Tuesday, November 16, 2010


by Aggie Villanueva

You’ve made sure your book is listed on Amazon.com because everyone says you have to. So what’s the big deal? You’ve actually made more sales to your family/friends than on Amazon. There’s probably a good reason for that. You don’t know how to work Amazon’s expansive world of sales opportunities.

Most authors think Amazon’s Book section is just a huge listing of books for sale. Amazon.com far exceeds any book selling site such as Barnes & Noble because they have in place so many procedures to help sell your books for you that there are only a few real experts on the subject. Tip: search Amazon’s help files. And one of the best is the tagging system.

Remember the Tag Section?

Most writers don’t pay much attention to the tagging section of their catalog sales page, to their detriment. The importance of tagging books at Amazon sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. It is another Amazon way for author’s to get high visibility and absolutely free advertising to the millions who visit the customer tag communities.

With a little attention to your tagging section you can rank high in their communities without making one book sale. And you won’t lose that rank in four hours like you do in sales ranking. So what exactly is a tag?

The Anatomy of a Tag

Each tag enrolls your book in a customer tag community. Amazon.com has millions of customers who are passionate about a diverse range of interests, and your book or product fits into several of them. They share experiences and enthusiasm for favorite topics with these communities of like-minded (and sometimes different minded) people. Customer Community pages provide a home on Amazon.com for thousands of topics, with new ones being added every day by our customers. And they host millions of visits daily.

To learn what these communities are all about go to any book's Amazon sales page and click on the name of any tag attached to that book. It will take you straight to that tag's customer community.

Let’s use my book, The Rewritten Word: How to Sculpt Literary Art No Matter The Genre the paperback version, as an example.

Scroll down past my reviews to find the tagging section. the section titled, Tags Customers Associate with This Product. I’ve chosen the tag Writing Skills for illustration. Click on it to go to the community home page.

The screen shot above is a view of the Writing Skills Community Product Page. Notice the pages along the top where customers explore and participate: Home, Discussions, Lists & Guides and Contributors. Each lists the number of products, discussions, lists etc. beside the page title. My book, The Rewritten Word is in the second row on page one at the time of this writing.

The screen shot below shows the Home Page where you can find Forums and related discussions about the topic Writing Skills and at related communities.

You can become active in any of the discussions, and that’s a great practice. The screen shot below is of related discussions in addition to the Writing Skills own forum discussions. Participating puts you in touch with customers who are enthusiastic enough about your topic to get involved. That’s the best potential buyer. Be sure to always include a signature with links that lead people to your own book. I include the link to my Amazon Author Page, and to my book’s sales page.

Why Bother?

Why would you want to do any of this? Because the whole purpose of each tag is to lead customers to a community where they’ll find all the books and products tagged with the same word(s). This narrows the selling field greatly from just being listed among the millions of books in most Amazon browse categories. Customers who visit these smaller communities are passionate about your book’s topic, and therefore more likely to purchase.

This is a place where your book can rank #1 without those hard-to-make sales. But once you reach top ranking, showing up on the first two Product pages of active communities, this will results in sales.

If you want your book to be seen by possibly millions of customers passionate about your topic, work your Amazon tagging section.

For full details of how to utilize Amazon tags to gain these benefits, you may purchase the full industry report at Promotion a la Carte. http://promotionalacarte.com/shop/working-amazon-the-importance-of-amazon-tags-how-to-get-the-most-out-of-them/


Aggie’s Bio: For decades peers have described Aggie as a whirlwind who draws others into her vortex. And no wonder. She was a published author at Thomas Nelson before she was 30, and commenced to found local writers’ groups including, the Mid-America Fellowship of Christian Writers three–day conference, taught at nationwide writing conferences, and published numerous writing newsletters for various organizations. 

Writing since the late 70's, bestselling author Aggie Villanueva’s first novel, Chase the Wind, was published by Thomas Nelson 1983, and Rightfully Mine, Thomas Nelson, in 1986. Villanueva is also a critically acclaimed photographic artist represented by galleries nationwide, including Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ. Villanueva freelanced throughout the 80s and 90s, also writing three craft columns and three software review columns, for national magazines, and was featured on the cover of The Christian Writer Magazine October 1983.

Over the years she has worked on professional product launches with the likes of Denise Cassino, a foremost Joint Venture Specialist in the area of book launches.

Aggie founded Visual Arts Junction blog February 2009 and by the end of the same year it was voted #5 at Predators & Editors in the category “Writers’ Resource, Information & News Source” for 2009. 

Now Aggie has launched Promotion á la Carte, author promotional services where, guided by her experience and organizational/marketing savvy authors gain the most promotional bang for their buck.
For more information you can contact Villanueva at aggie@promotionalacarte.com. Or go directly to Promotion á la Carte.


  1. Why have I never heard of this? Don't I feel stupid. Thank you, Aggie and Joylene. This is great. I'm implementing these tools immediately.

  2. Greg, I'm so glad you found it helpful. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. While tags aren't a new concept -- they're used for our blogs and on photo sites like Flickr, too -- they don't get the attention they deserve. Thanks for a timely reminder.

  4. This is absolutely priceless information, to keep handy when my time comes.

    Thank you for sharing this!

  5. I had never heard of this, refernce Amazon, either. Thank you both, Aggie and Joylene. Aggie, what fun it was to see you on Joylene's blog. We obviously have a mutual friend! Have you had any art shows in the Albuquerque area lately?
    -Judy Avila

  6. Hi Careann. I'm glad this post helped. After you publish your book, you can incorporate all this stuff and then wave at me from George Stroumboulopoulos' TV interview.

  7. Glad this was helpful, Carol. When your time comes, I'll have plenty more.

  8. Judy, that is great to hear. I had no idea what agreeing with tags would do for my books either. I knew about tags, but when Aggie explained what exactly they do, I was over at Amazon faster than a fly on fly paper! No kidding.

  9. Great information. There's so much you can do with Amazon.

    I have to tweak my Amazon features.

  10. I'm glad you liked it, Karen. I've tweaked my Amazon features too and am anxious to see the results. Have a great week.

  11. Thank you for doing this post, Joylene. There is a lot of useful information here I wasn't aware of.

  12. Greg you're not stupid at all. None of us can figure out why Amazon doesn't publish detailed help files about all this. I've a fully detailed report on tags for purchase here for $2.47

    I am just finishing up another report about the importance of Amazon “Categories” to becoming a category bestseller at both Kindle and Amazon print books.

    It’s filled with things Amazon (nor ANYWHERE I've seen) never talks about but yet prevents authors from becoming category bestsellers who definitely would be if they knew.

    Using these simple guidelines that I learned the hard way, Monday my second book in 2010 reached bestseller status each in three categories. I have an intro article like this one here at my blog which covers only the Kindle store: http://www.visualartsjunction.com/?p=10694

    In a few days you will be able to purchase here the full details about gaining category bestseller in both Kindle & in the Amazon print bookstore. It's also $2.47: http://promotionalacarte.com/white-paper-reports/

  13. Joylene, thankx so much for inviting me. I've really enjoyed it here, and am enjoying all your visitors.

    Carol and C. Zampa, I'm honored to offer some helpful tips.

    Judy, hello. I remember you, your wrote to book about one of our few remaining wind talkers, didn't you? I'm not doing many exibitions this year (cancelled them all due to health problems). But I'm still represented by Dry Heat Gallery in Coralles. It's great to meet up here!

    Karen and Penny, I'm so glad I could help.

    If anyone has any questions just holler!

  14. Interesting post. Thanks for sharing this information.

  15. Hi Penny. I'm thrilled you enjoyed Aggie's post. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  16. Aggie, thanks so much for teaching one more aspect of marketing that I wasn't implementing properly. The best part is I'm not going to UN learn this stuff!

  17. Hi Susanne. Thank you for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. That's what it's all about.

  18. Hi Joylene and Aggie .. what an interesting post - it's great finding out about the back office of Amazon - that will help authors ..

    Thank you - have good weekends .. Hilary

  19. Hi Hilary. Glad you enjoyed the post. It's people like Aggie that make things simpler for all of us. I had no idea about tags before a mutual friend got me in contact with Aggie. Now I feel one-step closer to dealing with the mad rush of marketing. Have a wonderful weekend.

  20. Hi Joylene .. it'll help me learn about tags in general too .. cheers enjoy your weekend .. Hilary

  21. Just a reminder, everyone. It's Blog Jog Day on Sunday. Hope you can stop by.


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