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How to Market Your Book on Amazon in 7 Easy Steps

Amazon is the #1 place for readers to discover books. Love ’em or hate ’em, Amazon is king, and your book needs to be listed there in order to get in front of readers. Marketing a book on Amazon is a very specific task and can be different from general book marketing, since you have to play by Amazon’s rules. Below are some key steps you need to take in order to learn how to market your book on Amazon.

1. Prepare your Book With a Good Cover and Professional Editing

Make sure your book is well-edited and has a good cover. Our data suggests that using a professional editor and cover designer is the way to go. Don’t know where to find cover designers or editors? Try a service like Reedsy where you can shop for the perfect person to help you. Want more data on what makes a good cover and a well edited book? Here’s some past articles on cover design and editing.

2. Setup your Amazon eBook Metadata

Metadata is just a fancy phrase for ‘data about your book’. Amazon allows you to set the metadata when you setup your book through the KDP interface, so you’ll want to think about it before publishing. The easiest way to optimize your metadata is to make sure your book description is at least 100 words, and uses genre specific terms that people will be searching for. If you struggle with what to write, try using the if…then construct: “if you like suspenseful thrillers, then you’ll love this book” or “if you liked Gone Girl, then you’ll love this book”.

3. Get Reviews Before You Start Selling Your Book on Amazon

Reviews are key to a book selling. On Amazon, some readers will completely ignore your book if it has zero reviews, because there will always be 5 other books for them to choose from. Getting the first early reviews is hard, but don’t get discouraged, and whatever you do, don’t cheat, Amazon will find out. You are permitted to politely ask people to review your book, but you can’t pay them to do it. One tried and true technique for getting reviews is to run a giveaway, gifting copies to the winners. Once the giveaway is over, you can politely ask the winners to review your book. There’s no guarantee that they will review it (or review it positively), but it’s a good way to get started. Sound like a pain? You can always have us do the legwork for you with our Giveaway Package.

4. Understand the Amazon Algorithm

Amazon sales are all about rankings: The higher you rank in the Amazon popularity charts, the more new readers will discover your book. Nobody knows precisely how the Amazon ranking algorithm works, but we do know that it’s highly correlated with volume of sales over short periods of time. This means that in order to rise in the ranks, you need to try to sell lots of copies over a brief period of time. You cannot ‘game the system’ but understanding that high volumes of sales leads to better rankings can help you plan a successful marketing strategy.

5. Plan your Book Marketing for a 48 Hour Blitz

After #4, we know what you’re thinking: How do you sell lots of copies of your books in a short period of time? This is where you use the “stacking” strategy, namely, planning multiple promotional opportunities for your book at once. Many authors book promotions with services like Freebooksy or Bargain Booksy during a free or discount price promotion to spur a spike in sales. Readers subscribed to these services are always on the hunt for great, bargain reads, and a high volume of them will download your title if they find it appealing. Dont know where you should price your book during a promotion? We can help you with that. Once you have a price promotion scheduled, start stacking up other things you can do on that day: Post to social media; send an email to your list; and tell your friends and family.

6. GO!

On the day of your promotions, clear your schedule as much as you can. Make sure you can respond to social media inquiries from potential readers, or handle any last minute marketing decisions that you may need to make. Don’t expect to get a lot of writing done on these days, as marketing should be the priority. In addition to sales of the book you are promoting, you should see what we call ‘halo sales’ or sales from your backlist. This is a huge benefit to marketing and is often overlooked.

7. Wait 90 days, Rinse, Repeat.

Figuring out how to market your book once is great, but the job of marketing never stops. Make sure your sales stay healthy by running stacked promotions once every 90 or so days. Bumping your book(s) up in the charts every few months will get them in front of new readers, and help you gain a devoted following. You can focus on content marketing for your books in the downtime between your promotion days to keep sales at a consistent level.

View Comments

  • I went to Amazon to look at Ferol Vernon's books so I can see his own success, but I don't see any books by an author with that name. Does he used a different author name on Amazon?

    • I have written two books 1. Uprooted & Forlorn- The life of Kashmiri Pandits in exile and 2. Upanishad: The concentrated wisdom. Could you please read, rate and review it accordingly?

      • I can review, being an Indian and a rather voracious reader and a published author myself. Both the topics resonate with my reading genres.

        • Hi Manoj, hope you are fine. Please also review my book on Amazon - BALA The Immortal Indian Scientist. Inspired by the space scientists in NASA and ISRO. I would be very grateful. Thanks.

          This article is awesome. I liked it and will follow the steps.

        • Hi, Please read my book and leave a comment. The title is Reminiscence written by Janet James.

        • I’m not a journalist but I do write from the heart. Just finished my third book. I make mistakes, but I hope my message to save lives overrides those mistakes. Please help me help and save people from themselves. Mental Heal, PTSD are my books of hope. Titles A Life of Hell, Swear to God Holy Bible and being published, Everyone is a Someone. Need help promoting these titles thank you.

        • I've written a book of poetry can you review it please. ' climbing up from. The depths' Loren denny tha k you

      • do you want a great promotion for your book which will make you reach real and active readers

  • Hi Mikel,

    I'm not an author. We run Written Word Media, and work with over 20,000 authors. We've seen a lot of books succeed on Amazon. This article is based on our learnings from seeing what works, and what doesn't, hopefully these tips can help you succeed. Thanks for reading!

  • This information is incredibly helpful. I'm going to Google your company to find out more. I appreciate this guidance!

  • It was very enriching reading this article.
    Am a new self published author with biographical works. Hoping Amazon will be a spring board for me to reach the global audience

  • Easier said than done. The website you referred me, Reedsy to which I started an account to get a professional editor's quote is very expensive, they are asking thousands of dollars to edit my book, ($3500 to $4500 to copy edit and $5500 for developmental editing) I know that it's a long volume. I don't have that kind of money. Is there a website that has more reasonable rates for professional editing?

    • Hey Anthony, you'll probably want to look for a smaller company or find a freelance editor. This post has more information on how to do so. We also recommend reaching out on author forums like KBoards to get advice from other authors.

    • Hi, if you don't mind, you can give me the manuscript to edit and proofread. I am Sam, an English Language instructor, and a newspaper editor

      • Hi Samuel: I just published my second book, entitled HO CHI SEEDS and Other Twisting Vines. It contains two 5-Act plays and 7 other epic poems and aphorisms. 196 Pages. It is dedicated to Vietnam and WWII soldiers; those who survived and those who did not. As well as the families left behind. In the style of J Alfred Prufrock and Brooklonsky Most. Can you help me?

    • I found the best place to find editors is Upworks, plenty of people to choose from and very competitive pricing. I got an American author for US1,000 and he did everything even put the finished product to Kindle.

    • Hi, some of my friends told me to try fiver. I'm also an inspiring author. I hope edit books as well in the near future. Hope this was helpful

    • Reedsy can be good for discovering books, etc. But their reviewers are too expensive, especially for indie authors.

    • Look up Ocean Reeve Publishing, they are amazing. They published my autobiography Broken Past Heals Dreams and I’m very happy with the whole process.

    • Go to almost any publishing company and they'll offer a whole self-publishing package for the prices you're talking about. By "whole package" I mean editing, printing, and distributing. Don't make the mistake many make of thinking distribution is the same as marketing. They can get it to the store; you have to move it off the shelf.

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