At the recent ‘Tools of Change’ publishing conference in New York, Goodreads CEO Otis Chandler revealed a remarkably simple, effortless way for authors to sell more eBooks on Amazon… or in fact anywhere eBooks are sold online.
In a survey of Goodreads’ 15 million strong membership, he found that the main driver of eBook purchases was, unsurprisingly, ‘referral by a friend’. But when a follow-up question was put to readers, another powerful sales strategy for authors emerged.
They were asked: “What do you want to do when you get to the end of a book?”
The telling response was this: 83% wanted to see what else the author had written.
Here’s the actual slide from Otis Chandler’s ‘Tools Of Change’ presentation:
(The entire slideshow is included at the end of this post)
How Can Authors Take Advantage Of This ‘Show Me More’ Moment?
If most readers finish books and immediately want to know what else the author has written, then why not give them exactly what they want.
By including a highly visible link to your next eBook right there at the end of your first eBook, you can take advantage of this ‘show me more’ opportunity, and make instant sales. If they click on the link, it takes them straight over to Amazon, where they can buy your next eBook straight away.
Think about it. There’s no question that a reader will be most susceptible to buying your next book immediately after finishing your first one. Having enjoyed a fully immersive story experience for several hours, there’s no better time to pitch your next story.
This may seem blindingly obvious, but the reality is that most authors aren’t doing this yet. With an easy link path to follow, and an attractive blurb and cover image right there too, a significant number of readers will click on the link and go across to Amazon to check out your other books. And if you have a series, this linking strategy might even mean they buy the whole series in one hit.
How To Include A Link To Your Next eBook
On the first blank page at the end of your eBook, put a highly visible link to the webpage where they can buy your next book (or books). e.g. link to each book’s Amazon page. You’ll also want to include a decent sized picture of the book cover in each case, as this will act as a highly persuasive promotional billboard.
In addition to this, add an intriguing book blurb with a few descriptive paragraphs about the story, settings, characters and theme.
A blurb gives a sense of the entire story. Essentially it is a brief, carefully crafted tease for your next book that poses the big question: What will happen next…? The reader already knows how well you write, because they’ve just read your book. So it isn’t crucial to give them more ‘writing’. But if you do want to include some chapters, then be sure the free sample ends at a cliffhanger point.
Note: Using the Kindle to link to your Amazon books is just that – a Kindle tactic. (Apple, for example, don’t allow links across to Amazon in their iBooks.)
Make Sure Your Amazon Pages Do Their Job Too
This ‘hot to buy’ moment at the conclusion of an eBook is another reason it’s crucial to have both your individual Amazon book pages and your main Amazon Author Page up to date and working hard for you.
Readers look at these pages when making decisions, so fill out all the sections on these pages properly.
Make sure your books are in the right categories with relevant tags, put relevant information about yourself on your Author Page, and include fascinating ‘teaser’ blurbs for your books on their respective pages.
Here’s The Whole Reader Survey:
If you’re interested, here’s the whole set of slides from the Goodreads survey.
What’s Going On With Readers Today
Goodreads.com survey slides from the ‘Tools of Change’ publishing conference
This is a highly interesting and informative survey, so do have a flick through the slides above and see what readers are saying.
UPDATE March 31st 2013: Goodreads has been bought by Amazon.
What this means for authors:
Are you planning to put links in your eBooks? Or have you already? Which eReader do you like to use? Please do leave a comment.
Article written by Jonathan Gunson
Author / CEO Bestseller Labs
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