Marketing your book can be complex, and I totally understand how frustrating it can be, but Amazon is the one area you can’t skimp on in today’s retail landscape so I want to address the most common complaints I get in hopes it will put you on better footing going forward.
1. There are too many book marketing services offering Amazon keyword gimmicks.
I hear this all time! Or an equally upsetting variation is, “I used [insert name of generic keyword generator].”
Yes, Amazon book marketing is overwhelming but cutting corners is not an acceptable answer, mostly because it gives you a false sense of productivity and it definitely doesn’t give you useful insight into how well your book is faring in the market.
Worse yet, a lot of book marketing services are happy to charge you a premium, and then use of the free or inexpensive keyword generators and call it day. Again – creating a false sense of what’s really working.
When authors work with me, our team does totally manual, custom research to determine the most lucrative keywords at the time. And I’ll get to “at the time” in just a moment.
Manual research means we’re actually digging into what readers (shoppers) are using to find products (books) they end up buying on Amazon. So we won’t give you keywords that have been trending across all products for the last 6 months or so, we focus on what’s working now.
Timeliness is also key. I suggest updating your keywords by doing new manual research once a quarter. No, you won’t be changing out all the keywords every time, but marketing a book means staying up to date with reader trends and those change from season to season, around holidays, during summer break, etc.
2. The Amazon category options seem too broad.
This happens a lot because many authors naturally gravitate toward the print side of Amazon, and those really are limited because you’re focused on BISAC codes.
Be sure to check the Kindle side of Amazon, where the categories are broken down for many genres, especially fiction.
Our program for keywords can help with this as well, and unlike a lot of book marketing services, I assure you you’ll learn a lot about how to manage your own work going forward. And if you’re a newsletter subscriber you can message us for a special discount!
3. I’m hesitant to ask for reviews because I’m afraid they’ll get pulled.
I’ve written about this a number of times, and here’s a recent article. It takes less than 10 minutes to read and I’m confident it will help you out.
But I also want to empower you to ignore the “what ifs” and just do it.
Most people have the best of intentions and want to review books, but they forget, they get busy, they need reminders.
You can help them out by highlighting other reviews you’ve gotten, as inspiration, and by sending them the stellar elevator pitch you’ve crafted. You can also suggest keywords and keywords strings that really speak to your book’s topic, genre and reader interests.
And here’s another article I did that lists some ideas for how to keep pushing for reviews through multiple channels.
4. My book is nearly impossible to find on search.
This can be rectified with a combination of efforts. You definitely want to update your categories and keywords to ensure they’re very current and mimicking shopper behavior.
Remember, the keywords you think of for your book are likely different from what buyers are using.
I can give you a great example, a client listed “dark protagonist” as one of his keywords, and as an author, that sounds reasonable. But I can tell you, shoppers on Amazon aren’t really using that term enough to consider it a lucrative keyword.
But that’s how important this is! “Dark protagonist” doesn’t sound that far out there, but the reality is, it’s not good enough for really successful Amazon book marketing.
So get your keywords and categories updated to appeal to shoppers.
Then I need you to get your Author Central account up to date. I’ve written numerous articles on this but this is one of my favorites.
If you haven’t claimed your account this is playing a huge role in your discoverability on Amazon. If you’ve claimed your account but haven’t claimed all your books, or aren’t using all the features available to you, you’re still missing out on opportunities to show up in search.
Basically what you’re doing is optimizing your retail space on Amazon.
We’re all consumers, and we’re all very easily swayed by the way a product is presented, and oftentimes by the way the store is set up. Use this same psychology when weighing the importance of Author Central when marketing your book.
Bonus Amazon Book Marketing Tip!
Promote the Follow button on your Author Central page. Be sure you’re reminding your networks to follow you. You can do this via email, newsletter, on social. As often as you’re pitching for reviews, include reminders to follow you.
Anyone who is following you on Amazon will be notified via email whenever you put a book up for pre-order, and when you release a new title. Hey, most of us think Amazon isn’t doing enough to promote our books, so don’t throw away this opportunity to have them do some work for you.