Amazon and Twitter announced a new project today that will allow you add items to your cart from the social media network. The initiative is called #Amazoncart and this program is one of the best things to help facilitate more eBook sales from indie authors. Starting today, Twitter users can link their accounts to their Amazon account, and automatically add items to the shopping cart by responding to any tweet with an Amazon product link bearing the hashtag #AmazonCart.
Indie authors not only have to write their books but also play the role of book marketer. Twitter is often an avenue to foster meaningful dialog between an author and reader. There are many cases where authors participate in large scale discussions with agents, publishers and help each other recognize new opportunities or even just vent.
#AmazonCart was mainly developed as a way to sell items directly on Twitter, but self-published authors can now use the social media network to sell books directly to their fanbase. Often books are for sale via the Kindle Store or physical titles using Amazon Createspace, or even the audiobook edition via Audible. Authors can now tweet product links out to their followers or pay famous people to endorse the link to their book. This is a brand new marketing vertical that all authors should be embracing.
This Amazon Cart program will have the potential for massive abuse by authors who only use Twitter to spam links of #buymybook. More authors than not use social media as a non-stop promoting tool and often fail. The authors that do well are the ones like Hugh Howey, which use the platform as an avenue for engagement and expressing interesting thoughts. When you really think about it, the most successful authors use Twitter regularly to build a following over a matter of months or years.
In the end, self-published authors have another free way to promote their book and glean a few extra sales.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.