Breaking away from the trappings of traditional publishing comes with a lot of freedom—but also a lot of personal responsibility and difficulty.
Now that the landscape of publishing has changed, authors are able to upload their work to platforms like Amazon KDP and create sales opportunities for themselves.
Putting a book onto the Kindle Store is now easy and painless, but getting it to sell is something else entirely.
So do you find yourself struggling to increase book sales (see also ‘How Do I Choose Keywords For My Books On Amazon (Increase Exposure And Sales)‘)? Perhaps you’ve recently uploaded a book and it’s hardly sold more than a few copies.
If this is the case, then you’ve come to the right article. Over the next few sections, we’re going to give you a total overview of how you can increase your exposure and sales on Kindle Direct Publishing.
We’ve split this up into 7 easy steps to follow, and providing you follow them carefully you’re bound to see at least a little bit of growth.
So let’s get right into it and grow your books from rags to riches!
What Is Amazon KDP?
Amazon KDP is a marketplace where you can publish books (see also ‘6 Amazing Tips to a Successful Book Launch on Amazon KDP‘).
Kindle Direct Publishing allows you to compile, upload and promote your books all through one central portal. It also lets you create paperbacks and hardback copies that can be sent directly to consumers.
One of the best things about KDP is that it is completely free and easy to use, but with this insane accessibility comes with a lot of other authors using it, all trying to find success and make lots of sales.
This means that the store is saturated with novels from authors, and just uploading a good book doesn’t mean you’ll get success.
In order to do well with Amazon KDP (see also ‘The Easiest Way To Remove Blank Pages On Amazon KDP‘) you’ll have to treat it as your second home, you’ll have to do some difficult groundwork to give your work the push that it needs.
This can be difficult to do, and you’ll need to exercise some patience and implement some good business practice, but there are some steps you can take right away to help grow your book sales.
Early Steps – Before You Publish
In these first few steps, we’re going to give you some advice on what to do before you publish.
This might not be of much help to you if you’ve already published a book, but if you’re just getting started with KDP then you’ll want to pay close attention.
1. Gain An Audience Before You Publish
This one is probably the most important factor that will help you get sales early. Anybody with an already established audience is going to find selling books easier.
You’re probably wondering how you can achieve this, if you’ve never published anything before. Well, the truth is that one of the best tools that a modern author has is to make use of social media.
We would suggest that you create social media accounts and connect with other authors before publishing your work. Platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram give you unlimited access to free promotion and press.
You should make sure you are active on these platforms and connect with other authors and members of the writing community before you publish.
If you can get a suitable amount of followers before putting your book out, then you’ll be able to get completely free promotion that will foster sales when your book launches—and early sales are a good thing!
2. Ensure That Your Book Is Finished
Now we know that this one might seem like an obvious piece of advice, but it’s so vital for fostering sales later on in your journey.
Your book is going to be a product. You’ll want to make sure that it is edited, finished, and worth the money you’re looking to charge for it.
Small mistakes can cause future negative reviews, which can in turn ruin your future success. We’d suggest either employing an editor to take a look at your book, or making sure you edit a lot yourself.
3. A Good Cover = Good Sales
The visual side of your book is going to be one of the main driving factors for how well it sells. Before you publish, you need to make sure that it has an eye-catching, impressive cover that is suitable for the genre you’re publishing in.
Let’s say you’re publishing a horror novel—if this is the case, then you’re going to want a chilling, intriguing cover that will appeal to horror fans.
Creating a good clever can be expensive, but you should know that all the tools to create a good one yourself are out there. Websites such as Canva allow you to format a cover and use professional-looking fonts to create something that looks incredible.
Later Steps – Promoting Your Book
4. Continuously Promote Your Books
Social media is going to be the most important part of building your sales. You want to launch a continuous, targeted promotional campaign.
There are a few different ways that you can do this, but the first thing we’d like to suggest is to continuously promote your book via your social media channels.
A big problem self-publishing authors run into is publishing their book and then simply leaving it. This will make it drop down in popularity and become buried under a huge pile of other books.
Use social media to remind your followers that your book is out there, and create content that helps to promote it, whether this be snippets of the writing, reviews that you get, and any time it goes on sale. More on that last one in the next section…
5. Make Use Of Kindle’s Promotions
Kindle allows you to create ‘free’ promotions for your books. One thing you’ll find is that customers are a lot more likely to give your book a chance if they can download it for free.
We would recommend using a free promotion and then advertising this frequently.
This will get a lot of extra eyes on your book, and give opportunities for star ratings and reviews that can help foster growth and sales for your book.
6. Make Sure Your KDP Profile Is Complete
Next up, we’d like to give a little advice about completing your author profile. You want each part of your page to be complete and professional.
You want consumers that do find your work to feel as if they’re in good hands—and this is increasingly important depending on how high you price your books.
Make sure you have an extensive author bio, an intuitive list of your work, and extensive information on your product pages that allow customers to get a good understanding of what they’re buying and why they should.
7. Free Books For Reviews
This is another great example of promotional material you can do without much difficulty. Check out the social media communities that align with the book you’re trying to sell.
Using our earlier example of a horror novel, make sure that you connect with horror readers/writers and make them aware of your book.
One great way to foster success is to offer a free version of your book in exchange for a review.
This isn’t the same as paying somebody for a good review, you can simply ask them for ‘any’ review, in exchange for a copy of your book.
If you do this for ten different people, then you’ll have ten reviews. The more reviews and star ratings your book has, the more chances that the algorithm will promote it for you and increase your exposure.
So that was our guide of 7 tips on how to grow the sales and exposure of your book (see also ‘How To Market Your Book To Get Worldwide Exposure [Ultimate Guide]‘). It’s important to note here before we finish that growing a book on kindle direct publishing can be an arduous experience.
There are many different ways to foster growth, but you should know that each of them takes a bit of patience and determination.
If there’s a final rule we could leave you with it would be this: prepare your book to the highest standard, prepare to promote it, and then promote it continuously.
By creating and developing a social media presence and continuously linking this to the book you’re looking to sell, you will be able to massively increase your exposure.
We hope that this guide has given you some general tips on how you can grow your book and that you are now more confident about how to develop your following and sales.
Before we finish, we’d just like to say that there are lots of ups and downs with self-publishing, and you’ll need to make sure you are dedicated and patient.
We wish you the best of luck with your publishing journey, and hope that you see some massive increases in sales sometime soon!