Regardless of your selling history, just about every author I speak with wants to increase book sales on Amazon, but with millions of books available on the platform, it can be challenging to stand out and attract readers.
With the right strategies, however, you can consistently increase your visibility and book sales on Amazon without questioning whether or not you’re wasting your time.
So, let’s get started!
#1 Your Book Cover
It’s amazing how many authors don’t know, or maybe don’t care to know, how much their book cover can impact sales. I will say this: if your book cover isn’t exceptional, there’s no amount of marketing that you can do to fix it.
The issue with book covers is they are so personal, and I get it, we want to *love* our book covers. Though in reality, we as authors don’t need to love them, the readers do.
So how do you know if your book cover isn’t working? Sometimes we get feedback from readers along the lines of, “I didn’t realize this was what the book was about…” If readers are confused, that could be a telltale sign that your cover isn’t appropriate for your genre or topic.
The other way to know if your book cover is pulling its weight is by looking at the Amazon bestseller lists. What do the top books look like? You may think, “Well, my book cover is fine.” Or even, “My book cover is better than these!” But honestly, in a world where 4,500 books are published every day, “fine” won’t cut it, and letting your ego get in the way of sales is a big problem.
#2 Optimize Your Book Title, Subtitle, and Description
Book descriptions, book titles and subtitles are all key elements to getting your readers from a browse to a buy. Using relevant keyword strings in your book description, your book title (whenever possible) and subtitle, are all great ways to show up higher in search on Amazon.
But your book description is a key factor in getting consumers to buy, too – even in the absence of keywords.
Your book description should be polished, enticing, and key in on the things that matter to your reader. Lead off with an outstanding review – you can even grab a reader review off of your Amazon retail page if you don’t have any editorial reviews you can add.
#3 Use Amazon Advertising
Amazon offers several advertising options that can help you reach a wider audience and boost your book sales. Brand ads, for example, appear at the top of search results and can be targeted to specific audiences. But here’s the kicker: Amazon ads won’t sell your book – your book has to sell your book. So while I love running and managing ads for our authors, I know this: if the book cover is iffy or if the book description is lacking, your Amazon ads won’t help much.
As I said previously, I love Amazon ads, but they won’t help a broken book, and if your book isn’t primed for the market, then you’ll waste a lot of money on ads.
#4 Discounted eBook Promotions
This is smart for any author, but especially if you have multiple books. A discounted book promotion can be an effective way to attract readers and increase the visibility for your book. Make sure to promote it using eBook newsletters like Kindle National Daily, Fussy Librarian, and Goodkindles.
#5 Leverage Amazon Reviews
I get it, getting more reviews on Amazon is easier said than done, but it doesn’t have to be that difficult. A lot of times what happens is that authors don’t prepare themselves to chase reviews, they assume they’ll just show up, but it’s never that easy.
Encouraging readers to leave a review should be an ongoing effort, but that doesn’t mean you have to hammer away at your readers every day.
To encourage readers to leave reviews, include a letter (aka a call-to-action) in the back of your book, and remind your email list and social media followers. Sharing excerpts of what other people have written in reviews is also a great way to turn a humble brag into a reminder!
#6 Don’t Ignore Amazon Author Central
Though I’m not a huge fan of the new Amazon Author Central layout, it’s still a crucial place to get attention for you and your book. Make sure that your bio is up to date and super interesting and relevant to your reader demographic because now it’s the first thing potential buyers will see.
Remember, your bio should make people like you, trust you, and connect with you, so don’t go basic – get creative and strategic. Think about what your ideal reader wants to hear from an author they follow.
If you’re ready to kick Author Central into high gear, I just did a post on it, there’s a link to it in the resources section.
#7 Use Goodreads to Promote Your Book
Goodreads is a social media platform for book lovers that allows you to connect with readers and promote your book. Joining groups and participating in discussions related to your book’s topic or genre can help you reach a wider audience and establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
You should also consider running a Goodreads giveaway to increase your book’s visibility and attract new readers.
#8 Keep Your Book Listing Up-to-Date
While it’s tempting to “set it and forget it” that’s not a great idea when it comes to your book listing on Amazon. Your book description doesn’t have to be constantly rewritten, though I’m sure you’ll want to tweak it after a while. But adding in some fresh reviews to the top of the book description, maybe refining the elevator pitch, could all help to spur on a buy.
Also, we haven’t talked about Amazon video shorts, but I love those, too and you can add them right on the book retail page. About halfway down you’ll see “add video” it’s a great way to add some short clips from a recent talk you did, or author book signing, a snippet of your book trailer, or even your inspiration for writing the book!
#9 Add that A+ Content
If you can add A+ content to your book retail page, you most definitely want to. If you can’t add it, ask your publisher to do that for you.
Why does A+ content matter? Well, it helps with conversion, for one thing, it’s also a great way to dig into your book content more, which also helps with reader engagement and convincing readers to buy.
A+ Content is visual, and visual appeals carry a lot of weight.
Book sales on Amazon seem like a deep, dark mystery, but it doesn’t have to be.
The changes, enhancements, and upgrades I’m suggesting take time, and maybe a little money. But the return on investment can be huge!
Resources and Free Downloads
Here’s a piece on the latest updates to Author Central.
Here’s an intro to Amazon A+ content.
Download our free monthly book marketing planner.
Check out all the episodes of our book promotion podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts!
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Thanks for the shout-out!
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