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4 Ways to Improve Your Amazon Listing (and Sell Way More Books)

The following is a guest post by Laura Pepper Wu of 30 Day Books. Want more Amazon tips and tricks? Check out her guide “Fire Up Amazon!

Your Amazon page is your storefront! (Image: MichelleHenry.fr)

Before we get to the juicy stuff, I’m going to have a little lady-rant, and then get right back on track.

You see, sometimes we have to sit back and sniff the roses.

That is, acknowledge that Amazon is really, REALLY good to us indie authors.

Yep, I said it. As much as the indie author community loves to hate them, I for one admire, respect and fully appreciate the opportunities Amazon has carved out for me in order to make a career out of writing.

Writing – a childhood dream for many of us. Without an agent, book deal, or any of that good stuff. And yes, they pay us. Thank you Amazon for funding my coffee and travel addiction.

I don’t worship the ground the Amazon headquarters is planted on, ‘cos sure there are kinks in the system, but I DO fully understand that Amazon has ALLOWED me to put my books on sale in the biggest online bookstore in the world, for FREE.


So, I think it’s up to me, and everyone else publishing on THE BIGGEST ONLINE BOOKSTORE IN THE WORLD (just had to repeat that one), to act as professionally as possible, and to start taking our presence on Amazon seriously. That means spending appropriate time and energy getting our listings, descriptions, and presence as good as they can be. Here are a few ideas of many on how to do just that…

 1.   Be Liked

Remember that thing called “third party validation” from the random Economics class you took way back when? That’s exactly what that ‘like’ button next to your book title is about. It’s nothing to do with Facebook, though it works on the same principle – anyone with an Amazon account can click the ‘Like’ button and make your book look popular. Simple huh?

Action step: Why not send out a tweet or a Facebook message asking your inner circle to spend two seconds hitting the ‘Like’ button and instantly improve the your book’s image to a shopper on Amazon.com.

2.   Add Customer Images

There is a sweet little tool that Amazon allows you, and other readers/ fans, to utilize at no cost. Under your book cover there is the option to ‘add customer images’. You might add pictures of your book, or pictures of something loosely related to your book that supports it in some way. For example, you could add pictures of your paperback to your Kindle page, a pic of someone reading the book, images of the location/ setting of the book, an animal or creature featured in the book… whatever.

Action step: Find out more about how this works in this article, then go get snappy!

3.   Get Listed & Recommended

Amazon often recommends books to browsing customers. You can influence these recommendations if your book is featured on a Listmania or So You’d Like to listing. These are customer-created lists of related items to whatever the customer is browsing.

Action step: Use these features to creates lists of books that are similar to yours, or compliment yours in some other way to create connections you would otherwise not share. Don’t worry about  creating competition, there’s room for everyone here!

4.   Product description Sales Copy

Oh gawsh, the product description is so misunderstood. Let me tell you a secret…

Your product description is actually your sales copy. It’s advertising copy. It’s there to sell your book, so make sure it does. Don’t tell us how old Pete is or what the fairy eats for breakfast, tell us why your book is different, awesome and needs to be read RIGHT NOW!

Action step: Take some time to learn about copywriting principles, calls to action, building buzz through language. This is likely very different to the writing that you are used to, and may feel a little ‘icky’ at first. You want to sell books? Guess what, you have to switch your artist hat for your marketing hat sometimes. Take the time to craft this valuable section of your Amazon page and it will drive sales.

About the Author

Laura Pepper Wu is co-founder of 30 Day Books. In early July she will be releasing the premium video coaching series ‘Fire Up Amazon (& Leave it on Autopilot!)’. Through 6 videos she’ll share with you how to customize Amazon into your 24/7, international shop front that is irresistible and effective at selling more books.

Want in? Sign up for 30 Day Books updates here… (it’s free!) & be the first to get notified of access to Fire Up Amazon!

  • Janice Lane Palko

    Great post. I’m just about to go the Amazon route and this is a great resource. Also, I share your love for Amazon! I feel fortunate to be around for this revolution.


  • Melissa

    Awesome post. I especially liked the tip you give out in #4 about the product description being ad copy…excellent advice for us novice writers. Thank you!

    • Glad it helped Melissa. I’ll be talking about this in more detail on 30 Day Books soon :)

  • LizA180

    Thanks for that. I agree that Amazon has become the way for us Indie authors to have a voice. I’m so appreciative!

  • Wonderful post and great, easy-to-do tips! xx, Lauren

  • Robert Chazz Chute

    Great! Pointed my readers your way. Cheers.

  • “Why not send out a tweet or a Facebook message asking your inner circle to spend two seconds hitting the ‘Like’ button and instantly improve the your book’s image to a shopper on Amazon.com.”

    This seems perilously close to being dishonest–like asking friends and family to write reviews. “Validation” would mean being liked by readers who weren’t doing it as a favor, you know? This kind of advice makes me uneasy.

    Really loved tip #4. Good marketing copy is essential.

  • AnnabelSmith

    Sometimes i hesitate to click on links about self-publishing becuase so much of the content feels recycled but there are a couple of excellent tips here I’ve never encountered before, so thank you. I will definitely try #2 and #3.

    • Thank you, Annabel! Laura did a wonderful job with this post — definitely check out her site, too! :-)

  • Thank you so much. This is an awesome post and I will definitely be trying this stuff out on my next book :)

  • Adan Lerma

    Impressed, part nice reminder, part new info, all nicely clearly laid out, thanks 😉

  • Thank you so much. I’ve been stuck for the last five days trying to pimp my book out for better sales :)

  • Michael

    Amazon has discontinued the “add customer images” feature as of July 15, 2013.