I just provided our content team with a list of the April updates for the Booktango bookstore homepage. Believe it or not, there is not a systematic program that runs to feed this page. Each month I sit down and carefully review our titles to decide which books to feature.
The bookstore has several carousels of books on the homepage including the top ‘featured’ carousel, Books We Love, Noteworthy Titles and the coveted Booktango Feature Title. I thought I’d share a little bit about my process of choosing which books to feature, and give you five tips to help your book get picked in upcoming months!
1.) Make sure your keywords are updated. The very first step in my process is to look for books that are relevant to events of the month or related to the season. For the April featured books I searched for the following keywords: April, Spring, Flower, Gardening, Vacation, Bloom, Autism, Earth, Health, Poetry, Baseball, and Mathematics (and a few more). All of those words have some relevance to April or events going on around this time making them relevant books to feature for the month.
2.) Take the time to write a strong book description. One of the downsides of my job is there is no possible way I can read every book that Booktango publishes; however, I do find the best books by reading the book description provided. Make sure to take the time to write a strong “About the Book” blurb before submission. Read and re-read it to make sure it gives a potential book buyer a good description and ‘hook’ into your book. When I find well-written, intriguing and descriptive marketing text, it hits my list for featured books. You can get more tips on writing a good marketing description here for free.
3.) Make sure your cover is eye catching and relevant. It’s true what they say about book covers, so never rush through this step. The easiest way for me to select books for the featured carousels is to scan for relevant and beautiful covers. While a cover that is full of colors and very appeasing to the eye is nice, if it isn’t relevant to the content of the book itself, I will likely skip over it. Looking through the covers our authors have submitted, it’s clear we have some extremely creative people! I love to reward your investment or hard work in designing your cover, whether on your own or through our custom cover service, by featuring it.
4.) Strong sales. Now this one may surprise some of you. You may think the homepage of the bookstore should be for those books which need help making more sales. In some instances it is (I’ll get there in a moment). This isn’t my first factor in selecting books, but it is one I hit from time to time. If a book is doing well in sales with the online retailers, I’d love to give it a boost on Booktango, too, and make sure the author earns their full 100% royalties without any retailer cut.
5.) Promote your book. This is by far the one I use most often. I check the Booktango Twitter feed and Facebook page daily. If you are doing all you can to promote your book and get it out there, then I want to help you out. If you use Twitter, be sure to tag @Booktango or enter your full bookstore link in your tweet, and I am sure to see it. I am particularly interested in those authors who do a variety of tweets or ‘tease’ their book to hook readers in.
Unfortunately, even with all of the above it is impossible to feature every book we publish, but I try to make sure everyone who does the above well get their turn. Think I missed something in my considerations? Comment below and maybe I’ll pick up your thought process for future months!