Updated: Oct 15, 2022
I primarily sell my books on Amazon for many reasons, one being the convenience of it all. I love the idea of making money while I sleep, watch TV, spend time with family, or more importantly, work my full time job. I love the idea of not having to buy postage or packaging supplies, or driving 15 minutes to the post office to mail books. I also love the idea of having Amazon advertise my books for me. Now this last part does not happen by chance, though. You have to put in work on the front end (and revise as needed over time). The front end work is what we are discussing today: Attracting Amazon shoppers to buy YOUR book(s) by
OPTIMIZING YOUR AMAZON BOOK PAGE!
Have you ever seen an Amazon book page where the book is the only thing that is there? There is no Amazon book description, no A+ content, no author bio. There is just a book...and it's just there. And if this is your current situation, no judgment. It takes time to optimize every piece of your Amazon page, especially when you have several books like me. But it is truly worth it! The Amazon book page is a marketing tool, and it is FREE. Y'all know how much I like free. So, let's talk about the anatomy of an Amazon book page and what YOU should do about it.
1. Book cover image
You want to make sure you are featuring your professionally designed, eye-catching book cover in its best light, literally. You can do this by uploading a cover pdf file that meets the requirements for professional printing. The cover should be bright, not dull. It should be of your entire front cover, not cut off. It should be clear and not pixelated.
Example A: Cover Image not Optimized
Example B: Cover Image Optimized
See the difference? How about this one?
Example C: Cover Image not Optimized
Example D: Cover Image Optimized
In these examples, both cover versions look great but the optimized covers are bright. The brightness is attention grabbing.
When it makes sense, add a subtitle. But don't add any subtitle; add a subtitle that includes relevant keywords. Now, do not jam pack your subtitle with every keyword you can think of. Make it look natural and sensical. For example,
Winnie Loves Winter: A Delightful Children's Book about Winter. Children's book about winter is the relevant and popular keyword string.
Same with Two Houses Down: A Story about Divorce and Friendship. A story about divorce is the relevant and popular keyword string.
Last example, Scout's Honor: A Book about Lying and Telling the Truth. A book about lying is the relevant and popular keyword string.
Using relevant keyword strings as a subtitle or in your subtitle is proven to help with search results. Additionally, it tells the buyer quickly and clearly what your book is about, which is not always clear from the title alone.
As indie authors/publishers we take a lot of pride in our work and we may even think our work is priceless, invaluable. So you price your NEW, perhaps FIRST book, at $15.99 or higher FOR PAPERBACK. I know you are trying to maximize POD royalty, but the outcome of overpricing your book is harmful to you. The buyer will not click on your book when they see the multitudes of other "well-established" "traditional" books that are priced fairly. To be competitive, you must price your book consistent with the competition. This does not mean you have to price your book at a deficit, but it has to be reasonable and attractive to the buyer. Research your book competitors' prices, especially those that are ranked top 100 in your categories. See what the average cost of a paperback is for the type of book you published, and decide on a reasonable and competitive price from there. My paperback children's picture books range from $9.99 to $13.
4. Look Inside feature
This is an effortless way to optimize your sales page. Amazon activates this feature automatically after publication. You can request Amazon to either deactivate the feature altogether or "enhance" the feature by increasing the number of pages shown. I usually do not mess with it though. I feel Amazon's percentage gives a good feel of my books without giving too much away.
Example E: Look Inside Feature
5. Amazon book description
Do not simply restate your back cover description here. The Amazon book description is not the same as the back cover description. Let me say that again: THE AMAZON BOOK DESCRIPTION IS NOT THE SAME AS THE BACK COVER DESCRIPTION. There is a section on the book page where your back cover description can be restated and this is not it!
The Amazon book description is your sale's pitch so it should have the purpose of persuading the buyer to purchase your book. It should tell the buyer that your book is exactly what they are looking for. It should not be a mere summary of the book. It should not be a list of hashtags. To understand how to talk to your buyer, you have to know who your buyer is and why they are looking for your book. This is one of the hardest parts of optimizing your book page, I will not lie. But after you have done the research and put together that book description AND see those sales, you will be happy you did.
Example F: Book Description for I Have 10 Toes / Tengo Diez Dedos De Los Pies
The description says who it is for, what it does, and what the reader would have gained. Same with this description, though a little lengthier.
Example F: Book Description for Two Houses Down
6. A+ Content
Indie authors recently gained the privilege or ability to optimize our Amazon page with A+ content. This is "From the Publisher" content that you see on a lot of traditionally published book pages. Adding A+ content allows you to highlight and reinforce to buyers why your book is the one they are searching for. For authors who have book series or sets, A+ content is really useful for informing readers of your other books. If you do nothing else with A+ content, you should at least use the template that allows customers to click on the other books you offer. I study the A+ content of my competitors to get ideas on my A+ content. I mean, they have paid content creators I presume, to create it so the hard and costly work has already been done. 😀
Example G: A+ content for Black Boy Hair Joy (mobile view)
Example H: A+ content for Two Houses Down (mobile view)
Example I: A+ content for seasons books for kids collection (mobile view)
This A+ content template allows buyers to click on the blue book title and go right to the Amazon book page! See, easy!
7. Author bio
Without going too much into your Amazon author page and how that is a whole vibe in itself, you should at least, the bare minimum, have an author bio and photo. It cleans up your page. It makes your page look professional and legit. Buyers will see you as a serious author and since you cannot talk to Amazon buyers in person like you can at vendor events, this gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself. This gives you an opportunity to get them to buy-in to YOU.
Example J: Tiffany Obeng's Author Bio, Photo
I could probably go on and on about optimization, but this is a good starting checklist. Remember, you do not have to do any of this yourself or even all at once. You can outsource any, if not all of these things. Even I offer book description services to children's book authors.
So tell me in the comments: Do you do all or any of these things? What other things do you do to optimize your page?