Back to Basics
I had an interesting conversation with 2 very cool women at BlogHer last month. Specifically, I stopped by Bridget Brennan’s book signing and stayed to chat with her for a bit. After yaking for about a half an hour, we were joined by another woman and the topic turned to publishing and book promotion. They posed the question to me of what I thought was the most important thing an author could do to promote his or her book.
They started to say “start a blog”, “Tweet”, “develop your platform”, and I stopped them.
None of the above.
Amazon. Listing page for your book. Where customers make the go no-go decision to buy the book.
Authors, have you checked out your Amazon page lately?
Maybe you’ve peeked once or twice, to see your rankings, but have you REALLY looked at it?
What should you be looking for? Let’s start with a few key items:
* Have you posted author comments? Welcoming customers to your page is like welcoming them in a physical store, and walking them right over to the shelf where your book is sold – the online “handsell”
* Have you asked your friends and followers to review the book? Would you be more likely to buy a book if others had reacted positively to it? Duh!
* Is your book featured in Search Inside the Book? Another great way to build interest in your title.
*Heck, is all the publication information correct? Sometimes even the best of systems can break down.
I posed these questions to Gary Vanyerchuk early one Sunday morning when he was cooking up book promotion ideas. It was the subject of a blog post that got his attention, and hopefully helped other authors get back to basics.
I don’t want to neglect our other partners in online bookselling – Barnes and Noble, Borders.com, BAM.com and Indiebound.com definitely are key sites for selling books, but don’t offer authors as many opportunities to help promote their sites as Amazon does. I recommend that authors link to all of them in their promotions, and do what they can on the title listing pages.
Blogs, Twitter feeds, and other social media vehicles sure are sexy, but when it comes down to making the sale or not, you have to make the sale. Quality information on a title listing page helps do that. So be sure to talk to your publisher to make sure your Amazon listing page is everything it can be. You’ll be glad you did.