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How to Sell Self-Published Books on Amazon

Amazon.com is the worlds largest marketplace of self-published books – not to mention ‘traditionally published’ books. Utilizing the powerful tools that Amazon.com has created to help authors sell more books should be an important part of any good book marketing plan. This brief article will teach you how to sell self-published books on Amazon.

Here’s a brief outline to setting up book marketing on Amazon.com.

Listing Your Book on Amazon

EVERY book published by Dog Ear is listed on Amazon.com automatically, so no need to worry about this part. Authors must, however, think carefully about book descriptions before we load this data into the Amazon system. A critical component of any book’s listing is the description that is used to ‘sell’ it to prospective readers. Consider that Amazon only knows what it is told – it cannot ‘decipher’ the topic or focus of a book from vague cover copy or description copy. Read our articles on Writing Book Cover Copy and Book Cover Copy SEO.

 Create an Amazon Author Central Account

Here’s how to do this once your book is live on Amazon:

Visit authorcentral.amazon.com

Click on the “Join Now” button, using your Amazon customer account credentials (if you’ve never purchased from Amazon before, you’ll need to buy something first)

Once you’re registered, add your photo and bio, and make sure all your books are listed

Click the “Using an RSS feed” button to have posts from your blog automatically fed to your Amazon profile

Add the “Search Inside” Feature to Your Book’s Listing


If you published with Dog Ear Publishing package that includes the Search Inside The Book option, this has already been taken care of. If not, log in to your Amazon author account, click the “Search Inside the Book” link, and follow the instructions.

Solicit Amazon Book Reviews

Ask anyone you know who’s read your book and liked it to add a review. You don’t want any negative or poorly written reviews, so be absolutely sure you can rely on whoever you ask to give you a positive, meaningful, and well-written review. It’s also important that you, your family members, and your publisher do not add reviews to Amazon, even anonymously! These are spotted very easily and can have a significant negative impact on book sales. Gentle and repeated follow-up with people who have agreed to review your book is often necessary. Reviews are extremely important to Amazon sales, so it’s worth your time to do this.

Add Tags to Your Book’s Amazon listing

On your book’s Amazon listing, go to the “Tags Customers Associate with This Product” section and add all relevant tags (descriptive keywords or categories). Ask other Amazon users you know to use their Amazon accounts to vote for the tags that they think are relevant. Because it’s the holiday season you might consider adding tags like “gift,” “holiday,” “Christmas gift,” etc.

Begin Reviewing Other Books on Amazon

This is crucial. Review as many books as you can that are on the same subject, or related subjects, as your own book. If customers purchase books based on your reviews they are very likely to click through to your profile and see what you’ve written. Wheatmark’s most successful authors selling on Amazon say this works very well for them. Even if you have not written your book yet, this is a great author platform-building activity that you should be doing regularly.

Be Active in Other Areas of Amazon

Once you log in to your Amazon Author account, you will see a number of additional opportunities to be active. All of these can generate interest in you and your book from Amazon customers, but we’re not sure how much bang for the buck they give you. These include “Listmania” and “Customer Discussion Forums,” among other things.

If you need help setting up your Amazon Author Central page, just give us a call. And if you don’t already have a e-book edition of your book for sale, talk to us about getting it done for you.

Ray Robinson
by Ray Robinson

When Ray first entered the publishing industry, authors relied on “vanity presses” to produce their work – many of whom would charge $15,000 or more and leave the author’s garage filled with hundreds of books. Ray, along with coworker Alan Harris, joined forces with Miles Nelson to create Dog Ear Publishing to provide the author community a self-publisher with a heart. The group’s application of new technologies and publishing on demand reduced the cost of publishing a book to a fraction of what it had been for previous generations; authors now have the ability to publish a book in as little as six weeks and print as few as a single copy.