Jump on the Giant to
Promote your Book
by Stephen G.
You’re ecstatic about your new book and you should be. You want it to succeed, and I can help you take one giant leap in that direction with one simple word. That word is Amazon.com. Yep, it’s the internet monster that dwarfs most other such companies. And I’m going to offer you ten quick, quite easy ways to promote your book on Amazon.
1) First, if you aren’t registered on Amazon, do so---then set up your profile. You can place your photo, your interests, your background, and, of course, your book title and an attractive, concise description of the book. You’re off to a great start.
2) I’m assuming that your publisher has placed your book for sale on the site. Nowadays, even most self-publishers or print-on-demand publishers include this in their sales package. Most publishers also include the book detail page. This tells readers the book price, number of pages, publisher name, book summary, and reviews/endorsements if you’ve received any. However, ask your publisher to also include the Search Inside option. This allows interested parties to check your back cover, your table of contents, etc. If your publisher doesn’t do this, you will have to mail Amazon a copy of your book so they can copy some pages out of it for the Search Inside option.
3) Amazon has a feature called Listmania. This offers individuals like yourself the opportunity to put together a list of some of your favorite books on different subjects or genres. For example, you might make a list of some of your favorite novels. If your own book is a novel, you would want to place your book somewhere on the list. That way, when readers read through your list, they will see your title and maybe order a copy. How’s that for crass self-promotion?
4) Fill out some So You’d Like to…Guides. On your profile page you’ll see a place to do this. On Amazon, people write brief articles like: So You’d Like To Be More Popular or So You’d Like to Learn How to do Plumbing or whatever. If your book is about becoming more popular, you’ll write a short article about popularity, including your book title and some other book titles about the same subject. When interested parties see your So You’d Like To… page, they’ll click on it and read it. Then there’s a fairly good chance they may click on your book title. Then, wonder of wonders, they may even buy your book so they can learn how to be more popular! Cool, huh?
5) You will get a lot more attention and action on Amazon if you review books. You can write a review for any book. One hundred book reviews seems to be a magic number for grabbing significant attention on the site. Don’t be overwhelmed by that number. Just set a goal of, say, reviewing 5-10 books per week and you’ll soon reach the 100 mark.
6) Again, this may seem like embarrassing self-promotion, but you might want to ask friends and relatives to write a positive review about your book and give it a five-star rating. You should probably just ask them to write a review of your book on Amazon but, hopefully, it will be understood that you expect a good review and a decent star rating.
7) There is a wiki or dynamic book encyclopedia on Amazon too. The Amazon people call it Amapedia. You can use this to describe your book. Remember, this is not a review where you express opinions---just the facts, maam (or sir). It’s a dictionary-type description of your book and its contents. This is another way to get your book out there for people to see.
8) Amazon also has a blog and here you can say almost anything about your book or what you’ve been reading. Just make sure it’s in good taste and doesn’t contain inappropriate language. Maybe you’ll pick up some bloggers who are interested in what you write.
9) A major objective of your profile, your book reviews, your listmania lists, your blogging is to build a reputation as an expert in some area or areas. Once people begin to see you as an expert, they’re more likely to buy your book. Don’t expect to be tagged an expert within a few weeks. It will likely take some hard work and some time, but it’s worth it in the end.
10) The last suggestion can really result in some sales but you’ve got to shell out some fairly serious money. It’s called BXGY. What it does is pair your book with a top selling book. Customers are told, “If you buy this popular book, you should also consider buying this one too” (your book). The catch is that pairing your book with a winner costs $1000 per month. If you’ve got the extra money and believe your book has enough merit to sell well with a companion book, then try it out for a month. Who knows? You may earn more than the $1000 in royalties on your book sales. (Remember that you won’t see this royalty money until your publisher pays you for that quarter).
So dive into the Amazon site and begin learning the ropes. It will take some time to navigate the site and find the various opportunities described above, but it will be worth your time. I wish you the best in selling your book. It may not be a New York Times bestseller, but if you can sell a fair number of copies you can be proud as an author and gain some financial profit along the way. I wish you the best.
Stephen has a Ph.D. and is a professional writer and free lance editor. He can assist you with a wide variety of editing, proofreading, or ghostwriting needs. Steve also occasionally researches a product or service that he considers exceptional and offers it to others. His goal is to help people with real problems in the real world. Check Stephen's publisher comparison website: http://www.seeyourselfinprint.com Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Books as Products.... (continued)
Sadly this is seldom the outcome, and the writer can feels regret or even anger when it fails to thrive. But this is not necessarily a negative reflection on the writer or the book’s content. Mostly, it’s explained by market dynamics.
Imagine this. You are selling your used car. You make an agreement permitting you to place it in a lot which displays 25 used cars, so you feel you have a good chance to sell it, especially because there’s a salesman on the car lot who will lead customers to your car. Or you offer it for sale to a group of close friends. In these cases, the car is likely to be sold.
Compare this to placing your car on a lot with 130 million cars, and the lot has no salesman to promote your car’s virtues. Unfortunately, your book is on the latter lot, competing with 130 million books, and if it has no marketing, sales will be few to none.
To lessen this problem, an author can create a marketing program. This program, which might include radio interviews and the like, will cost more than the writer will make in profit, but it can move the book.
Alternatively, the author can make the book part of a popular movement. Here we see books by celebrities and political figures. Those books aren’t really successful for their content – they sell because they are part of a social movement of some kind. Or they are written by stars in the media.
How could the humble author do this? Well, if it’s a book on seaweed, the writer can start a social movement promoting seaweed as a solution to the world’s problems. Establish seaweed clubs and hold seaweed conventions, and you can be sure to sell copies of your book at the annual Seaweed Conference and in the Seaweed for Life newsletter.
If this can’t be done, it’s helpful to hire someone who is willing to promote your work as part of current social and political movements. Here your work will achieve exposure, along with similar books and activities, and your book can have a measure of success even as it contributes to important social dialogue. This seems the most productive approach. Our authorme.eu publisher, Michele Ohayon, is developing this approach, and she is working very hard to include author-me authors. If you’d like to know more, please write her at email@example.com
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July, 2011 (no. 1207)
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