Boosting sales: Tweaks I've Made.

Sales have been up over the last two to three months, and it has me scrambling to see if something I did is finally working or if it is just some sort of coincidence. I'm hopeful that the trend holds, but I thought I'd give a list of things that I've done recently that MIGHT have something to do with it. I have no idea if it was one of these things, all of these things, or none of these things, but in the last few months I have . . .


Added the Word "Series" to my Keywords

Tweaking keywords for your book is a great place to start when you're looking for ways to boost sales. Amazon is essentially a search engine that sells stuff. I actually had mine set okay with things like "Dragon, Fairy Tale, Adventure." However, I read somewhere that adding the word "series" into your keywords can help, so I did. And it makes sense. People looking for a series are likely voracious readers who find something they like and stick with it. They're probably looking to buy multiple books by the same author, in the same world, with the same characters.

 Checking my Genre Categorization 

This kind of falls under "stupid things I did when I was still learning the ropes that I had to fix later." I didn't realize you were allowed to pick two genres when you enter your book in Kindle Direct Publishing. I had my book in the very broad "Fiction>Fantasy>General." I went back in and added in "Fiction>Romance>Fantasy." 

Actively (but honestly) Pursuing Reviews

I've written about sketchy or downright dishonest ways some people try and get reviews before (here for instance), but there are honest ways to pursue reviews and considering the low rate of readers who actually review after reading, if you just wait for reviews to come in naturally, you might be waiting a while. However, getting reviews can be an exhausting process. I spend hours emailing reviewers offering them free copies of my book in return for an honest review and am lucky to get a handful to respond to me. 
There are rotating theories about a "magic number" of reviews, like, if you have 35 reviews, or 50, or a 100 Amazon will promote you or give you higher precedence in their algorithms somehow. . . I don't know if any of this is true. I honestly think most of what people say about how Amazon work is guess work and/or outdated because Amazon seems to constantly change policies/methods. I'm guessing they're experimenting to see what works to keep themselves and their site relevant the same way we authors play with our covers and keywords. 
That said, magic number or not, Dragon's Curse currently has 48 reviews and seems to be doing pretty well. 

Free Days and Promos

I'm Kindle Select which means in turn for being exclusive to Amazon, I get a certain number of promotional days per quarter where I can either put my book for free or discounted through a kindle countdown deal. I used to be a big fan of the countdown (having my book be 99 cents for a week), but I've seen fewer sales the last few times I did it, even with paid ads, and I just wasn't getting the sales I wanted.
So last January, I started experimenting with free days, running ads on different sites during these free days, and almost always the boost in sales following the free days have been encouraging.




Other things that I might look into in the future are playing with price points and cover designs. While I'm overall happy with both of these aspects of my fiction, it's something I'm prepared to mess with if sales go down again and I need something to draw new eyes to my books. 

Comments

  1. Some interesting thoughts. I'm going to go add "series" to my keywords right now!

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    1. It kind of makes sense that readers might be searching for series. People tend to like to commit to a series of books if they find one they like.

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  2. Too bad I don't write series.

    Thanks for all your help today, Heidi! I'm taking your advice on some of these points!

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    1. Hope it helps! Readers do seem to love series. . . .serieses?
      One trick you might have is categorizing your novels into a "theme" series. A lot of them seem to have a retold fairy tale theme. Consider giving it a "subtitle" and linking them. Even if they don't have recurring characters, if they have a recurring theme and your writing style stays consistent throughout, you might find you can draw people from one to the other that way.

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  3. Thanks! I'm off to tweak. I love reviewers. They are awesome!

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    1. Reviewers are great, though sometimes I feel like I'm stalking them all like a rabid beast that jumps out at them from the bushes and shouts, "HEY! Want to read my book?"

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