Using Amazon to track your marketing efforts

Someday Amazon will dominate the world and they'll auto-deliver our eggs and milk once a week via a video equipped drone/helicopter/robot.

We're not there yet, but in the meantime, Amazon has some cool stuff for authors.

If you haven't created your Amazon author page yet, what are you waiting on? First off, this is a great marketing tool that works all the time. You can set the page up to automatically update with your blog posts. When readers click on your name, they'll see a complete listing of all your available titles right next to a sweet picture of you. You can also update the page with news and post a schedule for any upcoming appearances.

This is a no-brainer, so go set that up now. While you're there, you can check out another cool feature that Amazon offers its authors through Author Central. Hello, access to BookScan data.

Here's the deal. BookScan are the people that aggregate all the data for how many copies of each book are sold. It isn't perfect, but it is pretty good. Currently BookScan doesn't include data for eBooks, but I wouldn't be surprised if that changed in the next decade. Amazon estimates BookScan picks up about 85% of the physical book copies sold. Publishers pay big bucks for access to this info (I'm talking six figures) and you can get it for free.

Here's why this is so great. The information is broken down by week and region. So, you can see if the event you attended out of state made a difference in your book sales there. Also, when you put a lot of effort and/or money into a marketing campaign, you can tell as early as a week later if you were able to make an impact on your book sales.

You know that there are a zillion different ways to market your book. You also know that what worked for author X may not work for author Y. You know that you'll need to test the waters and see which marketing tactics work for you and your book. With BookScan data, you can check to see right away if something is working or not.

Using this information can help you be more effective and nimble when it comes to marketing. Also, having the information can help alleviate the whole walking around in the dark feeling that can come with marketing without effectiveness results.

We talk a lot about how to market on this blog. Clearly, I am pro-marketing. But I'm even more pro-smart marketing. So go sign up for Author Central and tell them I sent you.

No, don't actually tell them that. They don't know me.

Do you use Author Central? Have you used the BookScan data to monitor your marketing plan? What did you think? Any tips for the rest of us?