There are five ways a book buyer can find you:
- Keyword Search Results
Putting a search term in Amazon’s box (“books on infertility,” “Cleopatra,” “Vampires”)
- An Association With A Competitor
Appearing In A Competitor’s “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…”
- Category Listings
Clicking on the category link of a competitive book, which takes them to the “Best Sellers” list in that category. The higher you rank, the easier it is to find your book.
- Browsing Through Kindle’s Lists
This includes sections like Book Deals, Best Sellers, etc.
- Direct Search Results
Typing your name or the name of your book in Amazon’s search engine.
* There are other, smaller ways, like creating lists in Listmania, participating in forums, getting interviewed by outside bloggers, seeing a tweet or a Facebook post, etc. but they represent marginal sales at best. We’re aiming for a deluge of sales, not a sprinkle.
Selling Ebooks On Amazon
Why your best hope is to rank high on Amazon’s search engine.
Read the above list and it becomes painfully clear that outside of being a celebrity or already being in the top 20 in your respective category, your only hope for selling your books on Amazon is to show up in their search results whenever somebody looks for a book in your category. To bring this point home, let’s look at a scenario:
- Potential customers are looking for a book like yours. They type in keyword phrases into Amazon’s search box.
- Amazon’s search spiders shoot out through the site and look for these phrases. They don’t see them in your book’s title, book description or search profile (the 7 keyword phrases Amazon allows you to submit to their search engine).
- Your book doesn’t show up in the search results. Or it shows up on page 40.
- No sale
Don’t let this happen to you. Unless you’re a celebrity, have a book that is already selling well, or an author with a sizeable fan base, customers are not going to find you unless you rank high in their Amazon search results. I fear that perhaps I’ve lapsed into understatement, so let me put it more bluntly:
You are destined to fail if you don’t use keyword phrases that lead to your book.
Your goal is to land in the first page of Amazon’s search results. For comparison purposes you probably know that Google lists about 10 search results per page. Amazon lists about 20. On Google, about 80% of people stop searching after page 3. I suspect it’s probably the same on Amazon.
Alert! Have you read our guide, Selling Ebooks On Amazon.
Here’s my definition of a search, or keyword, phrase: The words buyers plug into Amazon’s search box when they’re looking for a book like yours. Your job is to find out what those words are, for they are your paths to glory. These words are one of the keys to marketing your book on Amazon. You’ll find out how to find these keywords later. For now, I want you to see that there are three places you can embed these all-important keywords:
- The title of your book
- The “Book description” in your book’s landing page
- Your book’s search engine profile (Amazon allows you to define your book in seven keyword phrases)
Stay tuned! In next week’s post you’ll learn about Amazon’s categories and how they help attract customers.