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