You’ve done it… you’ve written your first book. It’s only a matter of months, maybe even weeks, until it’s published and ready to be sold. Now you can relax and watch the money pour in.
Not so fast. Now you have to let people know the book exists. This is done by way of how you market and promote your book.
There are dozens upon dozens of ways to market a book including media releases, selling at speaking engagements, developing a website specific to the book, giving it as a gift to your accountant, doctor, friends, neighbors and family members in hopes that they love it so much they will buy copies for their friends, family members and clients.
One of the most important aspects of selling books is making the book available on Amazon. Most authors, regardless of how many books they’ve written and published, know Amazon is a must do. Granted, not every author agrees with this, but the majority do.
To get the most out of Amazon and break through the millions of books listed on this mammoth online seller, there are three areas you need to optimize:

  • Author Central feature
  • Book description
  • Categories

Author Central
To get the most from what Amazon has to offer you, the author, it is recommended to use Author Central feature. In essence, this is your own unique page that contains lots of information about you.
You need:

  • A beefy biographyamazon central
  • Photo
  • Editorial reviews
  • Your blog’s RSS Feed
  • Special announcements such as upcoming speaking engagements

A nice feature with Author Central is that readers can sign up for email notifications from Amazon when you release new books.
To use the Author Central feature, you do need to have one or more of your books for sale on Amazon.
Setting your information up on Amazon Central is relatively easy. Do a quick Google search on “Author Central feature” for details on how this is done.
Book description
One of the most important aspects of selling on Amazon is the book description. Yet, many authors put very little effort into writing a compelling description. As an author, you need to take full responsibility for making sure the description is such that people can’t help but want to read your book.
The description gives the readers a great idea of what the book is about and “why them” as a reader.  The description on Amazon is like the copy on the back of your book; it tells readers about your book.
Many authors leave it up to their publishers to write the description. Although some publishers put a lot of thought and care into doing this, not all do. Don’t leave the description to chance. If you don’t like what you read, or you don’t feel it’s compelling enough, take control of assuring the description is well written.
The description should be beefy and keyword rich. Don’t skimp on the wording. The description is actually your sales conversation. The description can be between 30 and 4000 characters in length. Use as much of this as possible.  The book description usually appears within 72 hours of putting it up on Amazon.
The Amazon book description can double on the book website as well as other areas you sell the book.
The goal for most authors is to have their book become #1 in the chosen categories. In most cases, you are allowed two categories for your book.  The more unique the categories, and yet, specific to the genre and topic of the book, the better. If you select crowded categories, the harder it is to get to #1.
For example, as of the date of writing this article, Health, Fitness & Dieting is a very broad category that has 156,130 results on a quick search. To rank #1 in this category is going to be extremely difficult.
health fitness book lotsIf you narrow the category down to Health, Fitness & Dieting: Diets & Weight Loss: Detoxes & Cleanses, there were was only 898 books listed. This gives you a much greater chance of achieving your goal. You have a much better chance of getting to #1 quickly due to how few books listed in this “drilled down” category.
health fitness book fewAgain, the goal is to have the greatest chance of getting to #1 in a category (or categories) so be sure to narrow the categories down as much as possible AND make sure they do tie into the topic of the book.
Below is a screen shot of the categories my most recent book, Power Up Your Sales.#1
Because I am very clear on hbook coverow important choosing categories is, the book maintained #1 position in both categories for over two months from the date it went live on Amazon.
As of the date of this post, you can still get the Kindle version FREE. Click here.
Writing a book is one aspect of the author’s journey to success. When you put as much time into the marketing and positioning as you did the writing, you open up the greatest chance for your book to end up in the hands of as many readers as possible. After all, isn’t knowing lots of people are reading our books what we ultimately want?