Should you skip Amazon?

What’s your baseline strategy?
15th November, 2017

Should you skip Amazon?

Should You Skip Amazon?

Just now, a client asked me on Skype whether they should take their book off Amazon and just sell it on their site.

It wasn’t because they want to keep all the royalties, by the way. It was simply that when you sell your book on Amazon, they don’t tell you who bought it. So, the client wanted to take the book down, sell it on their own site, and add all the buyers to their list automatically.

On the surface, that seems a good idea.

Don’t be fooled.

WORST.

IDEA.

EVER.

Here’s why.

First, Amazon like to sell books. So, they spend a LOT of money driving traffic to their site. If you pull out of Amazon, you’re going to need traffic, and you’re going to have to pay for that traffic yourself.

Second, let’s say you’ve written a book on sales skills (that’s not what this client’s book is about, by the way). Where do you think people who want to buy a book on sales are searching for it, on Amazon or on Google? So who do you think has the better traffic when it comes to selling a book?

Third, Amazon is pretty much the most trusted name in ecommerce. So, if our imaginary book shopper does find your book, and they’re comparing it to one on Amazon, which site do you think they’re happiest giving their credit card details to?

Actually, scratch that. Third, Amazon probably ALREADY HAS THEIR CREDIT CARD DETAILS. So they’ve done the hardest part of any sales transaction already: they’ve got the buyer to open their wallet.

And finally, fourth, do you think they’d rather buy your book, which they found randomly on your website, or your competitor’s book on Amazon with 47 five-star reviews?

That’s why I think selling your book on your own website rather than Amazon is a bad idea.

So what do you do instead?

You put CALLS TO ACTION in the book.

Lots of them.

You offer free resources. Webinars, audio recordings, infographics, cheatsheets, worksheets, access to a private Facebook group: whatever it takes to bribe the reader to go back to your website and opt in.

And you make those cals to action OBVIOUS. Put a box around it. Tint the background. Put big arrows and stars and rings around key words.

I don’t care if you think it’s brash.

I don’t care if it’s not elegant.

I don’t care if you would never respond to that kind of thing.

YOU ARE NOT YOUR CUSTOMER.

The reason we put those in the book is because they work. Because they MAKE YOU MONEY.

Have I made my point?

OK. Let’s say you do want to sell your book on your website, here’s my advice.

Do a “free + shipping” offer. In other words, give the visitor the book and ask them to pay shipping. Only, make that shipping charge high enough that it pays for the printing too.

And here’s another point to bear in mind. Which offer do you think converts best:

  1. Free book (value $19.99). Just pay $8.95 shipping and handling!
  2. Get my book (value $19.99) for just $8.95. Free shipping and handling!

Would you believe Free + Shipping typically outperforms the other offer by 10X? Even though the amount your asking them to pay in both cases is exactly the same?

So, set up a free + shipping offer and drive traffic to that.

Oh, and guess what: keeping your book on Amazon reinforces the value of the Free + Shipping offer, because they have a way to check the value of the book.

OK, that’s my rant over for the day 🙂

Remember. Don’t take your book off Amazon. Your bank account will thank you for it!

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