I could write an entire book about Amazon.com and how to use it to make money. There are so many options, most are free and you should utilize all of them.  Many authors complain about the percentage Amazon charges when they list their books for sale and make sales. They complain about the shipping charges and packaging specifications.  I do not understand this.  If it were not for Amazon.com I would not have as many sales and customers as I do. I am grateful that Amazon is there for me to utilize and make money with. There is nothing else like it, look at Barnes & Noble for example.  They are not just a chain of book stores but have an online presence just like Amazon. They do not have the audience, power or free tools for authors that Amazon does and therefore are not as successful. In my opinion you are missing out if you don’t utilize all Amazon has to offer you as an author.

You may be familiar with the Amazon emailing campaign that some authors have tried and say really works. I have not followed this campaign but thought it was interesting enough to mention.  I heard from an author that after sending out an email to many people, his ranking went up considerably and his book reached number one status on Amazon.com The email he sent out starts out by saying that he is doing an experiment and wants help in becoming an Amazon.com bestseller.  It is almost like a chain letter asking the recipient to send the email on to 10 of their friends and family or more if possible and ask them to pass it on and on and on. The email then goes on to explain about the book, and thank the reader.

Getting reviews on Amazon.

The easiest way to get reviews on Amazon or anywhere else is to ask for them.  When my books became available on Amazon. There were a few people that wrote reviews for them. I wanted more. I personally wrote to each of my customers that had purchased my books and asked them if they would be interested in writing a review for my book on Amazon.  I had a great response and made sure to send them a hand written thank you note in the mail after they posted their review.  This goes a long way. 

Giving reviews on Amazon.

Another way to get more traffic to your books is to give reviews on Amazon for similar books or for your competition.  People who look at those books will see your review and may click through to your book or website.  I review every book I read, no matter what the topic. I know how much I appreciate getting a good review and so I try to do the same for others.

Amazon Advantage.

Amazon Advantage is a great way to get your book seen.  Some people automatically go to Amazon when they are looking for a book, they may not necessarily search a search engine for a book topic they are interested in to find your website.  This is a very good reason to have your book on Amazon.  If your webpage is on the first page of a major search engine for your keywords, you might not be so interested in doing this but I would highly recommend listing your book with the Amazon advantage program.  Another reason to list your book with Amazon is that people trust Amazon, so they are more likely to input their credit card information and order your book.  They may not know who you are or fully trust you or your website so having this option will help boost sales.  Also, Amazon will sell your book at different prices, they offer sales or discounts but don’t worry and you still get the same amount of money regardless.  So for a bargain hunter Amazon is where they will go.  You can offer autographed copies on your website which is something Amazon does not offer or even bundles of your book with other authors’ books or special reports.

Another reason people visit Amazon for book purchases is that they can combine their purchases with other book orders and get free shipping, your book could be included in that promotion.  The best reason to sell through Amazon is that it gives you credibility when your book is on Amazon as well as your website.  Even if your website is the first one that comes up for your keywords, you can make many more sales through Amazon.

List mania.

List mania is another way to showcase a list of books you like and why. You can network with other authors and both create lists that include each others books to help promote each other.  You can have as many lists as you like under as many topics as you like. This also lets your readers see that you are a real person, just like them and have opinions about different books and authors.

Search inside the Book.

I highly recommend you sign up for Search Inside the Book; this gives someone who is trying to decide if they should buy your book a glimpse into what you have to offer.  They may read your table of contents and a specific item they are looking for might jump out at them causing them to buy your book.  You are only showing a few pages, and this can be a good way to get more sales.

Sell yours used!  Using Amazon Marketplace to make more money.

I use this feature all the time and sell many books this way. You can sell a brand new book, an out of print edition, an autographed copy or a returned or damaged copy and still make some money.

If you receive any returns back or have any book copies that are not “perfect” list them on Amazon marketplace for a cheaper price.  I actually make more money on those sales even if the book is selling for less than a perfect copy on Amazon. 

It has been my experience that Amazon offers good customer service, through email.  They pay you in full and on time at the same time every month.  You can go online to check the status of your account, how many copies they have, how many have been sold and how much money you are making.  I have also had reporters find me through Amazon and then interview me for stories, so having a presence on Amazon is a big plus in many ways.

Author: Michelle Dunn, this article is taken from the first book in the Mosquito Marketing Series, “Mosquito Marketing for Authors” by Michelle Dunn.  This is a book that helps authors and writers effectively market themselves and their books while treating being published as a business.  Available from Amazon.com or www.michelledunn.com