Best Advice from Amazon on Marketing Your Book

Amazon is famous for its marketing savvy and it is generously sharing it with writers if only you know where to look for it. Yes, because it's where you wouldn't think of looking, on their CreateSpace platform. I recently stumbled upon it as I was uploading files for my newly released Luna Rising, the Full Saga. And they have one surprising tip...

Before I get to it, take a look at their "marketing central" page here:

Tons of articles and videos, you could spend a whole week roaming in there! 

And now let me get to the one piece of advice that floored me: use your book's dedication to target your readers

Usually we think of dedicating our books to family or friends, that's the accepted, standard form. But Amazon - don't we know it? - loves to break all the rules. And their advice is to dedicate your book to the people who should be interested in reading your book! 


That's exactly what one Amazon-published author, Maria Murnane, did and she reports in detail how she did it for her novel and with what surprising results, read here. 

In a nutshell, the steps required: 

 1. identify your primary reader; in Murnane's case a young, single, professional urban woman who can't figure out what to do with her life; 

2. encourage your primary reader to read the novel by dedicating it to her; here's the dedication she used: "to any woman who has ever been on a really bad date or realized halfway through the workday that her skirt is on backward." Humorous and it works!

3. follow through with all the usual steps of online marketing, including Facebook and Twitter; she did that in the name of her protagonist - thus attracting flocks of young, single, urban women who identified with the novel's main character.

So I thought I'd try the same approach for my novel A Hook in the Sky that I have just totally revised and augmented (20% more) with new material and a new title. Now it's called Crimson Clouds (a contemporary romance, as the new cover shows). 

I rewrote the dedication - originally it was only to my husband. Now, it makes clear who the book is intended for (hey, a touch of humor  doesn't hurt):


To any woman who has ever had a retired husband moaning at home and to any man who’s discovered the charm of Love the second time around.

And to Giuseppe who makes everything possible for me - with all my love. 

PS. Giuseppe is my husband - without his unrelenting support, I would never find the time or the energy to write! 

I. Latest news about my books:

  • Crimson Clouds, a totally revamped version of Hook in the Sky, with new material is now available on Amazon, in printed version here (for only $14.99 - Note: the old version, A Hook in the Sky, is retired, and some back copies may be available at $10.80, but I don't recommend it. The old version does not contain the part of the story told from the wife's point of view, it is therefore very limited.)

(Note: the cover photo is a sunset over Lake Trasimeno, a major setting in the book - though it also takes place in New York, London, Rome and Paris)

ebook available here in the Kindle Store (only $5.99 in the US, $6.97 in Europe) ...and on Smashwords, here.

  • Luna Rising,the Full Saga, (volumes 1-3) now available in print:

From Amazon's CreateSpace, here, for $18.00 - the price further reduced by Amazon to $15.72,  a fantastic deal for a 450 page book! 

Luna Rising, volume 1, The Circle of Conversation: the ebook is perma free on Smashwords and all major e-platforms (except Amazon so far):

To get your free copy, click here

II. Recent Blog Posts I really liked and found useful:
  • From Anne R. Allen's blog: The Rules of Writing...and Why Not to Follow Them, to read click here; at last, a breath of freedom and common sense!

  • From Kristen Lamb's blog: Are Some Humans Born to Bully? Born to be Victims? Can it Be Changed? To read, click here; it's no surprise that I was particularly intrigued, my whole Luna Rising series is focused on the weight of heredity and genetic memory, i.e. the role of DNA according to this new branch of science, epigenetics...

  • From William Petrocelli (author, attorney and bookseller) on the Huffington Post: Some High-Tech Firms Say Writers Gain from Seeing Readers' E-book Files. They're Wrong. To read, click here; fascinating stuff about reading habits that websites such as Scribd, Oyster and Entitle can mine from their subscribers...very little of any real use!

  • From Alexis C. Madrigal on the Atlantic: How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood - To understand how people look for movies, the video service created 76,897 micro-genres. Let's face it, this matters because Netflix is a powerhouse in the home entertainment industry. To read article, click here. It would be amazing if Amazon ever applied Netflix's algorithms to books! And by the way, you'll learn the power of tagging - it was an eye-opener for me.
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