For authors, Amazon is the online retail behemoth you can’t live without (and sometimes, you can’t live with). It’s estimated that Amazon has 800,000 eBooks available and 1.8 million print books for sale. On a given day, Amazon may sell a million books.
To even begin to rise in the search rankings and become discovered by readers, your book needs to be optimized in four areas:
1. Categories Don’t Have to Be Categorically Accurate
Every author dreams of having a best-selling book on Amazon. And, those dreams are quite achievable– if you select low-competition categories for your book. Here are a few sample categories where one book sale will take your book to #1 and earn you an Amazon “Best-Seller” badge:
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Engineering & Transportation > Transportation > Ships > Boat Building
- Books > History > Americas > Caribean & West Indies > Saint Lucia
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Autographs
- Books > Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Sports > Martial Arts
By comparison, a more typical category like Women’s Contemporary Fiction requires you to sell 495 books just to get into the top 25. Get creative with your book categories, and get to the top quickly.
2. Identify the 7 Magic Keywords
Amazon allows you to identify seven keywords to accompany your book listing, and you need to choose them very carefully. For an emerging author, a book has little chance to compete against broad keywords like:
- mystery and suspense
- action adventure
Find the readers who will be interested in your specific book by narrowing your keywords to specific niches, such as:
- mystery dog book
- mystery genealogy
- mystery Japan
- mystery hypnosis
- mystery history
- historical Japanese fiction
3. Use Keywords in Your Subtitle
Your subtitle can be anything you want, so use it as part of your Amazon book marketing strategy. It needs to help readers find your book, and then be interested to buy your book once they find it. Building it from your keywords will accomplish both goals.
Using the keywords above, perhaps a winning subtitle would be, “Haruki the Hypnotist Dog Solves Harrowing Mysteries in Historical Japanese Fiction.” (Now, wouldn’t that be quite a novel!)
4. Sponsored Products Advertising is the Final Step
Once your categories, keywords and subtitle are in place, only then are you ready to advertise your book on Amazon. You’ll need an Amazon Advertising account to get started.
I recommend advertising your book as a Sponsored Product to readers who are already searching for books to read. From there, you have a new world of targeted keywords, custom ads and cost-per-click bids to explore.
If you’re an author who would like to learn more about marketing books on Amazon, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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