Posted On December 18, 2017 by Print This Post

The Eyes Have It by Michael Alvear

Welcome back to Michael Alvear with a fascinating study on what people REALLY look at on Amazon!

What do Amazon shoppers do when they land on your book page?  Where do their eyes go?  Where do they fixate?   Recently, I commissioned an eye tracking study from a respected research lab to answer just those questions.  If eyes are windows to the soul they can also help us see how to get more book sales.

Eye tracking studies help advertisers understand what’s important to customers.  Respondents are tasked with simple instructions (“you happened onto a romance novel that piqued your interest on Amazon.  What information on the book page would persuade you to buy it?”).

Special cameras mounted on computer screens monitor pupil movements which are then translated into heat maps that look like this:


This image shows one of the more fascinating observations that could help you sell more books:  Shoppers spent more time looking at “Books In This Series” than “Customers Also Bought…”

The takeaway?  If you have a series make sure Amazon produces a “Books In This Series” bar that appears over the “Customers Also Bought” section.  The process is supposed to be automated–you mark your book as part of a series in your KDP dashboard and voila!  The bar appears.  The reality is that you often have to hound Amazon to do it by hand.

If you want to see how important this is just take a look at what Catherine Bybee’s page looks like:


Holy Damsel In Distress!  Her page makes it look like the only thing Amazon sells is her books!  If you have a series and don’t have the Books In This Series bar, contact Amazon STAT.  If you have loosely associated books consider grouping them as a series by unifying their visual look and contact Amazon about getting the bar installed in your page.

The second fascinating finding from my eye tracking study falls under the  good news/bad news category. Here’s the bad news:  Shoppers who land on your book page pay a fair amount of attention to ads from your competition!  Look:

So what’s the good news?  It means YOU can advertise on your competitor’s pages and swipe some sales from them.  Advertising on Amazon carries some unique risks so make sure you read Brian Meek’s Mastering Amazon Ads: An Author’s Guide or M.L. Humphrey’s AMS Ads for Authors before leaping onto the fray.

The third surprising finding is that shoppers scroll all the way down the book page, refuting the long-held principle that shoppers rarely scroll “below the fold.”  Look:

This finding argues for putting more sales pitches in below the fold sections like Editorial Reviews or “More About The Author” to snare attention as shoppers scroll downward.

Eye tracking studies offer an invaluable peek into how customers navigate your book page. See the full heat map and if you want a fuller explanation of it along with other strategies I haven’t covered here check out my new book, Make A Killing On Kindle 2018 EDITION.


Eye tracking studies – who knew? Do you ever monitor yourself on Amazon to see what you look at first?


Bio: Michael Alvear is an ad veteran of 20 years, once winning Adweek’s prestigious Media Plan Of The Year.  He is a hybrid author represented by the Handspun Literary Agency and has also self-published fifteen books, including Make A Killing On Kindle. A columnist whose work has appeared in The Washington Post and The New York Times, he’s also been a frequent contributor to National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

Similar Posts:

Share Button




  1. […] (1) News #5: Arabic Ambitions (2) News #5: Arabic Ambitions (3) News #4: Not-So-Silent Child News #3: The Eye of the Beholder (1) News #3: The Eye of the Beholder (2) News #2: Anybody’s Guess (1) News #2: Anybody’s Guess (2) […]

Post a comment

Upcoming Posts





Follow Us