Anatomy of a Bestselling Amazon Book Promotion Plan

by | Mar 4, 2020 | Amazon Updates & Marketing Tips, Bestseller Essentials

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One thing we know for sure is when it comes to Amazon book promotion: everything matters.

Your book cover, your book page (which I wrote about previously, link in the resources section below), your keywords/categories, ads, your also boughts (which I also blogged about, link below), and a lot more. Everything is intertwined on Amazon and everything you do, drives everything else.

But what does it take to really succeed with your Amazon book promotion?

Well let’s start first with your optimization, which I’ve spoken about at length in my recent book (link below).

Amazon Optimization is Important

It’s important to do this as part of your Amazon book promotion, not just from a keyword and category perspective but having good optimization will help the Amazon search engine more quickly “learn” your book.

So, finding keywords that are specific to your market and categories that match. Be careful with this though. Because while you may want to be in a major, big category, you need to ask yourself if your book really belongs there.

Amazon scores your book based on relevance to the market. So let’s say for example you have a cozy mystery and you add it to a thriller category, this might impact your optimization because cozy readers are pretty specific with what they want to read, and they often do not cross over to hardboiled detective books or thrillers.

So, while keywords are very important, it’s also even more important to slot your book the right way. The same is true for ads, which I’ll go over in a moment.

You’re far better off being in a narrow-exact-right category than one that isn’t quite a good fit for you. This is also true for sub-sub-genres that we see a lot in fantasy and sci-fi. There are narrow niches in these genres that readers really gravitate to, so be sure you’re picking the right one.

Schedule Discount eBook Promotions

These kinds of strategies aren’t just good for exposure, but they can also help drive the right kind of traffic to your book, which dramatically increases the effectiveness of your Amazon book promotion. Doing these semi-frequently (every other month or so) can really help to boost your visibility within Amazon and, hopefully, sell some books.

It’s also a nifty way to get in front of new readers, so there are dual benefits to driving eyes to your book page with eBook promos.

Your Book Cover Matters

There are no fixes that you can do to your Amazon book promotion if your cover isn’t quite right. Book covers need to not only fit the genre they are in – meaning adapting to a particular genre “look”, but they also need to look professional.

Like they could compete with any bestseller out there. And be mindful of books in a series, or if you don’t write books in a series, but have multiple titles, be mindful of your branding.

Books don’t have to be in a series to be brand-consistent. And branding related to books is the “look” or feel of a cover, maybe a consistent use of color on the cover, font style for the author name and book title.

This is done such that when a reader looks at your books, it’s easy to see that they’re all yours – because the “look” is similar.

Check out this author – her books aren’t in a series, per se – but they all have a similar “look” that ties everything together:

Why does this matter? Readers take a few seconds to make a decision about your book.

It’s not even something we’re consciously aware of. The mind zeros in on: is this for me?

And in a fifth of a second we either decide to stay on the page, or move on. And readers absolutely judge a book by its cover. So, make sure yours is right for your market and readership.

Book Subtitles Refine the Reader Market

This is a small thing, but it can have a big impact on your Amazon book promotion. Helping to refine your book even more – by identifying key reader interests and pulling in keywords (whenever possible).

Your Amazon subtitle doesn’t have to be on your book cover, per se – in fact in 99% of the cases as it relates to fiction books, there are no subtitles on the cover, but you can add them to your book page. Same, of course, for non-fiction authors.

Here are some examples of subtitles that help refine the reader market:

These subtitles show that the author really knows their reader. “Small town romance” appeals to a particular large market segment, as does EMP survival, and enemies-to-lovers.

Know what drives your reader to buy one book over the other and then see if you can fit that into your subtitle.


Book Description Rundown

I can’t say enough about the importance of great book descriptions to support your Amazon book promotion. But I will tell you that you can have the best cover and subtitle in the world and if your book description is lacking, none of it will matter.

Here’s a quick rundown of what all should be in a great book description:

Start with a stand-out review or book award you’ve won, and bold that – before you even get into the book description, add the review or award. Remember: people like what other people like, so a review or award is a confirmation that “others like this book.”

Start with a lead sentence or a short elevator pitch. One sentence that speaks to your readers needs and what brought them to your book. Lead off with that and then, in the next paragraph start your book description.

Book descriptions should have lots of white space, bullets, italics and use bolding whenever appropriate and possible.

Short book descriptions are okay, but too short and you’ll leave your reader feeling like they still have no clue about your book – too long and you’ll lose a reader, too. So, what’s ideal?

Start with four short paragraphs and see if you can keep your book description tight and interesting. Less is more. Sometimes extra words take up unnecessary space.

Amazon Author Central is Free But Powerful

It’s interesting how many authors forget how important their Amazon Author page is – and let me say: it is very important. So, make sure that you’ve updated it with your blog, (if you have one) that your bio is interesting, and include a link to your website.

Add in video if you have it, and images that tie into your book. You can access so much great stuff via Author Central. Even adding additional reviews to your book pages, which can help enhance the reader experience is important, too.

Amazon Ads Promote Organic Growth

There’s a lot of information out there on the Amazon ads system but one thing we know is clear: these ads can help to build your organic growth on Amazon, and make a huge impact on your overall Amazon book promotion strategy. So, while they help with paid visibility, they can also aid in your organic optimization, too.

I’ve seen this a lot with books we’ve worked on, where an ad starts running and the sales pick up – not just from the ads, but from the organic growth the book gets as a result of running Amazon ads. So how long should you run these?

My recommendation is to start when the book goes live (or just before) and if the ad is doing well, keep it going. Also, if you have a good ad going, don’t kill it off – if you, do you’ll kill all of the organic growth that has transpired because of it.

Pricing Your Book to Sell

I realize this gets tricky. Often when it comes to paperback books we don’t have a choice as to how we can price a book, but with eBooks we generally have more flexibility.

I’m not a fan of overpricing an eBook. I’ll always recommend an eBook price of $9.99 or less.

Also, don’t start too low. I mean if your book is ten years old and you want to price it at .99 that’s one thing, but I don’t often launch a book with that low of a price unless it’s a ridiculously short book.

And even then, most novellas are priced at $1.99. Pricing matters but remember, you can always go down from $9.99 if you want to run promos, but it’s hard to build up the price of a book if you’ve already had it at .99 forever.

Be also mindful of your market, what books are priced at in your particular genre makes a huge difference as well. Pricing books too high in order to “earn back your investment in the book” isn’t a good pricing strategy- though it’s one I hear a lot actually.

Authors wanting to earn back the cost of book creation is understandable and expected, but you won’t do it with an overpriced book. Especially if it’s your first one.

Readers have a lot of choices these days, so putting your best foot forward isn’t just great for your brand, but necessary for driving sales with your Amazon book promotion, too.

Good luck!

Resources and Free Downloads

Turn Amazon into your 24/7 sales machine

Get your free Amazon Cheatsheet

Amazon Book Promotion is Not About Book Sales

Amazon Book Promotion and the Perils of Also-Boughts

How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon – 2020 Updated Edition: Learn how to turn Amazon into your 24/7 sales machine!

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