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1. Get as many reader reviews as you can.
A big part of grabbing a reader's attention on Amazon is increasing your rank. One of the best ways to do this is through reader reviews. Here's how to get them:
- Reach out to your readers and your social media followers, and ask them to buy and review your book.
- Send Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) to select readers and book bloggers.
- Consider including a review request in your book's description or in your author acknowledgments.
- Offer giveaways and coupon codes.
Paying for reader reviews or doing a review “exchange” with another author can backfire, so don’t risk it. Make sure you carefully read through Amazon's review requirements; otherwise your reviews may be deleted.
And most important, remember to thank your readers, especially if they've reviewed your book. Being appreciative can go a long way in cultivating a good relationship with your fans.
2. Apply for Amazon's "Look Inside" program.
Known also as a preview, Amazon's “Look Inside” program is a chance for readers to actually take a peek at the inside of your book and read a little bit of your writing. Essentially, it's the digital version of picking up a book and flipping through it. While this program is usually offered automatically to authors who have published on the Kindle platform, anyone can apply to be part of it. Before you apply, look carefully at your book's opening chapter and formatting, and ensure that readers won't be stuck with a bunch of dry introductory text, acknowledgments, or empty pages. After all, this is your chance to hook a reader with your incredible writing. Once you have submitted your book to the program, it takes roughly seven to ten days to be approved—so make sure you do it as soon as possible.
3. Claim your book on Author Central.
Have you already set up your Amazon author page? If you haven't, this should be your first step. It takes roughly three to five days for your author page to be properly populated. Once you have done so, you will be able to link all your books together on your page to create your bibliography. This ensures that readers can find you and your other books as they are shopping on Amazon.
To claim your book:
- Select the “Author Central Books Tab” and select “Add more books.”
- Enter your book title, ISBN, or author name in the search field, and click “Go.”
- When you see your book, click the “This is my book” button.
- Ensure that you are listed as the book's author.
4. Take advantage of the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" feature.
When it comes to selling books on Amazon, you'll hear a lot of people talking about algorithms, and this is another one—related to the shopping cart—you can make work for you. You can encourage those who've bought your book to also buy a book that you want to be associated with yours, and that can get you linked up with a heavier-hitting author. There are workarounds to a lot of Amazon's formulas. Use them to your advantage.
5. Increase your marketing and promotion efforts.
- Continue working to improve your social media engagement, whether that's increasing your followers, interacting more, offering more content, or even creating a profile on new platforms.
- Look for opportunities to write for other publications and blogs. Creating articles and guest posts on other sites is a great way to promote yourself as an author and potentially direct readers to your book.
- If you haven't already, consider creating a mailing list. This will allow you to send your readers news about your books, appearances, and any special offers.
- Always be on the lookout for readers and bloggers to review your book. Every good review helps new readers find your book.
- By looking for conversations, news, and trends that tie into your book's subject matter, you may find greater opportunities to promote your book and reach an even wider audience.
- We've said it before, but marketing and promotion is a marathon, not a sprint. Plan on spending at least three to five months promoting and marketing your book. You'll need to keep investing time and energy to ensure that readers are finding your book and buying it.