When it comes to selling your book the bottom line is – well, the bottom line. Let’s face it—the more book sales the better. So how do you get your self-published book into the hands of as many readers as possible? There are some elements of your book sales strategy that can make a big difference when it comes to how well your book sells, and the biggest of those is your book metadata.
A crucial element of your book marketing strategy needs to be making your book easy to discover online. You make this happen with good book metadata descriptions. You don’t have to include all of the following elements, but consider incorporating those that are applicable to your book and your potential audience, because these are the metadata components that impact book sales most.
Book Genres, Topics, and Themes
Use titles and subtitles that help describe what your book is about. Make sure your metadata corresponds with the appropriate topics and themes of your book.
Important People and Brands
This includes popular historical characters who are gaining or regaining notoriety, however, they must be directly-related to your book in order for you to include them. For instance, it’s probably no coincidence that an updated biography of the poet Robert Lowell appeared on the market simultaneously with one of his fellow poets and love interests Elizabeth Bishop. If the subject matter of your book relates to well-known people or institutions, use that in your metadata.
Locations and Time Periods
Think about where and when your story is being told. If your book is set against the back drop of the civil rights era, you can improve online discovery of your book by referencing Martin Luther King or the ’60s. Include historical events, times, and settings in your metadata description.
Special Features and Selling Points Specific to an Edition or Format
A new foreword in your book—perhaps by a currently notable professional—can have an impact on book sales. You might also consider including selling points such as color illustrations, exclusive book cover design, and/or a unique binding. Remember to include these special features in your book metadata.
Contributors’ Other Titles and Awards
Any contributor to your book brings their own marketing success to yours. Your book sales can be boosted by a foreword or even a blurb written by an award-winning or currently-popular author. Conversely, a contributor whose own work is completely unrelated to yours might not have the positive impact you were hoping for.
Audience or Age-Appropriateness
Naturally your book sales will be affected by whether your marketing reaches the right audience. Including or withholding age or grade-level recommendations in your book metadata will have an effect on how well your book reaches its intended audience. Recommendations and/or blurbs from comparable authors can increase your sales. Consider your intended audience’s behaviors, consumer habits, demography, and desires when writing your metadata descriptions.
Adjacent People, Organizations, and Experience
Your metadata might help boost your book’s online discovery if you include personal and professional connections. Your associations with particular organizations—academic and otherwise—are also components that affect book sales. Consider your relationships, affiliations, experiences, and background. Neuroscientist Lisa Genova became a bestselling author after writing a novel based on a character suffering from a neurological condition. Her professional experience in the field had a positive impact on book sales as her noted affiliations naturally attracted readers within the brain-science community.
If your book becomes highly acclaimed, especially well-received, or even granted an award after publication, add this to your metadata after publication. The phrase “New York Times Bestseller” can add exponential success to your book sales by attracting readers who regularly search for the list online.
There are myriad factors that impact the sales of any particular book, and if you are self-publishing your book you deserve all the help you can get. Perhaps you’re not writing a book yourself but rather assisting someone else with the publication of theirs. IngramSpark offers tools of the trade and resources like the tips listed here that can help you create a winning book marketing strategy.