Monday, March 1, 2010

Ten Ways to Sell Books On Amazon By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Award-winning author of the HowToDoItFrugally Series of books says,
"You can use Amazon to improve your ratings and your ratings don’t get better until you sell books."

So, telling you how to get better ratings on Amazon is tantamount to telling you how to sell books. Many of you know that I rarely talk sales when I can talk more important things like cross promotion and branding. You may know that I believe if you network well, you won’t have to sell anything, ever. Not in the traditional sense. That is my disclaimer. I’m going to tell you how to let Amazon help you sell more books anyway!

A promotional drop in the bucket can move Amazon ratings drastically! Especially if you keep dripping promotion into the pail. Use the perks that Amazon provides for you (see the list below), and you’ll find your book selling. Especially if you don’t give up. Just keep dribbling little bits of information into these Amazon tools. It’s about frequency and longevity. Here they are. Pick one(or more) and keep at it:

1. Use Listmanias on Amazon and, along with your own book, sprinkle in the titles of your authorfriends. Let these authors know you did it. That’s a way to make a new promotion friend. There is a chapter in The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't that tells you how to use this free promotional perk along with a lot of other free tools on Amazon.

2. When you read a book by an author you know (or even one you don’t) do yourself and them a favor by adding a review to Amazon. It takes but a minute and YOU and your book get exposed too, if you use a promotion-savvy signature. Simply type in a couple of dashes and then add "Reviewed by xxxxx and your book title." You can even make your title a link to the sales page of your book on Amazon.

3. Tell other people about what you’re doing, how your book relates to current events and more by posting on your Amazon plog. Another name for it is AuthorConnect ™, and it’s really a blog provided by Amazon. You do have one don’t you? Spread the word about your fellow authors’ books, too, and then ask them to pass on the word about your plog, complete with URL. This is known as viral marketing and it works.

4.. Check out my co-produced audio classes including the free one: A Do-It-Yourself Guide To Promoting Easy And Cheap! by Carolyn Howard-Johnson which includes other Amazon tips. They are at

5. Flesh out your book’s page on Amazon. Use the Wiki (or Amapedia) to add information on your awards or other publishing you’ve done.

6. Ask your friends and professional associates to review your book on Amazon. See that word "ask?" They will be happy to do it. They just need a nudge!

7. If you have a book suited to it, you can add pictures to your book’s page. Check out my "Promote or Perish" picture on The Frugal Book Promoter page. Here’s the URL:

8. Don’t get caught up in the idea of trying to sell your book yourself to increase your profits per book. If you do, you’ll find your overall promotion suffers. Read that word "promotion" as "readership." Read it as "exposure." Read it as "credibility." You and your book need to be seen more than you need a couple of extra dollars profit on any given book. Yes, you may make less per Amazon-sold book, but the Amazon publicity is invaluable.

9. Look into the So You’d Like Tos . . . on Amazon. They will allow you to rant or write essays to your hearts content and gather readers as you do it. They work similarly to Listmanias.

10. Make friends. When someone adds a review to your page, invite them to be an Amazon Friend. Include a thank you in the message. Nose around a bit. You’ll find all kinds of ways to let Amazon Friends know about your next book . . . and your next.

And keep in mind that The author is Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER: HOW TO DO WHAT YOUR PUBLISHER WON'T, winner of USA Book News' "Best Professional Book 2004", #1 Bestselling E-book at: and Book Publicists of Southern California’s Irwin Award winner. its sister book, THE FRUGAL EDITOR: PUT YOUR BEST BOOK FORWARD TO AVOID HUMILIATION AND ENSURE SUCCESS. when someone is your friend, your book or picture may show up on their profile page. Their friends buy books, too!

Learn more at:

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Kathy Stemke websites:
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Mayra Calvani said...

Great marketing tips, Carolyn! Thanks!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

This post was really helpful. I am going to print it for future reference. I’d love to see my Amazon sales increase.

Cheryl said...

Great article. Carolyn always has fabulous book promotion ideas.


Jean said...

Thanks for the nice tips. I'm going to put this in my favorites and save it until I need to use them.

And I'm going to start doing those reviews now.:-)

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Just tweeted, Kathy. Thank you so much. And, Jane! It's always an honor when someone says they're going to print something out. Or "favorites," Jean. (-:
You did a great job with this Kathe. Aren't blogs wonderful. And bloggers!!!
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Tweeting writers' tips @frugalbookpromo

Anonymous said...

Great information. The book is on my book want list. Thanks for blogging about this Kathy!

Unknown said...

thanks for stopping by, ladies.

Karen Cioffi said...

These are great tips, Carolyn. I started some of them, but fell by the wayside - I have to get on the ball. I do try to keep up with book reviews on Amazon though.

Thanks for the post, Kathy.

Anonymous said...

Great suggestions, Kathy!

Kristi's Book Nook said...

This is great information. Thanks Kathy

Janet Ann Collins said...

Helpful ideas! Thanks for sharing them.

Darcia Helle said...

Carolyn, thank you for sharing some great tips! I've wondered about the Listmania thing on Amazon and whether or not it was worth getting involved in. I guess you've answered that for me!

Heidiwriter said...

Excellent! I learned a lot from this.