The Best Print to Ebook Layout to Boost Your Sales
I messed up. Big time. I thought that if I made my ebook have a layout exactly like my print book, that would be enough to make my ebook sell well. The truth is, by going from print to ebook, I made the layout identical and that was a mistake. I missed out on making news of the release of my ebook spread like wildfire, and I missed out on making sure I got plenty of good reviews from my ebook sales. If I had just added a few extra components to my ebook layout, I could have made more sales and received more reviews.
Fortunately, I knew my mistakes and I was able to apply the better method of releasing an ebook to my client Liz Adams.
Here are the components you need to have a successful ebook release.
1. Cover Image – The first page should be the cover. Either cut and paste this into the document or in KDP, request that they include the cover on the inside of the document.
2. Back Cover Blurb – For Liz Adams’ book, since it was erotica, we had the first text be a warning that the contents were for 18 years or older. But for all other genres, the first words should be what the story’s about. That way, if the readers have downloaded a free sample, they see what the book’s about and can get a better sense of if they want to read it or not.
This is very similar to how a browsing reader looks at a book in the bookstore. First they might see the title on the spine, then they see the cover, then they look at the back of the book to read what the book’s about. However, don’t just have the story summary, start with the high concept pitch and then go into the back cover blurb. The reason is, with that high concept pitch you can pull the reader in right away with one sentence. You can find out how to write your high concept pitch formula here.
3. Reviews – Nothing says you’re going to love this book more than reviews. Having the reader start off by discovering how great the book is before actually reading is a great way to get the reader excited about the book. It’s also a vital psychological strategy. Think about it. If you read about how awful something is, don’t you look for the bad aspects when you finally see it? The same is true for praise. When you hear how great something is, you’re more likely to look for the things that made others say it was so great.
But that’s not the best part.
The best part is that if you have authors of your genre review your book, you can quote their reviews and include clickable links to their websites. That way, those reviewers are getting free advertising! As a result, they’ll often be willing to spread the word about your book. Instead of promoting to just your friends and family, you can have several authors promote to all their friends and family. Your reach extends to many more readers of your genre!
Only after the cover, blurb, and reviews do you have the title page and copyright info. You could go straight into your story after the copyright info, but I had Liz include one more thing.
4. Note From the Author (optional) – I had Liz include a note from the author for a few reasons. First, I wanted the readers to get to know the author a bit before reading so that there was a personal connection made between the author and reader. Creating this personal connection helps get the readers to want the book to be good. It’s one thing to care about the characters. It’s quite another to care about the author.
Second, the author’s note weeded out the readers who wouldn’t enjoy the book. Liz’s novella did not include any romance as most readers of erotic fiction prefer. So in the Author’s Note, Liz made it clear that her book is not a romance. If the reader downloaded a free sample of the book, they could quickly discern whether the novella would be their kind of entertainment or not. It’s vital that you accurately portray what experience your book will offer so that anyone who reads it will not be disappointed and you’ll avoid bad reviews.
5. About the Author – This author bio section comes at the end of the book. While the author bio helps with making the reader care about the author, it’s also a perfect opportunity for something wonderful! At the end of the bio, include the words “If you enjoyed reading this, please put a review on Amazon or Goodreads.” What I love about this sentence is that not only will it help with getting more reviews, but it also has the implied message, “If you didn’t enjoy this book, don’t write a review.” While I’ll be the first to agree that even bad reviews are good publicity, I still say that great reviews are the best publicity.
Using this format for your ebook is a great way of getting the word out there, it’s a great way to ensure good reviews, and if readers have just downloaded a free sample of your book, it’s a great way to increase book sales.
Click on the image below to see an example of how the final product looks (minus the actual story):
(Warning: Example contains implied sexual content.
You may find that you’ll want to get this ebook.
Do not tempt yourself. Do not go to Alice’s Sexual Discovery on Amazon.)
Now let’s look at the numbers. How well did my thriller The Torah Codes do with its ebook release compared to Liz Adams’ ebook release (keeping in mind that my book is a religious-sounding thriller while her book is about sex, and also keeping in mind she’s pretty while I’m a balding author; an unfair competition)?
Note: Liz used KDP Select to get her ebook available for free for four consecutive days. I just want to warn you that while making your book free means you’ll get a ton of downloads, it also means the book may not necessarily be read. People have no problems downloading a free ebook. But if they have to spend money, even if it’s just 99 cents, they’ll be more likely to actually read it because they invested in it. So yes, she got many more downloads than me, but I’m guessing only a few will actually read it. Still, even if just 10% read her book, 10% of 1,770 people is 177 readers. That’s a lot more than the 75 people who downloaded my book!
Book marketing mentor, Ezra Barany is the author of the award-winning bestseller, The Torah Codes. Contact Ezra now to begin the conversation on how he can help you. You can connect with Ezra via Facebook, Twitter, contact him through this blog, or by email: EZRA at THETORAHCODES dot COM.