The Psychology Behind eBook Sales: Three Tips for Every Author

by Allison Horton on

E.E. cummings famously razzed salesmen in a poem, but that kind of attitude is a dangerous prejudice for eBook creators today. Writing is usually the prelude to selling your books. And some of the best sales experts to learn from are car dealers — which I'm sure would have E.E. spinning like a Nascar tire in his grave. All joking aside, these are pros who know how to get the job done. In his eBook They Saw You Coming: Psychological Techniques Dealers Use to Get You to Buy, Michael A. Britt prepares shoppers for the sales tactics they'll endure so they can make wise, reasonable purchases. But you can also reverse engineer Michael's insight to learn how to sell better.

Michael tells Vook that "while there were several financial advice books for buying a car, no one had gone into details about the subtle psychological tricks." Michael breaks down the psychology behind car sales in this eBook and tells us how to apply them to all buying situations. We've chosen three great, non-sneaky strategies to boost eBook sales:

Reciprocity: "When you’re given something, you feel powerfully compelled to give something back."

Now, there's no need to imitate a car salesman (literally—you're not going to throw in a pair of free mud flaps), but there is no harm in giving potential customers free writing advice or a short story in your newsletters. Why not make your fans feel special?

Social proof: "Your brain is naturally attracted to things that other people like."

Michael cites an example relevant to eBooks: Amazon reviews. If a potential customer is surfing Amazon and finds your eBook, he will likely check the reviews. Two to three stars will probably turn him off. All five stars can raise suspicion into the legitimacy of those reviews. But a mix of four to five stars is gold; that's when shoppers start reading the reviews. This brings us to our last point:

Liking: "We like to buy things from people we like and we like to buy things that people we like also bought."

So first, make your audience like you by being like them. Present yourself and speak to your audience in ways that they'll respond to. Second, build a social media presence because this is where friends will like, share, and retweet your content that their friends have liked, shared, and tweeted.

By the way, Michael Britt published this eBook based on his popular podcast of the same subject, with 24,000 downloads in a month! Have some words of wisdom to share? Learn more about Vook's eBook creation services by visiting

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