Desirée Zicko
Desirée Zicko
Books Channel Marketing Manager, Wiley
is frequently the first place book-buying customers turn to for
information on all sorts of new books, from the latest bestselling
fiction and non-fiction to professional and scholarly texts. As an
author, or simply as an informed consumer, you may have wondered about
pricing and discoverability on Amazon. Here are the top 3 questions we
hear from our authors:

  1. How does Amazon set the price for my book? Pricing
    for books is controlled by Amazon and is based on a number of factors
    including inventory levels, competition, bestseller status, and
    promotions. You may notice variation on the price from time to time;
    this is not unusual.
  2. How does Amazon decide on sales rankings? The
    Amazon Best Sellers calculation is based on Amazon sales and is updated
    hourly to reflect recent and historical sales of every item sold on
  3. How does the Amazon search engine work? For
    general keyword queries, Amazon searches for the words in the title,
    author, and subject fields. This makes it extremely important to have
    accurate data on the site. The search engine also pulls in products with
    appropriate keywords which you provided with copy for your book.

is the building block of your book’s unique Amazon page, designed to
provide customers with the most relevant information. At Wiley, the
publishing team works behind the scenes to make sure your book’s
critical meta-data is correct and ready to feed out to Amazon,six months
ahead of publication. Your book’s meta-data consists of many pieces of
information (including the cover, copy, endorsements, bibliographic
information, and the files for the “Look Inside the Book” function).

your book’s product page is set up, there’s still a key role for the
author to play. Through a few simple steps you can help increase your
book’s discoverability and sales on Amazon:

1. Populate your keyword search. Improve
the effectiveness of online search results and your book’s ranking on
Amazon (and other online retailers) by suggesting keywords or search
terms that apply to your book’s title or topic. We can add up to 100
words (with a limit of 2,000 characters) for each book.

2. Encourage customer reviews. Customer
reviews can be very influential to potential consumers. If you know
people who have read your book (including colleagues, clients, and
friends) consider asking them to write a review. Remember, it doesn't
matter where the book was purchased, if it was a gift, or if the
reviewer just borrowed it for a weekend. If someone feels moved to write
a review, and they are a registered Amazon customer, they are welcome
to do so. Writing and posting a review is quick and easy, and often has a
considerable impact on sales.

For best results, reviewers should follow Amazon’s General Review Creation Guidelines.
Note, Amazon reviews can only be made by customers with an active
Amazon account within their specific country. Amazon best practice and
review guidelines are generally consistent for each region. For more
information, visit your local Amazon website (
US, CA, UK, DE, CN).

Bear in mind, once a review is posted to Amazon it is there indefinitely.
There is no expiration date on customer reviews. Amazon reserves the
right to restrict or remove any and all uses or Content that they
determine in their sole discretion to be harmful to their systems,
network, reputation, or goodwill, to other Amazon customers, or to any
third party, as outlined in Amazon’s non-exhaustive list of prohibited
conduct and content.[1]

3. Create an Author Page. Help your readers get to know you and your books better by setting up your own page on Amazon’s Author Central. Your
Author Page can be customized to display your biography, photos, as
well as videos and links to social media. Check out these examples:
William Irwin, Galit Shmueli, and Vaclav Smil.

√ To start your own page, set up your Author Central account if you haven’t already done so. In
Author Central, click the Profile tab. You’ll see sections for adding
or changing your biography, photos, videos, speaking or other events,
and blog feeds.
Click the add or edit link next to a section. Instructions appear, along with space to add information.

if you don’t add information to a section, that section does not appear
on the Author Page. Sections are always available in Author Central so
you can add or change the information later. It can take up to 5 days
for an Author Page to appear on Amazon

4 . Know how reviews are ranked. Reviews
are spotlighted, or moved to the top of the list of reviews, based on
how well the review was written and how helpful it was deemed by Amazon
customers. Spotlight Reviews are calculated on a daily basis for most
items in Amazon’s catalog with customer reviews.

rankings are calculated through usage of Amazon’s ‘Was this review
helpful to you?’ Yes/No prompt. Amazon customers can also comment on
other reader reviews using the “Comment” link next to “Was this review
helpful to you?”

rankings are the simplest way to get a good review of your book moved
to the top of the list and a bad review moved to the bottom.

5. Link to your product. Remember to add the link to your book’s Amazon product page to your email signature, blog, and/or website.