086: Bryan Cohen – USA Today Bestseller Reveals His Secrets to His Success

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A two-time USA Today bestselling author, Bryan Cohen loves keeping up with the publishing world through The Sell More Books Show. As the CEO of Best Page Forward, Bryan and his team have written over 2,000 book descriptions. Bryan’s books have sold over 100,000 copies.

Today, he talks about writing powerful book descriptions, working with Amazon, and crafting wonderful ads that actually convert.

  • His writing journey and his experience in the Kindle space
  • Writing fiction vs nonfiction books
  • From writing books to helping other people on their writing journey
  • The elements of a powerful book description
  • How your Amazon ads work and why they’re so important
  • The step that 99% of authors skip when running ads
  • Why reading and understanding your numbers are critical
  • The importance of keeping up with the trends so you become relevant

[02:05] Early Beginnings 

From helping oneself to helping others: Bryan has always been interested in writing but he struggled with following through. So he funneled an improv comedy into a blog about creative writing prompts and story starters for people.

From helping writers to helping authors: He eventually put out a hundred of his blog posts into a book and put it on Kindle. He then transitioned more into helping authors instead of just helping writers in general.

[06:10] Writing Fiction vs Nonfiction Books

Fiction vs Nonfiction: Bryan enjoys it more when the fiction books are out while he enjoys writing nonfiction the more. He feels it’s more of an accomplishment to write fiction books while he finds writing nonfiction books easier to write.

Entertain vs Educate: Bryan is usually split between wanting to entertain and wanting to educate. His sweet spot is being able to do both.

[07:45] The Drive to Help Others

The first step: Bryan started his podcast before he even started providing services to authors or doing courses or writing a book for authors.

A good mix of passions: At this time, he was part of a mastermind group and was doing freelance writing on the side. One of the people in his mastermind group suggested he put up a course that mixed two of his passions – writing and helping authors. He came up with Freelance Writing for Authors, which ultimately became their Book Description for Authors. It was received well with 100 orders in just the first month.

[12:30] The Elements of a Powerful Book Description

The book description as your “closer.” Your book description is the last thing readers tend to look at when shopping for books. It’s your last chance to really get someone to actually buy your book.

Figure out your hook. What’s the hook that is specific to that kind of genre?

Spend on emotions. This is mostly for fiction although this also plays in for nonfiction. How can you create an emotional bond between the character in the book (fiction) and the author himself (nonfiction) and the reader? There needs to be an emotional connection. It’s not logic that sells things, it’s emotion.

Focus on the experience, not the plot. It’s not about the plot but how the character is experiencing it. What does the character feel or how do they react? What is the character going to do next?

Show the reader, not tell. From a nonfiction perspective, it’s about letting the reader know how you can take their life to another level.

Think about where the reader is when coming on to your sales page on Amazon. Give them a taste of the emotional journey and you’ll do a lot better.

[19:30] The Importance of Setting Up Amazon Ads

Make the customer’s journey easier. Run ads to your customers on Amazon so they can buy books on Amazon. It’s as simple as that.

Have a powerful book description. Regardless of where you run your ads, when they get to your page, a certain percentage (even if it’s 0.001%) of them is going to buy. They have the opportunity to buy or go away. But when you make sure the book description is stellar, you will get a higher percentage of them to buy.

[20:55] Why You Need to Understand Your Numbers

99% of authors skip the math. Establish how many people would buy your book as it is right now. If you run ads where you can track the number of clicks and how much money you spent, figure out your conversion rate.

Example:

If you can sell one book for every 10 books, you’re in pretty good shape. If it takes 5 clicks, you make more money, If it takes 20 clicks, there’s a chance you might not profit.

You’re not just publishing your masterwork, you’re now a small publishing company.

You need to look at metrics and think about yourself as a small business. This way, you get to observe changes in the purchaser’s behavior.

It’s not the best book that wins, but the book that’s best marketed to that particular genre of readers.

Bryan Cohen

[28:45] Keeping Up with the Trends

More and more books are being created. If people are creating books at the rate they’re creating them and if people find out more about marketing and learning and growing, the bar keeps getting raised.

Keep yourself up-to-date. Whatever your reason is for writing books, you have to keep up with your stuff. A 2016 cover is not going to do as well as the book that has a cover from 2020.

Episode Resources:

Know more about Bryan on his website, Best Page Forward.

Check out Bryan’s 5-Day Amazon Ad Profit Challenge.

Catch Bryan on The Sell More Books Show.

Follow him on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.

Check out his YouTube channel.

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