Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Is Your Book Selling to its Best Potential? – Amazon Optimization Musts!

Filed under: Amazon.com,Author Tips,Guest Author Articles — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags: ,

K.C. Neal, Guest Author

Scan the pages on Amazon.com, and it’s obvious: the website is designed to move product. From books to blenders to beekeeping supplies (really!), every product page is loaded with features and links to help you buy. It’s part of what makes shopping on Amazon fun! And if you’re selling on Amazon, specifically if you’re selling books, it’s essential to have all of your product pieces in place and looking their best.

3 Basic Product Page Elements

One of the most important pieces of your product presentation is the packaging – the cover. This topic could be a whole post (or even a series!), but really it comes down to this: don’t cut corners with the cover. Hire an experienced professional designer. Make sure the cover accurately conveys the book’s genre (this can be tricky). Don’t rely on feedback from friends and family to determine whether a cover is good. And if you later realize it’s not right for the product, be open to changing the cover. Books get new covers all the time, and a better cover truly can give a book new life in terms of sales. One of my author friends changed a cover, and the book went from an Amazon rank in the 80,000s to the top 100. These results are not typical, but still, it’s something to think about!

Another essential element is a great product description. I admit I find this one of the most challenging parts of writing a book, but especially when you’re starting out and relatively unknown, a great cover combined with a compelling blurb can make all the difference in turning a browser into a buyer. One of my author friends alerted me to this post, which I found very helpful for writing book blurbs. Don’t forget to have your product description edited and proofed, just as you do with your book.

Another very important feature on your book’s page is the reviews section. What do you think when you see a product that has only one or two reviews… or worse, zero? Everyone is different, of course, but a glaring absence of reviews usually prompts me to move on to a different page. Reviews help with buyer confidence, and book bloggers are an awesome resource for getting reviews. I have a few tips for working with bloggers on my blog, another topic I love to talk about.

What You Can Do on Amazon

shelfariSo far, I’ve mentioned product page elements that are important for selling a book on any website, not just Amazon. Here are a couple of Amazon-specific things you can do.

Another way to add more details and value to your product page is through Shelfari. You can get into Shelfari using your Amazon login (it’s an Amazon subsidiary), or you can create a new login. Once you’re in, you can add, update, and edit all kinds of details in your book’s Shelfari listing, some of which will show up on the book’s product page. I’m just getting into Shelfari myself, and it’s a really cool community.

In addition to product page elements, Amazon offers some special features and programs for self- and indie publishers. Lately there’s been a lot of talk about the KDP Select program, which allows self-published authors and small publishers to run free e-book promotions (yet another topic for a separate post!). As with any new tool, platform, program, or feature, people talk about the pros and cons. Discussion is great, but I’ve also seen a lot of misinformation passed around in author forums and groups.

At times, these forums can be breeding grounds for bad info and dare I say it… unnecessary paranoia. It’s vital to keep up-to-date with the changes in publishing. Author forums can be great resources for that, but don’t forget it’s JUST as important to make sure the info you’re getting is accurate. Never stop educating yourself, and ALWAYS consider the source of the information. Avoid getting caught up in the swirl of conjecture and speculation, and you’ll avoid a lot of stress and potentially costly mistakes.

BONUS Article: Amazon Introduces ‘KDP Select’ for Kindle Direct Publishing Authors and Publishers
Amazon Book sales, Amazon Reviews, and Amazon Optimization

KCNeal Copyright 2012 by K.C. Neal. K.C. Neal is the author of the YA paranormal PYXIS series (StoneHouse Ink). She also co-founded StoneHouse University, an educational resource for authors and publishers that offers affordable online courses on a variety of topics that are most relevant in publishing today. You can contact K.C. Neal at her blog, Twitter, Facebook, and StoneHouse University.

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How to Promote Your Book on Amazon

Filed under: Amazon.com,Author Tips,Guest Author Articles — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags:

Andy Baldwin, Bookstand Publishing, Guest Author

Amazon.com is the largest bookstore in the world. In addition, they are also one of the largest online book communities in the world. Once your book is listed on Amazon, there are numerous actions you can take to increase your sales there. Here are some of the basic steps you should take to help promote your book on Amazon:

For info click book cover

Set Up an Amazon Account. If you have ever bought something from Amazon (www.amazon.com), you already have an online account. If you don’t already have an account, buy something from Amazon and set up your account. You cannot promote your book on Amazon unless you have an account.

Set Up an Author Profile: Go to www.amazon.com/gp/pdp and set up your Profile Page. Please be sure to include an author picture and a brief biography that includes your published books.

Post a “Listmania”: Your Listmania should be a list of books similar to yours, and should include your book as well. For example, if you’ve written a book on white water river rafting, you should create a Listmania of your favorite white water river rafting books, being sure to include your own book on the list. This will allow customers who have already read the other white water river rafting books to become aware of your book. You can add a Listmania here: www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/listmania/createpipeline.

Write Reviews: You may want to consider writing reviews for other books similar to yours on Amazon.com. Always write meaningful reviews. Conclude each review with your name and the words, “Author of ________ (your book’s title).”

While Amazon is the largest online bookstore, many other online stores also offer a variety of similar online services for authors. Barnesandnoble.com, for example, also offers an Author Profile page and opportunities to post reviews. The more of these online “bookstore communities” you can participate in, the better.

BONUS Article: Answers About Amazon.com

Copyright 2012 by Andy Baldwin. Bookstand Publishing is a full-service self-publishing company that has been helping authors self-publish using print-on-demand technology since 1996. Bookstand Publishing (formerly eBookstand) has been providing the tools to authors so they can publish and market their books at very affordable rates. They take your manuscript and transform it into a professionally published book. You are in control of the process and approve your book and your cover before anything goes to print. Your final book will look exactly like you want it. Visit their Website!

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Source for FREE eBooks and a FREE Kindle App!

Filed under: Amazon.com,Author Tips,Video — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Larry’s Note: Amazon.com has FREE Kindle reading app for your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, or Android Phone. Download and read Kindle books – no Kindle required. Go to: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_ipad_mkt_lnd?docId=1000493771

BONUS Article: Free eBooks For Kindle | Online Download Library

danpoynter_portrait

Dan Poynter, Self-Publishing Guru

A special “Thank you” to Dan Poynter for calling this video to my attention! Wherever you are in the development of your book (thinking, planning, writing, producing or promoting stage), Dan has the tools to make your venture faster, easier and more successful.

Subscribe to Dan’s FREE “Publishing Poynters:” News, tips & resources on book writing, publishing and promoting. Twice each month. Follow Dan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DanPoynter

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Answers About Amazon.com

Filed under: Amazon.com,Author Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Many publishers express their frustration with the inability to contact a human being at Amazon.com for content corrections or changes. You can easily submit changes to your titles listed on Amazon.com through the “Suggestion Box” at the bottom of the page for every book.

Through the online catalog update form link on the same page, you can submit changes to title, author, languages, binding, number of pages, pub date, and format/edition. Expect these changes to take 5-7 business days, and if you don’t see the change by then, submit it again.

Question: What do Amazon.com’s book sales rankings mean regarding your book’s sales?

Answer: Not much! Here’s a report.

What Amazon Bestsellers Rank Means (Source: Amazon.com): The Amazon Bestsellers calculation is based on Amazon.com sales and is updated hourly to reflect recent and historical sales of every item sold on Amazon.com.

What Amazon Bestsellers Rank by Category Means: While the Amazon Bestsellers list is a good indicator of how well a product is selling overall, it doesn’t always indicate how well an item is selling among other similar items. Category and subcategory bestseller lists were created to highlight an item’s rank in the categories or subcategories where it really stands out. We choose a few of the most popular subcategories in which the item has a high ranking in relation to other items in that subcategory, and showcase the item’s rank on the product page. As with the main Amazon Bestsellers list, these category rankings are based on Amazon.com sales and are updated hourly.

UPDATE this: Sales Rank Multichecker For Amazon.com Sales Ranks – With a single click on this form, you can check the Amazon sales ranks of up to ten of your books at once – in either the US, Canada, or the UK – along with the estimated shipping times. You can also check similar books to keep tabs on your competition.

Super Secret Amazon.com Numbers – If you’ve been trying to reach the folks at Amazon by telephone, we’ve got their numbers. Put them in your PDA, or Cell:

Amazon.comlogo800-201-7575
206-622-2335 Headquarters
206-266-1000 Headquarters
206-622-2405 Fax 206-266-2950 Fax

Here is a Website that claims to have many more Amazon.com phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Caution: I cannot vouch for the validity of these numbers because the person who put up the Website had a bad experience with Amazon.com. Go to: http://clicheideas.com/amazon.htm.

Also check out: www.HardtoFind800Numbers.com!

Encourage your Website visitors to write a review for your book on Amazon.com. – Make it easy for them. For an example of how I use this technique, go to www.CelebrateLove.com/writeareview.htm. When a visitor clicks on a book cover image or the word “review” under one of my books it takes them to a place on Amazon.com where they can write their own review for the book. Try it!

Some authors don’t like Amazon.com. You really don’t make a lot of coins from selling your books on Amazon.com plus Amazon allows people who have read your book to sell their used book at a large discount and you receive nothing for that. Here’s what I have to say about that. To me that is focusing on the negative. Not everyone goes to a book store to buy books. Amazon.com is quick, easy and depending upon how big your order is, they sometimes offer free shipping. It’s about convenience and saving money for the buyer.

When my distributor sells my books to Amazon.com, I get a commission. When I offer the same book for sell on my Website and someone goes to Amazon.com to buy it, I get another small fee from Amazon for being in their Associate Program. I like that idea and I like the extra publicity I get from them when readers of my books write reviews on Amazon. Seems to me like a good deal for everyone.

BONUS Articles: How Does Amazon Sales Rank Work?
Inside the Amazon Sales Rank
An Amazon Bestseller Strategy By D’vorah Lansky
Take Advantage of Amazon’s Book Marketing Tools

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

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