Successful Print, Ebook, and Audiobook Publishing with Amazon

by | May 16, 2016

Last week we introduced our new Amazon Success Toolkit, a collection of guidelines and productivity tools for publishers using CreateSpace, Kindle Direct Publishing, or Audible, all portals for Amazon.

The response has been impressive, and I can see why. Keeping track of all the policies, procedures, and programs at Amazon is more than most of us have time for. The Toolkit saves a huge amount of time just by bringing this all together in one place.

AmazonBut the Toolkit also has:

  • step by step file prep and upload instructions,
  • pro tips on getting more out of Amazon,
  • best practices for optimizing your sales pages, and
  • the unique “Amazon Success Method”

Altogether, it combines a huge amount of training and productivity in one package, including 10 worksheets and checklists that make it much easier to put the ideas into action with your own books.

At the center of the Toolkit is the Amazon Success Method, based on four principles about how the giant retailer operates. Understanding how Amazon works gives you an immediate advantage in selling books there.

“Rarely do I jump so enthusiastically on a “product” as I have this one. Should you get it? Only if you want to crack the Amazon code—it’s your co-partner in book distribution and sales.”—Judith Briles, The Book Shepherd

To give you an idea of the thinking behind the Amazon Success Method, here’s an excerpt from the Guide that’s at the core of the Amazon Success Toolkit:

“The Amazon You Don’t Know”

If you are like most people, you shop on Amazon. You are familiar with the way Amazon presents its products, making almost magical suggestions of things you probably want to buy, and how it makes it easy to find and buy almost anything that can fit in a box and get to your door.

Amazon makes the experience incredibly easy and fun compared to most retail stores, with lots of product information, pictures, reviews, and choices. All of these thinks make it a great place to buy what you need and you probably go there often.

“Not a geek? Never fear, this guide is here with step-by-step instructions on every little thing you need to do to publish and make your book visible to the right readers in the world’s biggest bookstore. Essential!”—Carla King, Author Friendly

On the surface, Amazon is familiar and we don’t think much about what goes on under the hood of the massive retailer.


Amazon for Authors?

As customers Amazon creates an experience that entices us to find products we want to buy. However, as an author, you want your product—your book—to be the center of attention for Amazon customers.

You need people to notice your book, above the hundreds of thousands of other books. In the split second a customer sees your book, you need them to feel a connection and be enticed to open your book’s product page to learn more.

And finally, you need those precious customers to want to read your book and decide to buy it based on what they learned in the few moments they spent on your product page.

“Three things set Amazon Success Toolkit apart from all the other imitators. First, it explains the four key concepts to understanding how the always-confusing Amazon labyrinth works. Second, it shows you how to get set up on Amazon, CreateSpace, Kindle Direct Publishing, Audiobook Creation Exchange, and Author Central, which will help you leap over your competitors. Third, a valuable package of killer work sheets and checklists at the end of the book will help you cover all the bases and sell far more than you imagined. Don’t publish anything else until you buy this toolkit.”—Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound

Amazon customers search, find, learn, and buy in a matter of minutes, sometimes seconds. And they do this with an incredibly competitive number of books to choose from.

No matter how good your book is, making your book stand out in the store, connect with customers, and ultimately go home with them, is the difference between selling nothing and being a best-selling author.

Imagine if no one noticed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Da Vinci Code, or even Fifty Shades of Grey?

Getting noticed, and earning the sale is the most important job once you finish writing and producing the book. Amazon is arguably the most important retailer for your self-published book, and selling books on Amazon requires an understanding and mindset that requires us to look under the hood of Amazon and see it for what it is, and what it can really do to help you sell your book.

There are four main concepts to wrap your head around to really understand Amazon from a business perspective. We will cover each of these in detail to get you up to speed quickly so you can have an eye toward gaining every competitive advantage and sell more books.

The Four Concepts

  • CONCEPT ONE: AMAZON IS A SEARCH ENGINE
    (AND YOU MUST MAKE YOUR BOOK AN EASY-TO-FIND PRODUCT)
  • CONCEPT TWO: AMAZON IS A DATA GATHERING AND FILTERING TOOL
    (THAT RECOMMENDS SIMILAR PRODUCTS IN YOUR NICHE, SO FOCUS YOUR MARKETING THERE)
  • CONCEPT THREE: AMAZON IS HIGHLY VISUAL
    (AND SO ARE PEOPLE WHEN THEY SHOP SO MAKE YOUR COVER COUNT)
  • CONCEPT FOUR: AMAZON IS BIG AND HIGHTLY CONNECTED
    (AND YOU CAN USE ITS INTEGRATED ECOSYSTEM TO BUILD YOUR BRAND AND SELL MORE BOOKS)

Ed: To find out how to sell more books using these four concepts, and the other tools in the Amazon Success Formula, check out the brand new Amazon Success Toolkit while our launch sales is going on. It ends at midnight tonight (Pacific time):

Amazon Success Toolkit

tbd advanced publishing starter kit

3 Comments

  1. Alicia Buster

    I agree with your findings on Amazon’s self-publishing avenues. I actually wrote an article praising Amazon’s publishing endeavors. You state that, “No matter how good your book is, making your book stand out in the store, connect with customers, and ultimately go home with them, is the difference between selling nothing and being a best-selling author.” I agree with that statement wholeheartedly. As a consumer of books, I’ve noticed that many of the self-published titles on Amazon that are lacking. I think it’s great that Amazon is giving authors a chance to share their work on their own terms, but I also feel that Amazon’s platforms allow a lot of “junk” into the marketplace. Great marketing can lead me to a book that I’ll, later on, regret purchasing. My point is great marketing can lead me to the door, but great writing will keep me coming back.

    Reply
  2. Lindsay Pevny

    I’ve had my eye on Amazon for self publishing for a while now, but I’m mystified by how it all works, and where to start. Of course, I’m also wondering if I would be able to get my work noticed!

    Reply
  3. michael n marcus

    To me, the big advantages of printing on demand and selling through Amazon are that I don’t have to invest in inventory and operate a warehouse and shipping department.

    However, there are times when it makes sense for an author to offer books in addition to the ebooks and POD books that Amazon sells to readers:

    (1) You can sell books on Amazon with autographs or inscriptions, perhaps at a premium price.
    (2) You can sell slightly damaged books at a discount on Amazon.
    (3) You can sell older versions of your books at a discount on Amazon.
    (4) You can sell marked-up proofs at a discount on Amazon.

    You can have Amazon store and ship books for you, or forward orders to you to “fulfill.”

    Click on Sell On Amazon on the bottom of an Amazon page.

    Reply

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