“You can follow books up the charts on a piece of elastic.” Part 2 of interview with Amazon.co.uk best-seller Mark Edwards.

In part 2 of this interview (find part 1 here), I asked best-selling author Mark Edwards:

“Before the book deal with Harper Collins, how did you get your books onto no 1 & no 2 spot on Amazon.co.uk?”

Besides guest blogging and interacting on forums, there was another strategy that Mark had mentioned on Joanna Penn’s site The Creative Penn: tweaking his Amazon meta-date and product description.

 In this 10-minute section, Mark tells us exactly how he did it. If you can’t watch it, find notes below the video.

(Oh and look out for Mark’s cat!)

Notes

– To improve sales, Mark experimented with tweaking Amazon’s meta-data and product description
– He had 10 years marketing and copywriting background (for non-fiction, not fiction)
– Learned a lot about copywriting through day job. There are a few things that are super important:

  • Cover Design – thumbnail, tell customer what kind of book it is at a glance.
  • Product description

– Proved this – with Killing Cupid, kept tweaking book description all the time.

(Mark’s cat enters!)

– Talks about getting on Also Bought Bars – Customers who bought X also bought Y – this is how you can shoot up the charts.

– You can follow books up the charts on a piece of elastic.

– Through luck, got attached to top 10 books. Thousands of people everyday were seeing Killing Cupid on these bars. but they weren’t climbing the charts like they should be.

– Either because of a) Premise of book (too late to fix) or b) Cover or Product Description

– Tried re-writing product description

“Literally within an hour, sales doubled”.

– Went into the top 100 and didn’t stop!

He re-wrote the product description by studying the blurbs and PDs of top 10 books.

The common themes were:

  • Succinct description of plot, no waffle. People care about the story.
  • Needs to go straight into the hook.
  • First line is your 15 seconds pitch.
  • One sentence to hook people in.
  • Each sentence after that has got to make people feel excited.

People’s time is most precious commodity – that’s what we are competing for.

1 in 50 book descriptions will excite us enough to make a purchase and the “I want to give my time to this book.” feeling.

Creating that intrigue is the most important thing.

Mark Edwards is the author of Killing Cupid and Catch Your Death, which he co-authored with Louise Voss. Through his site IndieIQ, Mark is offering product description critiques, or he can write you one from scratch.



Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!

Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.