Essential, Yet Easily Overlooked Tips to Succeed at Amazon
Publishing at the Amazon Kindle Store is a must for any indie-author to get their work in front of as many sets of eyes as possible. It’s by far the largest online bookstore and while Nook, Kobo, and iBooks are great to publish on, Amazon is still a must.
But, Amazon has tens of millions of e-books and it’s easy for your new book, or debut book, to get lost in a sea of books.
Fear not, because I’m sharing a few tips I’m currently and have used to boost Northern Knights’ visibility on Amazon.
While I’m still relatively new to the indie-author (and marketer) gig, constant research has led me to trial and error, and something I could find that will be of value to my writing audience.
Below are five essentials you need to get your books visible on Amazon.
Keywords are a Must
First off, update your keywords. If you have a keyword or SEO tool, put it to good use. If not, Google and Amazon is fine to start your searches in.
Start with your book’s genre and subgenre for your primary keywords. Amazon will favor this, and make sure they’re in your book description a few times.
For instance, my primary keywords are:
1. New adult urban fantasy
2. Military fantasy
3. College fantasy
Okay, so you have your initial primary keywords. Now, you have four more keywords that are essential to not your plot, but also your genres. A cool tip here is it might get you into more sub-genres, up to five, per some indie-authors.
Kind of cool.
But, follow a few helpful hints I’m outlining here.
1. Find a keyword that isn’t too saturated. Anything more than one-thousand in the Amazon search results, forget it.
2. Find a keyword that is popular enough to have about 200 search results at minimum. In other words, don’t use a keyword that’s too obscure. One of my keywords is element magic, as it pertains to Northern Knights and has a decent return on search results at 832.
3. Don’t use anything that may not be related to your genre or plot. Amazon will yell at you.
Okay so you wrote a killer book but it’s not worth jack if you can’t sell it.
How do you sell a book?
How do you go about buying a book?
Yep, you look at the cover and you read the description. I’m sure you aren’t blindly buying a book. I wouldn’t.
So, write a killer description.
Use the following in your description:
1. One of your primary keywords. So, I used new adult urban fantasy in mine. Do this near the top, as in the first sentence.
2. Use as many characters as you can. Amazon’s KDP portal allows up to 4,000. Use as many as you can, especially in Book One of a series.
3. Use hyperbole and hint, hint, hint. For Northern Knights, I used hints such as ‘Cain’s getting more than he bargained for’ and I spoke of his dark, disturbing backstory. I also hinted at the imperial threat now facing Cain and who’s after him. Leave cliffhangers and force a prospective reader to buy.
Rule of Thumb: If you wrote an awesome book, the book description must be better. A good description can sell a bad book but a bad description can’t sell a good book.
It’s like a book cover. People do judge books by their covers. For any book you launch you wish to charge money for, the cover better look professional. Homemade covers can pass for free books but paid books better have a professional cover.
This one is new to me and it’s ideal if you’re writing a series.
First off, you’ll want to have a link in there for customers to leave a review. You can do this by creating a hyperlink in your manuscript.
Second, have an acknowledgment section and make sure you credit the cover artist. It’ll only help their business as they’ve helped yours.
Third, have a link to other books you’ve written. Since my only other books are freebie novelettes (still 99 cents on Amazon but that should change soon), I haven’t had to do this but with Swords of Destiny on the way, the time’s coming. So, I went ahead and updated the backmatter to an excerpt of my second book.
Invest in Paid Promotion
Yep, paid promotion will work, especially if the book’s free. Imagine getting 3,600 downloads in one setting.
First, you’ll have to enroll in KDP Select, which grants Amazon exclusivity but it’s worth the time in the short run. Just remember to opt out of KDP Select after ninety days.
Second, make sure you have two books going for free at the same time.
Why two books?
If this is a series, you’ll going to want as many downloads as possible.
My strategy for Swords of Destiny?
Promote Northern Knights (most promotions only allow the first in a series to be promoted) and launch Swords of Destiny that same day.
Because of the loose ends that remain open in Northern Knights, people will want to see what’s up in Swords of Destiny if they liked the work.
Not just that, but you’ve the opportunity to get some favorable Amazon rankings after the five-day giveaway is all said and done.
That’s going to look good for your books, email list, and income.
Buy a promotion at Freebooksy or Books Butterfly and watch the magic happen.
Sure, paying for a promotion to promote free books seems counterintuitive, but sales will erupt due to higher rankings.
Funnel Your Blog Traffic
If you look to the sidebar on my site you’ll see a buy button for Northern Knights. This funnels interested readers on my blog straight to Amazon with one click. Here, they can view my book description, my Look Inside feature, and see if the book’s right for them.
To do this, you’ll need to go to your book’s page on Amazon, scroll down the right-hand side and notice you’ll see the embed button. Click on it and you’ll get some html code to type into your website.
Here, everyone who visits your blog will have easy access to your book. If you get 1,000 visitors a month to your blog, 1,000 eyes will be on your work as they read through your posts. It’s kind of a cool thing here.
Make Your Adjustments
These are little-known tips I’ve learned over my first three months as an indie-author. Some of what I’ve preached here I’m still learning myself, but by relaying the information over to you, we can all do one thing: increase our book’s visibility.
Now it’s your turn.
Go make adjustments right now and let your book rise above the competition.