What Do You Have Friends For? Part 2

29 Jun


Last year I wrote this article, and shortly after it was published, Amazon made one of their infamous “experiments”, removing the LIKE function on their website. It took only a couple of months, until they started to remove the TAGS from their websites, at least in North America. In the meantime these TAG function is gone on the UK sites as well… As Amazon stated this move as an experiment, I did not change the article, always hoping that they re-instate these great ranking and sales tools.
But I guess it is safe to say, these features are gone forever, and therefore have now been deleted from the article. However there are more possibilities for your friends to help you to improve your Amazon ranking, and the article got two functions that can be used by your fans: Listmania and review-ratings.

How friends and family can help to improve your Amazon Ranking will be a reminder how they indeed can help you so much – they even don’t need to buy your book (again), only signing up on Amazon is required. Amazon can give a great book a big boost to “be discovered”.

These Amazon features will take only seconds, but they can make a huge difference in your books ranking – and for sure subsequently in the success of your work.   Ask all your acquaintances, fellow writers, friends and family to:

  • Write a REVIEW 
    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. Amazon rules are against family members’ reviews.  So ask only the ones with a different name/address for a review. They need an Amazon account and at least made previously one purchase of a physical or digital item.
    Amazon allows all account holders to create a “list” of their favorite things…such as books, and it is called, Listmania!  So if you have written a book, your friends and even you can create a Listmania! list, and certainly include your own book.
  • “Like” Button
    This popular feature was taken down by Amazon, first on Books in the States and Canada, then on Amazon books in Great Britain and Ireland – and now appears to be coming back, not on the books’ sites but on Authors Pages, along with Twitter and Facebook buttons.
  • “HIGHLIGHTS” in your book
    They are another item in Amazon’s algorithm list for book popularity: If you friends have a Kindle, let them highlight some wise or fun quotations from the book. Or any information they find useful in a non-fiction book for sample. If enough people share their highlights, they will show up in your e-book. Amazon will then display these so-called “Popular Highlights” by combining the highlights of all Kindle customers and identifying the passages with the most highlights. Which in turn ascents your Amazon ranking.
  • Good old-fashioned word of mouth
    Let your friends and family brag about your books, or mention it in their blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ sites or in their emails with a link to your site or your Amazon page. To help them send regularly images and info about you or your books that they can copy/paste into their social media sites.
  • Help with “blurbs”
    Your friends or family members might have websites and blogs. Ask them to consider sending out a short note about your book, which can help you sell more books. If they allow you to use their words in your “praise” section on your author website.
  • Rate useful reviews:
    Amazon asks readers “Was this review helpful to you?” YES or NO?  Rating the existing reviews as “helpful” or “unhelpful” makes a significant impact. Reviews with the most “helpful” votes appear on the BUY page  “Most Helpful Customer Reviews”.
    By voting for the most informative and helpful reviews, your friends have the power to get them moved to the head of the line. Raising the position of the most descriptive reviews is especially helpful if the publisher missed to give the book an effective blurb.

How many reviews did YOU write recently?
It’s a give and take…
Compare two books with identical sales numbers: the one which has been promoted with these features is much higher in the (intern) ranks, which means it will be more featured on Amazon and subsequently will sell better in the future. If you write a review for another authors’s book, remember:  Anything less than 4-stars means: NOT recommended to the Amazon algorithms, and  2-star or 3-star reviews are going to hurt the author’s sales, no matter how much you rave in the text.  Also: a review is not an essay about your personal taste, e.g. if you liked the hero or not.  It is all about the book, not about you. Get tips how to write a review, and maybe let your friends know about it ….



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:     Once you are on this website, click on Seminar to register.

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 785 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,, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing 111Publishing @ Google+


Hyper Smash



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