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  1. Good metadata is vital. But so is understanding Amazon’s algorithms. Finding ways to leverage things like “Customers who bought this also bought…” can be a legitimate strategy, depending on how you approach it.

    I definitely don’t think it’s OK to artificially buy their way into an “Also bought” slot, such as by paying people to buy their book along with another – unethical and risky! To the extent the original article is suggesting paid manipulation, I agree it’s bad advice.

    But there’s plenty of room for attempting the same thing through organic influencing. Doing targeted marketing at fans of other similar authors in the same genre (Facebook ads etc) would be a perfectly fine strategy to find new readers for the book, and also help get that “Also bought” positioning. There could also be ways of mobilising your fans or “street team” that could be effective without being underhand or manipulative – recommending books of targeted authors, for example.

    Like you, I’d have liked the original article to have some case studies and actual figures to give an idea of the impact it might have on sales. But I would expect that for some authors and markets aiming for the “Also bought” positioning could well be beneficial.

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