By Indie Authors for Indie Authors.

Category: Marketing Tips (Page 1 of 8)

How To Rank Your Book On The First Page Of Amazon Search

amazon book ranking tips

 

by Aleksandar Ljubinkovic

 

Writing a book is no small feat. If you’re writing fiction, you spend weeks and months crafting your story arc, fleshing out the motivations of characters, and trying to create a piece of art that will leave readers satisfied, yet also wanting so much more.

Nonfiction isn’t any easier. You have something you’re passionate about, and you’re trying to take everything you know and put it in writing. It can feel like trying to capture the wind.

But even when your book is done, your work isn’t. Unless you’re J.D. Salinger, you want people to actually read what you’ve created. You want to connect with a passionate audience who is going to fall in love with your work of art. You need to get your book in front of people.

And that’s where the rub happens.

Finding your audience isn’t always easy, especially if you’re a newer author without much of a platform.

You could hire a PR firm to help you spread the word, but if you’re like most indie authors, your budget isn’t very big…if you even have a budget.

Thankfully, there are other solutions.

In fact, there is one particularly powerful tool that most indie authors don’t even think about: the Amazon search engine.

If you think about it, Amazon is actually one, giant search engine. There are hundreds of thousands of products listed, and the way most people find them is through typing into the search bar.

If you can get your book to show up on the first page of specific Amazon searches, you suddenly have access to a massive audience.

But how do you do that? It’s not about hacks or somehow “tricking” the Amazon algorithm. It’s about knowing what the Amazon search algorithm looks for and then giving it to them.

That’s what you’re about to learn.

 

If you can get your book to show up on the first page of specific Amazon searches, you suddenly have access to a massive audience. Learn how!Click To Tweet

Step #1: Choose Your Keywords Carefully

Like Google, Amazon heavily relies on keywords to determine what your book is about and where it should show up in searches. When you publish on Amazon, there are numerous places to include specific keywords, and you’re going to take advantage of every one of them.

But you can’t just include any keywords.

In order to show up high in searches, you need to identify keywords that are related to your book AND that are regularly searched.

How do you do that?

There are several relatively easy ways.

The first is to go into the Kindle Store in incognito mode and type a partial search related to your book.

You need to use incognito mode in the Chrome browser so that Amazon doesn’t use any of your prior searches to make suggestions. If you do it in regular mode, Amazon will populate the search bar based on your prior activity.

For example, if your book is about productivity, you could simply type, “Productivity…” and look at the results populating the search bar.

Once you type the partial search in, Amazon will offer suggestions to finish the search. All these suggestions represent potential keywords for your book. Write them down for future reference.

But here’s the thing. You still don’t know how many people are searching for any of these terms. You need to go one step further and determine which terms are getting a significant volume of searches.

That’s where Google Keyword Planner comes in. This free tool allows you to see how often people search particular terms on Google and how difficult it is to rank high in those searches.

Yes, Google and Amazon are totally different search engines. That being said, if something is getting lots of searches on Google, you can be sure it’s also getting a lot on Amazon.

When you type “productivity tips” into Keyword Planner, you’re given a large list of related keywords, how many searches per month the keyword gets, and the competition for that keyword.

Low competition means that there aren’t millions of people trying to rank for that same keyword.

This information is key. You now have keywords that are related to your book, get some amount of searches, and aren’t ridiculously hard to rank for in searches.

 

Use keywords with high traffic and low competition to drive your book to Amazon bestseller status. Click To Tweet

 

Step #2: Optimize Your Book Listing With Keywords

Now you’re going to take the keywords that you’ve identified from Amazon and Google and skillfully weave those into your book listing. Note that I’ve said, “Skillfully.” You’re not going to stuff keywords into every nook and cranny of your listing. You’re going to do it naturally, working with what Amazon already gives you.

There are numerous places you can do this.

 

The Designated Keyword Section

On the Amazon KDP dashboard, you can put seven keywords to describe your book. This is where you should put your most important keywords – the ones that describe your book and have the most search volume with the least competition.

You might think that you should include your name as one of the keywords, but that’s probably not necessary since your name will also be in the author section. Rather, use this space to focus on the words that people who don’t know you will be searching for.

 

Your Title and Subtitle

This is where you need to get a little creative, especially if your book is fiction. If your book is nonfiction, you should include at least one of your primary keywords directly in your title, and then a few more in your subtitle.

If your book is fiction, you’ll need to get creative about how to do this. You’ll obviously want to include the actual title of your book, but then you’ll want to add in keyword descriptors after the title and subtitle.

Here’s how one author made it work.

Yes, this can make the listing feel a bit clunky, but it can also drive a significant amount of search traffic to your book. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide how many keywords you want to stick in your title and subtitle.

You want to strike a balance between the bad practice of keyword stuffing, where you cram as many keywords as possible into the title, and not using any keywords at all.

 

Your Description

You should also skillfully weave your keywords into the description of your book. For example, if your book is in the suspense genre, you could say, “Following in the footsteps of suspense masters like Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and Michael Crichton…” This increases the chances of you showing up in searches related to those three authors.

If your book on productivity is also geared specifically for moms, you could write, “If you want to be a more productive mom, this book is for you.”

The point is to include keywords naturally in your description that also do a good job of selling the book.

 

Don't stuff your book listing with keywords. Include keywords naturally in your description that do a good job of selling the book.Click To Tweet

 

Step #3: Make Sure Your Book Looks Great

The final step is an obvious one, but it needs to be stated. If your book doesn’t look good, people won’t click on it or buy it. If no one clicks on your book when they see it in a search, Amazon will conclude that it’s irrelevant to them and drop it lower in the search rankings. You want to have as high a click-through-rate  (CTR) as possible.

This means you should have a fantastic, professional looking cover. Don’t settle for something you slapped together in five minutes on your iPhone. Either hire a professional to do it or use a tool like Canva to create a beautiful book cover.

Your description should include the right keywords AND be so compelling that people actually want to buy the book. Don’t be sloppy or hasty with your description. Craft it with sales in mind. Would someone reading the description feel like they can’t wait to buy your book and dive in?

You also want to get as many verified reviews as you can on your book. Verified reviews means that someone actually purchased your book and then took the time to write a review.

Finally, your book should be well proofed, meaning there’s few or no grammatical or spelling errors. Amazon cares about this because they want to ensure that buyers get a good product, not a book riddled with poor grammar. If you want your book to show up high in searches, make sure you take the time to proof your book.

 

Conclusion

I realize that this may all seem pretty technical. After all, you’re an author and you focus on writing, not search optimization. I certainly understand that.

However, if you’re willing to spend just a little bit of time doing some keyword research and optimizing your listing, you can significantly increase the odds of your book showing up in a search.

Whether for good or bad, this is what it means to be an indie author. You don’t have your own marketing team and must be willing to put in the time and effort to market yourself.

The amount of time you spend doing that can be the difference when it comes to sales.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

 

About the Author: This post was written by Skubana. Skubana is an all in one solution that unifies operations for online merchants after the checkout. Skubana automates everything from order management, order fulfillment, inventory management and purchase order management.

 

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Authors, You Need An Amazon Author Page

Setting up your Amazon Author Page

 

Authors, You Need An Amazon Author Page

 

by Catherine Townsend-Lyon

 

Authors, do you have your Amazon author page set up? If not, why not? It is a vital part of your marketing platform. Let me show you how to get it all set up correctly and make you shine on Amazon.

Writing and reading good books is a passion of mine. Once my book Addicted to Dimes was published May 2013 on Amazon, many writing doors opened for me. One of these doors has been writing and book promoting, including recovery and book promotion articles for many publications. This lead to co-writing with several high-profile people and former NFL Pros as well.

When I receive emails from author clients looking for a book marketing plan, I always do my research on the author to see what they currently have open in the way of social media accounts. I have helped many excellent authors open their social media accounts, but to my surprise, about 80% of authors do not have an Amazon Author page! WOW!

Now, to me, this is a head-scratcher.

 

80% of authors do not have an Amazon Author page. Create your Amazon page now! It's simple. Learn how.Click To Tweet

 

WHY? Because it is free to do, easy to set it up, and you can even link your website or blog feed to your page and advertise free any author event too! You get a fabulous bio area, add a photo of yourself. So why wouldn’t you utilize these fantastic book marketing tools to go along with all your books listed for sale on Amazon?

Maybe it is because you’re not sure where to go, or how to set up your page up? Well, I am going to help you with that.

 

Here is how to set up your Amazon Author Page

 

All you do is go to Amazon Author Central here.

Just create a new account, answer some questions, and you’re ready to set up a beautiful author page.

To set up your account and reap all the benefits associated with marketing your book through Author Central, follow these steps (from Amazon):

1. Go to https://authorcentral.amazon.com/ and click Join Now.

2. Enter your e-mail address and password and click “sign in” using our secure server.

3. If you have an Amazon.com account, sign in with the e-mail address and password you use on that account.

4. If you do not have an existing Amazon.com account, select No, I am a new customer. You will be prompted to enter the necessary information.

5. Read the Author Central’s Terms and Conditions, and then click Agree to accept them.

6. Enter the name your books which are written under. A list of possible book matches appears. Select any one of your books. If your book is not on the list, you can search for it by title or ISBN. The book you select must be available for purchase on the Amazon.com website. Choosing the book creates the account. When you receive the confirmation e-mail we send, confirm your e-mail address and identity.

 

Optimizing Your Author Page

 

Then you can complete the rest with using the Twitter tools to link your feed, add your social media links so readers can visit you. You even create your own URL link for your author page. If you look to the left of the front page, there is a whole host of topics and marketing tools available for you to use.

It is a fact that authors who have an Amazon Author Profile page alongside their books find that readers are more prone to purchase one of their books. Readers prefer to learn more about the author when considering whether to buy a book. Readers love to learn, connect, and engage with the authors they enjoy reading. It is also a fact that readers will be more prone to come back and place a review of your book when they finish reading, which helps your Amazon ranking.

 

Readers love to learn, connect, and engage with the authors they enjoy reading. Create an Amazon Author Page so they can connect with you. #writetipClick To Tweet

WHY?

Because your new Amazon Author Page makes you shine! It shows you as a professional writer and author. So please authors, go over to Amazon Author Central and set up your author page today. And while you are there, check out all the helpful marketing tools Amazon must aid you in writing and promoting all your books.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

 

About the AuthorWriter Catherine Townsend-Lyon is the best-selling author of her non-fiction memoir titled Addicted to Dimes and a new compilation book with other writers titled Ten The Hard Way. She has been professionally promoting books and consulting with authors for “Kodel Empire Publishing Group” for two years, and now independently for many authors as owner of “Lyon Media, Book Promotions, & Literary Consulting.” You can learn more about her by visiting her book promoting website Cat Lyon’s Reading and Writing Den. “Books, Authors, Social Media, and Writing are my Passions!”

4 Tips for Marketing Your Book and Increasing Sales

4 Tips for Book Marketing

 

Self publishing can be a scary endeavor, but just as frightening sometimes is the marketing that Indie Authors have to do after they publish. I want to share some of my own marketing tips with you to help you on your journey to sell more books.

I have published five books and have gone through what you are all going through. I’ve sat at my damn computer day after day trying to put into words the sensational story swirling around in my head. When I finally had my story down on paper—and more or less coherent—I had to start with the editing. Then, to add insult to injury, once the book was published, I had to demean myself to market it. Well, maybe demean is not the right word, but I do so hate to beg. I only mention my time in the trenches so you’ll know that I’m a veteran and have the wounds to prove it.

I’m here today to relate the little of what I’ve learned over the last five years concerning marketing. And don’t fool yourself, you gotta do marketing. Even Stephen King has to market his own books. He puts $200,000.00 of his own money into advertising each of his books. He can afford that kind of budget. But the rest of us will have to work a little harder.

Most of what I’m about to convey will be old hat to some of you. And to you brand-new writers looking for a signpost or two to help you find your way, I sincerely hope what I’m about to convey helps.

 

1) Newsletters

Using outfits with mailing lists is a good way to go. For $30.00 or $40.00, you’ll sell some books. When I use those resources, I’ll sell a couple of hundred or so. But you can go down that route only sparingly. They let you promote a book only once every ninety days. But after the first blast, you’ve probably made most of the sales you’re gonna make anyway. A few of the best are Ereader News Today, Free Kindle Books & Tips, Book Gorilla, and Choosey Bookworm. There are others and you’ll find ’em if you look for ’em.

One last thing, you’ll want to space out using these guys because you’ll want to know who will give you the most bang for the buck. And I’m sure some of the names on their mailing lists overlap.

 

2) Ask for Reviews

There is no other way to say this, but ya gotta go out and beg for reviews. Reviews spur sales. Ya gotta sit at your computer at least ten hours a day—or as many hours a day as you can afford—sending out the same query letter.

The first bit of advice that I read about when my first book came out was to get the list of Amazon’s top 100 reviewers and send them an email asking for a review of your book. I did that, but I didn’t stop at one hundred. I sent out almost 400 emails. I was into the top 600 by the time I stopped.

I did get two of the top 100 to review my book and both of them were kind enough to give it five stars. Subsequently, they’ve bought my other books and gave them good reviews. And that’s good. But … for my next two books, I sent out over a hundred requests to the Amazon top reviewers, and I didn’t get one single reply. Not every reviewer has their email address on their page. So, to send out 100 query letters, you have to go through about 300 to 400 profiles. It’s a lotta work.

 

3) Guest Posts

Next, the book bloggers: This is where the honey is. The people that read their blogs are readers and buyers of books. These are the people you want to know about your book. You can get lists of book bloggers by googling “book bloggers.” Who would have thought?

BUT (and there is always a but), book bloggers are inundated with requests for reviews. Some get 500 requests a week. At first, I went that route asking for reviews and I got a few. But the return on my investment (my time) was slim. I’ll explain.

Once you have the lists, you have to go through them and get the link to the blogger’s page. Then you have to go to their “Policy” page to see if they are even interested in your genre. You’ll be extremely lucky if you hit 50%. Then you have to go to their “About” page and get their name…if it’s there. If it is, personalize the salutation of your “begging” email and send out your request for a review. Then you go to the next name on the list and do the searching all over again.

Whew! Makes me tired just remembering going through all that.

I did that for ten hours a day, seven days a week. I must have sent out 2,000 begging letters for each of my books. But I finally got smart. Instead of asking for a review, I offered to do a guest post or an interview. It’s a win-win. The blogger gets content and you get to promote your book.

To date, I’ve done over 600 guest posts and I’ve sold a fair number of books because of those posts.

 

4) One Last Thing

This has nothing to do with marketing, but it is important. When you start getting reviews, the best policy is not to respond to them. However, if you want to thank someone for a good review, I reckon that’s all right. BUT … NEVER, EVER RESPOND TO A NEGATIVE REVIEW. Do so at your own risk.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

 

 

Andrew Joyce AuthorAbout the Author:

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written four books, including his latest, a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, Mick Reilly.

10 Must-Do Tips for Authors on Social Media

If you’re like me, you constantly have to balance what time you spend marketing on social media with what time you spend writing—you know, that thing you actually love doing and wish you could do full time? Yeah, writing. This doesn’t even account for time with family, friends, hobbies, day jobs, or countless other things that quickly fill up your day.

The point is your time is limited. While social media can be beneficial as you build your author platform, it can also be a never-ending time-suck.

Here’s some advice on how to best utilize social media to build a solid Author platform.

 

Author Social Media Tips

 

1. Be Selective

There’s a mantra I tell myself regularly: You can do anything. You can’t do everything. This is important to remember throughout life.

Managing your social media engagement is no different than other aspects of your life. Be selective on where you utilize social media. Each platform is different.

Twitter can help you reach new readers, while Facebook can drive more traffic to your website and create relationships with readers. Goodreads is wonderful for engaging with the indie author community. Instagram and Pinterest can help you build a brand, if that’s what you’re going for. This is just the tip of the iceberg of social media options.

Figure out what works best for you and focus on those one or two platforms. Personally, I mostly engage on Twitter and Facebook.

 

You can do anything. You can't do everything. Be selective on social media.Click To Tweet

 

2. Create Better Images

People love pictures on social media. Images get exponentially more engagement than just words. This is the very reason Twitter started allowing images on their platform a few years ago. Their lunch was getting eaten by Facebook.

Spend the time necessary to create better images. One place to do that is Canva. That’s how I create many of the images I use on this site. (No, I don’t receive any kind of commission for referring you to them, but I should, huh? Somebody look into that for me.)

 

3. Engage

This really should be rule number 1. Engage! Engage! Engage!

Don’t just scream for people to buy your book. Engage them. Learn about them and who they are. You’re likelihood of finding a new reader will be much, much higher. Answer questions. Respond to comments. And who knows, you might just find a new e-friend.

 

4. Tag People

If you’re talking about someone in one of your posts, tag them so they’re aware. There’s a higher likelihood they’ll interact with the post or that some of their followers might as well.

However, DO NOT tag people just to tag them so they see your latest marketing message. One of the most annoying things on social media platforms is getting tagged by someone with no context on why you’re getting tagged other than they want you to buy something from them.

 

5. Keep Tweets Short

This may sound odd since the very nature of Twitter is already short quips, but just because they give you 140 characters doesn’t mean you have to use all 140. Try to keep your tweets short and simple. Around a 100 character max seems to be a good sweet spot.

 

6. Try Videos

As much as images and pictures get more interaction than simple text, videos do even more so. If you’re inclined to face your fear of being on camera, it can help your engagements on Social Media.

I realize most people have a fear of being on video. I do as well. Just because you have a fear of something, though, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore it further.

I’ve begun dabbling in videos with my content, both with photos I’ve taken and with being in front of the camera myself. I really enjoy the author and reader videos anaisbelieve creates on YouTube as well. Try creating a video yourself!

 

7. Make Your Headlines Work

I’ll admit, I can be much better at this. People that tease the reader and pique their curiosity get more engagement and clicks. I’m not saying to use click-bait as a strategy. Everyone hates that and Facebook is even working to get rid of it where they can. I’m saying captivate your followers imagination with your posts. Give them a reason to think, laugh, or be moved. Put thought into your headlines.

 

Put thought into your headlines. Give people a reason to think, laugh, or be moved.Click To Tweet

 

8. Remain Positive

Social media is a real quagmire of negative individuals, isn’t it? It’s obnoxious. If you’re not careful, you’ll find you’ve fallen into one of the two large cess pools that social media hosts: (1) The cess pool of Negative Nancies (or Negative Nates if you please); or (2) The cess pool of look at how wonderful my family / my vacation / my life is.

Don’t fall into those traps.

Keep your positivity. Show your excitement. There will always be haters. Don’t worry about that. People can sense your excitement. They feed off of it. Remain positive and excited.

 

9. Repost Old Content

Reposting something from a few months ago is called Evergreen Content. Don’t be obnoxious and tweet the same thing out over and over and over again. But if you’re judicious, there’s a lot of fantastic content you’ve posted in the past. Don’t let it go to waste. One plugin I utilize for Nothing Any Good is “Revive Old Post”. I set it to randomly send out a previous post of mine every 16-24 hours.

 

10. Manage Your Time

Let’s end at a similar place from where we began. Just like you need to be selective with which social media platforms you spend time on, you also need to be selective with how much time you spend on social media. Don’t forget about your writing because you’re working so hard to get people engaged with your writing. Manage your time and stay focused on the craft. After all, what’s the point of having an author social media following if you’re no longer writing?

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

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