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Today, we’re pleased to have Angela J. Ford sharing the elements of a successful author sales page.
The Elements of a Successful Author Sales Page
by Angela J. Ford
As an author there are two primary reasons for creating a sales page for your book. The first is to sell more books and the second is to build your author platform. As a marketer, the rule of thumb is, it takes people seven times to hear about a product or service before they make a purchase.
This means that if someone goes to your book sales page and signs up for your email list, you have a much higher chance of them making a purchase in the future. Authors are nothing without the readers who keep coming back for more. It can be beautiful to spend months writing and editing a book only for readers to read it in two days and come back demanding more. The best way to keep up with these readers is to have an email list and build a book sales page.
Why should you have a sales page for your book?
Having a sales page allows you be the gatekeeper. When a reader goes to their favorite retailer to buy a book, you have missed the opportunity to add them to your email and get the benefit of communicating directly with them. This is key for when you have a new release, a book goes on sale, you release a book for pre-order, or you have pre-order bonuses.
What should your book sales page look like?
It should be gorgeous. When someone lands on your book sales page they should want to immediately buy the book, which means you already had your designer create an attractive book cover for you. Additionally, it helps to have a background graphic that matches the book, if possible. Ask your cover designer for this, as well as 3D graphics and other variations of your book cover.
On another note, if your book cover is beautiful, but not representative of your genre, you’re already in trouble. There’s nothing like trying to sell a thriller book that looks like a children’s book, or a nonfiction book that looks like fantasy book. This is why it helps to work with a professional who can not only make your book cover beautiful, but make it attractive to readers in your genre. (If you need help with this, check out the top 20 bestsellers in your genre and make note of their book covers).
Without further ado, here are the 10 elements for a book sales page.
Book Cover – Your book cover should appear at the top of the page, above the fold. This gives visitors some eye candy to look at before they scroll down.
Teaser Text – The teaser text is a brief book blurb. Your blurb doesn’t necessarily tell them about the book, but it should give them just enough information to want to learn more or go ahead and purchase. The blurb should be 2-3 sentences. For example, as a fantasy author, the teaser for one of my books is: 5 Warriors. 5 Motives. 1 Impossible Quest. What could go wrong?
Buy/Pre-order Buttons – Your buy buttons should go below your teaser text. This can be a link to purchase on your own website but preferably a link to a reputable retailer like Amazon. The cover, text, and buy button should all appear above the fold so that visitors do not have to scroll down to make a purchase. If you can, use the logos for each retailer, this gives buyers something recognizable on your page and encourages them to complete the purchase.
Reviews and Endorsements – Add reviews and endorsements to remove any hesitation people have for buying your book. Determine what’s most important here, is it book reviews or is it your email opt in? The order of the next few elements is determined by your goals. If list building is more important than sales, keep your email opt-in high on the page. If sales is the main priority, your email opt-in should appear in the middle or end of the sales page.
Book description – Write out the full description of your book– what is it about, how will it help the reader? If you are a nonfiction writer, focus on the benefits and the nuggets of wisdom readers will takeaway from reading your book. If you are a fiction author, focus on the emotional appeal. It helps to end your description with a question, readers will need to read the book to get the answer!
Email List Opt-In: In some cases you’ll have visitors who take a look at your book but aren’t yet convinced to buy the book. To help them come on board, there are a couple of things you can do. You can offer a sample of your book in exchange for an email address, or create a book quiz to tell them more about the book. Depending on the genre of your book, there are other creative incentives to offer your reader to get them to opt into your email list.
About the Author – Include your headshot and a brief bio about you, why you wrote the book and how you inspire readers. This is a great place to include your social media follow buttons and/or a free community potential readers can join.
Social Media Follow Links – Social media plays a huge role in book sales. Allow readers to connect with you by making your social media links easy to find. This also gives you the opportunity to build a more personable relationship with your readers.
Social Media Sharing Links – Allow visitors to easily share your page with their friends on social media. There’s nothing worse than going to a page and not being able to figure out how to share. Make it easy for people to share your hard work!
Final Call to Action – At the end of the sales page, buy buttons should be included along with a final endorsement to encourage visitors to make the purchase.
Pre-order Bonuses and Giveaways (optional) – As an added bonus, you can drive traffic to your book sales page by having a giveaway or pre-order bonuses on your website. Giveaways helps with list building and extra exposure for your book. It’s common to give away a gift card and ask people to follow you on social media or share the giveaway in order to be entered to win. On the other hand – pre-order bonuses provide an incentive for people to buy the book before it comes out.
There you have it: ten elements to encourage people to buy your books or opt in to your email platform.
Need some examples?
Here’s an example of a full scale book sales page.
Here’s an example of a simple book sales page – note this one does not even have an email opt-in because is part of a larger series, and the main goal is sales.
Angela J. Ford is the author of The Four Worlds Series and a Book Launch Strategist. She’s passionate about helping authors and bloggers do more work they love by helping them with book marketing. You’re most likely to find her with her nose in a book and a cup of coffee in hand.
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