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How to Improve Your Amazon Sales Page

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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 as much information about your writing and yourself as you can. 

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 that:

- has a beautiful cover
– an all-embracing editorial review
– an authors bio with a portrait
– lots of customer reviews

So, what can you do to improve your appearance on Amazon and improve book sales? A lot indeed! Starting with an appealing cover, detailed editorial review, a marvelous author’s bio and lots and lots of customer reviews from readers and journalists that are writing for newspapers book review articles.
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APPEALING COVER
Rule # 1 for your book cover at 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:

  • be aesthetically appealing
  • appeal to the book’s intended audience
  • represent the book’s contents
  • clean, readable font
  • bold or complementary colors
  • 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 at Amazon’s website
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Hire a professional with a portfolio of great book covers you have admired, or one at Freelancer  or Elance  or just get in touch with your local college / graphic design class to find a young and eager cover artist.
An appealing book cover can be even done through the use software, such as Bookcoverpro.com,  if you are computer-savvy and creative / artsy.
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YOUR 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 (All characters are including spaces, single page in 12point arial font is approx. 2100 characters)

See the detailed information on Amazon:
https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help?ie=UTF8&topicID=200649600

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AUTHOR CENTRAL & AUTHOR PAGE
At the Author Central page on Amazon you get lots of free marketing help for your book set up your Author Central account if you haven’t already done so.  In Author Central, click the “Profile” tab. You will see sections for adding or changing your biography, photos, videos, speaking or other events, and blog feeds.  Sections are always available in Author Central, so you can add or change the information later.

It can take 3 to 5 days for the Author Page to appear on the Amazon.com site – so start right now adding content to your Author Page. If you add or make changes later, they will appear on the Author Page within 24 hours of the time you add them in Author Central.  There are lots of features for you to choose from – as more you add, as better:

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

Get all the information at: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help

Uploading Videos: You can share video interviews, book signing videos, and other videos with readers. Your videos should focus on specific features of your books or your experience as an author. If you publish at both, Amazon AND on Barnes&Noble, also use B&N’s video feature: “Interviews, Meet the Writers: Video”.

Hire a professional video maker to create your book promotion and upload the video to YouTube, as well as your own website, your blog or these of your friends, your Facebook site (ask all your friends to spread the word and to re-tweet).
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CHOOSE THE RIGHT BOOK CATEGORY
Readers have to FIND your book first to buy it. There is a large list of possible categories to put your book in:  the categories that best match your books based on their content. Study carefully each book that is competitive to yours and see in which categories the bestsellers among them are listed. Narrow down your list as much as possible. You can email Amazon’s KDP and ask them to get your book into the proper categories, telling them the exact line, such as this:

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Reference > Writing > Writing Skills
More about the right genre in a former article on this blog.
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CUSTOMER REVIEWS
Anyone registered as an Amazon.com customer is entitled to write customer reviews. They do not have to buy your book at Amazon, to write a review. 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.
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BRING IN MORE VISITORS:
What else can you do to bring visitors to you your Amazon page?

  1. Create a direct link from your book to your Amazon book’s page
  2. Link from your personal webpage, your email addresses, your blog, Twitter, Facebook etc. to your book’s page at Amazon
  3. Create a signature with your book link for your email and also for any forums in which you participate. Whenever you write and end with your name, your signature with the direct link is always inviting people to go to your Amazon book page.
  4. You can even put your Amazon link to your book’s page on your business card
  5. Join the Kindle Forum to ask questions, get help and support from other authors.

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Use every bit of support you can get from Amazon, and also what you can find on this blog, and your book – if written well – will be a success! These tips are (mostly) valid on other book sales pages, such as Kobo, Barnes & Noble or Apple.

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/seminar

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 750 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

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@111publishing

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How to Find Your Best Book Category / Genre

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There is no world or national organization that determines a clear-cut genre or category for each book written. In the United States the Library of Congress assigns a combination of letters and numbers to each traditionally published book registered. This identifier determines where that book should be shelved in any library.

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For a debut author it is a recommended to write within a clearly articulated literary genre. You
will need to categorize your novel for the purpose of querying agents and publishers, and
most novels fair better on the market when they are specifically geared toward one literary
genre or another.
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See samples of genres either at Steve Thompson’s article or at PublishingQuestions. A deep dive into sub-genres can be found at Paul Carlson’s blog post . Another great list can be found at Wickipedia.
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Before sending out queries to publishers or agents, study carefully which genres they prefer.
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Finding the best genre on Amazon is another topic: 

If your book is available both, in print and as an e-book you can choose four categories (two for print and two for digital) and see in which your book best fares. 
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Readers have to FIND your book to buy it. There is a large list of possible categories to put your book in:  the categories that best match your books based on their content. Study carefully each book that is competitive to yours and see in which categories the bestsellers among them are listed. Narrow down your list as much as possible. You can email Amazon’s KDP and ask them to get your book into the proper categories, telling them the exact line, such as this:

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Reference > Writing > Writing Skills
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Lets look for sample at NEVER SAY SORRY, a thriller that runs between corporate ethics, the law, medical treatments for cancer and hedge funds.   http://bit.ly/Y6ABTa 

In the e-Book category:

Thrillers (book’s competition is 112,518, this is where it was initially posted)

Fiction > Mystery & Thrillers >Thrillers > Medical (competition is only 394)

Fiction > Mystery & Thrillers >Thrillers> Legal (competition is only 1.303)

The author can choose both categories for her e-book – medical and legal thriller. To leave the book under thriller only, compromises its ranking tremendously, almost killing the book.
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Let us know about your experience with book genres.

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog

(there are almost 600 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them

regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on

“LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can

submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and

StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other

writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris

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Posted by on January 15, 2013 in Marketing

 

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Are You Sure Your Book is in the Right Genre – or Sub Genre?


“Knowing Your Genre”, by John C. Ford Author of
The Morgue and Me

If you want to travel to a nice place, the first step is finding it on the map. And so it is with writing a novel: if you want to get a novel up on the bookstore shelves, the first step is finding the shelf that you’re aiming for.

You have got a great idea, say, for a story about a young actress in turn-of-the-century Chicago, haunted by ghosts of the characters she plays on stage. But if you start writing without a clear notion of whether your novel is a horror story, a young adult tale, or a historical romance, you are putting yourself in a hole — and probably a lot of reject piles. Why? Well, if you don’t know what shelf your book should be on, then agents, editors, and booksellers probably won’t either, and that will make them reluctant to invest in your manuscript.

If you are writing a crime story, this lesson applies to you. About thirty percent of novels purchased in the U.S. are mysteries or thrillers, and your first step as a crime writer should be knowing which of those two types of books — a mystery or a thriller — you are delivering to your readers.

And in order to take that step, you need to know what a mystery is, what a thriller is, and the differences between them. Relax… we’re here to help. Mysteries begin with a murder. The major question is whodunit, and the novel answers that question. Thrillers begin with a situation that portends a catastrophe of some sort (an assassination, a bank robbery, a nuclear explosion, etc.) The major question is whether or not our hero will be able to prevent that catastrophe from occurring. This, in a nutshell, describes the difference between a mystery and a thriller.

The two genres have a number of deeper differences — in tone, point of view, and appeal — which writers should also know in order to understand the expectations that readers bring to each type of story. Some of those differences are as follows:

  • The Identity of the Antagonist: In a mystery, readers do not know who committed the murder (until the end); they try to figure it out along the way. In a thriller, readers often knows who the bad guy is, and hope that the hero can stop him.
  • Appeal to Readers: Mysteries readers take pleasure in the intellectual exercise of puzzling out a crime. Thriller readers enjoy the emotional aspect — riding out the highs and lows of the charged story line.
  • Point of View: Mysteries tend to be written in the first person, while thrillers more often are written in the third person, and from multiple points of view.
  • Stakes: While solving a murder is by no means a “low stakes” endeavor, thrillers tend to have “higher” stakes that imperil larger numbers of people.
  • Pace: Mysteries usually have a slower pace than the fast-and-furious plotting of a thriller.
  • Action: Mysteries often have fewer action sequences than thrillers, in which the characters regularly find themselves in great danger.
  • Plot complexity: Mystery plots tend to be less complex than thrillers, which rely on a constant flow of events to provide a sense of immediacy.
  • Character depth: The slower pace of mysteries allows for greater depth of character than the thriller form.

Sub-genres:
Mysteries tend to get sub-divided based on the identity of their protagonists: “amateur sleuth” mysteries feature a main character whose main occupation is not crime-solving; “police procedures” often follow a police detective; “private investigator” novels, naturally, star private detectives. Thrillers get sub-divided based on the cultural or professional world in which the threat arises. Thus you have “medical thrillers,” “spy thrillers,” “financial/corporate thrillers,” and many others.
Based on the above, you should be able to tell whether your story, at its core, is a mystery or a thriller. Knowing the characteristics of your genre (and sub-genre) should inform the story choices you make, help you to identify authors of similar works to read for inspiration, and to know how your novel fits into the publishing picture when you address agents and editors. In short, it should help you see more clearly where your novel will end up in the bookstore — and that’s a very good thing.

To be clear, though, the qualities of mysteries and thrillers described above are by no means absolute. They should not be taken as hard-and-fast “rules” to follow, and indeed, many successful mysteries and thrillers deviate in ways large and small from the descriptions above. The thrillers of Harlan Coben, to give just one example, tend to revolve around complicated family histories — a personal type of storyline more expected in a mystery — rather than preventing a “high stakes” threat like terrorists poisoning a water system.

Writers should not fear to tread where others in the genre haven’t, either. Many of the thriller sub-genres began with authors exploring subject matter that had not been tackled yet in their genre. Scott Turow virtually invented the legal thriller with “Presumed Innocent.” Joseph Finder has set a number of thrillers in the corporate world, and with his success the sub-genre of corporate thrillers has flowered.

If you have your own story, certain aspects of it probably do not fit neatly into the generalized descriptions above. That’s okay. Better than okay — within the terrain of your genre, you want to find a fresh spot to claim as your own.

Indeed… breaking the “rules” can be great. But the first step, even in doing that, is knowing your genre well.

Read the whole post:  http://foliolit.com/resources/knowing-your-genre/

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Choosing the Right Genre:

It can make all the difference… how well your book sells.

Millions of books are being published in the world today. Categorization of books by topic and content has become an important tool for readers to enable them to choose what they like to read. Readers, booksellers, publishers, and authors alike benefit from category descriptions for books, it is important for authors to determine the best genre or category to identify their book before publishing.
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Comprehensive listing of genres can be found on the Internet:

https://www.worldswithoutend.com/resources_sub-genres.asp

Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror:

http://www.writing-world.com/romance/romgenres.shtml

Sub-genres of Romance:

http://www.bubblecow.net/a-list-of-book-genres 

http://dannyreviews.com/subjects.html

http://home.comcast.net/~dwtaylor1/
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A short list of fiction genres (but with extensive definitions):

http://www.manuslit.com/flash/index.html   (under the “Info for Writers” section).

http://www.cuebon.com/ewriters/genres.html  (click on definition and examples)

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According to Publishers Weekly, the most popular genres in e-book literature are:

  • Literary/Classic
  • Science Fiction
  • Romance
  • Mystery/Detective
  • General Fiction
  • Thriller
  • Young Adult
Amazon takes you right to a fiction page and the top-selling e-books …
It could take readers forever to find what they are looking for – unless they click on a GENRE link.
B & N does something similar, but their GENRE listings are more obvious and on the main page instead of just on a side menu.
Genres are a bit like a contract that the writer makes with the reader. For example: If I want a mystery, I’m looking for a different reading experience and have different expectations than if I pick up a romance.  Book buyers want to get something specific. Genre allows them to narrow the field down.

Categorizing your book not only helps you to sharpen its position, but also to market it to publishers. Categorization enables you to send your inquiries to publishers and editors that specialize in your type of book and to mention the category in the first sentence of your query letter. As well as guiding you while writing, categorization also significantly improves your chances of acceptance by a publisher. 

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