With the way books are discovered today—more and more online rather than on bookstore shelves—how a book is presented on Amazon both to the consumer and to search engines can greatly impact visibility and book sales. The biggest mistakes authors make is not having complete information, including:
- Book Cover. Upload your cover. Sounds simple, but thousands of authors don’t even have their book cover on their book’s page.
- Enable Look Inside. Let readers get a sampling of your book’s content.
- Author bio. Write a professional, detailed bio especially showing credentials related to the topic of the book.
- Book Summary. Write a professional, robust boo description. Some experts say more is better here.
- Author Page. Many authors overlook their author page where all books should be displayed together. Think of this as a mini-website where you can continually update items including your author photo, bio, expertise, media placements, website, and social media links. Amazon invites you to “Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography.”
- Print and ebook pages. Some authors have a robust page for their print book—with reviews, cover, bio, summary, etc. but the e-book version is a ghost town. Pay attention to all your book’s retail pages.
- Book categories/genre. How to categorize your book’s genre and topic on Amazon is an evolving science! Pay attention to your book’s category. For example, in Kindle, there are 200,000+ ebooks labeled “Children’s Books,” but if your book has a historical George Washington storyline theme, it can be further categorized as a “holiday” book for Independence Day, which narrows the choices to 6,500 books, and further tagged at “Independence Day,” where there are only 19 books. You can change the category to make your book show up in different search results. As you type in words to the Amazon search engine box, see what Amazon starts filling in to see popular searches—and, if it makes sense, use this in your book’s description and genre topics! For example, this book can be Children’s then History, then the United States, and then Colonial and Revolutionary (where there are 290 titles). This strategy can be used for most fiction and non-fiction books.
- Reviews. Make sure to post Editorial Reviews and ask friends, family, and fans to add reviews. The more reviews, the more appealing your page is. NOTE: bad reviews are not necessarily always a bad thing—it means the book might not have been right for that reader. For example, a one-star review stating, “I hoped this book would cover the basics of a marketing plan for my new startup, but it was too high level and geared to multi-national corporations” but perfect for another reader looking for exactly this information.
Visit Amazon’s Author Central to update and manage your information: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/landing?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0 And through Author Central, don’t be afraid to ask Amazon questions to help you fix or update your information.