Monday, December 06, 2010

How to Sell More Books on Amazon

Today I am interviewing Dana Lynn Smith as part of the virtual book tour (http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/booktour/sell-books-on-amazon.html) for her new book, How to Sell More Books on Amazon. She is always willing to share her knowledge with others. I figured this was a good time to let her share some of it with my subscribers. (-:  Keep reading! She even offers you a free e-book!


~Dana, congratulations on your new book. Can you tell us what motivated you to write this book?

I meet a lot of authors online and I've noticed that many of them are unaware of the variety of ways to work with Amazon and to increase their book's visibility and sales appeal.

With this book, I wanted to help authors and indie publishers understand the range of options available though Amazon and show them how to take advantage of those opportunities. Amazon doesn't make it very easy to find information about their programs, so I have included a number of hyperlinks to helpful pages on the Amazon Web site.

Like all of the Savvy Book Marketer guides, this e-book focuses on practical how-to tips and includes detailed instructions to help readers implement the ideas in the book.

~I noticed that this is the first e-book that you have offered in Kindle format in addition to PDF format. How has that worked out for you?
The process of publishing for the Kindle was easier than I imagined, and I have been surprised to see that about one fourth of my sales so far have been in Kindle format. Of course, I don't know if those Kindle sales have come from my own promotional efforts, or if those customers found me through keyword searches in the Kindle store.

One of the advantages of being in the Kindle store is that the number of competing books is smaller, which can give you an edge in getting found. Right now there are about 720,000 Kindle listings vs. 14 million print book listings. Although many of the printed books listed on Amazon are out of print, that's still a big difference.

Because I don't have a printed book on Amazon, the Kindle e-book was a great way for me to get visibility on the site. My book comes up number two in the search results for "sell books on Amazon" in the Kindle store. Many of the competing books are actually designed for used book dealers who are selling in the Amazon Marketplace, so I don't have a lot of competition.

~What advice can you give to authors who want to improve their sales and profits on Amazon?


Amazon.com is the most popular bookstore, accounting for the vast majority of online sales and about 22 percent of total book sales in the U.S., so it's really important for authors to understand how to promote themselves on the site.

Take some time to learn about all of the various ways to work with Amazon and then prioritize your promotional activities. There are many options, but these are the activities that I would put on the "must do" list:

• Enhance your book description

• Brand yourself with the signature in your personal profile

• Solicit book reviews

• Review other products

• Sign up for the Look Inside program

• Participate in the Amazon Associates program

• Use tags to increase your book's visibility in search results


~Dana, thanks for stopping by today to talk about profiting from Amazon.com.  I've noticed that lots of my clients and people I associate with on the Web love to hate Amazon. I fear they are severely limiting their opportunities. Authors can use the widget I provide in this blog or learn more about you and your other books at: http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/savvy_book_marketer/
For more book marketing tips authors will want to follow Dana at www.twitter.com/BookMarketer.
 Get her free Top Book Marketing Tips e-book at http://www.thesavvybookmarketer.com/.

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog:

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