6 Powerful Ways To Sell Books On Amazon (Romance Author Exclusive)
- By: JD Brown
The romance novel industry is huge. No other genre in the world can sell books on Amazon at this level.
According to Romance Writers of America, the romance fiction industry is worth $1.08 billion dollars*, which makes it larger than the inspirational book industry, and about the same size as the mystery, science fiction, and fantasy markets combined!
Romance novels regularly top the major bestseller lists (New York Times, Publishers Weekly, USA Today) and have a large, dedicated audience of readers.
What this means for romance authors is this:
- There are more than enough romance readers to go around, BUT…
- Competition is high!
So how can an author make sure their book doesn’t fall to the bottom of the barrel in such a competitive genre?
After helping over 8,500 romance authors sell books on Amazon, we've learned a few things along the way!
One of the things we’ve learned is that anyone is capable of setting up their book for success simply by doing the same things the bestsellers are doing.
There is no SINGLE trick that will help you sell books. However, there are some steps that, if you hit them, can dramatically stack the deck in your favor. We know because we’ve seen them work over and over and over.
With that it mind, here are 6 powerful tips to help you sell books on Amazon!
Selling More Books Tip 1: Have An Amazing Cover
Experts agree that a book’s front cover is the single most important selling point for any book in any genre. Why? Because it’s the first thing browsing readers see.
The concept of an “amazing” cover art can seem objective, but bestsellers know this isn’t true. There is a reason why some covers will make a reader one-click that buy button immediately, while other covers simply don’t.
To explain how it works, think of any Lifetime or Hallmark Christmas movie. You know exactly what you’re getting from those channels because they pretty much put out the same content every year. Sometimes they are made fun of for being so formulaic, but the fact is those formulas work, and fans keep coming back for more year after year.
This is because fans always want more of what they like.
Yes, it really is that simple! And this is good news for authors!
It means you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. It also means that you don’t need to capture the entire romance genre – just your subgenre or niche.
Here’s what a great cover should do to sell books:
Convey your subgenre clearly and easily.
- Readers shouldn’t need more than a second or two to know what category your book falls into simply by looking at your cover. Is it Western Romance or Regency Romance? Clean Romance or Steamy? If a reader can’t tell, they will pass on your book!
Look professionally done.
- This is one area where spending a little extra money on a professional cover artist can go a long way in helping you get ahead of the competition. Not only will the quality of the images be better, but so will the typography, lighting, composition, use of negative space, etc. This is one area where a pro can really give your book that little something extra to set it apart.
What a cover should NOT do:
- Have too many details.
- Try to convey your favorite scene.
- Try too hard to look like your characters.
- Look “self-made” (unless you happen to be a successful cover artist!)
- Doesn’t clearly convey your genre!
Selling More Books Tip 2: Have An Awesome Description
Your book’s blurb is the second most important selling point. Why? Well, if your cover art didn’t get the reader to instantly one-click, but DID do enough to peak their interest, then the next natural step the reader will take is to read the blurb. So you want to make it the best blurb they’ve ever read!
How? By making sure your blurb clearly conveys that your book has all the good juicy tropes they love! Remember the Hallmark example! If readers don’t see the tropes or themes they’re looking for in your blurb, then they’ll pass for one that does.
Take a moment to consider your subgenre or niche and then ask yourself if your blurb clearly conveys the tropes that are unique to that subgenre.
Here’s what a good blurb should do to sell books:
Hook the reader immediately.
- Don’t waste the reader’s time with a peer review or anything boring. Get straight to the meat of the story with the very first sentence! (Those peer reviews can go at the end.)
Keep the focus on the main character and their love interest.
- This is a romance, right?
Use those tropes!
- If your book has steam, for example, we better feel some tingles when we read your blurb!
Tell us the stakes!
- What happens if Jack and Jill don’t get together? Will the world end? Give us that nail-biting cliff hanger so we HAVE to read the book to find out!
Use short, punchy language.
- Be specific with your word choices. Always use the stronger, more active word.
Proofread your blurb and format it professionally for a screen.
- Remember that most people today are buying books online. Bold, Italics, and simple HTML code are your friends! Typos and poor formatting will discourage a lot of readers.
What NOT to do in a blurb:
- Summarize the plot.
- Be too vague, confusing, or boring.
- Be too long.
- Not convey your genre or tropes!
Selling More Books Tip 3: Grow Your Network
Assuming you have an excellent cover and blurb, it’s time to get your book in front of readers. If you’re a new author or just haven’t done a great job of crafting a fanbase on your own, then it’s time to grow your network!
Remember we said the Romance novel industry has plenty of readers to go around?
This means other romance authors don’t have to be your competitors! Instead, they can be your best cheerleaders and support systems.
Romance readers are so voracious, they will devour books faster than you can write them. This means working together, promoting each other, and sharing a fanbase is beneficial for everyone involved.
Need more author friends? Get active on social media! Join author groups on Facebook. Search #authorsofinstagram on Insta, or lookup #authortok and #booktok on TikTok. Join an author server on Discord. Offer to share other authors’ books on your social medias and in your newsletters. Most authors are happy to return the favor because we’re always in need of fresh content to feed our fanbase! Why not your book?
Selling More Books Tip 4: Grow Your Email Newsletter
One more thing bestselling authors have in common is an ever-growing email list of readers.
Why? Because at the end of the day, social media networking only goes so far. Algorithms hide posts, videos get taken down, old links break, etc. So you need a way to talk to your readers that doesn’t rely on them ‘hopefully seeing your post’.
The best way to do this is to email your readers directly!
Years ago, growing a newsletter list was a slow, tedious task. Nowadays it’s pretty easy! All you need to do is provide an incentive. This incentive is called a Lead Magnet.
A Lead Magnet is a free thing you give readers in exchange for their email address. This can be a free short story, a free novella, or even a free full length novel.
Once you have a reader's email address, you can then sell them on your backlist, book two in a series, or a new release by emailing them about it directly. How cool is that?
Selling More Books Tip 5: Take Advantage Of Email Advertising
Emailing readers is so effective to sell books, that email advertising has become the #1 way to promote a book!
What is the difference between an email list and email advertising?
First, you should always be growing your own email list of readers as mentioned in Step 4 above.
Selling More Books Tip 6: Make Your First Book Free
If you write series, a really great tactic to sell books is to make the first novel in the series free.
A free book removes all risk for the buyer and is the quickest and easiest way to get your story into a lot of hands.
The idea is readers who love that first freebie will go on to buy book two, three, four, and so on, essentially becoming hooked and turning into a life-long fan.
There are two ways you can utilize this:
You can (a) make the book free for a set number of days and promote it heavily as a ‘Limited Time’ sale.
Or (b) you can make the price free forever (or for an extended amount of time). In the publishing industry, this is called ‘permanently free’ or ‘perma free’ even if you decide to raise the price in the future.
Both methods can be very powerful.
A limited-time sale has the power of urgency behind it. Readers take action right away and download the book so they don’t miss out. This makes it easy to measure results.
‘Perma free’ can be a better choice for authors with a smaller budget as they can spread their efforts over a larger amount of time. However, this can make results seem lackluster as they too are spread out over a longer period.
The added benefit of making your book free (either permanently or for a limited time) is that it also allows you to use your first book in a series as a Lead Magnet to grow your email list as we discussed earlier.
The Final Takeaway
To recap, having the right kind of cover art and a gripping blurb will set your book above the competition, but don’t forget to be friendly with other authors and grow your network. We all need a support system.
Remember that the ultimate goal is to always be growing your reader base! And the best way to do that is by capturing their email addresses so you can follow up.
Do you want to help your books (including new releases) make a HUGE splash? Check out this list of awesome book selling promotions here!