Most of us have gone to Amazon.com to search for a book. Maybe we’ve done this because we simply wanted to purchase a book, or maybe we were researching competing and complementary titles for a book proposal. In either case, if you spend any time at all in this online book store it becomes obvious that titles get ranked in much the same way websites get ranked in search engines. And some rise to the top and end up on the first page of the search and others fall to the bottom—making them hard to find.
As authors, we want our book to rise to the top and be easily found. How do we make that happen?
I asked book marketing coach Dana Lynn Smith to provide a second guest post for Write Nonfiction in November, this time on the topic of how to get a book noticed on Amazon. The author of the Savvy Book Marketer series, which includes How to Get Your Book Reviewed: Sell More Books with Reviews, Testimonials and Endorsements—a must have for all authors, Dana provided great information on how authors can focus on search terms and popularity to help their books rise up the rankings at Amazon.
Easy Ways to Get Your Nonfiction Book Noticed on Amazon
By Dana Lynn Smith
With millions of books available in the world’s largest bookstore, it can be a real challenge to get your book noticed on Amazon.com.
One of the best ways to sell more books on Amazon is to increase your book’s visibility in the Amazon search results.
Amazon customers typically search for nonfiction books by title, keyword or author name. Like search engines, Amazon uses several criteria to determine which books to display on the search results page and in what order to display them.
The exact algorithm used to determine the search results is not known, but the major factors are how well books fit the search terms and the popularity of the books. Let’s look at these two factors and how you can capitalize on them:
When a customer enters a title or keyword, Amazon searches book titles, subtitles, keyword tags, and even the interior text of books for the best matches.
If you haven’t yet published your nonfiction book, try to use important keywords in the title and/or subtitle. I recommend that all nonfiction books have a keyword-rich subtitle to support the title, help potential customers see the benefit of the book, and increase the odds of the book showing up in keyword searches on Amazon.
Even if there is no subtitle printed on the cover of your book, you can still add a descriptive subtitle on Amazon and in your marketing materials.
Tags are keywords that customers associate with products on Amazon to help shoppers find items related to that keyword. To add tags for your book, scroll down your book page on Amazon to find the “Tags Customers Associate with this Product” section.
If you’re publishing in Kindle format, there’s a spot on the Kindle publishing dashboard to enter important keywords and select appropriate book categories as you are publishing the ebook.
Enrolling your book in Amazon’s Search Inside program allows Amazon to search the interior of the book for keywords during searches, and also lets customers view the table of contents and selected pages from the book.
Popularity is a function of how many copies of a particular title have already been sold, how recently they have sold, how many reviews the book has received, and the star rating of the reviews.
The more books you sell on Amazon, the more books you are likely to sell in the future, because your book will appear higher in the search results. In addition, many customers assume that the best-selling book must be the best one on the topic.
One way to increase your book’s popularity, and therefore its search results placement, is to direct all of your online book orders to Amazon.com rather than offering links to several online bookstores or selling directly to consumers.
Another way to increase your popularity on Amazon is to do a virtual book tour or an “Amazon bestseller campaign” designed to push up your Amazon sales rank by generating a large number of orders on a single day or in a short period of time.
Having a lot of good reviews can also boost your book’s popularity and visibility in search results, as well as influencing the purchasing decisions of customers who click through to your book’s page on Amazon. Reviews are especially important for nonfiction books, where customers are often comparing several books on the same topic to decide which is the best fit for them.
To boost your book sales on Amazon, take steps to get your book found in customer searches!
About the Author
Excerpted from How to Sell More Books on Amazon by book marketing coach Dana Lynn Smith. Learn more about getting reviews on Amazon in How to Get Your Book Reviewed. For more book marketing tips, follow @BookMarketer on Twitter and get Dana’s free Top Book Marketing Tips ebook at www.TheSavvyBookMarketer.com
Don’t miss the final telesminar of this year’s WNFIN event on November 30th, “Content, Character & Connection: Becoming a Successful Writer in a Bottom-Up World,” with Michael Larsen. To be register, click here.
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