How to sell a book on Amazon
Using Amazon’s KDP publishing for your book is a popular choice for many authors, it’s free to join and uploading the manuscript and book cover design is relatively straightforward too, but once you have your book published on their website, how do you promote and sell it?
The good news is that there are many ways to promote and sell your book online, KDP publishing offer several options and even allow you to promote your book with paid advertising for Amazon’s own website.
So, how do you sell your book online, and more specifically, how do you sell it on Amazon?
The first thing you’ll need is an Amazon account (which most of us have, even if you’re not publishing a book), however, you will need to go to the KDP page, here you can sign in or create a new account if needed.
Once you have an account or have logged in, you will see your bookshelf which shows any books which you have already published, you also have the option to create a new book and upload its content and details. Uploading your book is straightforward and we have a great article on how to upload a book to KDP which will show you how to do this.
Upload and set up your book
Of course, a big part of selling your book on Amazon is in ensuring that readers can find it, when you’re setting up the book on KDP you’ll need to have your keywords and categories selected correctly (these are on the first page within the setup process), as both of these elements will make a difference in how visible it will be to book buyers.
Along with your keywords and categories, a great book description is another element which you can use to sell the book, like a blurb for the back page, this can help to persuade your potential reader to make a purchase too.
Once you have your book uploaded and all of the metadata set up, you can start the process of promotion and advertising the book.
Use social media
The first place that many authors look at for promoting their books is on social media, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube and Instagram offer great options for running ads, so setting up your accounts on these platforms is a great place to begin. The likelihood is that you already have accounts with some of these or even all of them, however, as an author you may want to look at setting up new ones under either your pen name or specifically for you as an author.
Social media platforms offer controllable advertising solutions which enable ads to focus on very specific customers, you can pick exactly what type of reader/consumer you want to target and set a budget for your exact needs.
Advertising directly with Amazon
But, when promoting your book on Amazon, you should consider Amazon Ads, here you can advertise your book and run ads to showcase your book when a reader searches for books within your genre.
You will need to check your eligibility to ensure that your book meets their requirements, then you can create your advertising account with Amazon, from here you can run a campaign and choose the ad type from either sponsored products to lockscreen ads, setting this up is straightforward and will normally take 72 hours to go live, you can read more on this with our Amazon Ads article.
Getting some reviews
As most Amazon customers will agree, the amount and quality of the reviews that any product has will have an influence upon your purchasing decisions, so getting quality reviews for your book should be a priority.
Lots of authors do this by initially giving their eBook away for free (for a limited time) to encourage an uptake of readers and reviews, you can also get friends and family in on this and ask them for feedback too.
With your eBook you can give links to you review page within the book itself and ask for them, if you have a mailing list (for those authors who have a website) you can ask for reviews here too.
But remember, you should never try and bribe readers for giving false reviews for your book, this is something that in recent years Amazon has clamped down on, the reviews should be honest and reflect just how great your book is.
Recently KDP have allowed authors to nominate their books for Kindle deals and prime reader promotions, now these promotions are for eBooks, but they can still help you in getting your book seen by readers.
Kindle deals are for eBooks that have limited time promotional prices on them, you can nominate your eBook for this and if you get selected, your eBook can be within a feature placement within the Kindle store and/or be within promotional emails from Amazon to their readers.
Prime Reader Promotions are where Amazon will put your book in front of their Prime reader subscribers, this is a large group of very active eBook readers, again, this can really help in your book’s exposure.
Write a series
Amazon gives you the option of linking a series of books together to help cross sell your books, when a reader goes to your book’s sales pages they’ll see the others within the series, you can also create a sell boxsets which again will help you to gain readers and sell copies.
Get your book recorded as an audio
Having your book recorded as an audio book is a great deal easier to do than ever before, Amazon even offer a service to connect you with narrators who will be able to do this professionally for you too, via their audio service called ACX you can choose the perfect narrator and work with them to create the perfect audio format of your work.
Publish as a hardback
KDP’s print on demand publishing service has come a long way over the past few years, their recent offer of hardbacks for self-publishing authors gives you another edition to offer your reader, the set up for the interior is the same for the paperback with the cover being the main difference (in the book’s set up that is). But using their templates for hardbacks is similar to paperback, if you are unsure, your existing book cover designer should be able to help with its creation.
However, offering more than just the one version of your book is another way to serve every reader, you can now offer eBooks, paperbacks, hardbacks and audio books for your title.
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