Amazon is the world’s biggest book marketplace. And it’s getting bigger and more accessible every day. Because of that, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for authors and publishers to ensure their book is “found” through Amazon search. There are certainly things out of your control – but there are also things within your control that can vastly improve your book’s “findability” on Amazon.
Here are 5 Simple Tips to Maximize Your Book’s Presence on Amazon
Let’s get started!
1. Choose the right category
Remember that your book is competing agains millions of other books on Amazon. Readers tend to search for books they like by either key word or category. Make sure that your book’s category is as narrowed and focused as possible. You can choose up to 2 categories on Amazon if you are using CreateSpace or KDP.
For example, if you write a romantic suspense novel with a medical theme, this is what your category options may look like:
- You might think that Literary & Fiction is a great category. But, wait, this general category includes more than 3 million titles
- Mystery, Thriller & Suspense could be interesting. Here the competition is 272,092 books
- Romance could also be a good fit. The general romance category has 429,759
But wait, these are the numbers for the general categories. To really get your book to drill down, you should actually consider these:
- Romance-Romantic Suspense (20,024)
- Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense – Thrillers – Medical (1,172)
Category is so important to your book’s success on Amazon and ensuring that you are as targeted as possible can make a huge difference in your book’s searchability and visibility. Drill down as deep as possible to target your reader. If, after 30 days, you still have trouble coming up in search, it’s perfectly appropriate to try a different category for better results.
2. Set up your Author Page
Amazon Author Central is a great resource for authors and every author should have their page fully set up and filled out. Setting up an Author Central page is relatively easy. If possible, add as many “pieces” to your page. There’s room for your bio, photos, twitter feed, blog feed, event announcements and more. If a reader clicks through to your Amazon Author page, you have a great opportunity to share with them. In addition Author Central continues to add more features. You can now track your sales and your rankings through your Author Central account. What a great way to get a snapshot of what’s going on with your book rather than waiting for a monthly report from your distributor!
3. Optimize your Book Description
You would be surprised at the number of people who make the mistake of not optimizing their book description. We often get a call that a book is not “searchable” or “findable” on Amazon – not only does it not appear in the first 1-3 pages….it doesn’t appear in the first 10 pages. If you’ve written a book on job interview and job hunting and you type “job search book” in to Amazon’s search and your book doesn’t appear, you have a problem. While it could certainly be competition, it could also be that your book description is not optimized. For example, do the phrases:
Job interview; job hunt; job search; interviewing; Get hired; win the job; etc. show up in your book description? Or, have you made the common mistake of using your back cover copy for your book description – copy designed to grab a readers attention when they pick up your book in a store but not necessarily search optimized. When you’re writing your book description you have two things to consider:
- Grabbing the readers attention and convincing them that your book is the one they want to buy
- Using key words and phrases that a reader would use when conducting a search on Amazon
4. Get Quality Reviews
Amazon book reviews matter. More importantly, quality Amazon reviews matter. The days of getting all of your friends and family to review your book and give it 5 stars in the same day or week are over. Number one: readers don’t trust those reviews. Number Two: neither does Amazon – they can (and will) choose to not post a review or pull a review if they don’t think it’s a “real” review. (That’s a whole different discussion.) Some ways to secure quality reviews on Amazon may be to reach out to your colleagues in your field and offer your book for review, contact your professional network, contact your clients (if appropriate) and even contact thought-leaders in your field. Let them know that you have a new book and ask if they would like a copy to read and perhaps review on Amazon. Make it very clear that you aren’t expecting a 5-star review because they like you – but an honest review and assessment of your book. You can also reach out to the ranked Amazon reviewers. These are people that read and review books because they are interested in a topic and are engaged in the Amazon review process – providing honest feedback on a book or product. Remember – having all 5 star reviews isn’t as great as it may sound. Do you really think 55 people all thought a book was 5-star worthy? Or do you perhaps think that, if everyone was honest and genuine, there might be a couple of 4, 3 and maybe even 2 star reviews thrown in.
5. Make sure you have both a paperback and Kindle edition
Every print book released today must have an eBook as well. It is simple and inexpensive to get an ebook version of your book. Two reasons why this is key for your Amazon visibility?
- Often readers search only in their format – I.e. Searching for that job interview book only in the Kindle store. Your book won’t show up. On the flip side, if you search for that same book in paperback and you only have an ebook available – your book won’t show up.
- You have two descriptions. Two opportunities to address category. Two opportunities to address SEO and two book to pull in to your Author Central page. Two is better than one!
These 5 Simple Tips to Maximize Your Book’s Presence on Amazon are a must-follow for authors wanting to increase their book’s searchability online.
Have your own tips to share with authors regarding books on Amazon? Please do so in the comments below!