One Secret to Boosting Your Presence on Amazon (and 8 Steps to Take Next)

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Send them to friends and family on holidays and special occasions. It’s a gift for them and for you! *
  3. Donate copies of your book to libraries, schools, hospitals, retirement homes and veterans’ organizations, for example.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. *
  6. 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.
  7. 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. *
  8. 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.

Want even more help selling? Explore other marketing options at Outskirts Press and get started on the road to effective book promotion!

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Top 5 Self Publishing Strategies for Sales


Your book should have as many reviews as possible. Your book took many months, maybe even years to write. Writing a review takes mere minutes, so get everyone you know to write a review of your book. The Amazon algorithm examines the number of reviews and the rank of the reviews when determining exposure levels. Find ways to motivate people you don’t know to do it also. Then, encourage those same people to indicate all the other reviews posted for your book are “helpful.” The Amazon computer loves books that receive lots of reviews, and especially when those reviews are 5 stars AND when those reviews are considered “helpful” by many people. This is one of the most over-looked and most-attainable methods of increasing your book sales on Amazon. Reviews can be posted directly from the detailed product page.Next, you should write as many reviews for other books similar to yours as you can find. When your review is posted, it will contain a link to your AuthorCentral Profile Page, which is where others can learn more about you, your “platform” and your books.


Few things on Amazon are more important than ensuring your product detail page is as comprehensive as possible. They don’t call it a “detail page” for nothing. Be as detailed as possible about every element of your book. Even if your publisher has added Editorial Reviews or a Product Description, you should take the time to enhance it further. No one knows more about your book than you do. Amazon provides a detailed form to fill out to fully control all the information on your product page.  When you are submitting a book for publication, pay particular attention to what you provide for your book’s summary (sometimes called an annotation), since this will usually be the content used for your book’s detail page on sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble and elsewhere.  The longer and more detailed this content is, the better, since this is the on-line equivalent to “looking at the back of the book.”   4000 characters is the optimal length for this content. 


As the world’s largest purveyor of books, Amazon takes great pains to foster a community between authors and readers. This is beneficial to you only if you take advantage of all that Amazon has to offer. For example, the Author Central feature allows you to create a personal profile about yourself as the writer of books listed on Amazon. The biographies they allow can be tailored to support your book sales. You can even create a bibliography of all the books you have ever written (provided they are for sale on Amazon). Sign-in to Author Central at and complete your Author Central (previously known as Amazon Connect) profile today.  If you have previously created an Author Connect account, you may need to sign-in again and investigate it. In May, Amazon changed this portion of their offerings substantially, and a lot of the old content you may have completed may or may not still be online in your new Author Central profile section.


You will find a link to create a Listmania List on the sales detail page of any book on Amazon. Just scroll down to the Listmania Section and find the “Create a Listmania List” link.  Basically, Listmania is a customizable “Top 40” list that you manage yourself. The trick to Listmania is to offer valuable lists so that other people read them. The more popular your list is, the more exposure the products within your list receive. The books should be geared toward the same audience as your book and as popular as possible. Rarely should you have a Listmania list that features less than 40 books because you want to increase the chances that your list appears on as many other product detail pages as possible (and the longer your list is, the more likely it will appear).  Popular Listmania lists appear on the product pages of all the books contained in the list. When you start generating multiple lists for multiple facets of your book, you will start to realize the full potential of Listmania.


The marketing counterpart to Listmania are the Guides and you can create a guide by scrolling to the “So You’d Like to…” section of any sales detail page on Amazon.  In that section you will find the “Create a guide” link.“So You’d Like to… Guides” operate under the same basic philosophy as Listmania, but provide you with more flexibility, and therefore more selling power. They also take more work, and are therefore not as popular, so your Guides will not face the level of competition for popularity that your Listmania lists face. It’s easy to make Guides by selecting sections of your book and giving that section a hook. Your “hook” is the name of your guide. Copy that section of your book into your guide, connect your guide to your book’s product detail page, and then connect other similar books to your guide as well. If you don’t have at least “So You’d Like To… Guide” up on Amazon, you are missing a key opportunity to increase sales of your book, and establish yourself as an expert in the Amazon community.

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Self Publishing Book Marketing – Amazon Keyword Submission

Amazon Keyword Submission

Customers who browse for new books on Amazon don’t search by title or author. They search by keywords or phrases: subject-specific words that describe their interest. One goal in book marketing is to do whatever is possible to improve a book’s search results ranking for applicable keywords so that your book appears higher in the search results on Amazon.The Amazon Keyword Submission option can help. Participating books are “tagged” with applicable terms and keywords, and then 10 specific keywords or phrases are submitted to Amazon’s Search Engine on the author’s behalf.

Outskirts Press published authors can add this optional marketing service to their distribution conveniently and easily from the Marketing Options screen of their author’s center.


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