Friday, September 07, 2012

When You Go to Amazon, Don't Just Buy a Book

When we read a good book, we readily use our word-of-mouth to aid the author in being successful. I do it. You do it. We all do it. Word-of-mouth is by far the most important method of spreading the word about good stories and great authors.

Today, however, there's a ton of word-of-mouth out there, and hundreds of thousands of authors. Eight out of ten books sell less than 100 copies on Amazon. As a reader you might not realize the cutthroat competition that exists in the publishing world. As a writer/author, you should. In either case, there are a few tricks you can do with minimal effort to make a difference in letting the world know about a worthy book purchase . . . and at the same time let an author know you care.

1) "Like" the book page.
See that little thumbs up icon next to the title, beside the number of reviews? If you liked the book, click it. That simple! It'll change from gray to orange and stay that way whenever you revisit that page.

2) "Like" the author page. 
Hover over the author's name. See a like to the Amazon Author Central page? There's where you can learn more about your favorite author. Again, see the thumbs up icon on the right hand side of the page? Click it.

3) Leave a review.
Twenty words is all it takes, but hopefully you can squeeze a few more to let searching readers know enough to make an informed purchase.To leave a review at Amazon (or Barnes & Noble) you have to have made a purchase from them at some time, so if you are a first-timer at Amazon, you'll need to sign up.

4) Click "Was this review helpful for you?"
These clicks help tell others (as well as Amazon) that a particular review, with a particular number of stars, with particular phrasing really helped you make a decision in your purchase. These helpful clicks also determine placement of snippets of the review in Amazon's mention of the book in other places on the page. The reviewer is also notified of these clicks (but no identity, mind you). You can even leave a comment about a review, if you like. If you read a review, remember to click whether it aided your decision making.

5) Click "Tags Customers Association With This Product." 
Scroll down the page near the bottom and you'll see the above wording about tags. On Lowcountry Bribe's page, you'll see tags posted such as mystery series, fiction, bribe, low country, crime drama, investigation, romantic suspense, and many more. You can click that you agree with all the tags or click only on those you like. Regardless, leave some clicks.

Very simple and very brief. I make a point of addressing these items for every book I read now, even if I did not purchase it from Amazon. Don't think because an author has a hundred likes, a thousand reviews, or zero likes and two reviews, that yours aren't needed. Each is worth its weight in gold.


Civil War Horror (Sean McLachlan) said...

As an author, I have to say Hope has said it all. I love it when someone buys my book. I love it even more when someone does one or all the things listed here!

Amber Stults said...

Thank you for explaining how we can help authors on Amazon. I wasn't entirely sure what the tags were for.

Hope Clark said...

So glad to help! I try to do this with all the books I read now. I have two right now I'm going to review and tag today. Thanks . . . from all authors.

Lynn said...

Very informative, Hope. I'm sure other authors, like myself, weren't aware of some of these little tidbits.Going to share on Twitter if you don't mind?

Hope Clark said...

Please do, Lynn.