Do you have an older book that never sold very well? Or maybe it did well when it was first released but is now not selling well? Here are 8 tips for reviving those backlisted titles.
1. Revise the Cover
Is the cover appropriate for the genre? Maybe it was effective at the time the book was released, but audience preferences have changed and perhaps the cover needs a different look. Or maybe the cover is still pretty great but has been used for so long that it needs a refresh. A new cover gives your old book new life.
2. Change the Title
A new title also makes a backlisted book feel new again to readers, and you may be able to find a title that better resonates with your audience.
3. Rewrite the Book Description
This is an easy change to make, and you can track which description works best. You can even ask your readers which description would make them more likely to pick up the book.
4. Play with the Price
Different audiences buy books at different price points, so changing the price can attract a new audience. This means experimenting with both lowering the price ($0.99 is a popular price point for ebooks) and raising the price ($4.99 or $5.99 is a popular price point for ebooks).
If you are currently selling your book at a strange price, like $2.45, you’ll want to change it to a more standard pricing ($0.99, $1.99, $2.99, and so on). Strange pricing could possibly make your book look unprofessional and hint at a lower-quality. But you should always experiment!
5. Create a Box Set
If the backlist title is part of a series, package all the books in that series into a box set and promote it as a new book launch. If the book isn’t part of a series, package it with a few of your other books to create a “starter box set” of your books.
6. Rewrite the Book (a Little Bit)
Chances are, you’ve gained a lot of experience since you originally wrote this older book. To revive this backlisted title, read through it and make revisions to show instead of tell, remove unneeded dialogue tags, tighten sentence structure, fix typos, and improve the plot. If the book is a standalone, rewrite small parts to bring it into the same universe as one of your other books: having crossover characters between books is a great way to offer readers a complete story while still enticing them to buy another book because they already love the characters.
7. Write a Prequel
Writing a prequel, which you can then offer for free, is another way to generate interest in a backlisted title. Offering a book for free is always a great way to jumpstart sales for the next book in the series because readers know they like the characters and want to know more of their stories.
8. Run a Retailer Promotion
One sure way to revive a backlisted title is to submit it for a retailer promotion on a site like Book Cave. With a retailer promotion, you temporarily discount your book on retailers and we let our subscribers know about your deal. By letting readers try your book at a lower price, or free, your book will rise in the rankings on retailers, thus becoming more visible to organic searches, and readers who love the book will recommend it to others, resulting in more sales. Those readers may also leave great reviews on your book and go on to read your other books.