Way #1 — Be careful to ensure your book is available on Amazon
in sufficient quantity when people go looking for it.
Having books for sale should be common sense right? However, you’d be surprised at
how many books suffer this common mistake. Below is a book in a category that is
currently very popular. It was published in December 2006 and it is showing a 1 to 3
week availability, which will hurt sales.
Evaluating Online Learning in Higher Education: What Are Students Learning, ai
To avoid this mistake, the publisher should pay attention to when Amazon requests books
and ship them using a faster mode.
If the authors are not the same as the publisher, they could also list their book in the
Amazon Market Place and stock some of their own books. This works especially well if
they sell autographed copies of their book for slightly more money. The added benefit is
that the authors will receive the names and addresses of their customers.
Way #2 — Make sure the picture of your book is available and
that it’s readable in the “Thumbnail” size.
The picture above shows a second mistake for this book .. .NO IMAGE… and this is a
very serious “No-No.” Amazon has proof that sales are seriously hurt when no image of
the books appears, so they encourage every publisher to upload an image (or ask them to
do so) right away. Below is a picture of that same book’s Product Details, showing that
the sales ranking is very low (which indicates about 1 book is sold per month).
To turn this mistake around, the publisher should up load an image right away. The
instructions for doing so are easily available in the Amazon Advantage Question and
Answer section and anyone with a scanner and computer with internet connection could
upload the book’s image.
Since so many books are sold online, it is very important for the book cover to be
designed in such a fashion that the title of the book is still readable when it is displayed
on Amazon in what is called the “Thumbnail” size.
Way #3 — Be sure you list the “Full Title” of your book and make
sure it includes your major keywords
Since most of the books on Amazon are now found through searches, it is a big mistake
not to include the Subtitle of the book in its listing. Below is a book that only has its
main title listed. The Full Title should be “Bold Moves: Jump to Outstanding Self¬
Only 1 left in stock–order soon (more on the way).
Want it delivered Tuesday, February 13? Order it in the next 31 hours and 36 n
checkout. See details
To fix this mistake, the author or publisher should send in a title correction to Amazon. It
can usually be done with an email request; not difficult, just needs to be done.
Amazon has become more like Google in that the books listed when someone types in a
search term are usually the “most relevant” to the keywords you typed it. So, it would
really help you book sales if the most common keywords used by people when they look
up a book like yours, appear in the book’s title. For instance, if your book is about “media
training” and that is the common keyword phrase used in a search, then the title should
contain “dog training.” Do a quick check, (search Amazon for “dog training”) and you’ll
discover three authors already know this to be true.
Way #4 — Double-check that there are no “Misspellings” in the
book description and that it is complete.
Some people will be very turned off by misspellings and won’t buy your book because of
them. In the description for the same book as above, you’ll see the word “inside” is
To turn this mistake around, the author or publisher should send in a correction of the
description to Amazon. It can usually be done with an email request; not difficult, just
needs to be done.
The description is one of the main opportunities that you have to sell the book, so please
take advantage of it. Make sure the description covers enough about your books so the
reader can make an informed buying decision. Also, proof all of the copy on the sales
page carefully to avoid poor grammar.
Although the book described above belongs in two main categories on Amazon (i.e. Self¬
Management and Personal Development), it is currently only listed in one. And, as you
can see by the picture below, Amazon has put it in “Literature & Fiction / Contemporary”
which doesn’t fit this book. This is very bad for sales.
To turn this mistake around, the author or publisher should send in a correction of the
categories to Amazon. This might take several days, because it has to be reviewed by a
special group at Amazon, but it will be worth it.
The categories are also used for Amazon’s Bestseller (i.e. Topseller) lists, so it would be
very beneficial to make sure you get into the right category. You book’s sales will
increase even more when it’s seen by more people who are looking in your category.
This is especially true when it moves up in sales rank (which it will do when all of the
above corrections are made).
I hate to keep picking on the same book, however, I have a copy of this one and I know
that it has three fantastic editorial reviews from high profile people (Mark Victor Hansen,
Ken Blanchard, and Steve Farber) that should be provided in the editorial review section,
but they’re not. I believe that is a mistake and it will hurt book sales.
To turn this mistake around, the author or publisher should send in the editorial reviews
to Amazon. It can usually be done with an email request; not difficult, just needs to be
It is not difficult to get reviews and endorsements from celebrities. Most of them want
the additional publicity and all you need to do is make it very easy for them. A personal
letter admiring their work, a short summary of each chapter of your book, and a ghosted
draft of what you are looking for will usually do the trick.
Blogs have become very popular tools for authors to sell more of their books and it is a
big mistake not to take advantage of putting a blog up on your book’s Amazon sales
page. Since this is a fairly new feature, you can see thousands of examples of authors
who are making this mistake. However, below is the Blog of the #1 Amazon Reviewer on
non-fiction books and you can see how he has already added a blog to the sales pages of
his books, and more importantly, you can see how he mentions his other book and his
website in his latest blog entry.
To turn this mistake around, and put up a blog on your book’s sales page, go to
www.amazon.com/connect. Then click on the sign up button. By using this feature,
you can even post messages directly to your customers’ Amazon.com homepages, so you
can communicate easily and directly with an audience of known customers who have
purchased your books.
The blogs on Amazon will get searched quicker and better if you refer to them from your
other blogs. Also, the search engines will index all of your entries, so make sure to use
the keywords that people will be using to find information about your topic.
When you have a book on Amazon and you start being active by posting reviews (and do
the many other things you’re learning here), you’ll have your name plastered all over
Amazon and it will be an active link to “Your Profile.” This can be worth a gold mine in
sales, because this is your own area that you have complete control over (within the
To turn this mistake around, click on “Your Store” tab at the top of the page (for
example, if your first name is Bob, it will say “Bob’s Store”) and then click “Your
Profile” in the sub-menu area underneath. You should use “Your Profile” area to its
maximum extent allowed. You can post who you are, what products and services you
offer, what books you’ve written, how you can help people, and most importantly, which
of your websites they can go visit to get your help. This description of yourself can go on
and on for up to 4000 characters (approximately 650 to 700 words). You can post a
flattering picture of yourself, and if you want, include one with your book or other
Be sincere, be personal, don’t include any hype, and stay within Amazon’s guidelines.
Amazon’s guidelines say no domain names, URLs, or hyperlinks. Also, no commercial
advertising, promotion, or solicitation. Therefore, you only promote yourself and describe
your websites and their addresses with words. You can describe what you will give to
people who contact you as a bonus gift too if you want to provide additional incentive.
Please, don’t let this vein of gold go untouched.
Amazon has a program for pairing up books so that they sell better. Through the “Buy X,
Get Y Program” you can pair your book with a top-selling book for one month on
Amazon.com to offer shoppers added value for purchasing both items simultaneously and
together you gain more exposure and visibility.
“Success in the Arts: What It Takes to Make It in Creative Fields” has a ranking of
279,903 today and it has not been paired with any other book. However, another book
which is not as comprehensive or as good, “How To Be a Graphic Designer Without
Losing Your Soul” is enjoying higher sales (current rank is 5,644), because it is paired
with another top-selling book in its niche that currently has a rank of 885. Although there
are other factors involved, pairing has been shown by Amazon to improve sales.
To turn this mistake around, go to www.amazon.com/coop and learn how to participate
by providing the ISBN number for your book (the X book) and that of a Y book you
would like to pair it with. Y titles can be added only to a single X title at any one time. If
a title is not available during the nominated time frame, Amazon will contact you. You
need to contact them at least one month in advance of when you want it to start.
A few things to consider when picking a book to pair with yours. First, consider whether
the pairing makes sense in terms of subject matter and audience. Second, the higher the
sales ranking of your potential pairing title, the more likely people are to see the
promotion. Consequently, you will have more traffic redirected to your title’s detail page.
Check out our Top 100 bestseller lists (see links below) for a current list of top-selling
products to consider.
Way #10 — The most important one of all! Pursue the Amazon
Bestseller strategy you’re going to learn on the teleseminar and
you’ll keep selling more books
One of the biggest mistakes authors can make is not using a strategy that pays back in a
multitude of ways. For instance, when people like Jack Canfield, T. Harv Eker, and Joe
Vitale used the Bestseller Blast strategy, it makes their books appear on lots of sales
pages all over Amazon. See the picture below as just one example.
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These Books Used the Bestseller Blast Strategy
To turn this mistake around, you can learn how to do a Bestseller Blast for your own
book. This strategy has become one of the most important strategies in building buzz and
The strategy for selling lots of books in a single day on Amazon can easily be combined
with all of these other strategies for increasing the sales of your book. They all work
Copyright 2007 by Randy Gilbert