I’ve read this advice, for new authors, on how to improve book sales: Get good reviews. For Amazon sales, at least, beware of this over simplistic idea.
Why do many readers purchase a particular book? Consider the following:
- Many book readers could become interested in it
- Those readers are often reminded of the book
- Benefits of reading it are clear and convincing
- Readers find if easy to purchase
With all four of the above, your book will sell well. If the potential audience is in the millions, it will sell at least in the hundreds of thousands. But beware of the following simplistic Amazon-review dream: A few good reviews will generate more sales which will cause more good reviews which will generate more sales, until hundreds of thousands are sold on Amazon. I suggest that rarely happens, if ever.
An associate of mine published a short book two months ago. The audience is small but the book was apparently well prepared and loved by those who read it; the illustrations were highly praised. It sold well for the first few weeks. It now has twenty Amazon reviews, each of them giving five-stars. Yet the Amazon Best Sellers Rank is now at #327,966. I suspect that the bulls-eye of the target audience mostly already owns copies of the book and that most of the secondary target has no idea the book exists.
The point? Those twenty 5-star Amazon reviews will not likely sell many more books in the next few weeks, unless other marketing avenues are used to bring the book to the attention of the secondary audience.
We need to concentrate on the four basics of successful book sales and beware of simplistic ideas about quick results.
Whether it’s by a medic or chaplain or regular soldier, a wounded comrade is carried in somebody’s arms. The word “literally” can distract from that simple act, tempting the reader to wonder, for a moment, how a wounded soldier could be non-literally carried. I know this is trivial in itself, but it gives us a clue that the writer is probably not professional, and imperfections can add up over the course of 200 pages.