Sell Your Book on Amazon – cover tactic

Previously I discussed some of the cover issues to consider when publishing a book and marketing it on the internet, particularly Amazon.  I encouraged authors to consider altering the cover image they submit to Amazon to utilize a greater percentage of the “space” Amazon allocates for the image.

Let’s look at an actual example, using my book SELL YOUR BOOK ON AMAZON

Most people won’t search for your book by title or by your name. They will search on Amazon for a keyword or phrase that captures their interest. One of the very popular keyword phrases I optimize for is “book marketing.”  When conducting that search on Amazon today, my book appeared number 10 in the listings on the first page, as shown below:

It comes in directly below The Frugal Book Promoter and two places above Jump Start Your Book Sales.  But I’ll bet your eyes naturally gravitated to THOSE two books first, prior to mine in the image above.  Well, that’s not good — at least, not for me.  The white in my cover gets lost within the white of the webpage, while both those covers are bright. In fact, they’re yellow… hmmm, I wonder why that is…

Granted, The Frugal Book Promoter and Jump Start Your Book Sales are both very good online covers because, surprise surprise, they’re about book marketing, too!  The authors are experts in doing exactly what they’re doing for their own books.   My point is, in all likelihood, your book won’t be competing with marketing experts.  If your book is about bank financing, your competition may not be online marketing savvy, but that’s all the MORE reason to take steps to make YOUR book about bank financing outshine the others, right?

But which image does your eye gravitate toward in this next screen shot? It’s the same search for “book marketing” on Amazon. The titles are all in the same order… I’ve simply adjusted the image that comes up for my book cover:

My image is almost twice as big, which makes the title stand out more, and I’ve replaced the white with a bright, obnoxious yellow to attract attention.  I’m not trying to win any design contests here on Amazon — I’m trying to sell books!

This is an Amazon marketing option we’re considering offering to our authors, so we’re in the process of guinea pigging it — yes, I’ve made that an active verb again — with all my books and then keeping an eye on the Amazon Sales Ranking to see if it makes a statistical difference…

There are two problematic elements to this that we’re currently ironing out. The first is that the “larger” image gets degraded a little bit if Amazon adds the “Look Inside” graphic for Search Inside the Book books.  The second is that the Kindle edition graphic, in my opinion, looks too similar to the paperback and hardback editions on Amazon.  Sure, Amazon adds that little “kindle graphic” on the detail page. But I don’t think that’s good enough.  For example, due to the “look inside” graphic outlined above, you will notice on the screen shot below, that the Kindle edition of my book actually looks MORE appealing than the paperback.   There might be some situations where that’s preferable, but this isn’t one of them.

Hint: the first book is the paperback edition and the 3rd book is the Kindle edition.

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