Recently, a client asked me what I knew about marketing books on Amazon and, I had to admit, I knew very little other than creating an Priscilla Goudreau-Santos (2) - Copy (792x800) (634x640)Author Central Account where you can add your profile, book description, blog feed, upcoming events and reviews of your book/s. The good news is that it’s free if you sell your book on Amazon but, like all marketing, it does take time learning best practices.

Getting familiar and fully utilizing your Author Central Account (ACA) is the first step. This is the central area for all your information so make sure that your profile is complete and that you continue to update the information. The next step is to add your book or books to your profile. You can search for it by title, author, ISBN or ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) and select it. Another fun aspect is that you can add your own story on your book sales page through your ACA. I always encourage authors to tell readers what compelled them to write their book and expand on their process.

One caveat on adding your backstory – make it different than your profile bio because both will end up on your book sales page.

Choosing the best category for your book is also critical, as well as choosing key words that help readers find your book via searches for specific topics. Research best categories for your books by first finding out how many competing books are in each category for print books and Kindle eBooks. Amazon will allow you to choose two categories for each book. You’ll want to choose categories where you have the best chance to rank (those with less competition) but also those that are popular so that more people will see your book. It’s a balance that you’ll get better and better at with practice!

Another tip is to increase your rank by directing readers to buy your book on Amazon exclusively. I suggest doing this in limited time periods where you’ll get maximum effect such as with special promotions. When I attended the Amelia Island Book Festival in February, several authors handed me promotional pieces that directed me to buy their book over that weekend only for a special price. I’m sure this is very effective in driving up sales and ranking.

Make sure that both your print book and eBook are linked and available on your sales page. If they aren’t, contact Amazon via your Author Central account and ask them to help. This is same process for updating your book’s searchable keywords. And, even though this seems like a no-brainer, add links to your Amazon sales page to your website or blog. Make purchasing very easy for those who are interested in you and your book. If you are selling your book in other locations, make sure to add these links as well.

You’ll also have an opportunity to boost your recognition with your Amazon public profile that’s visible when you write reviews of other books. You can add your links to your website or blog on your public profile as well as other information. Make it interesting!

There’s definitely more to know but this should get you started. I highly recommend Shelley Hitz’s book, Marketing Your Book on Amazon: 21 Things You Can Easily Do For Free To Get More Exposure and Sales.