Do you have a book that isn’t selling well or perhaps not at all? Do you have a book was written years ago and needs updating and a fresh look? It could be the time a book rescue!

Sometimes it is just one small tweak that is needed to get book sales going; sometimes a book needs to be updated or given a fresh look and other times it is more complex. In any case, below are some simple strategies many of which you can implement right away and for little or no money. Be sure to change only one thing at a time so you know what may or may not be working. And give each change a couple weeks to see what happens before changing something else

Change keywords

Keywords— which are words or short phrases that people might use to search for a book like yours help your book to be found on Amazon. You are allowed seven keywords for Amazon. So double check your KDP dashboard and make sure that you have seen and that they are relevant. Also, make sure that there is not too much competition for the keyword. To see how many titles are in any given keyword to
Amazon, select either the Books or Kindle categories and then insert your keyword in the search bar. Hit enter and you will see the approximate number of tiles for that keyword. Keep in mind large numbers mean there will be a lot of competition and small numbers might mean there isn’t a good market for that keyword. We like to see a mixture of numbers from 400 to 20,000.

Change categories /add categories

There are over 36,000 categories on Amazon. As with the keywords, if there is a lot of competition for titles in a given category then it will be harder to rank, and your book is found. To drill down on categories, go to Amazon, select the Book department and type “best sellers” into the search box, hit enter. You will see categories on the left side of the page. Select a category to see more sub-categories. Note that you can request up to three categories for your Kindle or paperback book by sending Amazon a request for specific category additions to your book. Be sure to indicate the category path. Here are examples of two category paths, one for Kindle and one for the paperback.

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Mystery & Suspense > Suspense
Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Suspense

Change the pricing

Experiment with lowering the price and sales may increase. You can also experiment with increasing the price which sometimes improves sales. See what your competition is doing and price your book accordingly. You can change the price of your book pretty easily at KDP if you have an account there. Changes show within 24 hours.

Rewrite the description

We tend to get myopic about book descriptions. These are very important to the sale of the book. If you are not a professional copywriter, it is best to hire one to rewrite the book description. At the very least have someone with some marketing and sales experience help you rewrite it. Look at the descriptions of best-selling books and see how they are written and what they contain. Also, read over the five-star reviews for those best-selling books. Are there any words or themes that keep repeating which you can use in your description?

Change the title and subtitle

Sometimes a book is well written, but the title and subtitle don’t communicate what the book is about to the intended audience. Some books don’t even have a sub-title – a big mistake as the subtitle helps to describe the book, get a potential reader interested, ideally the subtitle also contains keywords that help the book to be found which is very important on Amazon.

Change the cover design

Next to your title the single most important factor in a reader considering your book is your cover image. This needs to be dynamic, communicate the essence of your book, and capture a reader’s interest right away. Anything less than a professional design is simply not going to cut it here. So, if you have created your own cover, used some software, or hired someone on a bargain website, then it might be time to redo the cover. Even if your cover is professionally done it is really important it works with the title and subtitle. For both title changes and cover changes, we highly recommend that you test the new changes with your intended audience for feedback before relaunching your book.

Here are some before and after examples from our book rescue services:

Author's Bio: 

Howard VanEs is President of Let’s Write Books, Inc. a company specializing in providing self- publishing services to indie authors including editing, book design, book rescue, and book marketing services. Howard has written twenty-five books of his own, many of which have been number one in their respective categories on Amazon.