Friday, May 17, 2013

Using Your Also-Boughts to Find Natural Marketing Connections for Your Books

One critical element to the ongoing steady sales of your books is the pairings Amazon makes between your title and other books in the online store.

Whether you are just interested in what books are bought alongside with yours, or if you are trying to evaluate whether or not your own books are paired well with your other titles, Yasiv.Com is a nifty tool for reviewing your also-bought chain, if you know how to use it.

The also-boughts are the list of books on your product page on Amazon. For my novel Baby Dust, they look like this:

If your book is new, it may not yet have any also-boughts. If it sells slowly at first, it may have also-VIEWS instead. One of my books for kids alternates between also-boughts and also-views.

Over at Yasiv.Com, you can type your book into their tool and see the initial chain of books that are connected to yours.

It shows 53 connections to Baby Dust. The arrows give you an idea of what books point to each other, but you'll notice no arrows are pointing to Baby Dust. It would appear at first glance that nothing sends you to my book.
I know this isn't true, because sales are steady, and I know Amazon is keeping that humming via also-boughts. So I typed in another one of the books that I could see on my chart. It took a few tries, but I finally found one that showed my book, and this chart gave me a better picture of the also-boughts leading to and away from my book. Remember that you can click and drag on the chart to move around and see books that have fallen off the page.
Once you see the also-bought connections, you can explore further to see how those other books are doing in the rankings, and strengthen the connections by cross promoting.
One of my favorite ways (cheap, easy, effective and FUN) to promote books is to contact authors whose books are already being connected to mine based on buying patterns and have us promote to each other's readerships.
We can't possibly write enough books to satisfy our readers (I'm doing one per year that ties into this readership) and so it makes sense to find authors whose books are a natural fit and sell to each other's audience when we can. Using our mailing lists (try MailChimp for a free way to get started), give aways (share a Rafflecopter), and social media, we can spread the word about each other's books and feel confident that their readers are also our readers.
Deanna Roy is the author of numerous fiction and nonfiction on issues of finding love and building a family.