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!