As promised, I have taken another look at Sell Your Book on Amazon. It is now ranked at 303. Too early to tell if it is beginning the great slide down the charts, but interesting nonetheless.
I received a generic email today from Brent Sampson, a book marketing coach. Apparently, he has a new book out called Sell Your Book on Amazon. While we can always use another book, I wonder how different it is than Aaron Shepard's excellent Aiming at Amazon.
It appears that Brent is taking a run at one of those Amazon bestseller techniques. The basic premise behind most of these is that you get as many people as possible to go buy your book all on the same day, usually by being given incentives, and then you get yourself a nice Amazon ranking for that ten seconds in time. While some have been able to sustain sales, most have not.
Would I consider doing such a thing? I don't know. I don't see anything wrong with letting many people know all on the same day about your book and encouraging them all to go buy it. Some folks have mentioned concerns about gaming the system. In other words, bribing people to buy your book. Now, to be fair to Mr. Sampson, giving incentives is a time-tested technique in marketing.
What I am going to do here is track, day by day, the book's ranking. In about a week, I'll let you know where he is at and my thoughts.
Also, if you have any thoughts on this book and/or this system, I would appreciate your posting here.
Amazon rank for Sell Your Book on Amazon = 27
This is the second half, belatedly, of an interview with Morris Rosenthal of Foner Books and the wonderful book, Print-On-Demand Book Publishing. He offers sound and prophetic advice on the future of independent publishing.
4. Your book, Print-On-Demand Book Publishing, is on eof the early books that shows a different way to be successful in independent publishing. What advice can you offer from the book?
MR: It took me several false starts to write that book and in the end, I wrote the book I wished I'd had around to read when I first got involved in writing and publishing. The first third of the book describes the trade publishing industry as it is today, talks about author contracts and distribution, in order to provide the context for the new print-on-demand model. I'm not trying to convince readers that there's only one right way to do anything, but I wanted to provide enough background, especially for those new to publishing, to know where they need to start their research to make the right decisions for themselves.
The middle of the book is about print-on-demand publishing and the costs and benefits of working with the primary POD provider to the whole industry, Lightning Source. I also provide a one year case history of my first POD book to demonstrate how different that life cycle is from the typical New York trade model of publishing a large number of books onto the shelves and waiting to see if it will result in more orders or returns.
The last third of the book focuses primarily on Internet marketing. My own approach to promoting books on the Internet can be summed up by "content." I give away big chunks of books that cover entire subtopics, not teasers that leave the reader wondering if I really have anything to say, and I add to my website continually, so there's far more material online than some subjects I write about than there is in the books. I also publish online BEFORE publishing on paper, in some cases,I start writing articles on my website years before I write an actual book. It's the best way to get honest feedback by way of e-mail and server statistics on the true potential of a book. For example, I dedicated two months this winter to researching and writing a guide for American tourists spending long periods of time in Jerusalem. If the site doesn't produce enough interest, I won't expand and edit it into a published book.
Okay, so this week I elected to violate one of my rules. I don't write for free*. I am a professional writer. Professional writers get paid. They do not write for "exposure" as people who don't pay promise you. Exposure usually means 50 hits on a website.
However, I have been asked to write an article for a magazine with a print run of 300,000. The only payment is the bio statement (including title of book, URLs for websites, etc.).
300,000? I went for it. It's only 800 words, so a couple of hours worth of writing (because it's all in my head, baby!).
I am quite pleased with this prospect. Were I to write for them again, we would need to discuss money, but this time around I am happy for the exposure.
*One caveat: I do write short articles for EzineArticles.com for free. However, this gets my name, books, and websites out there, so it is well worth it.
What you want to happen when someone does a Google search on your name happened today for the first time for me. All ten of the first entries, the entire first page, of Google results on "Thomas Nixon" resolved to me. Yes, I really am the most popular Thomas Nixon on the Internet. Not that that is saying much.
Part of my problem with getting that to happen is that I have been dealing with the ghost of Thomas Nixon Carver. While you do not need to know what he does, suffice to say, that in certain circles, he is quite well-known. Or was, at any rate. He wrote. A lot.
How did I make this happen? Part was luck and part was me. I have been writing articles for the various article directories. These days, I focus almost totally on EzineArticles.com. These articles have helped a great deal. If you choose one of the larger ones, like EzineArticles (Alexa ranking = 467), Google values that contribution.
The other things that have helped is having the power behind certain sites that have my writings, see Adulted.Aboutcom, my own sites, or Amazon.com. Because the Alexa rankings on About and Amazon are so high, Google treats them better.
How do you use this to your advantage? I have the opportunity to write an article for a site that has an Alexa ranking of 14,000 or one that has an Alexa ranking of 1,400,000. Surprisingly (or not), I choose the first one.
One thing to bear in mind is that the two semi-fictional sites above may not result in more book sales. That 1,400,000 could be solidly in your niche and the other one only tangentially related. Given my thoughts and insanity, I would probably write both.