A common lament among authors is they participate in a lot of marketing efforts, they see their platforms growing and yet their sales do not reflect their efforts. To understand what is going on and remedy this situation, we need to understand three terms: marketing, promotion and sales. Then we need to focus on the third: sales.

Marketing is making someone aware of you or your product.

Promotion is a limited time offer to get someone to purchase right now. For a book, it can be a discount, free shipping, autographed copies or other incentives.

A sale is driving someone to the store to purchase your book or driving them to a specific website.

If you have piqued the reader’s interest through your marketing and/or promotional efforts, how do you close the sale?

The easiest way is to create the Ideal Landing Page.

If you’re short on time, view the video. There’s additional information underneath it.



This is the piece that most authors exclude—either because they don’t know about it or they don’t take the time to do it right. Most authors drive readers—potential buyers—to their main page. From there, the reader may have to dig around a bit to find out more about the book. Some authors have no way for the reader to purchase their book from their website while others may require readers to click through several options or pages. Either of these situations can lose the sale.

A Landing Page is a web page and here’s how it may differ from your website’s home page:

1.     It sets an objective:

a.      Buy the book

b.     Join a mailing list

c.      Connect via social media

d.     Subscribe to a blog

Buy Now Paypal2.     It contains very little text

3.     The text is larger—make sure it can be read on mobile devices

4.     Call to Action features prominently—this is usually a button that says, “Buy Now”

5.     There are few additional options because the focus is on the objective you’ve set

Additional elements that can drive a sale:

slide71.     Video: a book trailer lasting up to three minutes

2.     Photographs if they are fast loading

3.     Reviews

4.     A reliable, trusted way for the reader to purchase (amazon, Paypal, etc.)

5.     A time-limited incentive (free shipping, discount or other incentives)

What would cause someone to go to your site but not purchase your book?

1.     Slow-loading website

2.     Incompatible with mobile devices

3.     Poor image quality

4.     Poor website design

5.     Lack of product reviews

6.     Unable to figure out how to purchase it

7.     High cost

8.     Product is out of stock or on backorder

9.     Cart abandonment

The last reason occurs when someone is interested enough to go to your website, find out more about your writing and/or your book, place the item in the cart and then leave your website without completing the sale. Why would anybody do that?

eMarketing1.     Unexpected shipping costs

2.     Time constraints

3.     Difficulty checking out

4.     Inconsistency in pricing

5.     Poor return policy

6.     Not a trusted site

Landing pages are important because they bypass superfluous information and allow someone to purchase quickly and easily with a minimal amount of time and effort. If you add multiple ways for a person to complete the sale—such as links to amazon, Barnes and Noble or other online sites, it gives them the option to complete the sale with a trusted source, often saving on shipping costs or taking advantage of gift cards or discounts offered by the retailer.

You can easily add reviews to your website through the Goodreads Reviews Widget at https://www.goodreads.com/api/reviews_demo_widget_iframe. Or you can link to the exact amazon page where readers can read reviews and complete the purchase there.


Landing pages also allows you to track how many visitors came to your page as a result of your marketing or promotional efforts. You can develop multiple landing pages and compare which ones are the most effective. Especially if you write in more than one genre, you’ll find one landing page may work well for one genre while a slightly different design works well for another.

p.m.terrell is the internationally acclaimed, award-winning author of more than 20 books in several genres. Her first book was published in 1984 and she became a full-time writer in 2002. She has mentored authors for more than 15 years and is the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation and the founder of the Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair. For more information, visit www.pmterrell.com.