Amazon: How to get your book to appear alongside the Best Sellers [Winning blog idea July]

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Each month BookMachine offers a community member, with great ideas, the chance to write on the site. July’s winner was Richard McCartney, with his tips on making it onto the Best Sellers list.

Ever looked at a blockbuster book in your book genre and wished, “if only I could get my book to appear along side it?” Maybe you are a historical fiction writer wanting your book to appear next to Philip Kerr’s latest novel, or a romance novelist wanting your book next to Nicholas Sparks’ Safe Haven.

Well, this wish is not so difficult to achieve once you understand the inner workings of the Amazon website. If you are an unknown author, you’ll probably agree that you are not likely to get your book to appear alongside these successful books.

But what about the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” section in Amazon? This is a very visible feature within the Amazon store, and more influential than many might imagine. Amazon shows this feature because it knows it works, noticing that readers tend to buy similar books.

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So what can you do to get your book also featured in the “customers who bought this item also bought” area?

The answer is incredibly simple: get people to buy your book as well as the book you want your book to appear next to in the “customers who bought this item also bought” section. So you require two actions here – first you figure out which books you want to target, and secondly you get a group of people to buy both books. In my experience it takes about 4 to 7 days for the results to be updated on the Amazon website, so do wait a little time after the purchases have been made.

But what if you don’t know enough people to buy both books at the same time? Of course, this is when you need help from your fans or street team. Failing that, you can reach out to me for further channels in which to find buyers for both books.

The next question is how many people do I need to buy both these books for this to take affect on the Amazon website? Yes, this is a little trickier but by looking at the Amazon Sales Rank of the book you are targeting over the last few days (yes, there are tools that can do this for you), you can pretty much work out which of the books you wish to target.

I have been quite amazed by how easy this is to do, and many of the authors I have helped with this task have been more than delighted by the results. After all, just to see your book next to a famous author or novel is worth a lot in itself. If you are a writer of fictional spy novels, imagine your book appearing along side classic fictional characters like Jason Bourne. Or if you write cookbooks, imagine your book along side famous TV chefs like Jamie Oliver. Imagine no longer, because with this feature within Amazon, you can make it happen.

In his search for a quiet life, Richard McCartney avoids all the really interesting jobs many people add to make their biographies look interesting. He is founder of KindleBookReview and KindleBookPromotions, sites that help authors promote their books. He is also author of The Unofficial Authors Guide To Buying And Selling Your Book On Amazon, and Self-Publishing: The Secret Guide To Becoming A Best Seller. In his blogs, he offers advice on “Book Marketing” especially on popular sites like Amazon. He can be reached at

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  1. Wow. I didn’t know it would be easy to achieve this especially for authors who are still new to the publishing world. This could be a great help in order for their work to be more recognized and be put in the spotlight. Thanks for this informative article. 🙂

  2. I have read both of Richard McCartney’s books and have followed one author who did exactly what he taught. That author is now featured between Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games books, and he has only one book published. Richard teaches simple principles, but it is the difference between being ranked near the top or where no one can find your book. I recommend both his books to all my author friends.

  3. Highly recommended article for authors and marketing agencies on how to access the simple marketing tool to feature on Amazon with higher visibility.

    Scarlett Jensen

  4. I found this article to very informative. I didn’t realize the process was so easy to achieve. A great article for authors who are new to the field.

  5. Wow this was super informative! I’ve been trying to figure out marketing for my books. I can’t wait to put this great information into play!

  6. Another valuable insight explained by the always on target Richard McCarthy. This ‘simple’ concept WORKS – as many new authors are discovering. McCarthy is the go-to man for boosting the careers of new writers.

  7. Wow! Great tips! I never would have expected that buying the other book would be an option, but it makes a lot of sense when you sit down and really think about it!

  8. Richard is the most knowledgeable person I know about all things Amazon. This article taught me something I didn’t know and I am grateful he is willing to share his experience.

  9. Educational, quite useful and overall great article about things regarding Amazon that you may or may not know.

  10. Woah! This is great. I am a self-published author in Amazon and now I know what to do for my book to get noticed!

  11. Nice tip! There are so many new tools these days that we can use to make our books more visible (and sell more) that is hard to keep track of everything. Thanks for taking the time, Richard!

  12. What an interesting article! I strongly recommend it, it answered the question that a lot of people who want to sell their books ask frequently!

  13. You should also read his book, too! The author has brilliant, EASY, marketing ideas and strategies for publishing. I appreciate his honesty and guidance. This is a great article about him. Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Very interesting that anyone can easily accomplish getting their book next to best selling authors. I love that part of Amazon’s program that shows me what others bought or even looked at while shopping for an item I am also shopping for, it saves me time.

  15. That’s clever. A bit more difficult if you are a little short of friends who will all buy the book from the other party because you have to think of a book that is famous but they haven’t read. But still clever.

  16. This is a super interesting insight! While I’d love to see more detail on this without having to immediately purchase a title, I can understand the limitations of blog space. I still think it’s a great and inventive way of promoting your book.

  17. I think it is a good hack/short cut to get an author’s book seen. It is in a way free advertising because it is proven that the more it’s seen more likely to have sales. Good tip!

  18. There is a vast ocean full of book tweeters, and bloggers, out there trying to attract us self-published writers. I can honestly say, I have tried more than my fair share of them and, like any good ocean, there are hungry sharks swimming around in this one.

    Many of the book promoters I’ve used are very honest and well meaning Many can promote books, but only, Kindlebookpromotions, has provided lasting benefits. The reviews which their paying customers have submitted to Amazon and goodreads are invaluable when building credibility.

    The best thing about these guy’s is they know how it all really works and they can turn that knowledge to my advantage.

  19. Agreed. This is an excellent method for authors to get seen, as long as you buy the new book, not second hand, and the same format, i.e. paperback and paperback, or Kindle with Kindle, in the same session/basket.

  20. Having passed Richard McCarthy’s fine advice to a few independent authors and hearing their VERY positive response, it is obvious that this is a fine idea from a man who looks at the big picture!
    Grady Harp

  21. You call this useful information? This is completely bogus. I worked for Amazon and what Richard is stating is completely untrue. It’s not because people bought a book from John Grisham that your book will appear along side his. Books from Michael Connely or other mystery writers might appear, but no self-published books.
    Secondly, people are rather tight fisted where it comes to buying books. If they buy a copy from a real author, it’s unlikely they will buy from a self-published writer. A lot of people have come to know that self-published writers cannot be trusted. I’m a self-published writer myself, and I stopped writing because the quality of my writing just isn’t good enough compared to real authors like Lesley Pearce, Sheila O’Flannagan, Erica James and others.

  22. Conny – I hope you will understand that many might take offence at your statement that “self-published writers cannot be trusted”. Many of the top 100 best-selling authors are “self-published writers” and can be trusted to write great books. Even authors outside the top 1000 can also be trusted to write good books.
    I’m sorry it did not work out for you but I hope you will take faith from other self-published authors who have succeeded. Their number is near endless. Just do a search in Google and it will not take you long to find articles such as at listing successful indie authors.
    So thanks for reading by blog article, and do not loose faith in self-publishing. It really can work for many, many authors, and not just to make money, but to get their message, or life story across. Sometimes that is as important as any money you might make.

  23. As a self-published writer, I also take issue with “cannot be trusted”. Cannot be trusted to what? While I do not regard myself as “perfect” equally I do not regard many of your so-called “real authors” as being that great either. I regard it as a shame that you ditch everyone based on some presumed poor experiences, after all, you do get a chance with the “look inside” to decide whether the book is worth continuing.

  24. Sounds like a great idea, which I will explore further. Richard, perhaps it was just the click of a wrong key, but you might want to check the difference between affect and effect (former English teacher here who can’t help proofreading what I read).

    1. Thanks Marjorie – if you are seeking work as a proof-reader, let me know. It’s always good to have people with a sharp eye check an author’s writing. Affect/Effect , Definite/Definate – I think these are the ones I get wrong the most. Thanks for liking my idea…. more to come!

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