Not many first-time authors know how important their also-boughts are on Amazon sales page.
I didn’t either.
When you’re a new author, and your friends are published authors, your also-boughts probably reflect that because you’ll buy each other’s books. Chances are your friends write in different genres so your also-boughts are full of steampunk, urban fantasy, and fantasy when you write romance. We laugh and take screenshots because Amazon has linked us to our Twitter friends.
That’s less than ideal because this is Amazon telling you they don’t know where your book goes on the virtual bookshelf. This is bad.
If Amazon doesn’t know what your book is, they can’t recommend it to readers in the correct genre.
This is why when someone on Twitter says they have birthday money and want to buy a couple of indie books, I get mad at all the people who try to entice them into buying their books. When it comes to Amazon, the biggest book retailer in the United States, a sale isn’t just a sale. I stopped advertising my books on writer Twitter a long time ago.
Why do you care what the also-boughts are on your books product page? Because when Amazon knows what genre your book is, Amazon will put your book in other authors also-boughts. This is really powerful. This is like free advertising. Amazon recommending your book on another books’ sales pages? Yes, please.
This is why you don’t want just anyone buying your books. You want readers in your genre buying your books.
This also goes for the first wave of sales that go to your family and your friends. Don’t ask them to buy if that’s not what they read and buy from Amazon on a regular basis. I know it’s hard, but training Amazon to know what you’re selling is beneficial in other ways. Mainly, ads.
Did you know Amazon won’t show your ad, no matter how much you bid, if the algorithms say no one is buying it? Amazon wants to make money. If they can’t make money selling your book, they’ll bury it.
But, you might say, they’re getting my money from ads with cost per click, right?
Yes, but that’s only 50% of what they can make if people are clicking and not buying. Amazon wants their 30% of your book royalties, too, and they go with the sure thing.
Training Amazon to know what genre you publish in is half the battle. That’s why you hear from established authors that say you shouldn’t genre-hop until you have an established audience.
Loading your book into Yasiv if to see if your book is connected to others in your genre is a good start. If it’s not, buy some promos. Your first order of business is getting readers of your genre to buy your book.
The second is to write more books.
The 3rd is to stop asking just anybody to buy it. If you’re hoping for reviews, give your book away.
You want Amazon to show your book to people who read in your genre. They’ll even email readers suggestions of books they might enjoy. We all get those emails. It takes a little work, but in the end it can be worth it.
What are my also-boughts like?
All of Nothing‘s also-boughts are solid. It’s my biggest seller (which isn’t saying much) but I’ve done the most ads for it.
The Years Between Us needs some work, apparently, and I’ll be doing a promo for it for my birthday coming up. I still need to change out the blurb though. This isn’t good, and I’ll be taking my own advice.
Want to learn more about also-boughts? Read Chris Fox’s Six Figure Author. He goes in depth with also-boughts and the Amazon algorithms.
What to hear more about how Amazon sells your book? Listen to an interview with author Russell Blake and Michael Beverly who runs AMS Ad Werks, an Amazon Ad management company. Listen to Joanna’s podcast here (or read the transcript).
Michael was also on the Self-Publishing Show with Mark Dawson and James Blatch. You can listen to the podcast, or watch them on YouTube.
That’s all I have for today! With the holidays coming, I can’t guarantee I’ll stay on a consistent schedule, but I’ll try.
I hope you all have a splendid week ahead!
Great post, Vania! Very helpful!
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thanks for reading, Felicia!
I’ve never paid attention to my also boughts. I honestly didn’t think I had any control over that. I know what I buy (mostly romance) so hopefully I’m not screwing up things in that regard. Like you, I don’t drop my links in those Twitter threads, but I do advertise on Twitter using hashtags with something related to romance. Still trying to narrow down how to find my target audience for sure. Great post!
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Thanks, Meka! It might take a while to get your also-boughts to where they need to be, but that is something you can control. 🙂 buy some promos LOL