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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Earn More as an Author With Amazon’s Affiliate program

Amazon Associates



Join the Amazon Associates program to earn an additional 4% on each of your book sales you drive.

Use Amazon’s Associates program to create custom links from your website or blog to your book and interactive widgets,  presenting your book in a professional light.  When customers click those links and purchase your book, you can earn an additional 4% on each sale. Other Amazon programs offer even more: Earn up to 15% advertising fees from Qualifying Purchases, not just the products you advertised.Make elegant slideshow widgets out of images chosen from products across the entire Amazon catalog – Kindle e-books, CD cover art, DVD’s, books… anything!

Slide Show
Showcase a hand-picked list of products with the widgets below. Start by selecting a display format that best suits your website. You’ll then be able to add products and customize your widget and we’ll provide the HTML for you to use on your site.

My Favorites
Use this tool to recommend your and other authors books. Tell your customers in your own words why you like a certain book and how they can benefit from reading it. Recommend and comment on books and products from Amazon.com. Let everyone know how you feel and what you like!
https://widgets.amazon.com/Amazon-My-Favorites-Widget/

Deals Widget
Display the hottest deals from Amazon on your web page; The Deals Widget lets you select the best “Gold Box” deals which you would like to showcase on your web site. You can even narrow your selection by choosing a specific product category and show discounted items and ongoing promotions from that category.
https://widgets.amazon.com/Amazon-Deals-Widget/

Darren Rowse, who makes on average $20,000+ per year with Amazon Associates, gives lots of helpful tips at http://www.problogger.net/archives/2009/08/19/amazon-associates-tips/

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Tips on How You Can Improve Your Amazon Rankings

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Chicken Soup for the Soul



Tips from famous authors

Why are reviews and rankings at Amazon so important for authors?  Rankings get you noticed. It means Amazon can reach people with your book who would never have heard of it otherwise.
That’s why authors should organize friends, acquaintances and family to order all on the same day, resulting in better ratings. Let me give you two examples:

Mike Litmans advice
Have you ever heard about this world bestseller “Chicken Soup for the Soul“?  Sure, you have! Mike Litman the co-author gives every author this valuable advice:

“Hitting #1 at Amazon as first-time self-published authors using no money, no PR, no public speaking and doing it all in 76 days seems like a powerful enough story to warrant a spot in the Self-Publishing Hall of Fame. We did it by leveraging the email lists of other people by first serving them and coming from a place of willingness to help them first. By doing so, when we asked 12 of them for their help, they gladly sent a notice to their email lists with an offer for the book on Amazon.com, all on the same day to help push us to the top. We made an irresistible offer of digital products as bonuses for anyone who purchased the book from Amazon.com by midnight that night. The digital products sent out by email didn’t cost us anything to give them, so it was a win-win offer and the people who sent the notice to their lists were viewed as heroes for making such a great offer to their lists!”


Guido Henkel Painting

Guido Henkel Painting


Another author, Guido Henkel, had lots of success via a contest he started through his website and blog, writing to friends and acquaintances:

“I want you to “Share” my books and tell the world about it. So, go to my books on Amazon and for every book in the list, click the “Like” button found on the product page. Next, a small pop-up box will appear and there, click on the “F” symbol to share your love with your Facebook friends so that they can see it, or click on the Twitter icon to share the love with your Tweets. A share takes no more than two mouse-clicks — not a whole lot, considering what you could win in the bargain. Count how many of the books you shared this way.

Next, go to the list of my books on Barnes & Noble’s website. On the product page for each book, click on the “F” to share the love with your Facebook friends and also click on the “+1” symbol to share it with your Google+ circles. Again, two mouse-clicks are all that required. Once again, count how many of the books you shared this way.

Then simply send me an email to contest@guidohenkel.com and put “Shared: xxx” in the subject line. “xxx” would, naturally, stand for the number of your total shares.  As you can see, this is really easy and no purchase is necessary. You can share my books even if you’ve never even read one. In fact, I would love for you to share information about the books anyway, because even if they are not your bag, maybe some of your friends like Victorian era supernatural mysteries.  At the end of the give-away, on October 22, I will then randomly draw winners from the shares and get their great prices (my guess: maybe an iPad?) to them. So, with any luck you might find some of these goodies in your mailbox.”

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5 Steps to Improve your Amazon Page – and Sell More Books


One of the greatest benefits of selling your e-book (or paper book) at Amazon is the space they provide you to “advertise” your work.  If you are a savvy author, take advantage of this marvelous opportunity and insert lots information about your writing and yourself . 

Look at it from the standpoint of a reader; which e-book or book would you buy: The one that shows just a boring cover, name of the author, and a very short introduction to the book – or the one which has:

  1. a beautiful, appealing cover
  2. an all-embracing editorial review
  3. an interesting authors bio with a portrait
  4. lots of customer reviews
  5. a book trailer or interview video

So, what can you do to improve your appearance on Amazon and improve book sales? A lot!

Appealing Cover
Rule # 1 for your book cover on Amazon is NEVER to use a white background! White on white is barely visible and your book will not stick out, especially when you chose to have the text in black.  Your book cover should be:

  • aesthetically appealing
  • targeted to the book’s intended audience
  • represent the book’s contents
  • use a clean, readable font
  • use bold or complementary colors
  • use light on dark for dramatic effects
  • visit a bookstore to research book cover designs
  • test the cover in thumbnail size to make sure it looks good even if it is only one inch high/wide

An appealing book cover can be done through the use of software, such as Bookcoverpro.com, if you are computer-savvy and creative / artsy – or hire a professional at Freelancer,  Elance, Fiverr,  or just get in touch with your local college / graphic design class to find a young and eager cover artist.
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Write a great editorial review
Write as much about your book as possible and use all the space you get from Amazon:
Editorial Review—350 characters
From the Author, From the Inside Flap, and From the Back Cover—8000 characters !!!
About the Author—2000 characters
See the detailed information on Amazon.

 

Your Author Page
Helping customers get to know you is an effective way to introduce your books. Information you add on the “Profile” tab in Author Central appears on the Amazon.com Author Page. On the Author Page you can display:

  • books you have written
  • biography and up to eight photos!
  • up to eight videos!
  • feeds to blog posts
  • a calendar of events, such as book signings

The Author Page is a good chance to tell readers something interesting about yourself, so make sure you include any details about your (writers) background, awards, other books you have written and personal details customers might want to know. Your author photo should be a professional, high-resolution image for quality display.

At the Author Central page on Amazon you get lots of free marketing help.  Click the “Profile” tab where you will see all these sections to add – or to change the information later.  It can take several days for the Author Page to appear on the Amazon, so start right now adding content to your Author Page. There are lots of features for you to choose from:

  • Your Profile and your Biography
  • Uploading Photos & Videos
  • Managing Your Blog Feeds & Your Events
  • Uploading Book Images
  • Managing Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews
Anyone registered as an Amazon.com customer is entitled to write customer reviews, including fellow authors and journalists. Reader reviews don’t carry across borders, so ask your friends to copy and paste their reviews to all of your Amazon sites (Amazon.uk.co, Amazon.ca or Amazon.de).  Make it easy for them and provide all the direct links to your sites.

Customer reviews are in order from newest to oldest with the exception of “Spotlight Reviews” that are based on how well the review was written and how helpful it was deemed by our customers. (Hint: ask your friends to click on “helpful” at the best reviews : )

Book Trailer & Videos:
You can share your book trailer, video interviews, book signing videos or the new Google Search Story trailers with readers. Your videos should focus on specific features of your books or your experience as an author. Hire a professional video maker to create your book promotion and upload the video to YouTube and other video sites.

Submit your video or book trailer to your own website, your blog or blogs of your friends, show it often on your Google+, Twitter, or your FB site (ask all your friends to spread the word and to re-tweet your video link or submit it to their FB friends).

Amazon has more cool features to help an author get found. Use every bit of support you can get from Amazon, join the Kindle Forum to ask questions, get help and support from other authors and on blogs, and your book will be a success! 

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How can you promote your Google+ or Facebook business page?


The next-generation social shopping experiences will get more personal, allowing consumers to share more. Selling your books – additionally – on Google+ or Facebook?  

To help build the most efficient (and awesome) Google+ page for your brand, check out the articles compiled in a mega-list of the top how-to guides from around the web.  But how can you promote your business pages?  Here are some ideas (I like the contest best)

  • Add your Google+ and Facebook page URL to your email signature. You already put your website or blog in your email signature. Now add your Twitter profile and Google+ / Facebook page.
  • Write a blog post about your new Google+ or Facebook page.
  • Give people reasons to like your pages. Make a list of 5 to 7 reasons on how they will benefit by liking your page.
  • Tag other people’s high-traffic Google+ or Facebook pages in your updates.  Refer to, tag, and link to other Google+ or Facebook pages, especially those with tons of fans or those targeted to your interests or Facebook page focus.
  • Run an exciting contest on your Google+ and Facebook business pages, on your website, your blog, or your Twitter profile where the person who sends the most fans to your page wins a big prize – such as an iPad or a Kindle Fire.

Social Commerce presents another opportunity for authors to do away with traditional publishing.  They are becoming a new kind of online shopping centre with many retailers setting up shops and taking sales. 

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With a Little Help From Your Friends…Part 2

Reviews, Tags, Highlights, “Listmania Listing”, “Like Button” all help to boost up books in Amazons popularity list. Take two books with identical sales numbers: the one which has been promoted with these features is much higher in the ranks and will definitely sell better in the future.  But your friends can do more, just ask them:
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Book Extras
Book Extras are community edited database which includes series information, character descriptions, important places, memorable quotes and more. The content is added, edited and maintained by both, Amazon customers and the Shelfari.com community.  Shelfari is a community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers. Create a virtual bookshelf, discover new books, connect with friends and learn more about your favorite books – all for free.

Use Social Media
If you are involved with Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or Facebook, you can mention your favorite authors when they release new books. If they blog, you can follow their site (through Google Reader or other RSS readers) and share the link when they post something that may be interesting for others. On Twitter, you can “follow” and re-tweet their links now and then.  If you like to be social about books, you can join sites such as Goodreads, Shelfari, or LibraryThing. You can help your favorite authors by posting reviews and talking about their books on those sites.

Promoting on Your Blog
Do you ever talk about books or what you’re reading on your blog? You might consider reviewing your favorite authors on your site (you could even make a few dollars if you sign up as an Amazon affiliate). You can also add an “author blog roll” list in your menu with links to their sites.

Good old-fashioned word of mouth
Tell every one of your friends and family about your favorite author and his/her books, or mention it in your emails with a link to their site or to Amazon.

Help with “blurbs”
These days, most authors have websites and contact forms so you can get in touch. If you enjoyed their work, consider sending them a short note to let them know. It does not only make their day, but it can help them sell more books, if you allow them to use your words in their “praise” section.

A little promotional help now and then is greatly appreciated. And if you are a writer yourself, let your readers, friends and family know how they can support you on your book seller’s websites, copy and paste this list and send it to them or send them a link.

Part of this list are Lindsay Buroker’s ideas.

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With a Little Help From Your Friends…


Some books are sold in the millions of copies and others never make it out of the “mid-list” category or do not even reach that level.  Readers and authors alike tend to think that a good story is all it takes to become a well known bestseller author.

No matter if you are an author with lots of friends – or if you are friend to an author, the following list will help you to find out how Amazon’s algorithm decides the popularity of books, its ranking and visibility. Amazon, the world’s biggest book seller, paper and e-books alike, can give a great book a big boost to “be discovered”.  These little features take only a few seconds, but can make a big difference:

Reviews
Write at least a review on Amazon, even if the book already has lots of reviews already. As more reviews as better for the author and as more potential buyers can see the popularity of the work. Make a copy of your review and send it to all the other online book sellers as well!  Before you can post a review, you are required to have an Amazon.com account that you have used for at least one purchase of a physical or digital item. Free digital downloads don’t qualify. You don’t need to have purchased the product you are reviewing.
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“Like” Button

Give the book a “Like” in clicking on the icon. This takes less than a second, but it may play into Amazon’s algorithms.

“Listmania” List
Make a List-Mania list and add your favorite authors’ books to it. This creates another avenue for new readers to find books. It’s better to create lists around similar types of books than a too eclectic list, and consider to title it appropriately so folks will be more inclined to check it out.  Submit a brief instruction to your friends/family “How to create a Listmania list”, can be found on Amazon.

Highlights
Another item in Amazon’s algorithm list for book popularity: If you have a Kindle, highlight some wise or fun quotations from the book and share them publicly. If enough people share their highlights, they’ll show up in your e-book.

Amazon displays “Popular Highlights” by combining the highlights of all Kindle customers and identifying the passages with the most highlights. The resulting Popular Highlights help readers focus on passages that are meaningful to the greatest number of people. Popular Highlights are marked with a gray dashed underline. The number of people who have highlighted the text appears at the beginning of the marked text.
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Reviews, Tags, Highlights, “Listmania Listing”, “Like Button” all help to boost up books in Amazons popularity list. Take two books with identical sales numbers: the one which has been promoted with these features is much higher in the ranks and will definitely sell better in the future.

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Harry Potter e-Books on Amazon and B&N

 

Amazon.com Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc. reported they will offer Harry Potter e-books, according to Reuters News.

Amazon said it made a distribution deal with J.K. Rowling’s new website, Pottermore.com, which allows customers to read the Potter series e-books on Amazon’s Kindle e-reader and Kindle Fire tablet.

Similarly, Barnes & Nobles made a deal that allows its Nook e-reader and tablet customers to buy Harry Potter e-books through the Pottermore Shop.

Although financial details were not released, analysts said Amazon likely accepted a smaller cut than 30 percent of the sale price of the Harry Potter e-books.

The deals suggest the companies made big concessions with author J.K. Rowling for electronic access to her bestseller series. But both companies will take a hit as they have to send customers away from their websites to Rowling’s Pottermore.com, which will be able to gather valuable customer information.

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