This is a repost of our best of 2012 postings. Enjoy the festive season…
Amazon has become a primary market for book sellers and self-published authors. Writers can promote and sell their books on the site without ever having to be published in print. It has even allowed a few writers to rise from obscurity to the ranks of national, best-selling authors – all without the help of a publisher. Search marketing can help you to promote your book, helping to get it noticed by more readers to increase sales.
Here are a just a few ways that you can use search marketing techniques to promote your book on Amazon:
1. Start with a Correct and Complete Listing
Errors are ubiquitous on book listings, from misspelled author names to incorrect titles. If readers are going to learn about you and your work, they need to be able to find you. Make sure all the details in your listing are correct. Next, make sure all of the information is included on the page. Include more than just the title of the book and your name. Fill in a summary, offer up some information about yourself, and include a little preview text. The more information you can include on the page, the more opportunities there are for readers to learn about your work and become enticed to buy it so they can read more.
2. Use SEO in Titles and Tags
Long before you list your book on the site, you should be thinking of a title that will be easy to find in searches. If you have written a work of fiction, this may be harder to do. “A Man Catches a Very Big Whale and Learns about His True Nature” doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Moby Dick.” But if you write non-fiction books, be sure to write a title that uses keywords that potential readers might use to find your work. For example, instead of a clever title like “Going Fishing,” your title should be “101 Ways to Find and Land Freelance Writing Clients.” Amazon also allows you to use tags for your listing. Take advantage of these to include search terms that your target audience would use to help them find your book.
3. Get Reviews
The easiest way to get reviews for your book is to create fake profiles and then review it yourself. (You’ll be sure to get a 5 star rating!) However, many authors don’t feel right about doing this. The next best way to get reviews for your book is to ask friends and family to read it and to post a review. They’ll be likely to give you a favorable review, but you won’t have to coach them on what to write. You can also send the staff at Amazon a copy of your book (digitally, of course) to review. They aren’t likely to give you a bad review. Even if they don’t like your book, they’re more likely to just ignore your request. But chances are that you’ll get an easy favorable review. The more reviews you get, the higher your book will appear in search results.
4. Use Blogs and Articles to Promote Yourself
One of the best promotional tools any author can use is a personal blog. If you don’t have a blog already, set one up. You can use the blog to promote your work, as well as any upcoming work. Link to your sales pages on Amazon from your blog. The higher your blog ranks, the more traffic you will get, and the more referrals are possible for your sales page. You can also write blog posts for Amazon’s blog, then link to your book in the signature line. Amazon also has a section of how-to articles on its site. Write an article that is related to the content of your book, then link to it in your signature line.
5. Use Listmania
One of Amazon’s features allows users to create lists of their favorite books, movies, CDs and more. It is called Listmania, and it is a great tool for you to promote your own work. Simply create a list of books around a theme that is similar to your book, then include your own book on the list. Try not to be too flagrantly self-promoting with this feature, such as creating a top 10 that is entirely populated by your own books. Readers will usually see right through such a tactic and ignore your list completely. However, including one or two of your own books on a list will be expected and can help draw attention to your work.
Being a successful writer in this day and age requires that you learn a lot about marketing – much of which is changing – in order to promote your own work. Traditional publishing models are falling by the wayside, and Web 2.0 technologies
are gaining favor. Learning how to use these and other strategies will help you to promote your book on Amazon so that you can create a successful self-publishing career.
About the Author:
Charissa Newark is the resident blogger and the editor for AccountingDegree.net. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in English in 2005 and unable to find a “9-5”, Charissa began freelance writing and doing research for various websites. A few of the current topics she is researching include ways to attain an accounting degree and how to get aaccounting bachelor degree online.
[Editorial Note:This is a guest post and TIPM may not necessarily agree with all of the opinions, suggestions and points made in this post.]