Sunday, February 23, 2014

Amazon pages unravelled......

As I continue to allude to, the writing of a book is fairly simple and straight forward when compared to 'what happens next'. I've touched on some of the social media outlets that I have had to get my head around in order to help promote 'Russian Redemption', and some of the struggles I encountered.

But I want to blog a bit about Amazon, or to be more precise, some of the facilities that Amazon  make available to you, and your book.

Remember I'm talking 'basics' - the KDP and Library are two areas that I know very little about, and again I rely on Judi for that. I'm talking absolute basics.

So, the writing part is complete and the focus of the last God knows how many months/years of your life is looking at you from your computer screen, in all of it's glory - and you feel good!

This is probably the first sight that many will get of your publication, and first impressions count. Everything around this page needs to draw in the would-be purchaser.

The design cover of 'Russian Redemption' had a lot of thought behind it; The story is set back in 1941 so we wanted an aged type approach. There was also a fair bit of research done by Judi - Red is the most popular colour picked off a book shelf! But we also wanted it to stand out on a page of 30 thumbnail illustrations where the clever and very artistic pictorial representation of some covers can be swamped and lost.

But there are lots of other opportunities to enhance your sales prospects, once a person arrives on your Amazon page.

It's not just the title that sells, or the cover, or the blurb - it's YOU too. People like to feel an affinity with the Author, they like to look at the author and (some) will make a buying decision based on what they see and read about you, the author.

I have tried to be completely open and honest throughout - question's that I get asked that, for me, are too personal, will be met with "sorry, I won't answer that" . I don't know if the 'honesty' thing has any bearing on sales or opinions but experience tells me that its the best way to be. You have to sell yourself as well as your book and the Authors page is the place to do it. As my publisher told me "People want to know that there is a real person behind the novel" and I think that she's right. If you have a website with an 'about me' page then this can easily be a version of what you use on your Amazon's Author Page, and vice versa. (Energy/Time conservation!) It's written in the third party. Put yourself 'out there' BUT remember, it's going into the public domain, and can't be unwritten.

On the actually book page there is lots of information for the would be reader to assimilate, not least of all the 'look inside' feature. Also, the 'book description': Mine started with the book blurb but I changed that, taking a more 'salesy' approach. However, I am now convinced that this isn't the right way to go so I'm in the process of re-writing that. An important lesson, don't be frightened to try things and admit they don't always work. Talking of 'not working' that press release thing I mentioned back in an earlier post - epic fail, won't be doing that again in a hurry.

Back to the book sales page - Obviously the review rating is highly visible, that speaks for itself.

Then you have the 'Persons that bought this book also bought..' - This is free Amazon advertising and why I try and target the readers of better known authors of the same genre. I want my book to get on this list.

The 'Editorial' reviews is just another place to tell people about your book, and your personal story. Then comes a load of numbers under 'Product Details'. Only one number matters to me here 'Amazon Best Sellers Ranking' - this tells me where this version (paperback/Kindle) of my book sits in the 13 million + chart of available Amazon books.

And then it's onto the reviews.

An additional Amazon feature is the 'Author Central' - It is from here that you can change/ edit your 'Sales Page' as well as monitor your Author ranking over time. It allows you to do other stuff as well but I'm still learning that bit..

These are all opportunities to represent your self and your book and should be seen as such.

Next Post is Guest Author Valerie Douglas, prolific author and very knowledgeable person!

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