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

Five Actions To Take If Your Book Is Not Selling

Your book is not selling on Amazon!

There are millions of Kindle ebooks currently available, and thousands more being published every day.

There is an even larger number of paperback and hardcover books listed on Amazon. So it’s no wonder that your book can get lost in the crowd.

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

Where do book sales come from?

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

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. Promoting your books on Amazon is more than using social media.

So let’s start with how to help increase book sales on Amazon.

Try making some simple changes that will improve your chances of gaining book buyers on the Kindle Store.


Step 1. Change your 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.

If you list your book under Kindle eBooks > Romance, it 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.

Try drilling 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.

Avoid broad header categories at all costs. Look for niche categories that really fit 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 to 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.

By selecting them carefully, you can improve the chances of readers finding your book when they search for a new read.

You can never do enough keyword and category research for your book.


Step 3. Ditch the prologue and credits

You need to hook book buyers immediately. Write a great book description to help sell your book.

Then you want to get people to read 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 lengthy 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 buyers by letting them get into reading chapter one and the story as quickly as possible.


Step 4. Change your book cover color

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. Do you need to change your book cover?

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

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

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

You buy pre-made covers that are inexpensive.

Have you thought about buying two or three with different designs or color 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 color of a cover can make a huge difference.

For instance, if your book is Contemporary Romance, look at the background colors of the 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.

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

Another crucial factor is how your book cover will look when it is reduced to a thumbnail image. All online book retailers will use small images of your cover, so it must be eye-catching.


Step 5. Rinse and repeat steps 1 & 2

If your book is not selling, keep experimenting with categories, but more importantly, with keywords, until you strike success.

Check your keywords, and if you find one that fails to get your book in the top fifty titles, hunt again for a better one.

When 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.

An option is to 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 know how it works. When your book is not selling, keep trying and experimenting.


Related reading: What Are The Best Avenues To Use To Sell Your Books Online?

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent writing and blogging, as well as testing and taming new technology.

Avatar for Derek Haines

4 thoughts on “5 Simple Actions You Can Take If Your Book Is Not Selling

  • Avatar for Ashley
    May 10, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    How do I check to see how many copies of my ebook has sold?

    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      May 10, 2021 at 3:55 pm

      Login to your publishing platform. If you are selling ebooks on Amazon, you need to check your KDP account for sales data.

  • Avatar for Immanuel
    July 27, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    Great tips, It’s always great to refresh your knowledge when it comes to publishing on KDP!

  • Avatar for Jeff
    October 4, 2018 at 9:58 pm

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

Comments are closed.