From author John Ellsworth:
I have a very strong presence in legal thrillers. The secret has been marketing. My two most recent books are around 8 and 10 in legal thrillers top 100. The books I can’t move in order to get a better ranking are John Grisham (of course) and the rest are Thomas Mercer imprints where the author has one or more books by TM that then pull the others along and they all rank in the top five or six all of the time. So be it, there’s nothing I can do about it except bank my mid-five-figures each month and look at the next shiny toy on Amazon’s site.
But I was lucky and somewhat knowledgeable when I first published in January 2014. I had done SEO on Google’s Adwords for ten years and was pretty up on the importance of graphics and keywords. The graphics paid off by Bookbub giving me like ten or twelve promos in my first fifteen months. This had everything to do with my cover art, I am convinced. No, the covers are not typical genre like many gurus preach, but they did all have the indicia of legal thrillers such as courthouse columns or scales of justice somewhere in the cover. But my cover artist is a genius and had done Internet branding for many years and knew what i needed/wanted.
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Branding is the name of the game for me. Which will at least get you to the Look Inside feature. After that you better have a compelling story, worldview, and voice or no matter how great your cover you won’t sell books. Purchasers are very astute when it comes to authorial sophistication and I was lucky in that regard too because I had written novels for thirty years, never made a sale to tradpub, and was quite accomplished (not bragging, I hope) when it came time to producing sentences people would like. Since January 2014 I have published 14 books and sold in excess of 150,000, the majority of those in the past eight or nine months.
Link to the rest at John Ellsworth
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