So I’ve recently been obsessed with podcasts. I’ve listened to ten over the past three day. Instead of radio, I turn on the podcast player on my phone while I’m driving. Great multi-tasking, right? Of course!
What does this have to do with writing? Well, I’ve listened to four episodes of The Self-Publishing Podcast. And my favorite, so far, is #176 Optimizing Your Amazon Sales Page for Conversion with Bryan Cohen
Mr. Cohen goes over book descriptions and the every changing Amazon Algorithm. He goes into the importance of a good book description and even the elements that pull people in. Below is a direct excerpt from Sterling and Stone’s website:
The anatomy of a great book description. Answer a simple question: “Why should I care?”
- The challenge of Amazon’s experimentation, and how a description that slowly warms up can keep people from clicking.
- A lot of authors rush their description to get their book published as soon as possible. Don’t be that guy that promises to come back and make it better, because you probably won’t.
- Don’t eschew great copywriting. A description isn’t art. It’s a selling tool for the art you created.
- Planning a great tagline should be like planning a great Tweet. If you can’t describe your story hook in 140 characters or less, you need to go back to the drawing board.
- Not sure how to handle Amazon’s ‘Look Inside?’ Here’s what you do. Ever wonder if people actually download samples? Find out what will kill your chances of getting a sale based on what your first pages actually say.
- Find out what common authors’ ‘blind spots’ are, so YOU don’t make the same mistakes.
- Does BookBub care about blog, podcast, and GoodReads reviews? Why you need great social proof.
- Flustered by book SEO and keywords used by the masters? Consider a Q and A ‘plant.’
- Should you use fancy fone, line breaks, and all cap intros to grab attention in your description? Hint: WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT ME?
- Why you can’t set and forget with Amazon, and why diversity is a GOOD thing, along with testing strategies to maximize sales.
After listening to this, I decided to do an experiment and make my own changes. Here’s a screenshot of what my Amazon page for Beasts and Savages looked like before:
Obviously, this is for my paperback, but my kindle is linked. And this is on mobile, so not much is there… Overall, I didn’t think my book description was terrible, but maybe not the best, either. Here’s the full “old” description:
Lea Corre was taught to value community, family, and The Hunt. Her blood stems from a long line of proud hunters. When Lea prepares for her own hunt, she questions the brutality and morality of the deadly custom. As Lea uncovers dark secrets and delves into her mother’s broken past, she determines she will make her own fate. Along the way she encounters Tanner, her intended prey. His village decides to take a stand against the tyranny of women. When Lea’s prey becomes her captor, she learns more about their lives, the world, and herself. In the end, Lea must choose between two worlds, in which neither she belongs.
So, what does my book page look like now?
Yes, I yelled. But sometimes I like yelling. I come from a loud family. Other than that, I took the advice of Bryan Cohen and added a tagline and call to action.
Also, I added things to my forum. I’d like to get some Q and A things going there, so please drop me a line at Beasts and Savages forum I already have a discussion going about common tropes, and would like to hear your input.
I’m not sure if this will help boost book sales, but it can’t hurt, right? Let me know what you think, and please share any experinces you have with us.