14 min read
Authors know that promoting a book is almost as hard as writing it. The good news is there’s a secret weapon that makes the promotion part a little bit easier: Landing pages.
Think you don’t need a landing page because you’re selling your book through other channels? Keep reading. In this blog post, I’ll be answering questions and sharing best practices for effective book landing pages.
Let’s start by talking about why authors need a landing page in the first place.
While landing pages are smart conversion tools, they also help authors accomplish important tasks around their books, such as:
Landing pages aren’t just for published books. In many cases, authors use landing pages to tease a book that’s coming soon. Whether you release a teaser video and collect email addresses to inform readers when they can buy the book, or you offer a free chapter to collect email addresses, it’s up to you. This approach gives you access to the inboxes of readers that are genuinely interested in reading your book.
Selling your book through e-commerce sites like Amazon will help you reach readers, but you have to follow their product page rules regarding visuals, descriptions, and design. This means you have to fit your book presentation into a certain template.
Nobody can deny the positive impact of using these platforms for selling a book. However, when it comes to promoting, it’s up to you to present your book in the best possible light. Landing pages are a great tool for this, as they give authors freedom and flexibility to emphasize the things that will help them sell more books like reviews, a book trailer, or a free chapter.
Having a dedicated book landing page helps authors attract and keep more readers by offering a piece of digital real estate to be very specific about their book and why it’s worth reading.
Generic websites or a bland product page for a book can cause visitors to lose interest. Landing pages, however, allow the author to direct email and social traffic to a highly specific, action-focused page that keeps visitors engaged and active.
Maybe you’re wondering why you should create a landing page when you can just send readers directly to your book’s page on Amazon. The reason: Landing pages help you get a visitor’s undivided attention and they help you stand out from the sea of authors.
Instead of related books, similar authors, and different book reviews, landing pages let you control the message and what’s included on the page.
When the dust of your launch settles, you want to have a hub where readers can come to learn more about your book (and your upcoming work, too.) Having a landing page gives your book a place to live and help you with SEO.
No matter how much time passes by, when someone searches for something related to your book, they will find it in a few clicks.
Not everyone that opens your landing page will end up buying your book. And that’s okay. However, tech-savvy authors know the information they collect using a landing page can be worth its weight in gold.
Now that we know why book landing pages are important, let’s look at how you can create one of your own.
When it comes to building an effective book landing page, there are five essential elements that you don’t want to miss:
No one knows better than authors how important book titles are. They set the tone, give hints to the reader about the book genre or style, and they help grab readers’ attention, making them want to read the book.
Landing page headlines are the equivalent of book titles. The headline is the first impression readers get about your book, but at the same time, the first opportunity to market your book.
Good landing pages are not text-heavy. Focus on the most appealing messages from your book. Break the copy in short paragraphs, and use bullet points to make your copy digestible.
Remember that what you write on the landing page should be a preview, not a summary. Give your readers a hint, but leave something unanswered to motivate them to purchase your book.
We live in a visual world. According to Ethos3, the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, and 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual.
If we add the fact that website visitors typically read only 20% of the text on a page, then it becomes clear that focusing on visual content can make a significant difference. If you have an appealing book cover, don’t hesitate to use it, that way readers will memorize your book better.
A clear call-to-action is critical for an effective book landing page. Whether you want to motivate the readers to visit your Amazon book page where they can buy the book, download a chapter, or sign up to be notified when the books get published, make readers follow through to the next step with a strong call-to-action.
This is probably why you are building a landing page in the first place: To make it easier for readers to find and buy your book. If you’re selling your book through different channels, this is the focal point where readers can find all the information they need.
After you cover the basics, it’s time to add elements that can significantly increase the success of your book landing page. Here are a few options to consider that can help boost conversions.
If you want to spice things up a little bit, then consider using a video on your book landing page.
Data from Forbes shows that the average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. On top of that, viewers are 95% more likely to remember a call-to-action after watching a video, compared to just 10% when reading it in text format–and landing page videos can increase conversions by 86%.
Videos are fun to watch and easy to consume. At the same time, they create a sense of excitement and motivation. Using storytelling in your video can help you evoke emotions and get the desired reaction from the readers.
Think of a book video as a movie trailer. You want it to be interesting enough to make them want to read the book, without giving out too many details and losing their interest.
People are curious. They always want to know more before they buy something, no matter if it’s a car, purse, or a book. There are different ways to give a sneak peek to your readers. One we’ve already mentioned: A short video.
Another way of sharing a sneak peek with your readers is by letting them download a free chapter. Authors that are ready to share a few pages with the readers before they buy the book show they’re confident in the book they’re selling, and they know that sharing an excerpt can only motivate readers to buy the book more.
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that reassures people that since so many people behave in a certain way, then it must be the right behavior. That explains why we as buyers look for product reviews, scroll to the comments section, or visit review sites.
Data from Spiegel Research Center shows that nearly 95% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase.
Adding reviews to your landing page will make reader’s lives easier. How? By validating the worthiness of your book and reassuring them that it’s money well-spent.
The primary purpose of a book landing page is to navigate readers to take a specific action. If they land on a page where there are different calls to action, you may confuse them…and they might even leave your page.
Research shows that 48% of landing pages contain more than one call-to-action, even though multiple offers can decrease conversions by up to a whopping 266%. When people are presented with too many choices, they feel overwhelmed and end up not taking any action at all.
Your landing page should have one primary goal, and you should use a single call-to-action to avoid decision fatigue.
You want to avoid any distractions from the one goal you have. Keeping readers interested and engaged is hard enough. Offering them other doors and windows might significantly decrease the number of finished actions.
So make sure to remove all navigation bars from your book landing page and entice readers to click the call-to-action button.
Back in 2016, Google confirmed that more than 50% of all web traffic is now coming from smartphones and tablets, so it’s no surprise that they’ve shifted indexing from desktop to mobile-first. In other words, the mobile version of a web page is used (rather than the desktop version) to index and rank the site on the search engine.
Millennials and Gen Z are digital-native generations, and their affinity for technology has reshaped the buyer journey. However, they are not only digital; they are also mobile. They’re always on the go, and they expect access to information where and when they want it.
Unless you’re ready to give up on the two largest generations, pay close attention to mobile optimization and offer the best possible mobile experience.
In our impulse society, people are in constant pursuit of instant gratification. They get bored very easily, so you have to offer engaging experiences fast in order to grab their attention.
According to Google, 53% of visits are likely to be abandoned if pages take longer than three seconds to load.
No matter how good the design of your website is and how good your book is, if your page is slow, you’re going to lose readers. People love content-rich sites, but they won’t waste their time if your page is slow. Check your page load speed performance with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. It scores your page and recommends improvements, too.
If you’re not sure what headline you should use, or if you’re hesitating between two visuals, A/B testing is your best bet. According to Invespcro, 60% of companies use split testing to improve their landing pages.
Nothing is set in stone. Best practices are based on experiments and previous experiences, but you can always test what works best for your target audience.
Want to see what a great book landing page looks like in action? I’ve gathered some compelling examples for you to learn from.
The best way to attract readers is to give them a sneak peek of the story. Adding a short author bio, book synopsis, and irresistible call-to-action (Yes, I love dragons! Sign me up!) is the right recipe for clicks.
When you look at the Defender of Histories landing page, you can see beautiful artwork and only one call-to-action, asking readers to download a free excerpt. This way, the author can collect email addresses and inform the reader when the book gets published.
If you don’t have some specific artwork to present, go for a landing page with a clean design. Emphasize the message with author bio and tell your readers what makes you different from other authors/couches. If you decide to go with a longer landing page, make sure to always keep the form above the fold.
There is something in question headlines that makes us want to click right away. When asking questions, the author lures readers into the story.
The landing page copy should be short and clear, and you should always be transparent with the readers. If you plan to use their email addresses to send them a newsletter, let them know upfront. That way, they won’t feel surprised and frustrated when they receive your email.
Use the landing page copy to let the readers know what they can expect if they get your book. If you are promoting a guide, mention some of the points that will be covered.
Another best practice is to show the book cover. No matter if you’re promoting a hard copy or an ebook, readers are always curious to see how the book looks.
Now that you know the importance of having a landing page for your book, here’s the best part: Creating a landing page is free with ConvertKit!
With dozens of fully customizable author landing page templates, you can design your own book landing page in no time. Whether you’re ready to promote your book, announce an upcoming project, tell your audience about yourself, or create landing pages for your current books, landing pages can help you get the word out quickly and easily.