Thursday, May 21, 2015

Your Book’s Amazon Page

Your Book’s Amazon Page

Now before we get into the details of how to get your book picked up by Amazon’s computers and the steps you need to take to help with promotion, we need to discuss your Book’s Amazon Page.

Your book will automatically have a basic destination page created once your publisher (or you, if self published) submits your book’s data through Amazon’s online information channels. Typically your book will be uploaded by Amazon in 2 stages (Note: Amazon controls how long it takes to upload your book’s data once submitted, you can not rush the process). First your book’s basic page will be created which displays Editorial Reviews and Product Details, such as ISBN numbers, page length, publisher, etc. Then once this is done the cover is uploaded in stage 2 which can take up to 8-10 weeks. I personally have never seen it take this long but it is possible.  Every book on Amazon has a generic listing, what you need to focus on is enhancing this listing.

For the remainder of this blog I will refer to your book’s placement on Amazon as your “Book’s Amazon Page”. 

This is the basic URL that directs viewers to your book on Amazon.

An example can be viewed here: See Example 1

The above link is for Sherrill S. Cannon, author of “Peter and the Whimper Whineys”. This is an author I have worked with to help increase her exposure on Amazon.  Take a moment to browse through her book’s Amazon Page. Notice how much activity is displayed here, also take note of the features being showcased, such as Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought.

Now follow the link for our second sample case: See Example 2  

Hopefully when comparing the two links you can see a notable difference. These examples are to illustrate to you, how added features, can be uploaded onto your book’s Amazon Page. These features can only be added directly by Amazon and will only be done once your book achieves certain activity levels or receives notable recognition on the site.  

Note: if another author’s book appears on your book’s Amazon page your book in return is likely being displayed on their book’s Amazon Page.  

Below is a list of the major features that Amazon can upload to any given Amazon page. 

Ideally you would want for all to be displayed, however this takes time and a tremendous amount of work. After 3-4 months of working with Amazon you should expect to have at least 2-3 added features, after a year perhaps 5-6. If your book becomes a bestseller this will pretty much guarantee you all.  Remember each feature added to your book’s Amazon page means you hit a recommendation list. 

Enhanced Amazon "Added Features" to Target: 

  •      Special Offers and Product Promotions
  •      Frequently Bought Together
  •      What Do Customers Ultimately Buy After Viewing This Item?
  •      Search Inside
  •      Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
  •      Customers who viewed this also viewed
  •      Looking for " " Products?
  •      Other customers suggested these items
  •      Tags
  •      Reviews
  •      Sales Rank
  •      Formats
  •      Listmania
  •      So You'd Like To Guides
  •      More About the Author

The above “added features” greatly enhance your book’s presence on Amazon. If your book’s Amazon Page displays these you know you have moved to the next level. By constantly monitoring Amazon and participating on the site, not just as an author, but as a user you can get these features appearing on your book’s Amazon page.

In my next post we will be discussing your Author’s Page via Author Central. This feature will appear directly on your book’s Amazon Page and is one of the most beneficial tools Amazon gives its authors.  

Good luck! 

- Kait Neese


Author Central- Part 1

Author Central

Author Central needs to become a tool you familiarize yourself with thoroughly. This is one of the most important features Amazon offers to its authors. 

Your Author’s Page (which you create via Author Central) doubles as a tool for you to monitor your book’s success on the site as well as provide additional information to your target audience.  

Creating this Author’s Page is crucial for two reasons. 

  1. First it adds trust to your book’s Amazon Page because only the actual author of the book can create this. So it signals to Amazon Users that the author is active on the site and has claimed his/her book. 
  2. Second, your Author’s Page can be picked up by the Major Search Engines (Google, Yahoo & Bing). 

So if one of your reader’s searches your name on Google it is very likely your Author’s Page will show up on one of the search result pages. You never know where you next big break will come from so you want to cover any and all of your bases.

How to Get Started:

If you are a published author and your book is listed on Amazon you can claim your Author’s Page without the assistance of your publisher.

1.       Visit to create an account and “claim” your book.

This is a free service Amazon offer’s it’s authors. Login with the same email address you use when making a purchase on Amazon.  Amazon will direct you on how to claim your book, follow the steps Amazon provides you with. This is very simple. If your book does not automatically appear refine your search and type in your books title followed by your author name. 

2.       Confirm Verification Email sent by Amazon.  

Once you make your claim, Amazon will send you a verification email to authenticate you are the author of the selected book. Confirm this as soon as possible . Once Amazon receives your verification they will begin to create your Author’s Page. Note this can take up to 7 days after verification complete. 

- Kait Neese

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Amazon & Foreign Rights Sales

Amazon & Foreign Rights

Throughout several of my blog posts I have mentioned the benefits of having a “tricked” out Amazon page. However one of the biggest is that Amazon has now become a go-to site to by foreign rights consultants when looking to acquire new rights. This is huge.

Amazon’s popularity is not only felt within the U.S. but countries around the world have realized its relevance and are using it on a daily basis.  However what is unique is that Amazon has not just become a site to purchase products but a go to hub of information when researching new titles, in foreign rights terms, for purchase.

Over the past couple years I have been traveling to various international book fairs to both buy and sell foreign rights. The one change from 2010 to 2011 that I have noticed the most has been the increased mention of “Amazon” in our meetings.  Amazon has established international credibility. For example, when pitching a book to a Taiwanese foreign rights agent, he immediately pulled out his Ipad and (as we like to call it) Amazoned it.  By this I mean he checked to see how many reviews the book had, its current sales ranking, and how many features the book’s Amazon page was displaying.  His response “ Well the reviews look good on Amazon, send me a sample of the book for further consideration”. That quick and that simple. The foreign rights agent, based of Amazon, gave the book a green light to go to the next level in foreign rights acquisition.

The purpose of this post is to point out to you that having a dominant presence on Amazon is essential to your book’s success. Not only are general consumers using Amazon for purchasing but industry personnel are visiting Amazon to judge content when making foreign rights decisions.

So what does this mean?

1.       You need to make sure you have both an Author’s Page and Amazon Profile setup and filled out completely ( bare minimum).
2.       Your book has numerous quality reviews
3.       There are “added features” being displayed on your book’s Amazon page
4.       You use the site daily, and treat it just as you would any other social media site

If you can control the material foreign rights agents view when deciding whether or not to buy your rights, why would you not take advantage of this?

Hope this helps and if you have any questions please let me know!

Selling Books and eBooks with QR Codes

Selling Books and eBooks with QR Codes

Prediction for 2011 above

So, if you have a QR scanner, did you scan that QR Code yet?  Admit it. There’s a huge curiosity factor with these and I just threw this thing together in a couple of minutes.
QR codes are generated for free online, an example site is The image created can be of various sizes, depending on its intended use. The code block can be read by a smartphone with a barcode or QR Code reader application installed on it (there are many of these apps, all available for free download).
One can embed a URL, a block of text (250 character max), or a phone number in a QR Code. Combined with a bit of creativity, there are a ton of possibilities. Some examples would be:
1.       Adding QR Codes to existing publications. Even if they have a phone number or web address, people with a smartphone will have a direct connection to the information (be able to call or go straight to the web address). In the case of 99 cent eBooks, even if there was a poster or something that had all of the information, scanning a QR code would allow for an instant trip to the book’s Amazon page where it can become an impulse buy. After all, eReading software is available for all smartphones!
2.       Utilizing the mystery aspect, the QR codes hit into natural human curiosity. Naturally, some may feel as though it is unethical to make things a complete mystery but a cool example of something alluring would be to put a poster in an airport that says “Award Winning eRead for the Plane Trip” and stick the QR code for the Amazon site. Boom, they’ll probably buy it. Actually, book sales in airports are pretty big. Why not tap into eBook sales.
3.       Train and Bus Stations could also be hit upon in a similar way to airports as mentioned above.
4.       Dangling signs or some type of mounting that makes a poster stand out in a heavy tourist area would be a great way to get the curious a technologically connected to take a look at our eBooks.
5.       Putting QR Codes on little promotional items such as magnets, bookmarks, etc.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Amazon Vine Program

You want to get into the Amazon Vine Program

As you all should know by now writing reviews on Amazon is a great way to promote your book. Not only can you display your book’s title in your signature at the end of each review you write, but Amazon actually monitors these reviews looking for qualified writers to include in their Amazon Vine Program! As an author it should be your goal to get into this program as this is the “elite of the elite” in the Amazon world. A review by a person in this program far outweigh a review by a normal user on Amazon. Check out what these two authors have to say!

Mike Saxton, Author of “7 Scorpions: Rebellion”

“For the subject of this email, I am going to discuss the Amazon Vine program with you. This program is a great opportunity for you on multiple levels. But before I do that, I am going to discuss what it is.
The Vine program is Amazon’s way of garnering reviews for new and upcoming products, especially books and movies. Publishers/Manufacturers provide a certain number of each item. Amazon will send you an electronic catalog with these items for you to choose from. When you pick, they ship them to you for FREE. You get the item(s) and you get shipping at no charge. The kicker is, you have to write a review for them.
So the advantages? You garner more recognition as a reviewer and you gain the possible notice of various media, who will be interested in the pre-release reviews. You also get free stuff. There is a catch to this. Amazon Vine is by invite only. In other words, Amazon has to bring you into the fold. There is no way to simply go somewhere and sign up for it.
So how do you get in? Fortunately, I got in so I can tell you. You need to be a highly active reviewer on Amazon already. You need to review a variety of products, especially books and movies/shows. In addition, those reviews need to be of high enough quality to garner numerous “helpful” votes. As with many other aspects of Amazon, the exact numbers are unknown. I know that discussion forums have nothing to do with it because I do not participate in those. It appears to be strictly review based, which makes sense. One other thing, this may not mean anything, but I don’t write reviews for anything that I can’t rate at least 4 stars (the whole Karma thing).
So what does that mean for you? It is time to kick up those reviews. Review everything. If you watch a documentary on television, and it is available on DVD, write a review. If you read a book a year ago and still remember it, write a review. If there is a television show that you watch, and the previous seasons are available on DVD, write a review. Just make sure that you do not review anything you have not read/seen/used. You can even write reviews for household products and other things. The point is, this could be a great opportunity so shooting for it is a good idea.”

Robin Landry, Author of “When I Dream”
Being a part of Amazon's Vine Program is of course the free books and other merchandise.  It's like getting paid for doing what you love, and for me that's reading.  I had heard about the program so I became involved with the 'top reviewer' message boards, and in fact started a discussion called "All I want for Christmas is to be a Vine Voice."  The other reviewers came to my aid and what they said was basically, Amazon had to send you an invitation.  I waited and waited, while noticing that my ranking was higher than the Vine Voices around me.  Then one day, someone came on the discussion boards and told me where to look in Amazon for my invitation and there it was. 

So, what happens once you're a Vine Voice? Well, one Thursday a month, Amazon sends you a letter offering you a page worth of things to review based on what you've been reviewing so far.  Well, here's the catch, I had been doing some short young adult books to get my numbers up and guess what half the books that were offered to me to review?  Right, young adult books.  No worries, I have read some great new books from up-and-coming new authors, so it's been good.

While chatting to other reviewers, most of whom are not authors, has it's downfall.  For some reason quite a few of these reviewers have axes to grind and if they disagree with anything you've said, you will get an onslaught of negative reviews.  It's easy to tell why this happens because you'll just get negative reviews on the first things that come up on your profile.  People that do this are called Trolls by the reviewers and the Trolls will make up a new name so they no one knows what they're doing.  It's better to just stay away from the whole discussion group.

Now, to get lots of helpful votes, review things you like.  People who read reviews are already looking at the product or have already purchased it.  The last thing they want is to see what they've bought slammed.  It makes them feel stupid and you'll get lots of negative votes.  Also, try to be the first to read and review a big name author's book, like Danielle Steele.  Easy way to get lots of votes to move yourself up in the rankings.

The people at the top of the reviewing stack are very serious about their rankings and very competive.  They have lots of authors wanting reviews from them.  The top 500 reviewers are basically Amazon royalty.  I've heard through the boards, that some reviewers (top 10) have been asked for interviews, and have had authors wanting to come to them for an interview. 

The Vine Program is its own world and you need to know the rules once you get in.  Once you get your own letter, then a week later the whole comes out for everyone and it's long.  I've seen 26 pages of things wanting reviews, and some of the things are incredible.  Exercise machines, luggage, high chairs, printers, the list goes on.  Of course all these things are gone by the time I get there, in fact I've heard through the boards that people sit by their computers waiting for the letter to come out, then they tell each other what they got.

Anyway, it's worthwhile, it's fun, read the boards, just don't post, and wait for the Thursday letter!

Robin Landry