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How to Market Your Self-Published Ebook (Part III): How to Sell (More) Books on Amazon

The following is a guest post by Halona Black.

There is nothing like the excitement of uploading your first ebook on to Amazon. I found it to be a validating experience to see my work on the same virtual shelves as some of my favorite authors.

When I posted the book on the site, I didn’t quite know what to do next. I had a small following of people on my email list whom I knew would buy the ebook. But now that the ebook was on Amazon, I had access to even more people who came to the site looking for answers to their biggest health problems. So what did I do? I uploaded the ebook — and let it sit there.

Learning how to write, self-publish, and market my ebook all at the same time was such an overwhelming project that I didn’t quite get to figuring out how to get the most out of my listing on Amazon.

Note: Note: Read Parts I, II and IV of this series.

Understanding The Amazon Search Engine

Readers use the Amazon search function in the same way they use Google. As a matter of fact, Amazon has its own algorithm that allows some books to rise to the top of relevant searches while others get ignored. You won’t find the algorithm laid out for you anywhere, but there are some key strategies authors can use to improve their chances of being found.

Update Your Book Profile Often

If you are a blogger, then you know that new content improves your chances of being found on Google. Amazon works in a similar fashion. As a result, I have decided to re-release my ebook with added updates. This will not only get my followers excited, but it will give me a reason to update the book description section on my Amazon page.

Ebook Marketing: How to Get More Sales on AmazonWhat will I be updating the ebook with? My ebook includes lots of healthy recipes for women with fibroids so I am inserting value added content like a food shopping list, a resource of key foods and what they do for the body, and updated recipes suitable for beginning cooks.

You can do the same thing with your ebook by asking your audience what would make your ebook more valuable to them.

Get More Reviews on Amazon

Another way to update your ebook for the Amazon search algorithm is to consistently get reviews. Not doing so is one of the biggest mistakes I made when I first published my ebook.

My ebook makes sales, but I never took any steps to get the proof of any of those sales. Amazon book reviews can boost your sales because they are social proof that your ebook is worthy of purchase. Consumers naturally do this with just about any purchase they make.

For example, I recently bought a vacuum cleaner online. I made my purchase based on: i) what I needed the vacuum to do; ii) how much much the vacuum cost; and iii) what other people who bought the vacuum had to say about its performance. Ebooks are no different.

I don’t have the following of Seth Godin or Guy Kawasaki to speak for my reputation. As a result, I need those reviews to influence readers who are not familiar with me or my work to make a purchase.

There are several ways to get people to review your ebook.

4 Ways to Get People to Review Your Ebook

  • Amazon’s KDP Select Program. This program allows you to give your ebook away online for free for a few days in exchange for free publicity. This could be great for a person with a healthy email list and social media following. Even if your following is rather small it never hurts to ask people who already have shown interest in your work to download the ebook for free, then leave a review.
  • Provide a link to your review page inside the ebook. You can make it easier for your readers to write a review by including a link within the ebook that leads directly to the Amazon review page.
  • Pre-write Tweets and Facebook status updates. Use tools like Click-to-Tweet to provide a pre-written Tweet your readers can click on to share their ebook purchase with their followers.
  • Provide an incentive. Your readers may be more motivated to make a purchase if they have an incentive. I will be offering a contest exclusively to the people on my email list. Those who download the ebook for free and leave a review will be entered in a contest to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate. I have seen other authors offer everything from a free coaching session to a Kindle Reader.

It’s important to remember that you should be working to get reviews on an ongoing basis. Many authors will promote their ebook like crazy the same month it is released only to forget about it next month.

In addition, you should never have to pay people to review your ebook. Paying for reviews is sleazy and misleading. If you want to be taken seriously as an author and an expert, then put in the work ahead of time to get real reviews.

Optimize Your EBook Description

If you thought that keyword research was only for SEO writers, then you are mistaken. Integrating keywords and phrases into your ebook description can help people to find it when doing a search within your subject area.

Please note that this is not the same as keyword stuffing. The content in your ebook description still has to be useful for your readers. Tell them how your ebook will solve their problem. Use natural language the reader would use to find you online rather than professional jargon that only a select few would understand.

Conclusion

One of the great things about the internet is that it has almost leveled the playing field for practically anybody that wants to be a published author to do it for themselves. Amazon has proven to be a great platform for you to sell your expertise to the world. However if you don’t know how to fully take advantage of it, your ebook will collect dust on Amazon’s virtual shelves.

Share Your Self-Publishing Insight? Ask Your Self-Publishing Questions?

Have you published an ebook on Amazon? Did you have a hard time getting reviews or making sales? What did you do about it (if anything)? Have any tips you can share about marketing your ebook on Amazon you can share? Please do so in the comments below.

About the Author: Halona Black is Freelance Health Writer and Content Marketing Consultant in Orlando, FL. If you have questions about how to build your business through self-publishing ebooks, connect with her on her website or Google+.

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    Comments

    1. Halona:

      First, thanks for doing such an amazing job on this series. I’ve been self-publishing ebooks on Amazon since 2010 and I didn’t know a lot of this stuff.

      I especially like the tips on how to get more ebook reviews. Those suckers are hard to come by without paying for them (which I’ve never done), so I love the ideas you suggested.

      Can’t wait for Part IV of this series next week.

      Keep up the amazing work, and I hope your ebook sales are up, up, up!
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