You’ve written your book and picked out what you think are the perfect elements to help it sell: an engaging title, a nice cover, and a description using properly researched keywords. But why isn’t it selling?
Although you might have these great elements, the problem might lie in how they work together to appeal to your ideal reader. Thinking of these as separate elements may make your overall appeal feel disjointed. And this disjointed process has a higher chance of failure.
The idea behind the Symbiotic Book Package is that each aspect of your work has been tailored for a specific market, and it reaffirms to that market that this is the perfect book out there for them.The Symbiotic Book Package helps tailor your book for a specific market looking for your contentClick To Tweet
Let’s break it down a bit more.
STEP 1: DO YOUR MARKET RESEARCH AND KNOWING WHO YOUR READERS ARE AND EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT
If you know who your market is, you can create a title that fits that market, a cover that gets their attention, and a book description that convinces them this is the book they are looking for. Doing the proper market research will help your book truly resonate with readers.
STEP 2: DESIGNING THE BOOK WITH READERS IN MIND AND THEIR NEEDS, SPECIFICALLY
Usually, when doing market research, authors are only looking for keywords to put in when they publish. They may look for a design for the cover that looks polished and professional. When coming up with a title, authors look for something witty and representative of the story or subject matter. When coming up with the description, authors put together something that tells the story.
These elements may all be great by themselves, but don’t symbiotically or cohesively work together. And, more importantly, they weren’t tailored to appeal to your ideal reader.
Putting together a symbiotic book package will help sell your book better and more consistently.
Let’s look at some examples of what doesn’t work and see how we can apply the method for creating a Symbiotic Book Package to help them sell better. (Examples are true, but some information is altered to keep their market research ambiguous.)
EXAMPLE 1 – Non-Fiction
- Title: How to Go Back to School: Simple Guide to Getting Back and Getting Your Education
- Cover: Stock image of a pretty, smiling girl holding books. Well designed, with good font and good color.
- Book description: Talks about getting your education, going back to school, and even lists the benefits of going to school.
- Keywords: Things about going back to school, GED, college degree, retired people going back to school. Thanks to Publisher Rocket, we know each one of these keywords has decent traffic, plus competition was pretty low, too.
WHAT’S NOT WORKING
The author didn’t have a particular market in mind. He didn’t talk about what kind of school, education, demographic, etc., the book refers to. It takes a shotgun approach: trying to please everyone, but pleasing no one in the end. Looking at the poor sales of the book, the market was confused.
- The cover denotes the book is for the younger generation, but it doesn’t specify what this person is going back to school for. GED? College? A certification?
- The title is very broad, as well, and doesn’t tell readers who this book is for. What kind of education is the reader looking for? There are different reasons and benefits for someone to go back to school for their GED or college degree.
- The book description doesn’t help either. In listing the benefits, some appealed to one market, while others appealed to another, but never committed one particular idea, goal, benefit or pain point.
HOW CREATING A SYMBIOTIC BOOK PACKAGE CAN HELP
Imagine if the author had decided that this book was for someone who is retired and has decided to pursue their degree. Since they’re retired, their reasons are more for pride or accomplishment, and to do something with their time. This demographic probably wants to do this online and doesn’t have interest in living in a dorm.
Just by analyzing that one market, we can create something that speaks to that reader and meets their needs:
- The cover could be a picture of someone from an older generation, very proud, with their books and maybe a college banner in the background or wearing a college sweater.
- The title and subtitles would denote this would be for an older retiree looking to go to back to school for college without disrupting their life or be around college kids. This should be a title that speaks to their need to accomplish these goals. An example of a more fitting title and subtitle would be “It’s Never Too Late to Get Your College Degree: Enjoy The Retired Lifestyle While Getting Your Degree and Achieving Your Lifelong Dreams.”
- The description would speak more to the benefits and goals a retired person would have getting their degree.
EXAMPLE 2 – Fiction
The book is a romance novel about a woman in the 1850s whose husband left her and she was tasked with raising the kids herself, and she finds a man who falls in love with her.
- Title: The title is ambiguous, but in fiction that’s not a problem. But she would need the rest of the cover to convey the subject of the book.
- Cover: A picture of a woman with her children. She’s looking off into the distance.
- Description: The description is well written with a great hook (which we’ll talk about more in next week’s episode) and it creates a good narrative.
- Keywords: The author used KDP Rocket to find keywords like Victorian Era, Second-Chance Love, and Abandonment..
WHAT’S NOT WORKING
- The book cover doesn’t convey what the market wants and doesn’t tell the reader anything about the story.
- The book description is not specific about the plights of this woman in her society, trying to raise children on her own, while also pursuing love.
HOW CREATING A SYMBIOTIC BOOK PACKAGE CAN HELP
Looking at the keywords can help tailor the book to appeal to readers interested in a specific type of romance novel.
- Using the keywords the author knows people are searching for, she (or a cover designer) can create a cover that speaks to those keywords more.
- If we take the phrase “Victorian Era second-chance love” and apply it to the cover, it might be something like a woman and her children, dressed in Victorian-style clothes, under the oppressive gaze of society, while she looks, with hope, at a mysterious man.
- The title, as mentioned above, is fine. But, a subtitle suggestion could be something like “A Victorian Novel About Second-Chances.” That’s not trying to use keywords to be slimy about selling the book, but it’s more to convey exactly what the book is about.
- Presenting some tension in the description would help grab the reader’s attention and, hopefully, entice them to buy the book. If we don’t know who our market is we’re writing for, we will miss the right points to bring out in the description.
THE MAIN LESSON FROM THIS EPISODE
Once you know your keywords, you won’t have to guess about who is searching for these types of books. You can tailor your title, cover and description to meet the needs of readers looking for them. Having these elements all tie in together will help your book reach its target audience successfully because you are creating the book with them in mind.