How to make your #Amazon book page compelling #WriterWednesday #AmWriting #BookMarketing

Last week I discussed how you can use Author Central to make the landing page for your books on Amazon look awesome. (You can read the blog here.) That blog was all about the mechanics of the page. This week, I want to discuss how to make the actual contents of your book page compelling enough to make a reader click buy.

First, a disclaimer. By no means am I an expert in marketing. I recently attended a conference about making your goals happen. As a follow-up, I set a goal to earn more royalties per month. (The goal is way more specific than that, but I won’t bore you with the details.) One of the steps to meet this goal is to research how exactly I can sell more books. What I discovered is that you can do all the marketing in the world, but if your book page isn’t appealing, no one’s going to buy your book.

How do you make a book page appealing? There are basically four aspects that influence whether a reader buys a book.

  1. Cover
  2. Price
  3. Blurb
  4. Reviews

Cover. There is a lot written about covers. Some of it may have even been written by me. In short, your cover needs to be catchy, look professional, and match your genre. I recently redesigned the cover of Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker. I loved the original cover, but readers were turned off by it. At first, I ignored them. I knew my book better than them! How dare they try to tell me something’s wrong with me cover? One thing I’m learning to accept with marketing my books, however, is that what I like and want is not important. What is important is how readers view my books. So, bye-bye old cover of Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker.

amazon landing page 2

Price. Of course, price is important! No one’s going to buy a book that’s too expensive. But no one’s going to buy a book that’s too cheap either. There is a lot of research claiming consumers won’t buy books that are priced too low as they assume the book is crap. I ended up raising the prices on all my books. Only time will tell if I’m made a grave mistake. I’ll let you know. (N.B. If you use Amazon ads, you may be forced to raise the price to cover the cost of the ad.)

Blurb. This is the meat and potatoes of your book page and the bane of every writer’s existence. No one likes to write a blurb. I’ve now become obsessed with blurbs and am re-writing the blurb for each of my books. I’ve listened to many a podcast while at the gym about how to write a compelling blurb. From what I can tell, it boils down to ensuring you use (1) a hook to grab a reader’s attention, (2) a synopsis to tell the reader about the book, and (3) then a call to action to get the reader to buy the book.

Original blurb for Searching for Gertrude:

While growing up in Germany in the 1930s, Rudolf falls in love with the girl next door, Gertrude. He doesn’t care what religion Gertrude practices but the Nazis do. When the first antisemitic laws are enacted by the Nazi government, Gertrude’s father loses his job at the local university. Unable to find employment in Germany, he accepts a position at Istanbul University and moves the family to Turkey. Rudolf, desperate to follow Gertrude, takes a position working at the consulate in Istanbul with the very government which caused her exile. With Rudolf finally living in the same city as Gertrude, their reunion should be inevitable, but he can’t find her. During his search for Gertrude, he stumbles upon Rosalyn, an American Jew working as a nanny in the city. Upon hearing his heartbreaking story, she immediately agrees to help him search for his lost love. Willing to do anything in their search for Gertrude, they agree to work for a British intelligence officer who promises his assistance, but his demands endanger Rudolf and Rosalyn. As the danger increases and the search for Gertrude stretches on, Rudolf and Rosalyn grow close, but Rudolf gave his heart away long ago.

How far would you go to find the woman you love?

This is the updated blurb:

How far would you go to find the woman you love? 
 
Nazi Germany. While growing up in Germany in the 1930s, Rudolf falls in love with the girl next door, Gertrude. He doesn’t care what religion Gertrude practices but the Nazis do. When the first antisemitic laws are enacted by the Nazi government, Gertrude’s father loses his job at the local university. Unable to find employment in Germany, he accepts a position at Istanbul University and moves the family to Turkey.
 
Eight Years Later. As war rages in Europe, Rudolf arrives in Istanbul to search for Gertrude. With Rudolf finally living in the same city as Gertrude, their reunion should be inevitable, but he can’t find her. During his search for Gertrude, he stumbles upon Rosalyn, an American Jew working as a nanny in the city. Upon hearing his heartbreaking story, she immediately agrees to help him search for his lost love. Willing to do anything in their search for Gertrude, they agree to work for a British intelligence officer who promises his assistance, but his demands endanger Rudolf and Rosalyn.

As the danger increases and the search for Gertrude stretches on, Rudolf and Rosalyn grow close, but Rudolf gave his heart away long ago.

Obviously, I’m still not there with this example, but it’s getting there.

It’s also important to include any awards or reviews from well-known resources at the start of your blurb. For example, I changed the blurb of Fat Girl Begone! to include the following:

amazon landing page 3

Reviews. There are two ways reviews add to the appeal of a book page. There is the overall star rating just under the author’s name. There’s not much you can do to change the rating even when a reviewer admits the review is based on the synopsis! (Trust me, I’ve tried.) But you can highlight the good reviews you receive by adding them to the editorial reviews section of your book page.

amazon landing page 1

This is the editorial review section for Searching for Gertrude

These are the steps I’ve taken to ensure the landing page for each of my books on Amazon looks as compelling as possible. Any other tips?

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