Five eBOOK BASICS–Are you Getting it Right? Or Forgetting it Wrong?

Written By: Jackie Weger - Apr• 23•15
Jackie Weger

Click image to go to Jackie’s Amazon Author Page.

Five Basic Steps to Best Book Presentation

There are thousands of promoters and indie author insiders calling themselves Experts and every single one has some offer in hand that will teach you how to sell your book–or if you fork over $$$–they will sell your book for you and pretty soon you will be a bestselling author. Golly.  Guess what? You won’t find those folks listed in the Yellow pages under EXPERT. There ain’t any.

Every indie book written by you and me is not gonna make the bestseller lists.

However, every book can find an audience and we can sell our books.  There are five critical basics that need  attention in order to position our books to sell. You already know most of them. The snag I find most often is that the indie author will not take time to implement the basics.  If you are gonna run a marathon, you take the time to tie your shoelaces, otherwise you will trip over your own feet. Taking care of book basics is the same principle.

Basic One: Your book must be vetted which means editing, formatting and cover art. If you know enough to edit your own book–great. Don’t fail to rid the thing of redundancies, misused commas, apostrophes gone wild and dropped quotation marks. eBook formatting is specific as to front and back of book matter. The only page your reader should see before the first word in the first chapter of an ebook is the the Title page with Copyright to include Edited by… and Cover Artist… Everything else goes after THE END.  No double-spacing between sentences or paragraphs. POV changes indicated by some sort: ~~~ or  ***  to alert the reader of a scene change is imperative. Three space paragraph indents is preferred. Cover artists have a grand tendency  to show off their talent without capturing the essence of  a story. Hang fire and make certain the title of your book and your name are in easily read fonts in thumbnail.

Basic Two:  On your Webpage and Blog every mention of your title and every cover displayed needs to have a live link to the buy page on Amazon. Amazon is where 65% of the world’s book buyers live. You can add live links to other sales venues in narrative. Visitors and readers have been conditioned to tick those covers and will do so before they tick Buy Now! Which is a commitment a reader might not want to make until they have learned a bit more about the book.  Who the heck are you? Don’t forget to put your author name on your Website and Blog, Facebook page and Twitter profile.  I cannot tell you how many SEO sites I visit and can’t find a clue about the site owner’s name–even in the About dropdown.

Cover by Erin Dameron-Hill $100

Cover by Erin Dameron-Hill $100

Basic Three:  An  Amazon Author page that one creates inside Author Central is the most underused and misused bit of narrative  by indie authors.  Most Amazon author pages are dead ends and read like a jobs resume. A Ph.d or a degree in engineering or thirty years as a teacher, proctologist or button maker does not speak to the reader about what drives you to write a story, create characters in mystery, drama or humor. Some author pages list every single book by the author to include works in progress. Delete that! Do mention your most popular book. Do add: What readers are saying about ‘[author name]’ books: Lift a quote or two from book reviews. Do include Find Me Here links to your Webpage/blog, Twitter and Facebook. Four links is ideal. More than four is too many.  Go HERE to read some great tips and see examples of  Amazon Author pages that pique a reader’s interest and drive traffic to your sites.

"All three of these books have original and unique plots, great dialogue, sweet romance, and wildly funny characters. Highly recommended!" - Amazon Reviewer

“All three of these books have original and unique plots, great dialogue, sweet romance, and wildly funny characters. Highly recommended!” – Amazon Reviewer

Basic Four:  Book descriptions sell books. Book description is the blurb for your book. The best book description is pure. Book descriptions are composed in present tense for immediacy–Hey! It is happening NOW! Read Me! This helps to draw the reader to tick that buy now with One Click or Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited.  Telling the reader your book is a cozy mystery, or an exciting thriller or suggesting the reader grab a glass of wine and curl up in a comfy chair for hours of reading pleasure is NOT the done thing.  Those comments are best left to reviewers–who may or may NOT find your book cozy or thrilling or a pleasure to read.  Go HERE and HERE to read a two part series on creating the worst and best of  book descriptions.

Basic Five: In order to promote your title on the best promotional sites i.e. those with a subscriber lists of readers who actually buy books, you need a certain number of reviews.  Go HERE to find out where you can get those first critical reviews. Go HERE  to get a list of  more than 300 reviewers. That said: Right after you  type THE END in your book, you need to put this gem:

Thank you for taking time to read [title]. If you enjoyed it, please consider telling your friends or posting a short review.  Word of mouth is an author’s best friend and much appreciated.

Add another “thank you” and sign your name.  Make certain that sentence is in your book before you do a major promotion.  Does it work and coax reviews from readers? Yes, it does. I am not a bestselling author~yet. I have six ebooks. Since January of 2014, readers have posted above 1000 reviews on those ebooks.

None of the above may convince you to follow the Five Basic Steps to position your book to sell. Martin Crosbie says less than 10% of indie authors he speaks to in forums and at conferences actually implement any changes toward creating a better book or follow tips to help  promote them.  I am in high hopes you are one of the less than 10%.

I’m Jackie Weger.  Y’all have a nice day. Sell Books! Comments Welcome. Be nice. If you can’t be nice, be articulate.

@ Copyright 2015 by Jackie Weger

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  1. Pete Barber says:

    Wow! Jackie. No question you’re a writer, and a good one. That’s the most succinct how-to guide I’ve ever read. I do know all five, but I don’t always follow through. I’ll print this puppy off and pin it to my wall–a real wall–with scotch tape. Thanks.

  2. Laurie Boris says:

    Always good to know, thank you, Jackie! Off to update my website…

  3. Will I ever stop saying, “Thank you, Jackie!”? Not likely…

  4. Mary Smith says:

    Thanks, Jackie, great advice and I am following it – need to update my website, though! But, I have added the magic formula after The End.

  5. Mike Markel says:

    Thanks, Jackie, for the good advice. Always useful.

  6. Dale Furse says:

    I love the Basic 5 steps. Easy to follow. 🙂

  7. Elaine Philcox says:

    Great advice Jackie. Thanks for taking time to share with us.

  8. This is a succinct list of the critical elements. I have labored over all of them, but it never hurts to have another look.
    And 700 reviews this year? That is a fantastic accomplishment.

  9. Well said, Jackie. Basic stuff, one would think, but how many of us get it right every time?

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Smart you, Stephen. We don’t always get it right the first time–which is why I am everlastingly grateful we can edit and revise. There is no excuse to leave a misspelled word in our book descriptions or Amazon bios. Blurbs are the pits to create. I Googled “how to write blurbs.” A book description is NOT a book report. It is good idea to refresh our bios and blurbs every six months or so. Especially when we have a new release. So! I’ve got to go jump through my own hoops. LOL.

  10. KJD says:

    Excellent article Jackie,
    Thanks for sharing.

  11. Neil Ostroff says:

    Great article. It is true that no one is an expert at selling books. It’s all about the right story at the right time.

  12. Julie Frayn says:

    Yeah, getting it right every time is hard. But keeping at it, learning and improving, with help from articles like this and folks like Jackie, that’s the ticket…
    Julie Frayn

  13. Great post Jackie, full of valuable reminders and excellent new tips! I only feel that the first one isn’t 100% up to the author while they have the power of choice on all the rest. Take me for example: I cannot afford an editor, but do have the valuable assistance of 4 dedicated beta readers. Thank you for sharing this gem! I will go now do the same 🙂

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Frossie!EFCHARISTO!for stopping by. You are so right about the difficulties of financing a book. Editing is the costly bugaboo. If I had your writing skills, I would not need one. You are doing fabulous with your books. Not a word out of place. Dedicated beta readers work! I am in awe of your command of the English language since it is not your native tongue.

  14. Rich Meyer says:

    Sage advice as always, Jackie!

  15. Rosie Dean says:

    Yep! Have already implemented some of those changes, and have made notes to get everything up to scratch.

    Thanks, as always.

  16. Rik Stone says:

    Thanks, Jackie, there are a lot of pluses here, great stuff!

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