One way to sell more books is to provide value to your readers. This works because readers will feel you’re not just trying to sell to them but that you’re interested in helping them, and they’ll want to help you in turn by buying your books. In other words, doing something for others results in them wanting to do something for you. And in this case, that something is trying out your awesome books!
So what can you give to your readers? Here are a few ideas.
Your Author Website
Your author website is a way to sell yourself and your books to your readers, yes, but if you approach it with the mindset of giving value to your readers instead of trying to get something from them, you may find yourself writing the content slightly differently.
One way to add value to your readers through your author website is with blog posts. Not only do blog posts give value to your current readers, they attract new readers by appearing in search results. Helpful blog posts are more likely to be found organically, through searching, and then re-shared with other readers.
What makes a blog post helpful? It covers information your readers want to know or that entertains them, it dives deep into the subject, and, where appropriate, it backs up claims with sources.
Of course, your blog posts should usually be related to reading or to the topics covered by your books; you want to attract the right audience—readers who are interested in your genre—to your blog.
Check out this post for author blog ideas.
A Free Book
Give away a free book on your site, or through a site like Book Cave. Choose a book that is well-written and edited—some of your best work. Beyond making your reader feel valued, a free book also gives them a taste of your writing, leaving them eager for more.
Keep in mind that if your book is enrolled in KDP Select, you cannot give it away elsewhere.
You can also collect an email address from your readers in exchange for the free book (we call this a subscriber magnet), although this will lessen the value of a gift since they are, in a sense, paying for it. However, if your book is a full-length novel and well-written, the reader will still feel as if they’ve been given value. And, if you get their email, you can add them to your valuable email newsletter! Which leads us straight to the next idea . . .
Helpful Email Newsletters
Send out regular email newsletters to your subscribers that contain helpful or entertaining information and updates. Very little, if any, of your newsletter should be “selling” your books to readers. Your newsletter may also include a short summary of your blog post that week, with a link to it.
If you have time, a series of YouTube videos can give value to readers in entirely different way, since people interact differently with videos than with written content. YouTube videos can also appear in search results and bring more organic traffic to your website.
An author YouTube channel may be about you as an author (your journey, how you plot out your books, your research process, etc.), or it may be about the characters in your books, or it may be on topics closely related to your books.
How have you provided value to your readers? We’d love to hear in the comments below!