A New Use for an Old Feature on Amazon

If you haven’t heard yet, I’m here to tell you about a new use for an old feature on Amazon: the follow. If you have an author you love and want to hear about their new releases, people have had the option to hit the follow button on their books and amazon profile.

In the past, this was a nebulous number that we weren’t exactly sure if it did anything. In actuality, it should be sending anyone who follows you an email letting them know about any new release you have. The logistics is that if you had a pre-order up more than 30 days in advance, it emails them. Actual execution meant that your followers usually got an email within about a week of release. Better than not knowing at all!

Authors had no way to track this before. However, Amazon has finally given authors a way to at least know how many people are following them. If you go to https://author.amazon.com/marketingAndReports you can now find a report on the number of followers you have, a data point we’ve never had before, sitting in your author central reports and marketing tab.

Keep in mind that this is a number of people that have organically decided to follow your books on Amazon, and free marketing emails every time you release–without a single cent or minute of author time spent.

So, it’s time to encourage your fans to follow you, and to follow those whose books you like. And there’s one way to use it now that I haven’t seen anyone talking about.

If you’re in your reports and marketing tab, you’ll also see that there’s another new option that isn’t really being advertised yet, but could quickly change in the future: book recommendations. Amazon is seemingly trying to actively help authors connect with their readers using this new feature. The text explaining it says that email notifications can be sent to your followers if you submit at least three new recommendations.

Remember: don’t spam your followers, but this is a good opportunity to boost your friends. Go forth and follow!