Once you have written and finalized your ebook, you need to upload it on Amazon KDP which is a process that hardly takes any time and with the click of a single button, your book becomes listed for the global population.
Although it sounds too easy and it is in fact a very simple process, there are certain tips and tricks that every self published author needs to know in order to sell more ebooks by ranking higher.
Quality is a Prerequisite
At this point it is important to remember that quality of content is a prerequisite to selling more books. If your content does not have high quality and by high quality we mean proper formatting, no grammatical mistakes, high creativity and well researched content. If you are writing fiction then your storytelling skills need to be good, the plot of your story needs to be well formed and characters should have a development arc. Similarly if you are writing a self help or DIY book then you should include relevant and appropriate illustrations and your instructions should be clear, concise and helpful.
Having said that, let’s get to the purpose of this article right away.
Tip #1: Keyword Selection
When you upload your book. KDP will ask you to select the relevant keywords and categories for your book. You will be allowed to enter 7 longtail and/or short tail keywords. At this point you should forget how well your writing skills are or how good your book is. At this point all you need to think about is getting the right keywords.
Think about your book. What is the title? Keywords are the words that users type in the search bar to search for books. If your keywords match the keywords that the users enter, then you will have a higher chance of ranking higher and thus selling more books.
So take some time out to do google search and amazon search for the title of your book, sort out the search results by the most popular results and then use the keywords from your search as the keyword for your book.
For instance if you have written a book about space fiction then your keyword should be space fiction. Not fiction space, as this is not the logical order of words that a user would use to search for books in this category. Similarly other keywords for this book can include space travel and science fiction.
The same goes for the selection of categories. KDP allows you to set two categories for your books. When selecting categories, choose the narrowest category possible. In other words, choose your niche, not a general category. Why? If you use a broad category then you will simply put yourself in a big pond with a lot of fish. You will probably end up as a small fish in a big pond and you know what happens next.
So the best thing to do is to niche your book down to the most relevant category. This is a simple and clever way to cut down the competition and give your book a good chance to rank higher.
As you can see in the picture, when you choose a category, it`ll automatically show you sub categories and niches. Amazon wants you to niche your book down, so trust the process because Amazon wants you to sell, that`s the only way it is going to earn money through you.
If you want to test this system out, simply go to amazon and type any keyword. For instance type space fiction to search for books and then look at the results. Every result will have the word “space” in it.
So the first tip is to simply figure out which keywords represent your book the best and then use those keywords in the title, description and the keyword space provided by KDP. Similarly use the keywords to select two of the “most relevant” categories.
Once your book is listed, you need to make sure that your book gets some traction. A lot of self published authors buy a few copies of their book to get it going. When we say a few copies, we mean less than 10. But if you buy your own book, all sorts of red flags are going to go up at Amazon headquarters and you will be blacklisted before you know it. Amazon wants to keep it fair for everyone. So you need to play it fair as well and this can be done by paying some of your friends or family members to buy your book.
So they simply have to log in from their accounts and buy it through their cards or paypal and you can compensate them for it, or not if they don’t want to. If you want to, you can create a close group of few readers who buy your book first and you pay them for the book and in return they leave good reviews.
This is just for the sake of giving your book some traction. Many authors use this strategy later on in the life cycle of their book to bring it up in the search results. But it is important to remember that you must not use unfair means to do this.
The whole point of this exercise is to get a few good reviews and give your book a little traction and then let the algorithm do the rest.
KDP allows authors to offer their book to readers for free for up to 5 days, every 90 days. This feature allows you to get into the top 100 free in the sales ranking list. Use this feature in a strategic manner to get the most out of it.
If you have just launched a new book, then it may be good to use the free promotion early on but once the initial 90 days are over, then you should use the free promotion whenever you see that the rankings of your book are going down. Once your book is on promotion, simply let your readers know that the book is free for a very limited time and this should boost up your sales.
If you use these three tips and tricks properly and in a timely manner, then you can get the most out of them and increase the traction of your book. If you have discovered any more tricks, then do let us know in the comments.