One thing authors long for is a high Amazon rank, but that’s not always the easiest thing to get. I discovered this when I tried, first to get a friend’s gardening book, Garden of Visible Prayer, then to get my newest story, Greater Treasures, into the Top Ten. I’d like to share some tips I learned.
#1 Make sure your book is classified! Before you consider a campaign, make sure your publisher or you have put your book into its proper category. Margaret’s Garden of Visible Prayer was lumped under “books,” and as a result had a hard time getting that coveted status. It’s a testimony to the quality of her book and the efforts of her promoters that her book, which is targeted at Catholic gardeners who want to create a spiritual prayer garden, rose from over 110,000 to 5608. By contrast, I classified mine under Urban Fantasy, and it rose from 117,000 to the top 60.
#2 Recruit some help. Get some folks to help you out, especially those who are well followed in the social media for your genre. Equip them with information on your book, tweets, posts, and links to share on your Amazon day. These are called “book bombs,” and I’ve seen several done very successfully.
#3 Put your book on a free tracker. Amazon does not track individual book ranks, and sometimes, even if you’re constantly refreshing, you’ll miss something. I never saw Greater Treasures make #60—my husband caught it. I may have gone higher and missed it. I found novelrank.com and metricjunkie.com to provide free services. Ranktracer.com does it for a fee. Sign up BEFORE you do the campaign; they cannot get old information.
#4 Build the buzz. For Margaret, we sent out the book information and got people to blog it the week before, with the note that April 15 was her Amazon Day. We also mentioned it in the social media, with frequent reminders. I didn’t do that with Greater Treasures, and I think I’d have gotten more response if I’d prepped folks.
#5 Make it an occasion and appeal to readers’ generosity. I’ve seen book bombs where the price was cut—or free—but I’ve also seen equally successful ones that were specifically to raise funds. Often, the author had a tragedy or financial issue (like a major medical bill, not “Overspent on shoes again!”) Sometimes, that can push someone over the edge of buy now/buy later, so don’t be afraid to mention it if it’s a big factor. You might have a different occasion. I’ve seen Amazon promotions to celebrate an anniversary of a book’s publication, and for Greater Treasures, I asked for purchases as a birthday present to me.
#6 Didn’t make Top Ten? It still helps. Margaret’s Amazon Day didn’t get her even into the Top 1000, but it did boost her author rank overall into the top 11 percent of authors in Amazon—and she got some attention, including a request to interview with the international Catholic TV station, EWTN. Be sure a few days or a week after your Amazon day to ask folks to post reviews if they enjoy the book.
It was fun to watch the books rise in the ranks. I wish you all the best of luck in reaching that Amazon Holy Grail of Top Ten Seller.
Winner of the 2010 INDIE for best Fantasy (Magic, Mensa and Mayhem), Karina Fabian has imagination that takes quirky twists that keep her--and her fans--amused. Nuns working in space, a down-and-out Faerie dragon working off a geas from St. George, zombie exterminators—there’s always a surprise in Fabian’s worlds. Mrs. Fabian teaches writing and book marketing seminars, but mostly is concerned with supporting her husband, Rob Fabian as he makes the exciting leap from military officer to civilian executive, getting her kids through high school and college, and surviving daily circuit torture…er, circuit training. Read about her adventures at http://fabianspace.com. http://tinyurl.com/greatertreasureskindle
Book tour link with all the stops: http://dragoneyepi.blogspot.com/2013/04/greater-treasures-book-tour.html
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