Want to know how to sell a million eBooks? Learn from a self-publishing pro…
Like many authors, Rachel wrote a great book, sent it off to literary agents and was disheartened by the rejections she received. However, having invested so much time crafting her book, she did not want it to lay forgotten on her computer – she wanted to get it out to the world! She is part of a growing band of super successful self-published authors who have not let a few knock-backs stop over a million people from discovering, buying and loving their work. She has now published three novels, each of which has been an Amazon no.1 bestseller and remains in the top 100 today. Four years after she published her first eBook, she has just sold over a million eBooks and is about to release her forth book.
Her story is wonderfully inspirational for all authors out there, but it took more than just luck to sell a million eBooks…
So, what can you learn from Rachel Abbott? How did she get self-publishing right? How did she sell a million eBooks?
- She wrote a good story, got good books and eBooks produced and she put those into the right distribution channels.
- She wrote in a commercial genre. That is not to say that niche titles can not be profitable, but there are a lot of people out there (all over the world) who enjoy a crime thriller.
- She wrote the kind of blurb that leaves you desperate to know what happened. As a thriller writer, she knows how to create dramatic tension in just a few punchy lines and wastes no times getting you hooked. See the blurb for Only The Innocent here. She also creates very engaging straplines e.g. the strapline for her latest book is “One dark secret. One act of revenge.”, which was more than enough to pique my interest.
- She was able to extend her content in to follow-up novels as soon as the first one did well. She published her first eBook in 2011. Since then she has created another 3 eBooks based around the same detective that appeal to exactly the same readership, capitalising on the success of her first eBook. Each time a new eBook comes out, new readers discover her and when they have finished enjoying her latest book, they want to read her earlier work. This boosts sales of all her titles each time a new one is released.
- She has sharp cover design. Readers know what they are getting. Just a quick look at her covers will tell you what type of book it is, who it would appeal to and what you can expect from it. Not only that but all four of her books have a unifying design theme (one bold bright highlighting colour, a no-nonsense block font, simple image composition, a black border bleeding in to the image, an attention-grabbing strap-line etc.)
- She has a strong brand identity. This is evident not only in her striking cover design, but also on her website and social media and book trailer (also a brilliant promotional tool) – everything looks professional and consistent.
- She has a great author website. It is informative, good-looking, tempts readers with extracts and has buy links to convert that interest into sales. She also offers extra stuff on her website that you can not get anywhere else such as recipes from the meals her characters make.
- She actively promotes herself on social media and is engaging with readers as well as other writers. She blogs most days (including photos of what she is up to), she tweets regularly (loads just this morning alone) and she is also on Facebook, Google+, Linkedin and Pinterest. No doubt this takes up a bit of time every day, but she has built a loyal network of followers and fans so that each time she has a new book to sell she has an established audience to promote to.
- She nailed her Amazon Author Page. Starting with the basics, her author photo looks professional (not an awkward selfie) and her biography is not a dull dry regurgitation of her C.V. it is actually a story in itself – about her retiring and doing up a property in Italy and how she came to start writing. She has also embedded her twitter feeds and added her trailer video to the author page. Finally she has added a link to her website, blog and Facebook to encourage readers to connect with her.
- She has over a thousand reader reviews for each eBook on Amazon. Reader reviews are currency to any author. Peer-to-peer reviews and personal recommendations matter so much more that newspaper reviews these days. Readers want to know what other average readers just like themselves thought of the book, not a professional reviewer that might have very different taste to themselves. Once you get a large number of reader reviews, Amazon take notice and become interested in promoting the title. If you scroll back through the 140+ pages of reviews, you will see that right from the start, when the eBook was first published, she had a regular stream of people leaving reviews. Read more about the importance of Amazon reader reviews here.
I hope you can learn something from this self-publishing star – how to self-publish properly and how to sell a million eBooks. Rachel Abbot is a really encouraging and inspiration speaker. If you get a chance to see her at an author event or publishing workshop, then you really should go (I saw her this year at London Book Fair, IndieReCon and the Writers & Artists self-publishing conference).
If you want to publish professionally and ensure you have all of the above covered (and more) then our I_AM Professional package is perfect for you.Want to know more about getting self-publishing right? Download our free guide here.