a website that sells a whole lot of books

When will my book go up on Amazon?

Something like a year before your book comes out, but it won’t have a cover at that point. It’ll have a on-sale date listed, and this will probably be the first you hear of your book’s on-sale date. You probably won’t know your book has gone up on Amazon unless you have a Google alert set up or book blogger tells you.

When will my book be available for pre-order on Amazon?

Probably about a year before your book releases, but it varies.

Will my book be released as an ebook on Amazon or elsewhere?

Probably, but you’d have to ask your editor to know for sure.

Should I encourage people to buy my book on Amazon?

People are going to buy books where they want to buy books, and Amazon will probably only charge about $10 for your book until a couple of months after it comes out, and even after that they won’t charge full price. But it’s great to support independent bookstores as much as possible, because they will hand-sell your book to their customers, and they will stock your book on their shelves much longer than a chain bookstore will. They also give back money to communities.

How can I get more Amazon reviews?

The more reviews you have on Amazon, the more your book will be recommended to Amazon customers. Some writers say that you need 25 reviews to up your visibility on Amazon; some say the magic number is 50. So how to get those reviews? You can try asking your friends and family to put up reviews for your book on Amazon after the book’s on-sale date, but Amazon has some nefarious algorithms that figure out when someone who knows you posts a review–and they will remove that review without warning or explanation. You can do an ARC tour in which everyone reviews each other’s books on Amazon, but technically it’s against Amazon’s policy for you to give out an ARC or finished copy of your book in exchange for an Amazon review. It’s also against their terms for you to do a giveaway of your book for people who have reviewed it on Amazon, or even for you to release bonus content in exchange for your book reaching a certain number of reviews. So… good luck with that.

What is Amazon’s Author Central?

You can sign up for Author Central on Amazon’s site to get access to sales data about your book. Author Central uses data from BookScan, which does not report all book sales (see this post). You can also create an author page using Author Central; this page is linked to your book’s page on Amazon and allows readers to get notifications about when you have new books for sale. The author page can also feed in your blog posts and display your upcoming events. Beware: stronger authors than you have gotten sucked into obsession over their Amazon sales rank and now regret their affair with Author Central.