Writing "So You’d Like to" Guides at Amazon

Amazon wants to sell your book. The more books they sell the more money they make. Plus, they’ve become known as “the place” to find a book you cannot find elsewhere (often because small or self-publishers are welcomed!)

Have you taken advantage of their “So You Want to” Guides? For nearly every page you read a book there will be a Listmania list (more on this later) and a “So You Want to…” Guide. The guide is an article that tells the person how to do something and often links to several books and/or resources that people can use.

When do you have time to go over and write articles for Amazon? For years I put this off, sure that it needed to be a perfect guide and extremely informative. The truth is, the topic is important (it should be something to do with your book title) and it should be brief enough that people will actually read it. If they want more information they can click “Read more guides by this person.”

As I am writing articles to be distributed free on the internet, one of my stops to post my article is now Amazon.com’s So You Want to Guide. The article may need a bit of adaptation, but usually not. It’s more a matter of rewriting the title. For example, an article called, “6 Ways to Get Past Your Anger About Your Illness” becomes “So You Want to Get Over Your Anger When Living with Illness?”

The amazing thing about these guides is that they will be there indefinately. I’ve not heard of Amazon purgin these guides yet! And over time, you can be sure that hundreds if not thousands of people who are searching for books on your topic will read them. Though your book may not come up in the first search on your keywords, you can write a So You Want to Guide with your keywords, and specifically targeting people who are looking for your information. A book on how to maage your finances is filled with dozens of guides; at least one per chapter; most likely 5 per chapter. For example, So You Want to Pay Off Credit Card Debit, So You Want to Teach Your Children to Save Money, So You Want Learn How to Make Good Investments in Fifteen Minutes. Get the idea?

To find Amazon’s guide submissions area and guidelines, go to the following web site http://www.amazon.com/gp/yourstore/home/ . If you are not signed in you will have to but I think you will then see your wish lists, listmania lists, and if you scroll down to the right you will see your So You Want to Guides. I currently have 9 guides I’ve created in about 5 weeks that have received 69 views–not an overwhelming amount, but the traffic was so targeted that I am eager to see how this will impact my sales over at Amazon.

I always quote from one of my own books, if not in the article itself, than in the footer, and you are allowed to put a link into it. But make sure the guide is helpful and not too self-promotional, because people will see it for what it is. An extra benefit is that you are able to go back and edit them at any time. At least get something up and then, as you find new resources or have new advice, go in and add it to your guide (especially if new books come out on the topic)

Now… go for it!

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Lisa and Joel Copen have a variety of experience in founding a nonprofit that receieves over 80,000 visitors per month, music and sound editing, web design, and book marketing and publishing. They look forward to your ideas to make the series of ebooks on book promotion a practical tool to help you sell more books!

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