Congratulations! Your book is published on Amazon. This achievement puts you miles ahead of millions of aspiring authors. You’re clearly an action taker, but you are still facing an uphill battle.
There are millions of other books on Amazon, and you have to stand out so readers find your book!
These days getting your book listed on Amazon is not enough to attract readers. You have a lot of competition.
The good news is that there are a few things you can do, for free, to help your book stand out once it’s published on Amazon.
A few are things you’ve probably done naturally, like get reviews, but the others are things many authors don’t know about or neglect because they aren’t sure what to do. Check them out below and get them scheduled into your to-do list THIS WEEK. And, if you want more tips to help you sell your book, make sure you’ve grabbed our Selling Your Book Gameplan – 8 Ways to Sell 1,000 Books for under $100.
5 Things to Do Once You’re Published on Amazon.
#1 – Reader Reviews
You know this one already, but it’s so critical it’s still number one.
Verified purchase reviews are the absolute best (you know, the ones from people who’ve bought your book)?
But, you need reviews no matter what, so you need to hustle and work to get them.
Amazon still allows authors to give a free copy of their book away in exchange for an honest review, so to kick start your book’s life on Amazon, give some books away and ask for reviews.
Reach out to clients, colleagues, and friends. Ask who is interested in reading your book and writing an honest review.
Now, to be compliant with Amazon’s rules, these people can’t be related to you or close friends, and of course the review needs to be honest.
Sounds simple enough, right?
The harsh reality of this is that even if you get a dozen people who agree to do this, you’re likely to see only three or four reviews. A lot of people will happily take that free book, but only about 20-30% of them will actually write the review.
Know that going in and plan to ask a lot of people so you can get ten or more reviews of your book on Amazon to start with.
How to Get Amazon Reviews
This is a good subject for an entire article, but briefly, what doesn’t work is writing mass emails. Nobody likes to me massed mailed today. Contact people individually and get a commitment from them. When you get that, in writing commitment, you can use that when you follow up as well.
My best success came from asking clients who were already raving fans of my work. I’d offer them a freebie in exchange for a review. I’d get that commitment via email, and then if I didn’t see a review after a month, I’d forward the original email to them with a little note asking how it was going with the book.
That worked for me … but, it was still work. Make no mistake, very few people will write a review of your book just because they want to. Most people need to be asked.
#2 – Submit Your Book to the Amazon Look Inside Program
Amazon’s Look Inside feature allows potential readers to sample the contents of your book without giving them access to the entire thing.
Some authors dislike this feature because you can’t select what pages to show as a preview – Amazon does it automatically. But, let’s face it, if a potential reader is looking at your book in a book store – you can’t control what pages they look at, can you?
It’s a great way for potential readers to sample the contents. If you’ve published a quality product, it will help them to decide to click the buy button! That’s what you want!
In this age of self-publishing there’s no quality control on what gets published (you saw the article on becoming an Amazon Bestseller, right?). That means customers will value the ability to sample even more. And, it’s critical that your book is of the highest quality possible.
This feature rewards the authors who invest in high quality publishing. So it’s a pretty cool marketing tool.
If you’ve submitted a Kindle version of your book, the LOOK INSIDE feature is automatically set up. But, if you haven’t submitted a Kindle version of your book, you’ll have to set it up. Go to “Search Inside! Publisher Sign-Up” to set it up. Following the instructions activates the LOOK INSIDE on your Books Main Detail page. The change will usually appear within seven to ten days after you do the content submission.
A couple of things you need to know about the LOOK INSIDE program:
- You have to have an ISBN number. Don’t know what that is? Here’s a quick video:
The ISBN number needs to correspond exactly to the one you submitted for the Amazon catalog.
Oh, and if you are a Canadian, here’s how to get your ISBN number for free.
- The content that you submit for the LOOK INSIDE program has to be identical to what is inside your book.
#3 – Create Your Author Page on Amazon Central
Your Author Page is just another place where readers can find you. It’s easy to set up and it’s FREE marketing … so take half an hour and get it set up right now.
You can use this page to upload extra pictures, a more extensive biography, and other details on your book. As you write more books, you can add those onto your author page as well.
If you don’t already have an Author Central account, you’ll need to set that up to create your author page. Once you do that, why don’t you come over to our Facebook Page, give us a Like, and let us know where to find you?
#4 – Promote Your Book Regularly
Run Amazon specific promotions at least three times a year to ensure that your book climbs the sales ranks on a regular basis.
Looking for ideas for what to do? Download our Book Selling Gameplan.
Many times readers are only seeing the books that rank the highest in each of the categories they are browsing, the books that ‘customers also bought’ and those ‘frequently purchased together’. As a result, you’re missing out on free marketing if your book is not climbing the sales ranks on a regular basis, and being purchased in conjunction with other books on Amazon.
#5 – Use Metadata and Keywords
There are a couple of great approaches to this. The first is to consider what key words you want associated with your book. The second is to think about the keywords that are popular and applicable to your book. Use these words in your book title, description and book listing keywords. Of course, if the keywords aren’t ACTUALLY in your book title you can’t include them (but, that’s a good reason to start planning your book marketing before you actually write your book!)
To help with this, there are a few resources you can consult. One is a book called ‘Let’s Get Visible’. This will help you understand the metadata, book categories and keywords so you can pick one that’s going to make the most sense for your book (of course, you can also have a call with your Client Care Specialist if you’re a Book Launchers client and we’ll help you with all of this too!).
Essentially, this requires research. You must take a look at the books that are already for sale, look at where they rank overall on Amazon and what categories they are listed in. If all the books in that category are ranking high overall on Amazon you’ve found a category where there are a lot of sales, but it will be tough to rank highly. You can check out the keywords of those books, but keep looking for an applicable category that is less competitive. Find a category where a few books are selling really well (less than 10,000 overall ranking on Amazon) but that the majority of the top books have a ranking over 100,000. This improves your chances of ranking highly in that category.
These five steps will help your book stand out on Amazon. The best part is that they are all free to do, you just have to invest a little time.