well written book is not enough.
A well written book is not a guarantee of even a single sale.
Readers don't buy books based on the quality of the writing. If that were the case, 50 Shades of Gray would be a title none of us would know, and the current bestseller trends would look very different.
The truth is, the quality of your writing only helps after you’ve sold the book and convinced people to read it. But what about someone who glances at it in the Kindle store after seeing only a thumbnail picture of the cover? What about readers who find books through social media or ads?
The number of sales you make is based heavily on the skill of your book presentation.
The importance of your presentation is widely disproportionate when compared to the importance of good writing, considering that the writing and story should be the important part and where you spend most of your time and effort.
If you don’t have a fantastic book presentation, your sales--and your reputation as an author--are at stake.
What goes into this presentation?
Well, you have the visuals. I can’t under-state the importance of having a brilliant cover. I recommend paying full price for a cover over paying full price for an editor, because a good cover is far more important when it comes to people giving your book a chance.
Alongside the cover, your first page should look and sound appealing enough to make someone read onto the next, and your description should also suck people in.
Then we have the social angle. These days, you need social proof for everything. And that includes your books. It’s difficult to sell books unless you have at least ten reviews. If someone opens up your books page on the Kindle store and sees that no one has been reading it, they will likely assume that it's not worth the effort, even if your cover and description are eye-catching.
The same applies to your social media pages. You don't need to have an account on every social media site (more about this in my article here), but wherever you do have a presence, make it big. Get out there and engage with your fans. Join and conversations online focus on being a part of communities related to your genre. That will make you more of an authority and will cause readers to take you more seriously when they discover your books.
We've covered the book part of your presence, as well as the author presence you should continually work to build online. The final large chunk of a good book presentation is, of course, through your advertising.
Book advertising can be a painful subject because it is so expensive and so often fails. Before you pay for any advertising for your book, see what other authors in your genre do and what they pay for and whether it works. For example, if Facebook ads get views landing on author Facebook pages but don't cause spikes in book purchases, a Facebook ad probably won't be an effective way to announce your latest sale, but might win you a larger crowd online. Only pursue an ad if you believe it will give you what you're looking for.
When designing your advertisement, remember to focus on the atmosphere you want your book to present. Make it visual (unless you’re doing a text-only ad), with a clean design that reflects the high points of your writing.
You don't need to share many details in your ads. Actually, white space is an effective design technique that can make your ads more professional and bolder. Again, take the time to research and observe which ads go further with readers.
When you launch a book, take a final look at your book’s presentation. Walk through it the way you would if you were a new reader and write down any weak spots you find. Do a thorough audit of your book presentation. Does your book stand out (and if so, does it stand out in a good way?)? Does it look impressive and competitive next to the others? Are you easy to find as an author, as well?
Here's a checklist for reference:
You might not get everything right on your first try. Don’t let that faze you. Pull up five-to-ten competing books in your genre and check to see how yours looks next to theirs. What do you have in common with them? What do they have that you’re still lacking?
Being strict with yourself here will pay off in the end.
Please share your own thoughts and tips on effective book presentations below, and be sure to join me in my Facebook group for weekly live tips and a great community.