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Monday, 2 January 2012

Ways to help promote a book without, necessarily writing a whole review.

Reviews are wonderful things and undoubtedly help a book sell, but the modern world is a very busy one and sometimes readers just don't have time to sit down and put sensible words together to write a full review. Hence here is a list of other things readers can do that will help a up a book's profile that take seconds to do.
Quick promotion options
  • Agree with all the tags on Amazon.

    Just under the Product details section on an Amazon UK page for a book, or just above the Customer Discusions section on Amazon US page, is the tags section. These tags help a book appear in search results and the more people agree with a tag the higher the book should come in the listing. It looks like this:


    Most authors will have already tagged their book with the tags they believe it should have and there is a link next to the tags which says Agree with these tags?. Click that and you will up the tag count for each of those tags and hence help the book be found by those searching Amazon.

    Apparently "Agree with all these tags" does not actually help the book, you have to click the tick boxes next to the actual tags. Trust Amazon to make it difficult. However, this still only takes a couple of seconds. Thanks.

    If you have time, please do this for all Amazon country sites because tags are country dependent (yep, silly I know).
  • Add your own tags on Amazon.

    If you think that the book should have a tag it does not yet have to reach a wider audience, add a new one. Just, please, make sure the tags apply or Amazon gets upset.
  • Like the book on Amazon.

    At the top of each book entry, just under the title and author there is a little like button. Click it to let the world know you liked the book. This is what it looks like when you have clicked the button.


    If you have time, please do this for all Amazon country sites because likes are also country dependent (yep, silly I know).
  • If you know a book is being given away on other sites for free (long term - i.e. it is a free title by the author), encourage Amazon to price match. Amazon only allow authors to put up books for a min of 99c, not give them away like other sites, so the only way to have a free title is for Amazon to price match, which they won't do without prompting.

    There is a link in the Product Details section which is called "tell us about a lower price". It will cause a window like this to come up:

    As you can see you will need the URL of the site where you saw it for free, for example Barnes and Nobel, and the price you saw it for.
  • If the book has a G+ page, circle it and share it with your friends.
  • If the book has a Facebook page, like it and share it with your friends.
  • Tweet about the book with a link to where it can be bought.
  • Rate it on Goodreads - you can add a star rating without adding a full review and you can always come back later and add the review when you have time.
  • Just mention the book to your friends. :)
Big name publishers really don't need a lot of help promoting their books, they have huge marketing machines behind each title, but when it comes to Indie Publishers and Indie Authors a minute of your time can mean so much. Upping a book's profile can mean the difference between ten sales and thousands; price matching on Amazon can mean the difference between twenty downloads and two thousand all of which will up the profile of the author and help them sell their other books.
We live in a world of social networking and the independent book producers rely on these networks. The truth is good titles deserve to rise to the top, but the world has to hear about them first. Indies are fighting against the huge corporate machines that promote books like Harry Potter and Twilight, so please, if you have a minute or two to spare, help out the little guys.

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