Taking Advantage of Amazon
Most authors are familiar with Amazon.com as an excellent distribution channel for their book. Few are aware of the numerous marketing resources available to them on the Web site. Simply having your book listed on the site is not enough among the multitude of choices that your potential readers have when they log on. Knowing how to use Amazon as a book marketer could make a world of difference in your sales.
After your book is listed, you have the option of creating all sorts of content, including an author bio, short description of your book, any reviews you’ve received, and even an excerpt from your book. Remember to include an image as well. Art from your book or your actual book cover works well. This content gives potential buyers more to make their purchase decision on when they come to your book page than just a title and price.
“A blank featureless profile does not allow readers to make the connection with you and your words,” experienced Amazon user and author of Elfhunter, Fire-heart, and Ravenshade, C.S. Marks said.
Be sure that all descriptive content is well-written and grammatically correct. Your writing online speaks to your competence as an author.
Users have the option to post reviews to your book page. In the beginning, to boost your reviews, ask friends and family to log on and say a few words about your book. Another great way to get reviews is to give copies of your book to people and ask them to write about your book on Amazon if they liked it. These third-party endorsements will help move buyers to the decision to purchase. If a review is not positive, accept it gracefully. Not everyone will like your book and it doesn’t pay to respond angrily.
Do not post reviews of your own book. “Review other authors’ work but never your own,” Marks said. “Reviewing your own book will reflect very poorly indeed.”
When reviewing others’ work, make sure the review is grammatically correct and helpful to the reader. Again, your activity online is a way for potential readers to judge your skills as an author.
As an Amazon user, you have the option to post comments to multiple discussion threads on a range of subjects. When people read and appreciate your comments, they may be intrigued to check out your profile. There, they will find your book.
“One of the strategies that has worked best for me is to participate in appropriate forum discussions. If I believe I can make a helpful contribution to a discussion, I join in,” Marks said.
Marks is very careful not to self-promote, but instead provides insightful comments that intrigue the reader and lead them to her profile. “I suppose the bottom line, at least for me, is that it is my job to make to entice the readers into buying my books. I do that by making them curious, luring them to my page, and then ensnaring them with my fabulous cover art and great reviews,” Marks said.
Avoid spamming. Spamming consists of promoting your book in a discussion thread instead of making any intelligent contribution to the conversation. Users don’t appreciate this and it will reflect poorly on you as an author.
As a seller, giving your potential customers more reasons to buy your book is your job. Take advantage of Amazon Upgrade. This gives all buyers the option to purchase an electronic copy of your book after they buy the hard copy. They can begin reading while they’re waiting for their copy to arrive, and can read the book from any computer they happen to be on.
In this digital age, everything is going paperless … even books. You can have your book placed in a digital format that readers can read on their wireless reading device, Kindle. This allows your readers to have access to your book immediately after buying it and is the reading device of choice for many young readers.
Your readers can now buy $0.49 “shorts” on Amazon. A short is a 2,000-to-10,000-word piece written by an author that can be downloaded. Lots of authors write shorts that describe the back story of a character in their book or add to their book in some way. Other authors simply write short stories or essays in their genre or area of expertise. Shorts are a great way to keep in contact with your readers between novels.
Call your AuthorHouse marketing consultant to find out how we can help you take advantage of these opportunities on Amazon.com.