5 Simple Actions You Can Take If Your Book Is Not Selling

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5 Simple Actions You Can Take If Your Book Is Not SellingThese 5 simple steps can help boost your book sales

My ebook is not selling on Amazon!

With millions of Kindle ebooks currently available, plus an even larger number of paperback and hardcover books listed on Amazon, it’s no wonder that your book can get lost in the crowd.

Sure, some book promotion can help a little. Writing a blog post and including quotes from people who review your book can help too.

But most book sales are made by book buyers who search Amazon, or other online ebook and book retailers for their next read.

So the key to improving your book and Kindle sales is to make your book not only easier to find but also more tempting to buy.

So let’s get started on how to increase book sales on Amazon by making some simple changes that will improve your chances of gaining book buyers on the Kindle Store.


Step 1. Change your two book categories

On Amazon as well as most other self-publishing sites, you can choose two categories (genres) for your book.

If you are currently listed in very broad top categories, it’s time to hunt for much more narrowly focused niche categories.

Broad categories will have your book lost among thousands of others, so narrowing down will help your book discoverability.

For instance, listing your book under Kindle eBooks > Romance is a surefire way to have your book lost among hundreds of thousands of other Kindle books.

A better listing would be Kindle eBooks > Romance > Inspirational, because it has narrowed down the number of competing titles.

But even better, is to drill down even further, to a listing such as Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Romance. A narrow category will give your book on Amazon a far better chance of being found.

When selecting your two categories, my advice is to drill down as deep as possible and avoid broad header categories at all costs. Look for niche categories that really fit your book.

Related reading: How To Select The Best Amazon Book Categories For Your Book


Step 2. Find and use much better search keywords

When you publish on Amazon, you need to add seven keywords. You can add more on some other publishing sites. Keywords can be a single word or a short phrase. It is always better to select short phrases because they work so much better.

To find suitable keywords and phrases, use the Search Field on Amazon and look at the results in the drop-down list of suggestions.

These suggestions are terms that people have used on Amazon. So by selecting one of these, you can improve your chances of your book being found by search.

However, certain single keywords on Kindle have a surprising use. Amazon lists many keywords that when used with the right category will give your book a third or even fourth category listing.

For instance, if your book is listed under Historical Fiction, by adding the keyword, Medieval, Kindle will give your book an addition category of, Historical Fiction Time Periods/Medieval.

You can find out a lot more about keywords plus more information in this article, How to Use Keywords to Sell More Kindle Ebooks.

Related reading: Amazon KDP Keywords For Kindle Ebooks And Books


Step 3. Ditch the prologue and credits

Book buyers need to be hooked immediately. You need a great book description to help sell your book.

Then you want to get people reading your preview.

Don’t waste the opportunity by boring a potential reader with a preview read full of credits and thank yous to your family and editor. A long prologue or foreword or any other extra text is going to have them clicking Close Preview in a hurry.

If you have some background information to add to your book, move it to the back of the book.

Hook your potential reader and book buyer by letting them get into reading chapter one, and the story, as quick as possible.


Step 4. Change your book cover colour

You might love your book cover, but do potential book buyers? Take a little time to look at books that are selling well in your genre.

Your book cover is your greatest asset to help you promote your book.

How does your cover compare? What colours and fonts are popular in your genre?

If you are not a graphic artist, and you made a homemade cover, do yourself a big favour and get a professional cover.

You buy pre-made covers which are inexpensive. Have you thought about buying two or three with different design or colour variations so you can see which one works best? Do an A, B, C test over a few weeks to see which one works better.

Sometimes something as simple as the overriding colour of a cover can make a huge difference. For instance, if your book is Contemporary Romance, look at the background colours of covers of the most popular titles.

They are mostly pink, blue and pastel. If yours is olive green, it really is time to change your cover, isn’t it?

Again, if you buy a cover, ask the designer if they can make two or three versions for a good price, but with different background colours so you can experiment.

Related reading: Does Your Book Cover Work For You In Thumbnail Size?


Step 5. Rinse and repeat steps 1 & 2

Keep experimenting with categories, but more importantly, with keywords, until you strike success.

If one of your keywords fails to list your book in the top fifty titles for the keyword search, hunt again for a better one.

If a keyword lists your book in the top fifty, keep it.

These five steps can make a big difference to your book sales, so give social media a miss for a few hours, and take some positive actions that will help potential readers find and want to buy your book.

Applying these measures, possibly in combination with online book promotion, can only help more potential book buyers find your book.



As soon as you become a published author, you need to keep working on ways and learning how to increase Kindle ebook sales.

You published a good book, so you want people to read it.

You can try enrolling in KDP Select and leveraging Kindle Unlimited page reads. You could make an edit to your manuscript with a short message at the end to remind readers to leave a review.

If you have a printed book version, you could lower your price to make it more attractive to potential readers.

Good Indie authors keep trying and experimenting.


Further reading: The Four Essential Elements You Need To Sell Books On Amazon


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Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

One thought on “5 Simple Actions You Can Take If Your Book Is Not Selling

  • Good stuff! Simple, to the point, makes total sense. Thanks for this.


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