Do you have a book that isn’t selling well or perhaps not at all? Do you have a book was written years ago and needs updating and a fresh look?

Sometimes it is just one small tweak that is needed to get book sales going; sometimes a book needs to be updated or given a fresh look and other times it is more complex. In any case, below are some simple strategies many of which you can implement right away and for little or no money. Be sure to change only one thing at a time so you know what may or may not be working. And give each change a couple weeks to see what happens before changing something else


Change keywords

Keywords— which are words or short phrases that people might use to search for a book like yours help your book to be found on Amazon. You are allowed seven keywords for Amazon. So double check your KDP dashboard and make sure that you have seven and that they are relevant. Also make sure that there is not too much competition for the keyword. To see how many titles are in any given keyword to
Amazon, select either the Books or Kindle categories and then insert your keyword in the search bar. Hit enter and you will see the approximately number of tiles for that keyword. Keep in mind large numbers mean there will be a lot of competition and small numbers might mean there isn’t a good market for that keyword. We like to see a mixture of numbers from 400 to 20,000.


Change categories /add categories

There are over 36,000 categories on Amazon. As with the keywords, if there is a lot of competition for titles in a given category then it will be harder to rank, and your book be found. To drill down on categories, go to Amazon, select the Book department and type “best sellers” into the search box, hit enter. You will see categories on the left side of the page. Select a category to see more sub-categories. Note that you can request up to three categories for you Kindle or paperback book by sending Amazon a request for specific category additions to your book. Be sure to indicate the category path. Here are examples of two category paths, one for Kindle and one for paperback.

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Mystery & Suspense > Suspense

Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Suspense


Change the pricing

Experiment with lowering the price and sales may increase. You can also experiment with increasing the price which sometimes improves sales. See what your competition is doing and price your book accordingly. You can change the price of your book pretty easily at KDP if you have an account there. Changes show within 24 hours.


Rewrite the description

We tend to get myopic about book descriptions. These are very important to the sale of the book. If you are not a professional copywriter, it is best to hire one to rewrite the book description. At the very least have someone with some marketing and sales experience help you rewrite it. Look at the descriptions of best-selling books and see how they are written and what they contain. Also read over the five-star reviews for those best-selling books. Are there any words or themes that keep repeating which you can use in your description?

This concludes part 1, next week I will share four more strategies for jump-starting your book sales. In the meant time you might want to check out our Book Rescue services and view some before and after examples at

Keep writing!

Howard VanEs