One of the things I REALLY love about self-publishing is that it gives you the speed, flexibility, and freedom to try bold experiments and turn on a dime to respond to how your book is performing. I’m a huge advocate of trying new ideas and using each book launch as an opportunity to experiment and test different theories. So I’m putting my own words into action this week, with a wild and crazy experiment: I’ve changed the title and subtitle of my newest book MID-LAUNCH!
Here’s a little more info about why I’m trying this experiment, and be sure to come back when I share the results in the next few weeks!
The right title can make or break your book
Ever since I settled on the original title for my latest book, I had a niggling feeling in the back in my mind that maybe some of my word choices for the title and subtitle may not click with some of my target audience. Your choice of title and subtitle, especially for non-fiction, is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL. A bad or confusing title can cause you to miss out on a lot of sales. I suspect that’s happening with this latest book launch, so I’m trying something bold.
I decided to let the original title stick for a bit to see if it’d gain traction. I don’t think it is…or at least not like I’m expecting it to.
One of the reasons I think my first book in this new series, Write Short Kindle Books, is doing so well is that the title is super clear, very search keyword aligned, and it also offers a slightly different call to action than what you might find from some other similar books on the marketplace. [I’ll also add that it offers a concept that’s pretty appealing to anyone who might be struggling to finish a longer book project. Always try to solve a key problem your audience has!].
Now with Book 2, the original title lead of “Indie Author Success Strategies” was something I was wondering about. Not everyone in the self-publishing space identifies as being an “indie,” and there are other folks who don’t quite “get” what I mean by “indie” at a quick glance. The messaging is a bit less clear than it could be. And it’s definitely not as keyword targeted as it should be, either.
You want readers to go BAM! I KNOW WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT AND WHY I NEED TO BUY IT right from the get go. You want a title that grabs them right away and inspires them to click the buy button — or at least spend a few more seconds learning about what your book is about.
If they’re left going “hmmm” and scratching their head about whether your book looks right for them, chances are that they’ll pass it up for another book that resonates with them with greater force.
My sales of the new book haven’t been awful — I’m still ranking in the bestseller charts — but it’s not doing as well as I feel it should. And maybe it never will. I’m OK with that, if that’s how it all spins out. I’m already hard at work at the next few books in the series. But you can bet your biscuits I’m going to do my best to steer the ship around while I still have time to do so (I’m only a week into my launch cycle).
That’s why today I’ve switched the main title to Self-Publishing Success Strategies. More people are searching for “Self-publishing” on Amazon and Google than “indie author” — and I’ve already got that term covered in the series title “Indie Author Success Series” which appears in the book’s title listing on Kindle anyway. Makes more sense to get more search bang for the buck there by not doubling up.
Subtitles are just as (if not more) important
My new title isn’t the only major change. I’ve revamped by subtitle too, which is something else I was a bit worried about and spent lots of time agonizing over when working to come up with the original version.
You see, successful self-publishing is very much a business venture. Writing and being creative is only a small part of the equation. You have to be strategic in your approach to every aspect of your book’s design, and you have to be prepared to market it to your readers. You can’t just sling whatever you want into the world, untested, and expect it to stick.
But a LOT of self-published authors just want to be writers, and terms like “business” and “marketing” have a much more negative tone to some writers than others. Me? I get it. My audience? I can’t assume anything. I’m not dissing anyone — to each their own — but that definitely gave me a bit of pause over using “book business” in the subtitle. Again, I figured I’d give it a shot first to see how it did.
So a lot of writers balk at the idea of self-publishing being a business, but who isn’t interested in selling more books and growing their audience? Right? It’s all about the right words and the right delivery.
I’m not changing the core content of my book — that’s packed with tips and value for ANY author, but in changing the subtitle I’m appealing more to my specific target audience and offering better clarification about the benefits people can get from the content inside.
So I swapped it out for the longer (and more keyword optimized): 19 Tips To Sell More Books and Grow Your Audience. That is indeed a big part of what the book is all about, so it only makes sense to not leave people guessing what “boost your book business” really means.
I also updated my book description to make the bold orange headline a bit grabbier.
All of this, of course, is a big experiment. I suspect it’ll have a positive impact on the book’s sales, but maybe it won’t! That’s the fun of it. I was only selling about 1-3 copies a day (past the initial launch day burst), so it’s not like making these changes will have a huge negative impact when it’s already selling minimally compared to where it could be.
Like with my previous experiments, I plan to track the data and report back with how this affects everything! If you want to pick up a copy, or leave a review if you’ve already read the book and enjoyed it, that’d be much appreciated!
Check out the latest book in my new self-publishing series! Self-Publishing Success Strategies: 19 Tips to Sell More Books and Grow Your Audience
[Kindle Edition Only $0.99]
BOOST Kindle book sales, EARN MORE from your books, get more reader REVIEWS, and ATTRACT engaged readers
Does it feel like you’re pouring your time, energy, and passion into your books, only to spin your tires with mediocre sales and minimal reader reviews? Don’t give up!
Building on the self-publishing manifesto laid down in Write Short Kindle Books, this second book in the Indie Author Success Series delivers 19 core success strategies (and 70+ action tips) that will help you re-think your approach, write better (and better targeted) books, get more reviews, avoid wasting your time and money, build and expand your platform, and empower you to push upwards to achieve your goals of becoming a bestselling author.