What Do I Need To Fix If My Book Isn’t Selling?

What Do I Need To Fix If My Book Isn’t Selling?


Not selling

  1. Unprofitable niche

Here’s the thing: you may be an excellent writer and you’ve created a manuscript. But is the topic you’ve chosen to write about something that other people have some interest in?

If there is not much interest in your subject matter then your book won’t sell. But your motivation to self-publish may have nothing to do with money; in which case choosing an in-demand niche may not be relevant.

However, given that most writers love it when their books sell then selecting a niche that you know already has a proven market is the way to go. Getting this right is essential.

Your takeaway: if you have already published your book in a niche for which there is no demand and you are disappointed that your book is not selling then do proper market research for your next book. You need to write in a niche you know that has a market.

It is only by making mistakes that you learn.

 2. Book cover

You’ve heard the phrase that readers judge a book by its cover.  Buying decisions are frequently made on how a cover looks, and it is the cover that can make or break your book.

The look of the book – the cover – is the first thing a reader sees.  In a crowded and competitive market place, it is your cover that will help your book stand out.  

Book covers help readers discover your book and so can stimulate sales. Covers need to be: appealing, arouse curiosity, capture attention and be engaging.


They set the tone helping your target audience to take notice.


Takeaway: If your cover is not working for you then change it. Keep testing until it works for you.


3. Book description


Have you a compelling description?

A good description helps the reader make an emotional connection to your book so that they really feel that they need to read it. So ask yourself, is your description taking the reader on a journey from where they are currently at to what could be a new and better place? In other words, will the reader experience a transformation as a result of reading the book?. 

Re-examine your book’s description which you’ll find on the Amazon listing page. Is it compelling? Is the description likely to influence a reader to make a buying decision?

Does it have a powerful or grabbing opening sentence that hooks the reader in? Are there three or five bullet points outlining the benefits a reader will get from reading the book?  And is the description offering the reader some outcomes that will result from reading the book?

Takeaway: Do a critical analysis of your book’s description and get some feedback from others as well. Return to your KDP book listing and revise your book’s description

 4. Keyword selection


Keywords help your book to get discovered so that it has some chance of selling. To put the odds in your favour go to the Amazon search bar to do your research and you’ll find plenty of keyword strings in the drop-down menu.

The keywords you see in the drop-down – the autosuggestions -are the most actively used search terms. This means you can be sure that they are terms and phrases that people are searching for on Amazon so you may consider using them in your metadata.

Select profitable, low competition keywords for your title, sub-title and the seven keyword slots in your book’s listing.

Publisher Rocket is a useful piece of software that helps you with your keyword and category research.  

Think about your keywords as they are just so important. Don’t limit them to a single word; you’ll do better to use keyword phrases and fill all seven keyword slots.

Takeaway: Regularly revisit your book’s listing on KDP and review your keyword selection. By doing further keyword research you can improve and keep testing them.

5. Have Amazon put your book into the right categories


To make sure you find the most relevant and useful categories for your book, do category research. When you have chosen 10 categories contact Amazon and send them an email requesting the categories.

Amazon usually responds within about 24 – 48 hours.

Categories like keywords are just so important for your book’s discoverability.  You need to understand how to put your book into appropriate categories to help your book to be found.

Categories help readers find books they might like to buy

Categories, if they are the right ones, will increase your conversion rates because they attract the ideal buyer.

Readers won’t be able to discover your book if it has been put in an inappropriate category.


Takeaway: Review the categories you have for your book, and then do further research. Select categories that will work more in your favour.

 6. Errors


Once your eBook and paperback have been published check it for errors. If you find mistakes revise the manuscript to remove them.

Takeaway: If you find mistakes in the published version of your book revise the manuscript to fix the errors.


One of the great benefits of publishing on Amazon is that once your book is published you can return to its listing in KDP to revise it. Mistakes can be fixed and your metadata can be improved.

Through a process of testing you the self-publisher can have a better cover, create a compelling description, discover profitable keywords, select more appropriate categories, and rectify any mistakes.


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