Ask Apple Computers if design sells. Then ask yourself if a well-designed book page wouldn’t do the same.
I can tell you for a fact it does. When I introduced color, headlines, and font styles like bold, italics, underline and strikethroughs to my book pages, my sales rose by 20%. Immediately.
Sell Your Books Online
A book description like this telegraphs three powerful, subconscious ideas:
- This book must be important. You rarely or infrequently see formatted book pages, and they’re almost always best sellers from popular, respected authors. It’s easy to make that premium association to my book.
- There’s a high likelihood of great content. Just like a high-quality cover signals high-quality writing, a well-formatted book page indicates superior value.
- Amazon endorses this book. With those Amazon-orange headlines it looks as if Amazon created the page. And you know, they probably reserve that kind of design for books that deserve attention.
Amazon Doesn’t Want You To Know What I’m About To Tell You
Before you learn how to make your book description pop off the page, you should know something: Amazon doesn’t want you to use HTML code. They won’t stop you from using it, but they won’t help you either. Try searching their help section for “HTML in Book Description.” You’ll have better luck finding Nemo.
You can also try searching forums and blogs that specialize in Kindle publishing and marketing. Let me know how that works out. You won’t see word one on the subject. So the question becomes, if a well-formatted book page helps sell your books online, why doesn’t Amazon promote the use of HTML code?
Two words: Quality control. Even simple HTML coding can go horribly wrong and make the page look like a landfill. If enough authors made those kinds of mistakes they could seriously tarnish Amazon’s brand. By making it impossible for anyone but the most knowledgeable programmers to figure out how to HTML it, Amazon protects the look of their pages.
So, how did I crack the code, given that I only know the most basic HTML? That’s a secret I’ll take to my shallow, unmarked grave.
The good news is that while discovering how to use HTML is very difficult, using it is not. It’s actually quite easy.
Click here for a comprehensive look at Selling Your Books Online.
Still, while you can copy/paste away, you have to check your work arduously because even the tiniest mistake can result in epic ugliness. And because there is no “preview window” to see how it looks before you publish it, you won’t find out about any mistakes for up to 24 hours (Amazon takes its sweet time in processing changes to your book page).
This means you run the risk of having hundreds if not thousands of people looking at a badly mangled book page before you have a chance to fix it. Given these facts, you might want to consider hiring an HTML coder to do it for you. It would take them about half an hour. At $35-$70 an hour (the going rate for decent coders) it might be a worthwhile investment to help sell your ebook online. Authorimprints offers an Amazon book description generator and HTML guide that may also be useful.
I’ll be back next week to highlight Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature in order to get sales.