In nearly 20 years in this book marketing business, I’ve been asked how to get your book noticed on Amazon more times than I can count.
But the reality is, I still get surprised!
Some books that you’d swear are a sure thing, never take off. Others that publish on a wing and a prayer, end up being cult favorites.
But I can tell you that there are 5 simple strategies that every self-published author should take note of in prep for publication.
Already published? That’s okay. The beauty of being a self-published author is that you get another chance at figuring out how to get your book noticed on Amazon.
It’s like the movie Groundhog Day. You learn from your mistakes (or lack of success) and you get to do it better with the next book!
So here are the 5 things you need to nail in order to even hope to be a bestseller:
A Movie Poster-Worthy Book Cover
As of 2017 Data Guy reported that half of all print books and 90% of all eBooks were being purchased on Amazon.
What does this mean for your cover?
It means people are viewing and deciding whether or not to buy your book based on a tiny, thumbnail version online.
So step 1 to figuring out how to get your book noticed on Amazon is a powerful cover. The title needs to be bold and clear. Overall, the cover needs to speak to your genre and reflect what those readers like.
Yes, your book cover may look great in person, held in your hands. I even get how attached we get to the design process as an indie author. But if it doesn’t catch people’s attention online, you’re screwed.
An Irresistible Title
Your title needs to be good, but even more important in today’s market is the subtitle.
As a self-published author, we are lucky in that they get to play around with subtitles. You should aim for something that really sells your book.
We’ve written more about subtitles here.
A Description That Leaves Them Wanting More
If you’ve written non-fiction, your description must solve a problem. It must succinctly express why your approach is unique. Finally, it should include bullets that draw a potential buyer’s eye to the strongest features and selling points.
If you’ve written fiction, your description shouldn’t be a summary. It should touch on the most exciting or entertaining aspects of your story line without revealing too much. Imagine you’re pitching the next blockbuster to movie executive in 250 words or less!
Smart Keywords and Super Targeted Categories
I’ve written a lot about keywords so I won’t go into the strategy here. I want to remind you what effective keywords are.
Effective keywords mimic what buyers use to find books. So they won’t be single terms.
A shopper on Amazon isn’t going to search for “mystery.” They’re going to search for “murder mysteries crime thriller series” because that’s how our brains work.
Target categories on Amazon mean doing your research. Don’t go with the basic recommendations the system gives you. You have to put in the work to really follow the rabbit hole and think outside the box to determine where you book can compete – and you always want to be searching for the least popular categories as possible so you have fewer books to compete with.
Book Reviews that Prove You’re a Sure Thing
Amazon’s algorithm is designed to take notice of books that are getting purchased AND reviewed.
So be sure you have a solid book marketing strategy to remind people to review when you launch, and at regular intervals through other channels like email or social media for the life of your book.
Plus, people like what other people like, so when an Amazon shopper sees a bunch of good reviews for your book, they don’t have to think as critically about buying. So never stop, there’s no such thing as too many reviews.
And I’ll tell you, the less thinking a buyer has to do, the easier it is to make the sale.
So take the guesswork out of it for your potential readers by having a really fantastic, easy to read cover, make sure you have a subtitle that sells, a description that proves you stand out from the competition, smart keywords and categories, and a boatload of reviews.