The Top Ranking Strategy to becoming (and staying) a Successful Amazon Author

by Michelle Vandepas

Amazon is virtually the largest online marketplace in the world. This is where thousands of authors and publishers sell their books, whether physical or digital, to millions of readers all over the world. This is a great place for unknown authors to get exposure and even land book deals, …But with so many authors competing for the attention and money of Amazon consumers, it can be really challenging for a self-published author to become a successful Amazon author.  There are however, several key things you can do to help your ranking and show up on searches – Tagging, Keywords, Likes, Reviews and Author Central.

In my Kindle book, Amazon Author Tips, Optimize Amazon, Move up the Ranking and Sell more Books (Author Marketing Guides- Sell More Books),  I share  the steps to Amazon success .

  • Creating your  profile  on Amazon Central and Amazon Author
  • Using keywords to tag your book(s)
  • Finding the right  category for your book
  • Getting likes and reviews for your book
  • Using Listmania and Amazon Guides to gain more exposure for your books
  • Planning a book launch and book campaign.

I used this same process to take my  foster parenting book and jumped from a ranking of over #500,0000 on Kindle,  to consistently under the #30,000 mark. Inside my category of adoption, I’m usually in the top 20 and often in the top 10, and staying there.  Many authors can get to #1 but the trick is to not drop back down into oblivion!

Here’s the number 1 strategy to help you move up and stay up on Amazon

Tagging, Reviews, Author central and the profile are all important, but before you do any of those things you’ve got to start by understanding your specific keywords – for me it might be ‘sell more books’  or  ‘amazon ranking’.  If you’ve written a book to help children sleep your keywords might be:  ‘help children sleep’ or ‘why my baby won’t sleep’. You’ll notice when I say keywords, I’m really talking about key-phrases, a string of words that people will use to search for relevant books.  Once you’ve got your phrases you’ll use them to tag, write reviews, and put them in your description on

Author Central with Amazon. Using keywords and phrases appropriately can move your ranking up from nowhere to the top 100 books in your category within a day. Use these same words to write about your book, for your author platform, and any blogging, reviewing and other writing you do. Eventually your book will be linked to those words and show up on searches not just on Amazon, but elsewhere on the web.

If you don’t know how to find keywords and phrases that might be linked with your book, you can use the Google keyword tool , but I like to use common sense. What would YOU type into Amazon or a search engine when looking for your topic?  Most of us type in a sentence, or a question, or a string of words together that will give us specific results. It’s not working if people are finding you and it’s not a match for what they need.

A good example of keywords needing to be a match for your subject  is that I once wrote a compelling article of an experience I had when sitting in our local YMCA sauna. I wrote the article and posted it on my blog about being on purpose in your life.  By the next day I’d gotten 100’s of hits, when when I looked at my stats closely, I realized people had been searching for words and phrases that had NAKED and SAUNA in them – not a match for my intended audience looking for purpose.

Since that time I’ve really understood the importance of being in alignment with your audience, your message and making sure there is a match – don’t just go for the most popular words and phrases, but carefully choose who you’d like to connect with. Using your carefully chosen  key-phrases over and over again is one trick that will help keep you at the top of the searches, helping others to find your book, resulting in more sales, and staying on top of the ranking system.

Tip:  Did you know you don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle books? You can read them right on your computer by clicking READ ON THE CLOUD option!  So, if you’d like to read my Amazon book you can find the rest of the tips about  Amazon by clicking here.

Michelle Vandepas is a purpose-driven entrepreneur, speaker, coach and mentor. As owner of Michelle has helped dozens of authors to market and promote their books both offline and online.  Her site, Talking BooksTV , has become a platform for authors to  gain exposure for their books as well as their personal brand.


  1. Thanks so much for publishing my article. I hope it helps a few people. Much appreciated D’vorah….

    • Dvorah says:

      You are so welcome Michelle! Thanks for publishing such a power-packed book, which will help a lot of authors!

  2. Sega says:

    Thanks for the advice. I will definitely go back and update my tags.

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