This is a guest post by David Chesson of Kindlepreneur.com. He’s a bit of a Kindle guru with lots of helpful self-publishing videos on YouTube and several awesome tools for authors (two are listed below; I’ve used and loved both). -Mica
As business owners, we’re always after something that’ll make life a little easier and help us sell more books. In this article, we’ll look at six of the best tools for your author toolbox you can use to sell more books.
Book Brush: Best For Book Covers
Book covers are your strongest selling tool as an author, alongside your book description. A book with an uninviting cover can turn a well-written book into a middle-of-the-road seller.
While there are talented cover designers out there, a professional cover can wind up costing a lot–from $100 to as high as $1000 depending on who you hire. That’s troublesome if you’re a new author who doesn’t have profit from their last book to reinvest. Luckily, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a book cover designer.
Book Brush is a tool that helps you create appealing book covers and promotional materials.
While you can use tools like Photoshop to create book-related covers, there’s a steep learning curve, and that’s putting it lightly. Book Brush is a graphic-design tool created solely for authors. That means you can do traditionally time-consuming tasks in a matter of minutes.
There’s even a tool that lets your design print covers for your books. It can take hours to get a cover right, so having a template that has all the bleed marks included is an absolute game-changer.
But it isn’t just book covers you can create on Book Brush. You can design eye-catching promotional images for your books..
You can sign up for a free trial of Book Brush, and there’s also tiered pricing that ranges from around $4 to around $20 a month, depending on your needs.
Publisher Rocket: Best For Keyword and Competition Research
Publisher Rocket is a tool I created to help authors research keywords for their ads and Kindle Keywords. With it, you can do your own keyword research, research the best Amazon categories for your books, and check out the competition before you launch your next book.
Rocket takes the guesswork out of your keyword planning. You can get keyword data, like how many times that phrase is searched in Amazon, and a score on the competition you’ll face. You can even deep dive into the competition and see their approximate sales figures. Rocket also shows you the book covers of your competition too, so you can see what the best performing book covers have in common.
Finally, Rocket also has a feature that lets you gather potential AMS ads keywords for your book’s Amazon ad campaigns.
Rocket has a one-time cost of $97 so you can avoid those membership renewal costs.
Book Description Generator: Best For Book Descriptions
Your book description is one of your most underrated selling tools. Once your potential reader has clicked onto your sales page, your book cover and title have done their job.
When the reader is on your Amazon sales page, there are three things that’ll get meaningful results on your book sale numbers:
- Your book description
- Your books ‘look inside’
The most prominent of these three options is your book description. If you have an eye-catching book description that puts the right message across, you’ll sell more books. Plain and simple.
A great free tool to get your book description sales-page ready is Kindlepreneur’s book description generator.
All you have to do is type your description in and make the visual changes you want on your sales page. That includes bolded words, italics, headings, list items, and much more. Then, you simply need to click the orange button and the generator will give you code that you can copy straight into your KDP dashboard.
Don’t worry if the code the generator spits out looks a bit odd. The tool generates HTML code, which is a text-based code that computers read to create web pages.
Just a note: it’s completely free to use.
Keywords Everywhere: Best For Bloggers
If you have a blog to help sell books, you’ve probably dabbled in search engine optimization (SEO). An enormous part of SEO is choosing the right keywords to target.
One great tool that you can use to find keywords is a Chrome Extension called Keywords Everywhere. With Keywords Everywhere, you’ll have access to basic metrics like how often a phrase is searched online every month and a ‘competitive score’. The cool thing about Keywords Everywhere is you get the data in real-time. Just check out this quick Google search:
With Keywords Everywhere I get the following:
- Data for the typed keyword
- Related keywords
- Phrases people also search for
You can scrape the data from several unique sources too: search engines, YouTube, Amazon, Google Search Console… the list goes on.
Once you’ve got this basic data, you can look into what website content you want to create to bring people to your website where they can join your email list and eventually buy your books.
Keywords Everywhere is cost-effective too (which is rare with most SEO tools). There’s a prepaid system so you buy credits and pay nothing until you need to top-up again. For $10 you can buy 100,000 keyword credits.
Draft2Digital: Best For Cross-Platform Selling
For selling books, Amazon is the site where you’ll likely see the most success as a self-publisher. But that isn’t to say Amazon is the only store you can have success with.
A magnificent tool to get your book published in a range of places is Draft2Digital. With Draft2Digital, you can publish to your choice of these platforms in a few clicks!
- Apple Books
- Barnes & Noble
- Baker & Taylor
And the best part is you can choose which stores you publish with through Draft2Digital and with which ones you work with directly. So, for example, if you want to publish directly to Amazon but use D2D for everything else, that’s perfectly fine.
Using Draft2Digital is a great way to get your books out on smaller platforms without having to spend hours creating profiles and making sure payment details are updated and you’re on top of your account. Draft2Digital is free to use upfront. The platform takes 10% of your commission and you get to keep the rest. This is a great pricing structure if you’re starting out.
Draft2Digital also has a great feature that formats your Word Documents into eReader files or PDFs automatically. This is a great hack as you can convert your manuscript into an ePub file, download that file, and upload it straight to Amazon. Pretty cool!
Help a Reporter Out (HARO): Best For Free Press
Once you’ve got your book out in the public, maintaining attention can be hard. One tool you can use to get some great media attention is called Help a Reporter Out, or HARO for short.
Basically, HARO is a middleman between media publications and sources. And when I say media publications, I mean there are some heavy hitters that use HARO every day to get sources.
The way it works is sources (like you) sign up for their email list. There are over 800,000 sources on HARO that cover a wide range of topics specialty-wise.
Media publications write-in requests for comments, and quotes for sources for articles they’re currently writing. Sources range from academic experts to store owners and other authors.
Once you’re signed up, you’ll get three emails (5:35 a.m., 12:35 p.m. and 5:35 p.m. ET), Monday through Friday. Each email has a range of requests from a range of publications. If there’s a request you feel you’re a good fit for, you can email the masked email address listed in the source request.
Include answers to the journalist’s questions, any stipulated requirements, and a bio with your information. If the journalist is interested, they’ll reach out to get more information, or use your quote in their story!
HARO is completely free to use and only takes about 10 minutes every day to look through the emails and reply to any pitches (most days it’ll be considerably less).
These six tools are great for anyone looking to sell more books. I’d suggest trying out a few of them and seeing what works for you. Some tools, like the book description generator, will be easy to implement into your publishing routine, whereas others like HARO will require a bit more effort in the long-term. Either way, try new things and see what works for your books.
~David Chesson, Kindle Marketing Jedi, Kindlepreneur.com
Photo by Barn Images on Unsplash