Amy Collins is the President of New Shelves Books, one of the largest book sales and marketing content providers in the US. As a guest on my webinar series, Conversations with Frances, she wowed the audience with her knowledge of Amazon and how to get your books more visible.
She started her talk with a revolutionary thought: “No one should care about rankings on Amazon,” she said. “Concern yourself with searchability instead.”
Amy continued to make numerous points, including these:
For print books, you can use https://sellercentral.amazon.com to start selling online. That’s assuming you purchased 1,000 copies of your book and need to be a reseller on Amazon. Amazon will charge you between $40 to $100/month.
Amazon Advantage: https://www.advantage.amazon.com is similar to Seller Central. Under this program, you can sign up as an author or publisher. You sell your back stock to Amazon and Amazon will sell your books.
Most people are on Amazon through CreateSpace, which has hundreds and hundreds of digital print facilities. Print on Demand is the business model that allows CreateSpace to print books one or 20 or 100 at a time. They print to the order. CreateSpace is ideal for first-time publishers. www.CreateSpace.com
Audio and eBooks – More than 19% of the books sold in the U.S. alone are sold as ebooks; 95% of those ebooks are sold through Kindle. Audiobooks comprises 15% of the books sold. Source: Book Industry Study Group
Easiest way to get your books on Amazon is through https://KDP.amazon.com. It’s free to sign up. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) only keeps 35% of the cost of your ebook if your book is $2.99 or more. There are exceptions for some countries.
KDP allows you a direct relationship with Amazon. It’s a good idea to take your Mobi file directly to KDP versus letting a third party application upload your book to KDP for you.
KDP Select is the program you sign up for to offer your ebook exclusively through Amazon. Amy isn’t a fan of KDP Select because she wants her books available everywhere and not restricted to Amazon. KDP Select isn’t ideal to her.
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Audio books = www.acx.com Owned by Amazon, you can upload your book and producers and actor bid to record your audiobook. (You can record it yourself.) ACX.com is a terrific start to start if you’re considering an audiobook.
How your Amazon page looks is important. Consider these factors:
- Cover: Was it professionally created?
- Search Inside feature – It’s important for people to be able to browse through your books.
- Did you write a description with lots of white space and bullet points?
- Include an author bio.
- Make sure that the price of your book is competitive with the page count.
- Does your book have reviews?
If you upload your book to CreateSpace, it will automatically be eligible for Amazon Prime status.
Regarding reviews, there’s nothing wrong with a three- or four-star review.
Your Amazon page needs to include your biography. Lead with the information that will most impress people with your credentials.
www.AuthorCentral.Amazon.com – Make sure you claim your name as an author. Every book that you’ve written and contributed to should be on your Author Central account. Include videos, all your books, and your blog and twitter account. This is a great place for keywords.
Ranking doesn’t matter as much as searchability. Searchability and findability are far more important than ranking.
Make your book more discoverable with keywords.
You can use up to seven keywords. Don’t use the same keywords that you use on KDP on CreateSpace also. Use 14 different keywords. Use these keyword types:
- Setting (Colonial America)
- Character types (single dad, veteran)
- Character roles (strong female lead)
- Plot themes (coming of age, forgiveness)
- Story tone (dystopian, feel-good)
Use phrases that people will type in to Amazon’s search bar find books like yours.
Search for books in your genre/topic and determine to determine which keywords they use. Then emulate the keywords you found for other books in your genre and use them.
Create a wish list and shopping cart with other bestselling books books in your genre and include your book. Get other people to buy the same books grouped with yours. Within a few days, your book will be linked with other bestselling books in your genre.
Right now, when you have 85 reviews or more, all of a sudden Amazon bots notice and recommend your books.
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Editorial reviews – Vine reviews – Verified reviews = these can go in the body of description about your book. Verified reviews show up at the top of the list.
Vine is a select group of reviewers. They’ve written a lot of reviews and Amazon invited these select reviews into the Vine program.
You need to spend time every day asking people to review your book.
The author of this blog: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several social media books including the 2nd edition of Social Media Just for Writers, The Author’s Guide to Goodreads, and Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.
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