Why your nonfiction book isn’t selling well on Amazon

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Also Read:  How To Plan Your Nonfiction Book Before Self-Publishing?

Why your nonfiction book not selling well on Amazon

Published by Beena Gairola || Dated   February 8, 2024, 11:09 am

Why your nonfiction book isn’t selling well on Amazon?


Before delving deep into the topic, I would like to tell you that customers love to buy things. But they hate being pressured into making purchases.

For the first-time author, writing a book is an incredible experience. You learn many things during your writing journey as an author. In fact, the writing journey looks like a wonderland, and the author believes that his life will change after hitting the publish button. This feeling increases when the author holds the first copy of a paperback or hardbound.

For most of them, it is like holding a baby in their hands. I can relate to this feeling because I had also gone with that. But things work differently in the real world. Indeed, writing a book is a separate process from selling and making money from it. And if you have acknowledged the harsh reality, then this post is for you. Today, I’ll discuss why your nonfiction book isn’t selling well on Amazon.

So, without wasting any time further, let us get started. Here are the primary reasons that might be holding you from selling your books on Amazon.

  1. No niche targeting
  2. No launch team
  3. The title is not clear
  4. Discoverability issue
  5. Amazon S.E.O is not supporting you
  6. Non-optimized product page
  7. Missing reviews
  8. Amateur cover page
  9. Selling Vitamins instead of painkillers
  10. No one buys from an unknown author

1 No niche targeting:

One of the biggest problems with the first-time author is they assume their book is for everyone. If you have written your book with this mindset, then you are in big trouble. There is a simple saying in the author community that if your book is for everyone, it means it’s for no one. It may sound harsh to listen, but that is the naked truth.

As a nonfiction writer, you will need to write on a specific problem. A topic bothering a special group of people, and you has a perpetual solution to that problem. Hence, your book is not for every person on this planet. Identify your ideal reader and realize their core issues. After that, analyze how you can provide the best solution to them.

Knowing your readers is essential for creating an impactful and captivating book. The best way to do that is by making a customer avatar. Along with that, also think about what are your customers’ expectations from your book. It will propel you to understand the core desires of those people (your readers).

Your customer avatar will drive you to determine the particular effective message that you want to share with your customers. In your case, the customers are readers of your book. Thus, having a clear picture of your customers (readers) will allow you to target your market precisely. 

Writing a book without a clear target audience is a futile use of time and effort. Do not run away from the research work. The more you sweat in the research and statistics, the more possibilities will rise for your book to succeed in the competitive market.

Therefore, work on understanding their pain and frustrations. The question you need to ask is what are the biggest problems that are holding them back? 

After getting this point with clarity, have an emotion of empathy for their problem because they are real people with genuine feelings. Readers connect with those books and authors who empathically understand readers’ problems and find their books emotionally compelling and intellectually stimulating.

2. No launch team:

Friends, time is changing fast. With time, competition is also growing tight in the Amazon marketplaces. According to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, the annual publication of books reaches 1.4 million. This does not include annually traditionally published books. Now, you can get an idea about the competition in the book market as an author.

Therefore, a new self-published author has a rare window of opportunity to establish himself as an author brand in the first year. I have experienced fighting with big traditional publishers is challenging as a self-published author because big traditional publishers can pour a load of money into branding and promotion of the traditionally published book. 

As soon as their traditionally published book launches on a platform like Amazon, the bulk custom reviews update on the sales pages of those books. 

As a result, their books start to have edges to the other books. And as a self-published author, you can do nothing about it. The best way to deal with this is by creating your own launch team.

What is a launch team?

A launch team is a group of readers who read your book and post their book reviews based on their experience with your book. These are the people who are interested in reading books in your genre and are eager to support you as your dedicated friends or fans. They can be of any number. The more you have them, the better your review counts on your newly published book. 

Frankly speaking, I have never realized the significance of the launch team in my early days of publishing. I still have no major launch team for my upcoming books. However, I have a realization that I need to connect with those people who can work with me as a launch team.

3 Your book’s title is not clear:

Your title and subtitle are the first opportunity to niche down the market of your book. Going narrow within your market is the place where the real magic happens for the new, self-published authors. A bad and ambiguous title can ruin the hard work of an author. Indeed, it can confuse a potential buyer of the book. And a confused prospect will never buy your book. No matter how valuable content the book has.

Always remember while crafting the title of your book, your book title should be unique and easy to understand. It should signal the prospect about the topic of the book. Use subtitles to elaborate your title further. Avoid using complex words in your book title. The typography of your book’s title should be clear and crisp.

Putting your title on the header section of your cover page is a good idea as it increases the appealing aspect of the book. There are a few things that you can do to increase the title appeal of the book.

1 Add an element of secrecy, humor, or controversy with your title. But don’t overdo it, otherwise it may backfire. Use your due intelligence to get the balance. 

For example, a title for a relationship book for a man can be: 

The secret of a happy marriage for a man who truly loves his wife (Element: secrecy).

  1. Adding mistakes or promises in your title. 

Readers love result-oriented books that teach them the author’s personal experiences. If your title can convey that after reading your book, they will surely get results. In that case, they will definitely relate to your book. 

For example, how I reduced 10 kg weight in 1 month without intense exercise and a diet plan. (Element: promise)

4. Discoverability issue:

Have you ever thought about how readers will buy your book if no one knows it exists? Therefore, you need to have a realization of your book’s discoverability status. There are different ways through which you can enhance the discoverability of your book. But primarily, these are two ways.

  1. Paid method – Hire paid book bloggers or Instagram influencers
  2. Organic method: Create your author platform and own your audience. (For example, Podcasting shows, writing personal blogs, and creating YouTube or Instagram videos)

5. Amazon SEO is not supporting you:

As Google is a famous information search engine, similarly, Amazon is also a product-based search engine. One of the prime reasons due to which your book is not selling well on Amazon maybe you have not trained well the algorithm of Amazon.

As a self-published author, we need to think like a publisher who knows what readers want from us. Amazon’s algorithm tracks the signal that the publisher gives to them and recommends books to their customer accordingly. It means Amazon knows about the interests and reading tastes of their book readers. Here, if you can properly guide Amazon about the genre of your book and why your book differs from the rest of the book in the same genre. Amazon algorithm will definitely test the waters for your book. And recommend your new book to their initial segment of readers.

Always keep in mind that the Amazon algorithm works on data science and tracks every event happening on their platform. Every copy that sells on their platform increases their trust in your product (book). The more books you sell, the greater the chance of your book being recommended to new readers and impulse buyers on Amazon.

Every copy that is being sold will guide the Amazon algorithm about your ideal customer. Later, the Amazon sales machine can inform their other customers about your book through email marketing and book notifications.

Therefore, it is your responsibility to train well the Amazon algorithm. Your book’s title is the first place to give that signal. After that, the type of blurb that you write for your book also plays a significant role in the Amazon algorithm to get your book’s aspect.

Another thing that you can do is add relevant keywords to your book’s sales page. Amazon offers seven keyword options where you can define the keywords that best describe your book. However, the main indication will come when selecting the category for your book. Be careful while choosing the categories. Go as narrow as you can go with the category of your book.

6. Non-optimized product page:

Your product page on Amazon is also called the sales page. Always try to make it look attractive by adding hooks in your blurb. Add at least 400 words in your blurb and describe the major points of the book in that limited word counts. To make it look better and more scannable, you can add a bullet list and points. You can also format your blur by taking advantage of basic HTML scripting tags.

For example, you can bold, italic, and underline certain words and create an impact on the reader’s mind.

Another thing that you can do is add A+ content to your sales page. The product pages that include A+ content are visually appealing. By adding A+ content, I didn’t mean to add any exclusive graphics or design. Your A+ content should be simple and easy to read, but it should create a hook and curiosity in the reader’s mind about your book. Therefore, use your A+ content to define unique things about your book.

By incorporating A+ content on your sales page, you enhance the credibility of your book and convince buyers of its value. You can also add editorial reviews if you like. I have added editorial reviews to my book’s sale page and realized sales increased after that because those reviews gave me instant credibility. But I’ll advise you to not buy editorial reviews from celebrities and media presses because it will not look genuine. What I have done is I have added the normal customer reviews as my editorial reviews. I think you can also do the same.

7. Missing reviews:

It is a fact that 80% of readers buy the book after reading reviews on the sales page. As the publisher of the book, you must have at least 10 reviews on your sales page. A book that has only 5-star ratings on the sales page can create doubt in the mind of the book reader. A combination of positive and negative reviews helps readers decide whether to purchase or pass on the book. So, every review matters. 

In fact, for successful authors, there is no such term as negative reviews. Indeed, every review is the individual viewpoint of the reader about your book. It’s your call on how to use it to enhance your life as an author.

Therefore, it is hard to sell a book that doesn’t have any reviews. 

8. Amateur cover page:

Your cover page is not the place to showcase any artwork. It is a promotional tool to entice the prospect to buy your book. An amateur cover page can turn off a reader and push him away from your book. Therefore, if you are not good at designing your cover page, then seek help from professionals. Trust me, this investment is worth it. Sometimes to sell a product, packaging is more important than the product itself.

9. Selling Vitamins instead of painkillers:

Selling is an art where the seller focuses on the needs of the prospect and not on the wants of the prospect. I’m saying this because if your product is not essential for the prospect, then there is a higher probability that he will not buy it.

Therefore, it depends on how deeply you understand your customer and how you target him. Understand one thing: a prospect is someone who has some goals in his mind. Contemplate how your book will assist the prospect in resolving their problems after reading your book because people are more driven to buy painkillers to get rid of pain from their lives than buying vitamins to live a healthy life.

10. No one buys from an unknown author:

Before wrapping this post, I like to conclude that writing is a continuous journey. If you have written your first book and published it on Amazon. It’s not the end; indeed, your author career has just begun. The more you write, the more your craft will get better. And the more books you have in your catalog, the more reader’s trust will build on you. The reality is no one buys from an unknown first-time writer. As you keep publishing more books, readers start taking your work seriously. To influence others and reach more people, start working on yourself along with your craft. Use social media platforms to create a social following. It will help you with the branding of your author’s business.

Friends, your every share motivates me to write more content for all the readers and helps the search engine algorithm reach the right audience. 

We are grateful for all your kindness and support. 

Or you can also follow us on Facebook Author page



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