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Thursday, July 27, 2006


Help The Amazon Searches

As a book author, I’m constantly on the look out for tools to help people locate my books.  As an editor, I’m encouraging my authors to look for cost effective and simple ways to increase the buzz on their books. The more people talk about a particular book, the more it will get into their minds and hearts and often this talk translates into book sales.

Amazonconnect-logo

With some of my past entries, I’ve encouraged authors to learn and use Amazon Connect. Why? In the past, the page for your book on Amazon (the largest online bookstore on the planet) only talked about the book. Often this page doesn’t contain much information  — unless the publisher or the author adds to this information.  I’ve talked about how authors can improve this information in other posts. One of the keys is Amazon Connect so I hope you are using it.

Today I want to show you another tool that I learned from one of a Howard Books author, Jerome Teel.  Throughout the Internet, it’s a much trumpeted fact about the importance of search engine optimization. It’s fairly simple to understand—if the search engines can find your site and you’ve created it in the “search engine friendly” manner, then you will gain more traffic or exposure from the search engines.

What can you do to improve the search engine at Amazon? Amazon has a mechanism so anyone can suggest improvements to their search engine. As an author, are you tapping into this resource? The author is more familiar with the content of their book than anyone else. You are the perfect person to take control of this process. It’s not your publisher or anyone else—enough for my soapbox.

Every Amazon page includes this spot:

Help others find this item
 
The question is are you using this tool? I wasn’t until recently. Amazon makes it easy with a wizard to walk you through the steps. It does take a bit of planning. Recently I suggested Amazon brings up Book Proposals That Sell whenever anyone searches for the words “writing a book”  Your search suggestions aren’t accepted automatically into the system.  They are reviewed then “approved” so it takes a few days for this process to happen.  I received an email that my suggestion was approved. I checked it out and found my book on the first page of the search.  Check this link to see what I’m talking about here.  You may have to scroll down a bit on your browser. Do you see my sentence that I crafted? : “Most people write their book backwards. They create a book manuscript. Almost every nonfiction book and many fiction book are sold from a BOOK PROPOSAL. This book acquisitions editor removes the mystery and shows you how to craft a book proposal. Learn Whalin's 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success.” 
 
Notice you have no italics or links or bold—so you have to use capitalization for this process. You have a limited number of characters for this sentence. I suggest planning ahead and crafting a few sentences, then playing with the Amazon wizard for this process.  I had to cut out a bit of this post because of how it appeared—but you can walk through the wizard on your own—believe me—it’s easy.  This process is helpful to the person searching and the author who wants the searcher to find their books.

Startling Beauty book coverOK,  here’s one final example—outside of my Book Proposals That Sell. One of my friends, Heather Gemmen, wrote a narrative memoir called Startling Beauty. I was stunned to hear this story because Heather is one of the most joyful people that I know—and you would never know about her personal experience with rape captured in Startling Beauty.  What if she used this Amazon suggested search and added terms like “rape recovery” or simply “rape” plus her own enticing words about why someone needs to read her book? It could help her overall sales on the largest online bookstore on the planet. It certainly doesn’t take a lot of time and it is worth trying.

My hope is to have captured this process for you with clarity. It’s not hard. It’s menu driven but does take a bit of thought and planning to achieve success. To me, it’s like many other things in the publishing world.

1 Comment:

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Richard Mabry Left a note...

Terry,
The process is surprisingly simple. Thanks for calling this to our attention, along with the possibility of letting Amazon provide samples from the book, and loads of other practical and useful tips.

 

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