Marketing Your Book on Amazon: 5 Tips for Authors
Marketing a book can feel like a massive undertaking. That’s right—after all that effort you put into writing and revising your manuscript, you now have another monumental task looming over you. If you dream of doing guest blog posts, podcast interviews, book tours, and TV appearances, you have to get your book in people’s hands first, which requires a solid marketing strategy. This doesn’t apply to self-publishing authors alone. Even if you land a book deal with a traditional publisher, you’ll be expected to do most of your own marketing.
Putting together a marketing package for your new book can be overwhelming, especially for independent and emerging authors. Thankfully, you can hire an expert to craft your book marketing package or use Amazon’s platform, which allows authors to do most of their own marketing online. So, how does it work?
Amazon is more than just a global marketplace: It’s a search engine for hundreds of millions of users looking for their next great read. If you set it up correctly, its algorithm will promote your book to the right customers, so don’t pass up the opportunity to reach new readers through this platform. It is an excellent tool to passively direct prospective readers to your book page, so don’t ignore it.
1. Create a strong Amazon author page
The first thing you should do is sign up for a free Author Central account and set up your author page. This allows you to personalize your profile, add book descriptions and an author bio, check your stats, post updates and events, manage reviews, get tech support, and much more.
Your author page is essential for attracting views that can then translate into sales, so invest some time and effort into making it stand out and reflect your work. You’ll want a nice, professional-looking profile picture and an interesting author bio with relevant information to intrigue your target demographic. For the best results, you should stay engaged with your fans.
2. Use keywords in metadata
The metadata is what describes your book, and the keywords in it direct the algorithm to the right customers. It’s the first thing a potential buyer will read, so it should be punchy and engaging and include your name, book title, subtitle (if applicable, though we highly recommend it), and a short summary of your story. Think of it as similar to the blurb or the brief summary you see on the back cover of a printed book—it’s what makes someone want to read your book even if they don’t know your name. Even though it’s a short text, it’s a hugely important one—every word you include should be meticulously selected.
The keywords you use are the terms people would commonly type into a search engine, so consider elements like themes, topics, characters, storylines, and locations. Think of the words or phrases you would use to find your book. Keep in mind these aren’t tags—you don’t want to just write a list of key terms; they should be naturally embedded into the narrative description of your book. Be specific, consider the subject matter, and keep track of your sales in case the keywords need adjusting. The art here is fitting in all the keywords you want to include while maintaining a punchy, engaging, and intriguing description that reads smoothly.
3. Set your price and offer discounts
Setting the right price is crucial for commercial success on Amazon as it’s one of the first filters customers use when searching for a new book to buy. If you price it too high, it might be beyond the means of most readers, but you don’t want too low a price, either—you do want to make some money. Also, a book that’s priced too low doesn’t make a good impression on prospective readers—if it seems unreasonably cheap, they will assume there’s a reason you don’t have much confidence in it, and they may be less likely to buy it.
To get a better idea of how you should price your book, search for similar titles and authors in the same category and look at how much they’re charging. You can also ask beta readers, editors, and other industry experts for their opinion.
Offering discounts and freebies is another way to get more people to read your book. You can offer free chapters, special discounts for a limited number of customers, or your entire book for free for a limited number of days. Everyone loves a good deal. It might even get your title on Amazon’s Top 100 Free list, which equals greater exposure. Unlike the default price, which can negatively impact your image if it’s too low, sales, discounts, and other promotional deals are always safe.
4. Get book reviews
Good reviews are one of the most crucial aspects of marketing your book. People have always relied on recommendations when searching for new titles and authors, and these are particularly influential on internet marketplaces. Readers want to know that other people have liked your book; they want to see stars and praise on your author page, which is why focusing on getting reviews is so important. Obviously, you want good reviews—if you rack up too many negative ones, people won’t even click on your page.
You definitely don’t want to buy fake reviews, which can get you banned from the platform, but you can get in touch with people who have read books similar to yours and ask them to read and review your work. You can also reach out to your social media contacts, put out a request on your mailing list, and offer those freebies and discounts we talked about to people who review your book.
Getting reviews can help significantly expand your reach and attract more readers, and the more reviews you receive, the better. If you already have a fanbase, you can ask your fans for reviews—they’ll likely be more than happy to write one, especially if you offer special perks.
5. Buy Amazon ads
While all the other marketing strategies we’ve mentioned are free, buying ads will obviously cost you some money, but it can definitely be worth it. On Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, you can buy ads that use keywords by setting a budget per click, which means you’ll only pay when someone clicks on your ad. It might not be the right strategy for everyone, but if your budget allows it, this is a great way to get more movement and turn those clicks into sales. Don’t forget that marketing is crucial to your success as an author (especially if you’re a self-published one) and that investing in your marketing is well worth it.
A combination of these strategies will help you increase your views and sales on Amazon’s marketplace, but getting the algorithm to work for you does require time, consistency, and a solid plan. If you’re like most writers, marketing might not be your biggest strength, so reach out to our team of experts to create a book marketing package for you and get back to what you do best—writing!