4 Decision Points of an Online Book Buyer


  1. The Cover
  2. The Description
  3. The Reviews
  4. The Sample

The Cover

If the cover looks ugly, I’m not touching the book. Not even with a 10-foot pole.

Why? Because I have magical powers. Ugly covers speak to me. They say, “If the author does not even care to put a decent cover on the book, can you imagine how horrendous the words inside will be? Do you really want to go through that experience? It’s not Halloween yet, you know.”

Actionable Tactic:

Get a great looking book cover for your book. One that screams, “Touch Me. Click on Me. Open Me. If I look so appetizing, imagine the wonderful words stored within my pages. Do you really want to not check me out?” I know it sounds creepy. Lay off. You get the message.

An Inviting book cover will prompt the reader to checkout the next point in their decision process – Book Description (more on that later).

Places where you can get decent book covers:

The Description

In this section, the keyword is description. I’m not being funny. Way and I mean WAY too many authors “Give away the entire book” in the description section. That’s not what this is for. Tell how reading this book will make the reader feel. Tell them “If you read XYZ book (It helps if you replace XYZ with a book similar to yours that is also popular), you DO NOT want to MISS out on this one.”

A few other points to keep in mind when writing book descriptions:

  • Keep the description between 100-150 words.
  • Write it in third person.
  • Use powerful words that evoke emotions in the reader.

Actionable Tactic:

Write a stellar book description. Because, if the book cover looks enticing enough, the logical thing to do is read the book description.

Remember, there are 4 buying points. The ONLY “job” of each buying point is to push the reader to the next buying point.

The Reviews

I like to call reviews a “Make or Break Decision Point” in the book buying process. Good reviews will lift your book higher in the rankings while bad reviews will plummet your book into a black hole.

So, how do you get reviews?

I’ll give you the million dollar answer – Just ask for it.

No seriously, that’s the answer. You have to ask for the book reviews if you want them. If you can be strategic about them, even better.

Here are a few points to help you be strategic about book reviews.

  • Give ARC’s (Advanced Reader Copies) in exchange for a book review on the day of your book launch.
  • Provide a DRT (Dream Review Template … I just coined that phrase. Are you as jacked up as I am?) to make it easy for the reviewer to write the Review.
  • Make sure to include this phrase in the template, “This review was written in exchange for a free copy of the book”. In Amazon or Good Reads even get a hint of your review being a paid review, they will de-list your book. We wouldn’t want that now, would we?
  • When you interact with your fans, kindly ask them to post a review on GoodReads or Amazon.

Actionable Tactic:

Ask at least two people every single day to review your book. Will they do it? Not all of them. But, if you ask two people everyday, that’s 730 people in a year. Even if 1 out 10 decide to, you will have an extra 73 reviews in a year.

Actually, this tactic will also show Amazon that your book continues to sell and hasn’t died down. Who knows, it might even rise in ranks.

And that brings us to THE … last … final … decision point in the book buying process.

The Sample

Your book cover … Awesome. Your description … Stellar. Your reviews … Phenomenal. Majority of the times, this will be enough for people to purchase your books. But, there will be some readers who would want a free sample. To them, this will be a verification that everything they just saw is actually true.

If steps 1, 2 and 3 are incredible, the readers will expect an incredible sample as well. Something that will stir emotions within them. So, be sure to post something incredible.

Actionable Tip:

Post a sample so good, it will compel your readers to click the buy button.

I sincerely hope you enjoyed this article. If you did, would you please share it with your friends and followers?

Thanks so very much! You guys ROCK.

– Mayur

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