The moment has arrived. You’ve worked for months, maybe even years and your literary masterpiece is finally ready to make its debut in the big, wide world.
You feel like a parent watching their child depart for their first day of school – proud, but a little scared. What if it doesn’t go well? What if something goes wrong?
When it comes to a successful book launch on Amazon KDP, preparation is key for ensuring that you get the best possible results. So how do you make your Amazon KDP book launch a smash hit? Keep reading for our tips.
1. Make The Most Of The First 30 Days
The first 30 days are crucial when it comes to ensuring that your book is a success on Amazon KDP. Why is this?
It all comes down to the algorithm.
The second your book hits the internet on Amazon KDP, Amazon is already giving it a good chance to stand out from the crowd. For this initial selling period, Amazon works to promote your book a little more than it would after the 30 days are up.
Amazon’s algorithm uses a few pieces of sales data in order to make it rank. Your book will get a BSR, or Best Seller Ranking, thanks to the algorithm’s mathematical formula.
It’s not just books that have a Best Seller Ranking either. You’ll find them on all sorts of products on Amazon, including household goods and electronics.
Naturally since you don’t have many buyers the Best Sellers Ranking is going to be low to begin with. Your Best Sellers Ranking will suffer if you aren’t getting many sales, getting higher and higher as time goes on.
This may not seem logical at first, but it’s typically a lot better for you if your BSR is lower on Amazon KDP. It may seem complicated, but you will have a lower BSR if your book is more successful.
If your book has a lower BSR then Amazon will usually work harder to promote your book. It’s the same with all products on Amazon – your book is no exception.
Make sure that you are doing everything that you can in order to promote your book in those first 30 days to ensure the long term success of the book of Amazon KDP. Speaking of which…
2. Get The Word Out
Who’s going to read your book if nobody has ever heard of it? Sure, Amazon KDP will promote your book on the site within reason, but unfortunately you will need to do a lot of the leg work yourself.
Promoting your book can be a little daunting at first, but you can get really creative with it to drum up more interest online.
One thing that you can do is mention the book on your blog or website if you have one.
You don’t even need to start promoting when the book is out – you could drop some subtle hints on the blog or website that the book will be coming soon so you pique interest with your current readers.
That’s not all, either. Don’t underestimate the power of social media! If you know that you have a book coming out soon, try to make sure that you have a decent social media presence.
Try to connect with other people in the industry and make a social media page that will attract the interest of readers in your target audience. You can use things like Facebook ads to promote your book further.
Make sure that you’re posting regular updates about the progress of the book and other genre related information – basically anything that you think may interest your readers.
Then, when the book launches you should already have a following that’s interested in giving your book a try. You can simply direct them right to Amazon KDP to read your book!
This is a useful strategy since once you’ve done the legwork, you may find that your readers start recommending your books to other people which allows you to get even more readers.
Your readers can essentially help you to do even more of the marketing work which is hugely beneficial for promoting your work.
3. Get The Keywords And Categories Right
A big part of ensuring that your book is successful on KDP is getting the categories and keywords right from the offset. It’s best not to start off with your final keywords, instead using buzzwords that will work with the fact that your book is new to market.
Keywords like ‘new release thriller’ and other equivalent keywords can help to promote your book in its first few weeks on the market (see also ‘What Is The Best Time Of Year To Release A Book?‘). You can then change the keywords after a couple of weeks to properly suit your book.
4. The Price Needs To Be Right
When it comes to buying any product, one of the first things that you take into consideration is the price. It’s no different when it comes to buying a book, even on Amazon KDP.
One effective way to get more readers is to start off with discounted versions of the book. For instance, the ebook could be cheaper than a version that is fully printed.
You can also start the sales process off right by selling your book just a little cheaper than it would usually be, maybe by just a dollar or two. People love to get a bargain and you’re more likely to get buyers at first if your book is a little cheaper.
5. Have The Right Book Description
Here’s a fact: people will only read what they find to be either informative or interesting in some way.
You could have the most wonderful book known to man, but it won’t matter if you don’t manage to grab your reader’s attention with the description. Your readers won’t give the book a chance if you don’t capture them with the description.
Your book description needs to encapsulate the main points of interest of your book. It needs to be concise and capture the essence of the book without losing the reader’s attention.
Think of it as a pitch to get the reader to buy, much like a product description. The most important points about the book need to be towards the beginning of the description. Wow your readers in the book’s description and it will do wonders for your sales.
If you’re struggling to get the description right, have a look at other books in your genre. What kinds of words do successful authors use for their books? You can use these terms to your advantage in your own book descriptions.
This can also be a helpful practice since you can see who has reviewed the books in question and approach them to see if they will review your book. Speaking of which…
6. Encourage People To Leave Amazon KDP Reviews
When your readers have finished your book, you should try to encourage them to leave reviews.
Why are reviews so important? Well, the main reason is because the Amazon KDP algorithm uses your reviews alongside other metrics in order to work out the BSR of the book, which is vital for ensuring that you get further sales.
When asking for reviews, you should be making sure that your reviewers are following the review guidelines. For instance, you can’t ask a friend or someone that lives with you to leave a review since it’s against the guidelines.
You could ask people via your blog, or you could send a newsletter requesting reviews. If your readers struggle with leaving a review then you can give them some helpful tips on how to leave book reviews.
One way that you can get your readers to leave reviews is to send them an automatic email upon purchase of the book. You could perhaps send this equipped with a discount on one of your other books that they will receive if they leave review.
You could also encourage people to leave reviews via your social media page. Just ensure that they leave reviews on the Amazon KDP website.
So how many reviews do you actually need? Well, ideally the more reviews you have the more success that you are likely to have in selling your book.
If people see that others have rated your book highly then they are more likely to read it themselves, prompting further reviews.
Now that you know our 6 tips on having a successful book launch, you can make sure that your book gets plenty of sales! It can seem very daunting at first, but we promise – it will definitely be worth it. Good luck!