Friday, May 7, 2010

Can You Really Do Anything To Promote Sales On Amazon?!

In corresponding with Aaron Shepard, the guru of book marketing on Amazon, I picked up the concept that one of the things that gets authors in trouble trying to promote their book on Amazon is the desire to DO SOMETHING to promote their book and generate sales. Having had my books listed on Amazon for some time now, I agree with Mr. Shepard. About all you can do ON Amazon to promote your books is make sure all of your book's information is correct. Go to the trouble to do a few of the promotional things suggested by the gurus but limit them to making one or two Listmania's, etc.

When you use Amazon features to essentially SPAM potential buyers, you are entering shady territory ethically. You are also not making good use of your book promotion time. For example, how many people have really purchased a book from a Listmania list?

Does this mean you should not use Amazon's many features to market your books? No! But once you have invested the time to use all of these features and the information is correct and up to date, that is all you can really do. Resist the temptation to do more.

What you can do is use other means of marketing and promotions to DRIVE sales to Amazon. The advantage of this approach is the long tail of Amazon will be the best tool you can use. The more sales you have on Amazon, the more Amazon will do for you to promote your book.

How do you drive sales to Amazon? There are probably as many ways to do this as there are authors. I publish an e-newsletter for basketball coaches. I send it out twice a month during the season and once a month during the off-season (most of my books are for basketball coaches). There is always a jump in Amazon sales for my books after a newsletter has gone out.

There are several books I strongly recommend to learn more about book promotions. These include Mr. Shepard's Aiming at Amazon, POD for Profit and The Frugal Book Promoter. I also strongly suggest you regularly visit Morris Rosenthal's blog on self-publishing, the link to which can be found in the upper right and corner of this blog.

My own book, Self-Publishing with Amazon's CreateSpace also has information on promoting books.

On thing is certain, promoting your book takes time and effort. Do you homework and develop a well thought out plan. Execute the plan, collect as much valid data as you can, make adjustments and stick with it.