If you’ve written a book in the past couple of years or so, you’ve probably figured out that it’s important to sell it on Amazon – the largest book retailer in the U.S., if not the world. And if you’re selling books on Amazon, you’ve probably already discovered that there are a lot of intricate and ever-evolving details that will help you succeed (or cause you to fail) at selling books on this enormous and complicated site.
Naturally, you’re looking for some guidance. Tips, tricks, recipes for success. But where should you turn?
There are a lot of books out there on the subject of selling books at Amazon. Some of them are quite good, while others rely more on gaming the system. For my money, Shelley Hitz’s book, Marketing Your Book On Amazon: 21 Things You Can Easily Do For Free To Get More Exposure and Sales (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009SGXWM0/), is a great place to start – particularly if you’re a complete newcomer to selling books at Amazon.
As promised, Hitz describes 21 things you can do to boost your sales and your book’s exposure on the retailer’s website, all of which are completely free. Some of her suggestions include:
- Choosing the best categories for your book
- Creating a compelling book description
- Adding search keywords to your book
- Adding tags to your book’s sales page
- Keeping your author profile updated
- Posting your most powerful reviews on your book’s sales page
These are pretty straightforward suggestions, aimed at the beginning author who may not be aware of all the bells and whistles available from Amazon’s KDP program. She clearly and completely outlines each strategy, one by one, and even includes screenshots that help illustrate her directions. This makes it even easier for tech-challenged authors to follow along.
Several more advanced options – like digitally autographing your book, promoting your book with KDP Select, and promoting your book on social media – are also outlined here, giving authors who have already completed the basic tasks more ideas about how to keep their books present and accessible to potential readers.
One of the most helpful parts of the book, however, is the Post-Publication Checklist, which lays out a list of 13 items all authors should do once they’ve published their book at Amazon. This is something every author should tack up on the wall in their writing nook, to make sure they’ve done each of these important items.
Another great bonus included in this book is a link to a video tutorial that covers even more marketing tips! The video is slightly over 27 minutes long, and takes the audience through the act of promoting a book from start to finish.
Finally, Hitz also includes a link to “200+ Free Book Marketing and Author Tools,” a free PDF that you can download as a bonus for signing up for her newsletter. When I went to the URL listed in the book (http://www.self-publishing-coach.com/newsletter.html), I discovered that this has actually changed to a free download of Building A Book Marketing Plan, which includes both a PDF and additional video training, along with free templates. How cool is that?
Overall, I found Shelley’s book to be a great introduction to marketing your book at Amazon. While I did find most of the suggestions pretty basic, I still found plenty of useful tips in the book, and really enjoyed the multimedia addition of the video links. Shelley’s conversational, down-to-earth writing style is easy to read, and each of her chapters offers actionable tips for improving your book’s visibility at Amazon.com. While you can quickly breeze through the book in an hour or so, you’re sure to find yourself flipping back through the chapters to complete more of your author profile or sign up for more sites that will help promote your book to readers.
In addition to this book, I would also highly recommend bookmarking Shelley’s page, 76+ Places to Submit Your Free KDP Select Promotion for Your Kindle eBook (http://www.trainingauthors.com/47-places-to-submit-your-free-kdp-promotion-for-your-kindle-ebook/). It’s a great resource for promoting your ebooks during your KDP Free Days, and most of the sites listed there offer free postings that can really expand your book’s promotional reach.
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