Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Marketing Successfully on Amazon by Miralee Ferrell

Here on Wednesday Writer’s Journey, we’ve talked about the necessity for a writer to be involved in marketing his or her work. Today we welcome author Miralee Ferrell as she shares how to utilize Amazon.

Marketing Successfully on Amazon

There are a number of different ways to market your book on Amazon, but today we’ll just look at one. First, let’s review some basic information on Amazon’s ranking system. Books are ranked according to category. There are over 8 million books listed, so yours will fall under the category of all books…then it could be broken down like this: Books, religious, historical, romance, depending on the genre. If your book is ranked at #500,000, that means there are 499,999 books selling better than yours in that particular time period….but it’s also selling better than 7,500,000 other books. Let’s say it’s ranked #20,000 in overall ‘books’. It might be as low as #35 by the time it hits the romance category of historical religious books. Anyone looking at the top 50 selling historical romance (Christian fiction) books will see yours. Not bad, huh?

Obviously, the lower the number, the higher you are on the chart. So, how to move up in the ranking faster? One way is through a high number of good reviews—and not just any reviews, but preferably, ones by prominent Amazon reviewers. Many of these people have a following—readers who consistently watch their reviews and trust them—but it’s not always easy to convince a reviewer to read your book. Here’s a suggestion. It’s time consuming, but can pay off if done properly.

Go through the list of the top 500-1000 reviewers (or more). Many won’t have contact info, so you’ll have to narrow the list to those who do. Then, target the reviewers who might actually read your book. If you write Christian romance, there’s no sense in sending to someone who consistently reviews witchcraft, horror, or other hardcore books. Once you compile your list, prepare a professional, courteous email. Ask the reviewer if they would consider reading your book if you send them a complimentary copy. Offer to sign it, and above all, do not insist that they do a review. Pushy authors will get their letters discarded, or very possibly get a poor review. Here’s a sample letter:

Dear Joe,

I got your contact information from your recent Amazon review of (name a book that’s similar to what you write—it shows the reviewer you have a logical reason for picking them) and thought you might be interested in my inspirational fiction book releasing soon, Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon. I’d love to send you a copy and if you’re interested, I’d be grateful if you decide to post a review. I’ll send you a brief summary if you’d like, and if you send me your mailing address, I’ll drop a copy in the mail. Of course, there’s no obligation. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Above all, be courteous and don’t assume they’ll jump at the chance to review your book. If they do, be sure to send a thank you note after the review has posted.

Miralee Ferrell lives with Allen, her husband of 37 yrs in Washington state, where she enjoys horseback riding with her daughter, puttering in her flower beds, reading and writing Christian fiction. Miralee is active in her church where she serves on staff ministering to women. She and Allen plan to spend a few months each year on their sailboat.

Web site:

You can find all four of Miralee's books on or Finding Jeena (the sequel to The Other Daughter) releases in April of 2010, and Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon, releases Feb. 1st.

Amidst a backdrop of thievery and murder in historic Bridal Veil, Oregon, a schoolteacher is torn between the memories of a distant love and the man who could be her future. Margaret Garvey had given her heart to Nathaniel, but he left town four years before. Now she's giving love another chance, but her decision to build a new life with Andrew is shaken when Nathaniel steams back into Bridal Veil on a riverboat to work at the nearby sawmill. When disaster strikes the town and threatens the welfare of its citizens, Margaret will be faced with the most important choice of her life.


  1. I do love me some Miralee Ferrell, and this was a great post. Thanks for sharing it with us, Dawn! I actually posted on a similar subject today on another blog, and it occurs to me that even as a 15-year publicist, there's so much to learn from other writers. I'd never even thought of this method of targeting Amazon. Thanks, Miralee!

  2. Miralee, thanks for the informative post! I especially appreciated your explaining Amazon's ranking system. I thought it had only to do with sales numbers in a certain time period. I didn't know it had to do with attention as well. Thanks for helping make sense of it and for the great tip on contacting reviewers.


  3. Hi Sandie and Annette,

    Thank you both of dropping by and glad I could help with a little info on Amazon. I've personally seen my numbers go up when I've gotten good reviews...I think it ties in to people reading the reviews and ordering, rather than the numbers going up just because of the review. Good reviews tend to encourage sales. Blessings on you both!!


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