5 Ways to Make Amazon Work For You

For authors and publishers, Amazon is a powerhouse promotional tool. You can spread awareness of your books to the far corners of the globe, with minimal effort. Here are a few among many ways to take advantage of this Internet giant:

1. Make Sure Your Listing is Complete. Have you posted to your page, with Amazon’s “I am the author (publisher)” feature? Have you uploaded your cover? Are you participating in Look Inside the Book, which shows your full TOC and front matter and some excerpts (if that makes sense for your particular book and marketing plan)? Have you gotten a few people to post reader reviews?

2. Locate Popular Reviewers in Your Genre. If you write a certain book and you notice that a volunteer reviewer has done five or ten titles in the same field, track that person down and offer a review copy. It may be one of the easiest ways to get decent quotes for a small-press title.

3. Review Others’ Books. When you’ve read a book that attracts the same audience as yours, write a brief review—and identify yourself as the author of . Of course, you can’t include your URL—but savvy shoppers who want to know more will pop your title into Google and find you anyway.

4. Be a Listmaniac. When you visit Amazon, if you’ve purchased in the past you’ll probably find a link called Listmania, offering lists of books that readers have organized around particular subjects. Visit someone else’s list, and you’ll be offered the option to create one of your own. I’ve begun setting up lists, identifying myself as Author, “Principled Profit”—and I start my lists with my own book. Both as a reviewer and a list maker, you get to fill in information about yourself, which of course can include your books, areas of expertise, and so forth. You can even upload a photo.

5. Pump Up Your Rank. Organize a campaign to get a bunch of people to buy your book from Amazon on the same day, and watch your sales rank move up by orders of magnitude. It will settle back down pretty quickly, but probably a good deal ahead of its original position.

Shel Horowitz is the author/publisher of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First http://www.principledprofits.com, which recently enjoyed a day within the Amazon top 100 after starting the day at 1.5 million. He’s also a marketing consultant/copywriter and the author of Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World http://www.frugalmarketing.com. He says, “I make the world insist on knowing why you’re special.”