SPQ 024: Increase Book Sales by Testing One Variable
Simple Book Marketing: Testing Variables
This is the first episode in a series called “Simple Book Marketing,” where Steve covers simple strategies to help increase your book sales.
In July 2012, Steve had two books in the marketplace. One of them was selling about five to 10 copies per day. He decided to update the book cover, change the keywords, write a new book description, and change the categories on Amazon. As a result, book sales plummeted.
Unfortunately, he didn’t know what caused the sales decrease because he did so many things all at once. Steve had to go back and re-do everything, so he was afraid to continue testing his books.
Several on-page variables impact sales:
- Book title
- Cover image
- Number of reviews
- Number of positive reviews vs. negative reviews
- Page count
- Sales description
- Previous relationship with readers
You can’t control some of these variables, but you can test and track the variables you do control. This means taking one element of your book description page, tweaking it, and then tracking the results. For example, if you change the cover of the book, you can see if the change increases or decreases your sales.
Before you can test any variables, you need to know your baseline. Write down how many sales and Kindle Unlimited downloads you have had for two to three weeks. Put this information in an Excel spreadsheet. Then make just one adjustment to the book. Do not change multiple variables, or else you won’t be able to determine what caused your sales to increase or decrease.
After you change a variable, wait 14 to 21 days to see if it has an impact on your business. Steve recently did a test with one of his books. He had a copywriter tweak the product description for “The Daily Entrepreneur.” When he posted the new description on Amazon, sales dropped significantly within a day or two. In this case, he didn’t wait 14 or 21 days; he took the description down immediately.
Making small improvements won’t necessarily skyrocket your sales, but it can help you incrementally increase your sales over weeks, months, and years.
Resources and Links
SPQ020: Steve discusses the importance of creating a good hook for your book
The Daily Entrepreneur: Steve, along with co-author Rebecca Livermore, details 33 success habits for entrepreneurs