Welcome back to Reasons your book isn't selling, where every Wednesday I discuss common mistakes I see authors make that are hurting their book sales. Last time I talked about fear of free.
Today's reason your book isn't selling:Ignoring Amazon
So apparently, there's this thing. An idea really. That if you love books and readers, and want the world to love books then you must absolutely love book stores. But it's not enough to love bookstores. You must also hate Amazon.
And not in a very general I hate Amazon while also buying a new dress, three books and this amazing potato peeler I didn't even know I needed from them while taking advantage of free shipping. Nope, I mean in the I refuse to even go to their website kind of way.
I get it. Amazon has been under fire for some pretty shady business when it comes to how they treat their employees. And they sell books as a loss leader which makes it hard for bookstores to compete.
Look, you're allowed to hate Amazon if you want, but the reality is, your readers love them.
And that means, you can hate them, but you can't ignore them.
I've actually heard of authors who refuse to ask for reviews to be posted on Amazon. They won't fill out an author profile and only have their books listed there grudgingly. Here's how much Amazon cares about those authors' silent protest.
Now, I'm not suggesting that you run out, make all your books Amazon exclusive and produce a stage musical about their awesomness. But there are things you should be doing.
1. Claim your author profile and fill it out.
Seriously, if I like an author's book I will go to their profile and find out what else they have. An empty profile and I just move on. A profile makes it easy for readers to find your books so having one is a no-brainer.
2. Get reviews
Look I know getting reviews is hard, but you gotta do it anyway. And while Goodreads and blog posts are fantastic, you've got to have Amazon reviews if you want to sell books there. And you do want to sell books there.
3. Take care of your listings
Much of the system for Amazon is automated, but not all of it. For example, sometimes an ebook and a paperback aren't linked together. Not only does this make it harder for readers to find your books, it keeps your reviews for those books separate and thereby harder for those books to gain traction. This means going online every couple of months and just checking to make sure everything looks good.
4. Provide buy links
The reality is that much of the US buys their books on Amazon. So, while you should absolutely have buy links on your website for the other retailers, don't leave the big guy out just because you think they are Satan's spawn.
5. Make it work
This one is especially important if you self-publish or work closely with a small house. Using the right categories and keywords can be make or break for your book. So be sure to utilize the resources available and make Amazon work for you. They have a system, it seems to work really well, don't sabotage your book by refusing to be part of the system.