Don't make these ebook marketing errors

by Allison Horton on

We've built so many ebooks that we've seen almost every kind of error in the format. We're working on a guide that will give you more insight into how you can avoid these errors in your titles, whether you're building them yourself or someone else is building them for you. For now, here's a sneak peek at common errors made in the marketing information associated with your ebook.

Error: Ignoring metadata
An error you definitely want to avoid is not understanding the impact of your metadata; it’s not a simple form to quickly fill out upon completion of your ebook. Here are some metadata terms you'll come across:

  • Audience: Classify your readership to help categorize your title in the various marketplaces. Trade (TRA) is the most general category but the more specific, the better.
  • BISAC subject: BISAC is a system of letter and number codes that further describe the subject of the eBook. It begins with a major heading (eg. “fiction”) and then specific headings within that category (eg. “fantasy”). When properly selected, a BISAC helps ensure that shoppers can quickly find your title. Learn more about BISAC subjects here.
  • Keywords: Tag your eBook with keywords to increase search visibility and drive traffic to your eBook in the marketplaces. Try to imagine what your target audience would google to find a book like your ebook. Retailers allow up to 100 characters.
  • International availability: If you have rights to publish all of the content contained in your eBook for international countries, consider doing so to increase sales.
  • Marketing description: Read more about descriptions below.

Error: Boring book description
The biggest marketing error: providing a poor, unengaging book description. Expect to put a lot of time into it. It is your opportunity to grab your audience’s attention with an engaging description that reflects the content, genre, and your writing style. They can be a few sentences or a couple paragraphs as long as it doesn’t give away the entire book. You want to keep the audience wanting more. Hugh Howey, a best-selling, self-published Amazon, provided the below description for his ebook series, Wool:

“This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.”

It leaves readers wanting more by not burdening them with a long description. Book descriptions are also a great place to add one or two brief quotes from positive reviews.

Error: Making it difficult to find your ebook
Make sure it is easy for customers to know exactly where they can purchase your ebooks. Include links to all of the vendors for each ebook on your website, in your newsletters, and any other content published online (columns, guest blogs, etc).


Error: Complicated review copies
If you are sending free review copies to the press or blogs for review, make sure it is extremely easy for them to access the ebook using either a direct download link or a free promo code with extremely clear instructions as to how to download the ebook.

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