It’s a challenge for any self-publishing author to get noticed and stay relevant in the Amazon Bookstore. When sales are flagging, how do you get the ball rolling again? Sometimes the secret to getting something done is to do it yourself …
That’s right — if not many readers are buying your book, buy it yourself! Several times a year, purchase several copies of your own book from Amazon; five books each quarter is a good guideline to follow. This approach serves two purposes: It gives you a temporary boost in sales ranking to boost your profile; and it provides you with author copies you can use to promote your book in other ways. While it costs more up front to purchase from Amazon than to purchase discounted hardcopies from Outskirts Press, this approach could pay off in increased sales.
Now, for the next step. Here are eight smart ways to put those Amazon books to great use in your overall marketing approach:
- Sell them as signed author copies. Since signed copies are more valuable to readers, you can even recoup most or all of the difference in your cost by selling them at a higher price.
- Send them to friends and family on holidays and special occasions. It’s a gift for them and for you! *
- Donate copies of your book to libraries, schools, hospitals, retirement homes and veterans’ organizations, for example.
- Get signed copies placed in local boutiques and mom-and-pop bookstores. The fact that they’re signed may provide these stores with added incentive to carry your book.
- Send copies to local and regional news media along with a press release and/or your book sell sheet, and ask for a review, interview or news coverage. *
- Host a contest on social media for free copies of your signed book. Ask your followers to like and share your contest details for extra chances to win.
- Provide copies to bloggers who blog about topics addressed in your book. Ask them if they’d be interested in plugging your book on their blog or allowing you to place an add on their site. Or, offer to make their life easier by writing guest blogs. *
- And, of course, keep author copies on hand for any spontaneous selling opportunities. Put copies in a durable box in your car trunk, in your desk at work, and leave some with trustworthy advocates who are willing to sell on your behalf. *Works with either hardcopies or e-books.
See? Not only will buying your book on Amazon give you a ranking bump, but it’ll equip you to do other things that raise your profile among readers! Did we miss anything? Share your ideas about how to put author copies to great use, as well as how you improved your own ranking on Amazon.