Authors — Fix Your Amazon Product Page


I am asked constantly by writers for tips about how to market and promote their books.  Here are some outstanding insights and advice about one aspect of effective book marketing: paying attention to what appears on your Amazon “product page.”

I emphatically agree with this author’s advice. In fact, I have made similar points myself, such as here. It amazes me how many authors pour endless efforts and T.L.C. into writing and polishing their books, only to treat with indifference the content of their product pages on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and elsewhere.

As I pointed out, “Because most prospective buyers eventually will wind up on online product sales pages, your product description will be your book’s final sales pitch. Its only purpose is to ‘close the sale.’ So, make sure it is as colorful and persuasive as possible.” I would also add: Make sure it is literate: no typos, no grammatical or spelling errors, nothing amateurish. If a prospective customer sees that you can’t even write a few sentences of compelling, error-free promotional copy, what are they going to think of your book?

Regarding other aspects of marketing, it is crucial to “think like your target reader.” To that end, I’m always on the lookout for empirical data that gives me insights about reader preferences and buying habits.

Bestselling author Marie Force just conducted a detailed survey of nearly 3,000 readers to find out their preferences about a host of matters relevant to authors — where they like to buy their books, in what formats, and what factors prompt or deter purchases. Not knowing who was sampled, I have no idea how “scientific” this survey is. But I do think the relative preferences of these many readers are intriguing and, in many cases, they provide valuable insights. Definitely worth reading and pondering.

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5 Responses to Authors — Fix Your Amazon Product Page

  1. Kenton Kilgore says:

    It’s interesting how little attention the average reader pays to book publications like Publishers Weekly, NYT Book Reviews, etc….

    • bidinotto says:

      It sure is, Kenton. Those publications were important to Traditional Publishers, because they were selling their books not directly to readers, but to intermediaries: the bookstores. And bookstores were influenced in their purchase decisions by prestigious reviews. Typical readers, though, don’t bother reading Prestigious Journals. They get their reading recommendations by more direct means, such as those listed in the reader survey. Word-of-mouth counts for a lot.

      So it’s a mistake, I think, for self-published authors to worry desperately about getting prestigious reviews or media appearances. They always should think: Where are my target readers likely to be? What are they reading? Who are they listening to?

  2. Carolynn Gockel says:

    Thanks Robert!

  3. Guy Portman says:

    A very revealing survey Robert, thanks.

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