Question. I am writing because I want to obtain the information I need to increase the category and page ranking of a book I published. The book is called “~” It has been published since August 2015 and some a few excellent reviews and some sales but no idea where to begin to actually get this book to the top 5 on the first page. My keywords and categories are good but I am hoping an expert like yourself can help pointing me in the right direction for being able to learn to do my own SEO.
Basically, you have to think about book promotion based on the different “paths” that people find out about books –
Path #1: Search: they SEARCH for it. This is most common in Non-fiction. They have a “need” or an “interest” and they search by keywords. My own books on SEO and Social Media fit this pattern. People know that they want to “learn” SEO, and a very logical thing to do is to “search” for it on Amazon. Another example might be to “learn” how to “play the guitar.” People might look for a book on that, or to “learn” how to knit…
Only non-fiction books have this path. Few people go “searching” for fiction books.
If this path makes sense, you basically have to do SEO for Amazon –
book title > contain the keywords,
book summary > ditto
etc., meaning you have to populate the book description / title etc with the logical keywords. You can’t use a funny / witty Title for a book anymore, as it must contain the keywords.
– then you MUST get reviews / a lot of them. There are services like ReviewBuzz you can pay that will distribute your book, for a fee, and get you reviews in a legit manner.
– and/or you have to use your own fan base
– and/or include in the book incentives to review it.
Reviews are CRITICAL!!!
Amazon rewards books that sell and books that have reviews. So you need to a) discount the book heavily at first to drive sales, and b) constantly get new reviews. Then when you get it going, you can raise the price, but at first to drive it to the top of a category you have to get it selling.
Path #2: Share.
This is the word of mouth path, and is EXTERNAL to Amazon. Here, people love a book so much that they talk about it. They might also post to social media. This is much harder to get going. A book like “Fifty Shades of Gray” is an example. It had quite a bit of “scandal,” so people shared it because it was over-the-top.
Path #3: Recommend / influencer marketing.
This is where an “influencer” like Oprah Winfrey recommends your book to her fans. You have to a) identify who those influencers are, and b) get them to promote your book. Way easier said then done. A way people do this, as well, is that they are ALREADY famous. So they are influencers for their “own book.” This is really really common in the book world. Already famous people write a book, and then people buy it. Tina Fey’s “Smarty Pants” book is an example, as are books like Malcolm Gladwell’s… They have a platform of adoring fans, and that gets their book going.
Those are the ways that I think about promoting books. None are really easy. Oh, and there’s another common thing going on: vanity. People publish books NOT because they want to sell them / make money but because they want them to be used as justification for how smart they are. Many experts use books in this way: they get a book publish as it validates them as an expert. They have no intention of making money on the book in any serious fashion.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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