Tips and Tricks for Selling Books on Amazon
By Laura Foti Cohen, author of The Cusp of Everything
At the NMX blogger convention held in Las Vegas earlier this month, Penny Sansevieri of Author Marketing Experts (@BookGal) offered a wealth of valuable information for self-published authors. Penny is the author of How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon.
She notes that 3500 books a day – yes a DAY – are published in the US. Amazon, the world’s largest bookstore, carries 4 million titles.
How do you stand out in this massive crowd? By working the system, from Amazon’s algorithms to its reviewers.
Your book’s sales rank is based not just on sales but on page views. Amazon is its own search engine, and as your book gets attention – and especially as it sells more – Amazon moves it to the front, recommending it to buyers of similar books.
Get visibility through keywords. Amazon lets you put up to seven keywords in the backend of your book page. Research the best keywords for your book through resources like https://freekeywords.wordtracker.com. More importantly, search the Kindle Store on Amazon. Find current keyword that are appropriate to your title as well.
You can use keywords in your title, subtitle, book description and Amazon backend. Use your keyword string four to seven times in your book description. Go for competitive categories of keywords, words that accurately describe your book and are widely searched without returning results top-heavy with million-selling books.
Once selected, don’t just check Keywords off your to do list. Change them every four to six weeks.
Next, make sure your book appears in the best possible categories on Amazon.
In Amazon’s Author Central – for those who self-publishing using the company’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) or CreateSpace programs –choose not just keywords but categories for your book. Find categories (and keywords) here
You want your book to be in a narrow category because getting to #1 in that category will trigger more Amazon support. Find a narrow category between two large categories. Search in the search line under “Books” and “Kindle store since not all categories are the same in e-book and print.
Own a narrow category by finding yours and publishing short books exclusively and consistently to that niche. Shorter books sell more! Once you have more than one book, link all your books together.
Next, find Amazon reviewers who might like your book and give it a positive review. Ideally, your book should have at least 20 reviews. To find them, enter the following search string in Google: http://www.amazon.com/review/top-reviewers “Top 1000 reviewer” “Business” (Or whatever is your book’s main category)
Reach out to those reviewers with a friendly solicitation. Do your homework! Mention some other books they reviewed positively and tell them you’d love it if they’d consider reviewing yours as well.
Finally, do some promotion. Ask for reader help by putting a page at the back of your book request that they review it. Participate in the Kindle Countdown: For a certain number of days your e-book is marked down, then increases after the promotion ends.
Yes, the competition in publishing is great. But the rewards can go beyond the pride of actually finishing writing a book.