As I mentioned previously, my debut novel, The Trouble With Being God, is now available for purchase in both paperback and kindle format on Amazon.com.  Now that the book is up, I’m continuing my self-publishing marketing experiment, and trying out different methods of social viral marketing within Amazon itself, currently focusing on tagging.

As most of you are probably aware, tagging is the simple practice of adding relevant keywords to a product, similar to the way meta keywords were used in web pages. Instead of these tags being added by the creator, however, the tags are added by other members of the community, as it is assumed that tags from outsiders are much more relevant than those created by a self-serving advertiser/creator.

Amazon.com uses tags for their products as a way to easily filter what is relevant in a specific category.  They are primarily used within different groups on the site, as well as community discussions and cross-sell opportunities (tags on their listmania lists are used quite a bit in this manner).

So, what I’m doing now is focusing on getting my reader base to tag The Trouble With Being God with appropriate tags, such as “murder,” “crime,” philosophy,” “thriller,” “suspense,” and other tags they find relevant for the book to help drive the book up in relevancy in Amazon’s rankings.  Simply put: the more times a book (or other product) is tagged with a specific term, the more relevant it appears to be to that topic on the Amazon website.

My main interest here (other than selling books, of course) is to see if ranking high within specific categories has any direct influence on sales. Will my book sell more due to people finding it through these separate categories?  I obviously can’t track directly within Amazon, but I should be able to see how things progress as I receive more tag votes.

So, if you’d like to take part in this experiment, I encourage you to stop by the product listing for the paperback edition of The Trouble With Being God and check the boxes next to existing tags (or add tags of your own).  As I move farther up the list, I’ll be sure to give updates hereas to how this all works out.

Obviously there are other methods of increasing ranking on Amazon, or at least of increasing sell-through rates, such as reviews on the amazon site, reviews elsewhere, direct suggestions via word-of-mouth, etc. – and I plan to see how these other methods work for promoting the self-published author eventually as well… but for now my main focus is on the tagging system.

Do you have any suggestions of marketing approaches you’ve tried, or would like to try?  If so, send them along and I’d be glad to do some testing to see what the best methods of promotion for self-published or indie publishers are.

Amazon Tags: The Latest Book Marketing Experiment
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