– day 6 –
How to Build a High-Converting Book Sales Page
Wow, day 6 already…
Crazy how time flies when you’re having fun and learning how to sell thousands of copies of your book – am I right or am I right?
As a quick summary, here’s everything we’ve covered up to this point:
- Intro to book publishing (and why you should start today)
- An overview of The Book Marketing Canvas (the one tool that will set you apart from 99% of self-publishers out there)
- Intro to The Bestseller Book Launch Sequence, which was developed by my publishing company Insurgent Publishing, and has been used for NUMEROUS bestsellers in multiple categories
- How to create a collaborative working document, how to set an appropriate goal for your book, and how to identify alternative marketing channels that will help you stand out in a noisy crowd…
- And much more…
And now that you’ve done all that, it’s time to focus on the “forward-facing” piece of the publishing pie…
Your high-converting book sales page.
A Crappy Book Sales Page = Less Sales
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across compelling books and wanted to buy…
But then I land on the author’s sales page and it:
- Looks like it was made on a geocities page in the 90’s
- Confuses / bewilders me with lots of text (or not enough text on the right topics) and no clear Call-to-Action
- Has WAY too much going on (see above)
- Loads ridiculously slow…
And at the end of the day, I don’t buy.
I close the tab, or back out of the page…
And I forget I was ever there.
If the majority of online users are like me (and, statistically, I know they are…more on this below), they’ll never come back to this page again.
Sale = LOST.
Statistics Behind Bad Sales Pages and Lost Sales
You’d think in the age of powerful, simple, WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) website development software and landing page editors, that more authors would be able to create compelling, beautiful sales page…
Alas, this is not the case.
And I can promise you this – not having a clear and compelling book sales page will KILL your book sales.
- Did you know it takes a person only .5 seconds to form an opinion of your website (and you and your book by extension)?
- Did you know that for every second your book sales page takes to load, you’re losing about 5-7% of your customers? This means that if 100 people visit your book sales page and it takes more than 4 seconds to load, you’ve ALREADY LOST 25 potential book customers and readers?
- Did you know that 85% of people abandon a page because of poor design?
So there are a lot of ways to fail online.
But the good news is – it doesn’t have to be this way!
Today, I’m going to show you exactly how to create your high-converting book sales page…
I’m also going to tell you what to AVOID – all the silly bells-and-whistles amateurs use because they think it’s cool or because they see other people doing it, but that doesn’t actually affect your bottom line (or worse, destroys it).
Let’s do it…
Step 10: Build Your High-Converting Book Sales Page
Every author needs a high-converting book sales page for EVERY book they write.
The good news is that building a high-converting sales page can take as little as a few hours to build, it really just depends on how clear your message is (and whether you want to invest in the right tools to build a fast loading, beautiful sales page).
Here’s the deal:
When it comes to sales page design, simple and clear is always the best option.
Examples of High-Converting Book Sales Pages:
Here’s what you’ll notice about all three of these sales pages:
- They’re clean looking (aesthetically pleasing, which builds trust)
- They load fast (so they don’t lose customers to slow loading speeds)
- They have a clear Call-to-Action (buy the book!)
Now you might be thinking:
“Okay Tom, that sounds good and all…but I’m not a designer and I have no idea where to begin.”
Don’t worry, I’ll feed you baby bird.
Let’s start with the basics…
The Structure and Elements of a High-Converting Book Sales Page
The structure of a High-Converting Book Sales Page is as follows:
- Call-to-Action above the fold
- What you will learn in the book
- Who should read the book
- Endorsements and testimonials
- Free chapter download
- Take a peek inside / bonuses
- About the author
- Final Call To Action + Guarantee (bonus: more testimonials)
1. Call-to-Action above the fold
Strong, one sentence heading (minimal text) next to an ebook picture with a “buy now” button + 1 endorsement.
If you can fit it in, you can also add a few bullet points to drive home the purpose and benefit of your book to the reader.
Here’s an example of The 7 Day Startup above the fold Call-to-Action;
2. What you will learn
Remember the section in The Book Marketing Canvas about the target readership’s PROBLEM or PAIN point, as well as your SOLUTION to the problem?
This becomes the “What you will learn section”;
This section should speak directly to your target readership (they should be silently nodding in agreement as they read).
If you have trouble wording this section, just ask your Ambassador Group to provide feedback and help you nail the language (surveys are also incredibly effective for this because you can use the exact same language your readers use).
3. Who should read it
You can pull this directly from your Book Marketing Canvas as well (target readership / early adopters).
For The 7 Day Startup, we knew we were solving the problem of the target readership: “wantrepreneurs” (people who had great ideas but could never properly execute them). Knowing the problem we were solving, it was easy to come up with a list of bullet points for our sales page that spoke directly to this demographic.
Every bullet point here is the solution for a common “wantrepreneur” problem (or at least identifies the problem wantrepreneurs have – like the concept of validation – and shows that we have the solution).
4. Endorsements / Testimonials / Reviews
Testimonials, reviews, and endorsements should be added from select influencers or your audience who get early access to your book in exchange for sales page testimonials / reviews.
This is an example from Jeff Goins’ The Art of Work (he did a great job getting MASSIVE names in his industry to contribute a testimonial to his book);
5. Free Chapter Download
This part is optional, but highly encouraged.
A free chapter download isn’t just good for sales, but for building your authors platform (email list).
Here’s an example of Nathan Barry’s free chapter offer;
The beauty of this is that Nathan has an autoresponder series setup on the backend, which means even if people aren’t ready to buy now, they may be by the end of the free email training sequence (this is an advanced technique I cover in Module 3 of Publishers Empire).
6. Take a Peek Inside
Remember the part in The Book Marketing Canvas about what makes your book unique; your book’s Unique Sales Proposition?
This becomes the “sneak peak” section:
This is also the place to show off any cool bonuses or content upgrades you plan to giveaway with your book.
Note: books sell a LOT better when they come bundled with bonuses or content upgrades. For the sake of brevity, I won’t cover bonuses and content upgrades here, but we cover them extensively in PublishersEmpire.com.
7. About the Author
The about the author section is your chance to talk BRIEFLY about yourself…
But it’s mostly an opportunity to talk directly to the potential reader and explain WHY they should buy your book.
Start by telling the reader who you are, and then immediately focus on the BENEFITS of the book for the reader (how will he or she be better after having read your book?).
A few final notes:
- Be personable
- Write in first or third person (first is probably more personable, but it’s up to you)
- Always include a picture
- Have a Call-to-Action right by this section (if people like you from your about the author section, they’ll want to buy immediately)
8. Final Call-to-Action + Guarantee
The best way to finish your high-converting book sales page is to add a final, powerful Call-to-Action and a money back / satisfaction guarantee.
Note: If you just plan to link your book sales page to Amazon.com, a guarantee is probably overkill since Amazon has their own return policies and handles refunds.
However, for more expensive books (read $100 white papers or $300 “complete package” versions of your instructional book), a guarantee (30 to 60 day, 100% money back guarantee) is a great way to build trust and get the reader over the hurdle of spending so much money.
Finally, it’s always okay to include more testimonials and reviews. In fact, the general rule of thumb is that the more testimonials or reviews (with pictures / videos) the better.
What Technology Should I Use to Build My Sales Page?
On the technical front, there are dozens of ways to build a book sales page.
One option is to hire a professional designer and shell out $10,000 for a great book sales page.
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this, but there are more cost-effective ways to build a compelling, high-converting book sales page, so that’s what I’m going to show you today.
3 Simple Tools to Build a High-Converting Book Sales Page
1. Basic WordPress Landing Page Design
WordPress is the primary website creation tool used by the majority of big name bloggers, podcasters, authors, and publishers. Because the majority of people use it, you’ll find thousands of plugins and extensions that make customizing your website a breeze (and many are free).
If you’re really on a budget, the simplest way to create a high-converting book sales page is to create a new “page” and select “landing page” to set the type of page you’re creating. This will remove any distractions like headers, footers, and sidebars (which should be avoided at all costs on book sales pages).
Here’s an example of a baked-in landing page that comes with the Newrainmaker theme (that I use at Tommorkes.com);
The trade-off is that, while this is free, it’s a bit more complicated to get a good looking sales page setup (and may require a basic level of understanding of HTML).
If you don’t want to learn HTML and would prefer something more “plug-and-play”, then the next tool is for you…
Optimizepress is my favorite sales page / splash page plugin for WordPress.
It’s simple, fairly intuitive, and most importantly – EXTREMELY flexible.
You can customize just about every feature and aspect of your sales page down to the smallest detail. This level of customization is why I love the tool so much (and because it’s relatively inexpensive, I have no concerns sharing it with anyone looking to build their own sales pages).
In fact, you can create an entire site on Optimizepress, although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it because there are faster and easier ways to build a full author’s website, which we won’t cover in this free course (although it is something I cover in depth in Publishers’ Empire).
As an example, Dan Norris’ The 7 Day Startup sales page was built on Optimizepress, which is partly responsible for the over 20,000 book sales Dan has had since launch.
LeadPages lets you create highly-optimized sales and squeeze pages, deploy them on the LeadPages server (or on your own, so the url would look like this: www.yoururl.com/yourleadpage), and have them up and running in just a few minutes. Which means if you were using the software right now, you could have a professional looking book sales page that loads lightning fast up and ready to sell your book before the day is out.
LeadPages is the most expensive solution because it requires a monthly or annual payment to use their software. This means it may not be right for you if you’re on a budget…but I also recommend you consider what you plan to make from your writing, and if the answer is over $1,000 / month, then LeadPages could be the perfect investment. Not only will it help you sell books, but you can use their LeadBoxes technology to accept subscribers and deliver free chapters (something very few other pieces of software let you do). And their new technology lets you create templates based on sales pages that you find online (with permission), which makes this tool truly powerful.
What You Should Avoid at All Costs with Your Book Sales Page Design
So I’ve given you the structure of a high-converting book sales page and shown you a couple examples…
But there will still be people who want to add more “stuff” to their sales page. For what reason, I don’t know…maybe adding stuff to a website fulfills some primal urge in us? I guess we’ll never know…
So instead of trying to fight it, I just want to explicitly state what you should AVOID at all costs when it comes to creating a book sales page.
In order of importance (to avoid, that is):
Remove the sidebar from your sales page. There should be nothing distracting the reader from the primary Call-to-Action (buying the book). Unless the sidebar is an option to buy the book and that’s it.
2. Menu Bar (header)
Remove your pages menu bar at the top, if you can (and if it doesn’t totally offend you). Anything that’s not about the book on your book sales page should be removed, even navigation to other pages on your website.
No need to have comments on your book sales page. Remove those.
4. Competing Call-to-Actions
Want people to buy your book, tweet your book, leave a comment, and join your list? Stop. Remove all but one of those goals. Now make sure everything is directed toward that one objective.
This means if you’re creating a book sales page, buying the book is all that should happen.
5. Flash videos or bandwidth-intensive “stuff”
Seriously, keep it simple.
It might seem cool to have some sort of flash-whatever installed on your sales page to make you “stand out” but I promise you this – you’ll just look bad. The best book sales pages keep it simple.
At MOST include a compelling, 3-minute or less video so visitors can get to know you and learn why they should buy the book (consider this a book trailer and / or “explainer” video).
Your Turn – Leave a Comment Below!
Alright, that wraps up this lesson on building a high-converting book sales page.
My hope is that this gave you everything you need to build a crazy awesome book sales page.
Now your homework:
Leave a comment below and share your book sales page below – or the book sales page of someone you know – and let me know how YOU would improve it.
After you give your view on your own sales page (yes, this requires self-critiquing…don’t worry, it’s healthy), I’ll give you direct feedback on what you could improve.
How’s that for awesome free education?
See you in the comments below!
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