US sales for Amazon Media reached $3.58 billion in 2006, the first year Amazon outsold Borders in North America. Amazon is changing the publishing industry, and judging from this trend, self-publishing writers would be wise to at least investigate and consider this option.
“If you choose to say good-bye to preconceived notions about standard book industry conventions, you increase the chances of improving your profits when your book sales climb on Amazon,” says Sampson, author of Sell Your Book on Amazon. Both an author and a publisher, he shares his experience selling books online. He’s the president and CEO of Outskirts Press and the author of Self-Publishing Simplified and Publishing Gems: Insider Information for the Self-Publishing Writer. His writing style is clear and direct, without any confusing technical computer jargon.
The book gets right to the point with practical tips for getting started, such as how to get listed on Amazon and how to obtain an ISBN number and barcode, along with approximate costs. It encourages writers to consider the profitability of selling under the Amazon Advantage Program before even getting started. It teaches readers how to create an AmazonConnect account and design their Author Profile Page.
An entire chapter is devoted to describing how to make the most of the book detail page, “the single most important Amazon page for authors,” which informs prospective buyers about the book. Search Inside is a feature that can be set up to allow readers to see an actual page from the book.
Other topics include various marketing techniques via Amazon functions, such as reviews. Getting good customer reviews posted in Amazon is key to success, but writing reviews of other books in related genres can also be used as a subtle marketing technique for one’s own book. Other valuable product promotion options include “better together” for purchasing ad space next to other popular books, the “tell a friend” feature, as well as the “customers that bought this item also bought” section.
The author uses a ranking system from one to five stars to help readers determine which marketing tactics are likely to return the biggest payoff for the investment. Recommendations listed as “five star” tactics are highly recommended, such as Listmania, an Amazon feature similar to a top 25 list that writers can use “to pick products that will appeal to your demographics and simultaneously attract as many people as possible.”
This book is a helpful addition to the repertoire of any aspiring or self-published writer looking for more ways to market their book.