by Sherrie Wilkolaski

It’s hard to find a needle in a haystack, not to mention a diamond in the rough, but if you look hard enough, you’ll find that Amazon offers a menu of free marketing tools for authors to promote their books.  These are some real gems and the investment will last a lifetime.

Have you done all that you can to position your book on Amazon to compete with other titles?  Let’s do a quick recap on the top 7  free Amazon tools you can use to market your book. (Note: if you click on each of the 7 items listed below, you’ll be taken to a more in-depth article to learn more.)

  1. Amazon Author Central. Amazon provides a FREE author page to each and every author who has an ISBN and listed on their site.  It’s true!  It’s a great marketing tool to help authors, better market their books. Get your account set-up as soon as your book is listed on their site, as it can take 5-7 days (or more) for your new page to go live.
  2. Amazon Forums. Online discussions can be a driving force to exposing your book to a new audience.  Amazon has such a variety of forum discussions, you’re sure to find one (or start one) that you can use to mention your book title.  The people hanging out in Amazon’s forums are typically readers and authors.  Be polite and don’t just push your book, join the discussions.  Quick tool you can post instantly.
  3. Amazon Keyword Tags.  Make your book more discoverable by using Amazon’s tagging feature.  It can deliver almost immediate results if you do it properly.  Look at what tags (i.e. historical fiction, vegan cookbook, etc.) other books in your genre are using and then tweak yours to compete.  Put yourself in a readers shoes, what words would they use to find a book of your genre on Amazon.  Get your book into the running.  The more keyword tags you have, the better.  Quick tool can be done immediately.
  4. Amazon’s Listmania!  Another book discovery tool is Amazon’s Listmania! This gizmo will position your book amongst other books in your genre, simply by making a list and including your book in the mix.  Be selective and true to the books you include on your list, it must make sense.  It’s easy to assemble your list, spend your time doing the research on which books you want to include on your list.
  5. Amazon Search Inside the Book. Readers looking for a new book to read want to be a able to flip through the first few pages of a book to see what it’s all about.  Be sure you utilize the search inside the book feature to give your potential readers a sneak peak of what is inside.  This tool does take time to get approval from Amazon and you should have your personal Amazon page set-up as a first step.  It can take several weeks before you get approval for you to upload your file and then you’ll have to go through the submission process.  It will be worth the wait.
  6. Amazon Marketplace.  This article caused some serious controversy with some publishers who couldn’t believe I would recommend using Amazon’s Marketplace to authors (and publishers) to help promote book sales.  I’ve been doing it for years and it does work.  If you don’t have the time or patience to actually manage your own online  book sales, then this option is not for you.  If you want to offer books have more freedom to sell your books and offer autographed copies, consider Amazon’s Marketplace.
  7. Amazon “So you’d like to guide…”  This free Amazon tool is ideal for books that have a niche and will work even if you don’t.  The “so you’d like to guide” tool will get you thinking outside of the box.  It’s another form of online publishing in a sense and includes the ability to include your book (product) along with other simple products sold on Amazon, bundling everything together.  Great exposure if you do it up right!

These are just a few free marketing tools that Amazon has to offer. Use them wisely.  Please post below and let us know which Amazon tools you’re using to market and promote you title.

Best of luck to you!

Sherrie Wilkolaski is a public relations and book marketing expert for independent authors and traditional publishers. Her unique balance of real-world experience as a best-selling author and her insider knowledge into the mechanics of the publishing process has allowed her to help thousands of authors successfully translate their creations into published works of art. Her boutique publishing house style draws authors to her—it’s the measurable results in book sales that keep them loyal. A former Director of Publishing Services at Lulu and Director of radio show, “The Publishing Insiders.” Currently, she is a columnist for Press Pass and a variety of other publishing sites. She is a consultant and publishing services broker for a variety of small to mid-sized publishers, including Infinity Publishing. In December 2011, she launched a traditional publishing house, with modern-day twist, Pressque Publishing with partner Ellie Maas Davis. She is the author of best-selling book, “How to Start a Wedding Planning Business” and the “Cookies and Cocktails” series.  She has several books coming out in the new year and will also be launching her radio program, PubSmart.