Secrets of the Amazon System

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New authors are always asking questions about Amazon, and the way Amazon works. It can be confusing to try and navigate all the intricate details of Amazon—but with this blog article I’ve tried to answer a few of the more commonly asked questions as simply as possible. Let’s learn some of the secrets of the Amazon sales machine.

Customer Power At Work

Publishers do not have any control over “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” feature, but you, the customer, can. This feature is another of Amazon’s logarithms, and it’s all about the shopping cart. You can encourage your readers to buy a book you want to be associated along with yours, and that can get you linked up with a heavier-hitting author. There are workarounds to a lot of Amazon’s formulas. Use them to your advantage. It can help sales.

Working With Cost Control

Amazon is effectively cost-controlling your book. If you’re a KDP author (self-published through Amazon), then you know that you get a much nicer cut (70 percent as opposed to 30 percent) of your sale price if you price your book between $2.99 and $9.99. I’ve said in previous posts that I think this is akin to price fixing. And even though countless people have made compelling cases to me about why they will never buy an e-book for over $9.99 (and I get it), it’s important to note the power of Amazon’s conditioning. We do not believe an e-book is worth more than $9.99 because Amazon has trained us to believe it’s not worth more than $9.99. Nothing to be done about it; I just feel compelled to bring this up again.

How Author Central Works…

You need to claim your book via Author Central. Many authors know this and somehow forget to do it. When you publish a new book, you must claim it. Claim books you’ve contributed to as well, if you can. Claiming books on Amazon is like collecting chips; you’re building your little empire and making your bio page more robust. Amazon Central is an extension of your author platform and should be tended to as such. Update your photo, bio, and other information as regularly as you would your website.

Sales and Information

The sales information tab inside Author Central is not an accurate measure of sales. When you go into Author Central, they give you access to Nielsen Bookscan ratings, a helpful tool. However, Bookscan is not a measure of Amazon sales, nor is it a measure of overall sales. It accounts for approximately 70 percent of through-the-register sales. It’s not something authors can or should use to compare their sales against, though it can be a good general gauge for how well your book is performing.

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