It’s no secret that Amazon.com is the most important online venue for book sales, but it can be a challenge to get your book noticed by shoppers on this massive site. Below are six strategies for helping customers find your book among the millions of listings on Amazon.
1. Use Keywords in the Title and Subtitle of Your Book
Many shoppers search for books on Amazon by doing keyword searches, so it’s important to use relevant keywords in the title and/or subtitle of nonfiction books. If you’re publishing in Kindle format, it’s easy to add a subtitle if the book doesn’t already have one.
There’s also a keyword area on the Kindle publishing dashboard where you can input keywords for all types of books. Think about what kind of terms people might use to search for books like yours on Amazon.
2. Tag Your Book with Keywords
Another way to take advantage of keyword searches is to add keywords through Amazon’s Tag feature. On your book sales page, scroll down to the “Tags Customers Associate With This Product” area and add keywords that people might use in searching for a book such as yours.
When you ask people to post reviews of your book on Amazon.com, ask them to also click on the appropriate tags (each click gives the tag one vote) or add new tags.
The tag feature works for fiction and children’s books too. Adding tags can help shoppers find your book when they search for things like “Southern cozy mystery” or “children’s books about horses”.
3. Post Reviews of Other Products
Posting reviews of other related books and products is a good way to get visibility for yourself and your book. You’ll get exposure through the “signature” at the top of your review and you can also make subtle references in your review to the fact that you are an author or expert on the topic. But do not link to your own book page or website in your review.
Before you start doing reviews, update the signature in your personal profile on Amazon to identify your area of expertise or author status. Call yourself something like “author of Dog Training Made Easy” or “award-winning science fiction author”.
4. Publish in Kindle Format
There are more than a million ebooks available for sale in the Kindle store, and the number is rising rapidly. But that’s still far fewer than the number of print book listings on Amazon.com, giving you a greater chance of being found. And many readers prefer ebooks, especially for fiction.
If you choose to enroll in the KDP Select program, you can gain additional visibility and boost your Amazon sales rankings by making your book free on Amazon for five days out of every 90 day period. (Read more here for the pros and cons of KDP Select).
5. Create Lists and Guides
You can get visibility on the Amazon sales pages of competing or complementary books by creating Listmania® lists or “So You’d Like To” guides. These features let you create a list of books on a particular topic or genre (including your own book). Think if an intriguing, keyword-rich title for your lists, such as “best books for aspiring authors” or “cutest animal stories for children”.
6. Sell Lots of Books on Amazon
The more popular your book is on Amazon, the more it will get noticed. The number of recent sales seems to be an important factor in the algorithm that Amazon uses to rank search results. This is one reason it’s a good idea to direct all of your online book sales to Amazon.
If you’re fortunate enough to get your book onto the bestseller list in your category, your book will be highly visible to anyone searching for top books in your category. This is especially true for fiction.
It’s important to choose the best shelving categories when you publish your book. It’s easy to change the categories for a Kindle book using the publishing dashboard. For printed books, contact Amazon customer service through your Author Central account to request a category change.
Don’t miss these opportunities to help your book stand out from the crowd and gain extra sales in the world’s most important bookstore.
Dana Lynn Smith, The Savvy Book Marketer, helps authors and indie publishers learn how to sell more books through her how-to guides, blog, newsletter, and private coaching. For more book promotion tips, get her free ebook at TheSavvyBookMarketer.com.