Many authors spend only time on the content of their books and ignore the details. I completely agree that the content is the most important part of the book, but without an attractive cover design many potential readers will not click on the link of the book. If they don’t click on the link, they will not read its content and therefore they don’t discover the value of your material. For the second edition I decided to spend much more time and money on the cover design and the content design.
I have hired more than 5 professional designers to work on the cover and gave them feedback several times. Some of them were reasonable, but didn’t convince me at the end. I paid all of them, but decided not to use any of their works. I have myself some experience with Photoshop, therefore I decided to spend time on it and to create it myself.
Here below are some of the designs that are created by those professionals. I don’t claim that my own design is better. I have to say that I even inspired by some of the following designs. The following covers are really beautiful, but to my opinion not unique.
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You might disagree with my opinion, but I thought that the one I designed stands more out from the crowd. For that reason and some other reasons like the author’s right of the design and having the original source of it, I have decided to choose my own version.
I have also improved the content of the first version by adding an extra chapter and some other small improvements in the other chapters. Once the book was finished, I was exited to upload this second version to Amazon.
My improvements paid off when my book in the first few days became Amazon’s number one new releases. That wasn’t very exiting because the list of the new releases in programming books contained less than 50 books as far as I remember.
After a few months, my book wasn’t on the top 100 bestsellers in its branch, but its rank was much higher than the first version of the same book. I mentioned top 100 bestsellers, because Amazon shows only the top 100 bestsellers divided in two pages. The first page is the top 50 best sellers and the second page starts from 51 till and end up with 100.
I didn’t write down every details of the performance of the book, but I noticed an improvement compared to the first version.
The algorithm which Amazon uses for ranking books is unknown and as far as I know it is a secret to avoid manipulation. That is also the same by Google search engine, YouTube, Facebook and other organizations, but I can share some points in which I believe that raise my book to the top best seller. There are two types of substantiations that could lead to raise a book to the top best seller.
A. Substantiations that could be influenced by authors
1- Potential readers
One of the most important concept that most new authors ignore is building potential readers. Even though I did that widely, but still my first book struggled to get a sufficient number of readers. Before writing a book, you might consider to start a blog or publish in your branch in other platforms. In my experience I started to post article on this website (sarmaroof.com), Dzone.com, my own facebook page and other business pages on facebook, click here for the links.
2- The content of the book
There is a quote which says “Content is king”.That is true and in my opinion the content is actually one of the most important part of success, because a good content advertises it self. Many potential readers will share your content and talk about it if they like your book.
3- The title of the book
The title should represent the content of the book as much as possible. My first title choice was “Java Quizmaster for Beginners“. Later on, I realized that my title was vague and it doesn’t tell the goal of the book clearly. For the second edition I have chosen the title “Learn Java and Master Writing Code“. The second one makes it clear that this book teaches Java programming language to beginners and focuses on learning writing code.
4- The design of the cover
Standing out from the crowd should be an important goal by designing the cover. When you search a book on Amazon, many books regarding that branch appears. If the design is not unique, many potential readers wouldn’t click on the link to see the details.
B. Substantiations that could not be influenced by authors
1- Customer’s review
It is great if customers take the time to write a feedback over your book, but unfortunately takes a lot of time to get customer’s feedback. My book after a few years received three 5 stars with a positive two of positive feedback, but one without feedback. When my book became number one best seller, some customer gave it one star and then some one gave it 4 stars at last also one 2 stars. Unfortunately none of them left feedback, therefore I couldn’t learn anything from their reviews. I have seen books that by their release they got immediately many times 5 stars. I was astonished to see that some books by their releases get so many positive reviews. I searched the internet to see what the reason could be, then I have found that you can pay online for reviews. That answers my questions, but I only would like to have a review from a genuine customer. Later on I have noticed that Amazon has removed most of the reviews of those books.
I am not sure of this one, but I think that sharing your book by customers will also have a positive effect of the ranking.
To Be Continued …………………