Your book’s ready for launch—or it’s just about there—but you have two major problems.
- You don’t have an author website or established platform ready for release day.
- You don’t have the time or resources to do anything about it now.
Believe it or not, authors find themselves in this position all the time. With their full attention on the completion of their book, marketing activities fall to the wayside and their deadline creeps up on them in the blink of an eye.
What’s a frazzled author to do?
Fortunately, there’s an inexpensive and convenient solution (the next best thing to an author website): a book sales page.
What exactly is a book sales page?
Also called a landing page, a sales page is a dedicated, standalone web page that serves as a place for people to “land” after they click on a link, search result, or online ad. They are distinct from a primary website in that they are built for a single conversion objective (in this case a book sale) and they have few if any navigation options.
Check out some of these examples…
Fiction book sales pages:
- Bullets at the Ballet by C.S. Boag
- The Girl with the Half and Half Face by Leslie Miller
- Mindclone by David T. Wolf
Non-fiction book sales pages:
- The 4-Hour Chef by Tim Ferris
- Finding Mommy Bliss by Genny Heikka
- The 7 Day Startup by Dan Norris
- This Book is About Travel by Andrew Hyde
- 100 Days of Growth by Sujan Patel and Rob Wormley
5 Reasons to Use a Book Sales Page in Your Launch
While we’ve been referring to book sales pages in the context of authors without websites, the reality is that these landing pages can be an efficient and powerful marketing tool for any author. You simply need to look at the benefits to know that integrating this tactic into your launch strategy is a smart decision.
What are those benefits?
#1 – The Page is Highly Focused
Some might argue for the simplicity of directing readers to retailer sites such as Amazon, but these pages are full of distractions like links, menus, sidebar ads, and recommendations. Plus, you have little control over these pages and what readers see. Capturing attention is hard enough as it is without positioning your book directly next to those of competitors. Author websites are just as bad with blog links, email signup forms, and social media elements creating clutter and dividing a visitor’s focus.
When prospective buyers reach your Amazon page, you want them ready to buy. A highly focused, dedicated landing page not only eliminates clutter but also concentrates on one core message. It contains copy you’ve handpicked and lets you control what visitors see, allowing you to seamlessly move them along to the conversion without the risk of losing their attention. By the time they reach your Amazon page, there’s nothing left for them to do but go through the checkout.
#2 – The URL is Memorable and Easily Shareable
A landing page with a short, memorable URL is so much easier to share with others—whether written or verbalized—than a complicated mess of words or even numbers separated by a forward slash. Compare booktitle.com to authorname.com/books/booktitle or the easily mistyped amazon.com/Your-Book-Title/dp/B01D2ZNXX0. As you can see, simplicity and memorability are essential when it comes to word-of-mouth promotion and social sharing.
#3 – You Benefit from a Potential Rankings Boost
Search engines love relevancy. They want users to find what they’re looking for, which a landing page does in a straightforward way. In addition, a landing page creates another point of contact, which can help when you finally do create an author website and link the two together. As a result, your page can slowly start to outrank other sites by being relevant to the needs of searchers.
#4 – A Book Sales Page Can Increase Conversions
A high-quality, attractive landing page contains persuasive elements that move prospective book buyers from a browsing mindset to a buying mindset, thereby increasing conversions. The page is setup around one call to action, and each component is designed to influence the buying decision so that saying “yes” becomes a no-brainer.
#5 – You Enjoy the Benefits of Fast Load Times
Load times affect everything from bounce rates and search rankings to user experience and conversions. In fact, tests done by Amazon revealed that the company loses 1% of sales for every 100ms it takes their site to load. By investing in the right tools to build a fast loading book sales page, you have an opportunity to capture revenue you might otherwise lose on other platforms.
#6 – Landing Pages Generate Data
Dedicated book sales pages allow you to gather analytical data and insights so that you can easily determine whether your launch campaign is successful. You’ll be able to track everything from where traffic comes from to user behavior, allowing you to improve your overall effectiveness by refining your knowledge of your target audience and your launch campaign strategies.
In addition, you can employ A/B testing (also called split testing) to improve conversions even further. A/B testing refers to the practice of comparing two versions of a web page to see which performs better. During this process, you only change one element at a time. This can include copy, button colors or styles, images, video, and more.
The bottom line: sales pages are easy and quick to set up, which makes them an ideal solution for authors who are ready to launch but don’t have an author website established yet. If this is your situation, all you’d need to do is direct people to your sales page where they can learn more about your book and be persuaded to take action.
Do you know of any other shortcuts for authors who are ready to launch without a platform? We’d love to hear them, so be sure to share your tips with us in the comment section below. You can also grab a copy of our 198-point book launch success checklist to ensure you’re on top of your game come launch day.