Category: Marketing

How to Boost Your Presence on Amazon

Boost your presence on amazonWith millions of self-published authors flocking to Amazon, how do you stand out from the crowd? Well, first let’s check that you’ve got the basics right:

  • You’ve worked with experienced editors and proofreaders so that there won’t be any issues with the content of your work
  • You have found a great designer, who knows what makes readers want to click on a jacket thumbnail, and given him or her a good brief
  • You have created good metadata to help your book come up in searches
  • You have converted your work to eBook format and tested it on lots of devices
  • And finally, you have published it

Get reviewed

Author marketing expert, Penny C. Sansevieri, explains the importance of reviews: “Why do reviews matter? Well, the first element is that people like what other people like. Second is that reader engagement (i.e. reader reviews) can drive book exposure and sales. And one of the key factors with regards to Amazon reviews is that they do help to strengthen your page algorithm.”

Peer to peer reviews have never been more important. Just as holiday-makers rarely book hotels without going on to TripAdvisor to get the low-down, readers who stumble across an unknown book by an unknown author are going to be very interested in the reviews – both the star ratings and what the individual readers had to say. It’s not just other readers that are interested; retailers consider customer reviews and ratings when deciding which titles to promote. It is therefore imperative that you urge everyone you know who has read your book to leave honest reader feedback on Amazon.

Don’t just take our word for it…

Forbes recently analysed a whole load of data about self-published authors and their earnings and one particularly interesting point they made was: “What does make a difference to sales, especially for first-timers, is getting good reviews in online bookstores, such as Amazon. Your book won’t appear high in search or top 100 lists, and nor will it be picked up by recommendations algorithms without them. Instead, you’ll be stuck in a vicious circle wherein no one sees your book so no one takes a chance on it, which means it gets no reviews and doesn’t rise up in the search results or appear in the recommendations.”

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Retailer Promotions: How to Really Sell Your Book on Amazon, Kobo and more

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Promotions shift products. How many people do you know that have never been tempted by an offer when doing the weekly supermarket shop? It’s not just the supermarkets that are playing this game, every retailer on- and offline has the same trick up their sleeve: promotions. If you opt to have us manage your distribution, you will benefit from the relationships that we have built up with retailers. Merchandisers regularly reach out to us to ask us if we have anything suitable for promotions, whether they are seasonal e.g. “Back to School” or “Christmas” or genre-themed e.g. romance and women’s fiction promotions or just regular monthly slots. The gallery above shows some of the different sorts of promotions we have had our titles featured in.

There are millions of eBooks on retailer websites such as Amazon, and being included in a promotion is a great way to rise above the competition and get visible. Traditional bookshops go out of their way to put their offers right under their customers’ noses; online bookshops are no different. They use various site placements, mail outs and social media campaigns to pull people towards a specific landing page where they are running a specific promotion. Being included in a promotion enables you to benefit from this increase in traffic.

This inevitably results in an increase in sales and better ranking/chart positioning. This short burst can really kick-start sales. More sales generally means more reader reviews, which in turn encourages new readers that have never heard of you to try your book.

A good example of the power of an Amazon promotion is a memoir we published called On Charlotte’s Shoulders. This uplifting memoir was selected for Amazon’s monthly 100 under £2.99. During the promotional month, the title was No.1 in 3 different Kindle charts (including history as shown below) as well as no. 16 in the overall Kindle chart. The title now has over 65 reader reviews with an average of 4.5 stars, which gives future browsers confidence to try the book for themselves.

In our experience, inclusion in a retailer promotion is the single greatest tool for increasing book sales.

If you want to find out more about our distribution and how we work with retailers click here.

On Charlotte's Shoulders. no.1 in history

Every few weeks we submit titles for retailer promotions. We know what they are looking for in terms of content, jacket design and blurb so we ensure that all our titles tick those boxes. However, being submitted for these promotions is one thing, but actually being selected is another. The individual retailer will make this decision, but there is one very important thing you can do to give your book the best chance of being selected… have as many reader reviews as possible on your product page. Nag everyone you know who has read the book to leave honest feedback on Amazon. Even people that have not bought the book on Amazon can leave feedback there. It may even be worth giving a few free copies of your book/eBook out to people in exchange for an honest review to get the ball rolling. The more the merrier.