Excerpted from the newest book in Carolyn Howard-Johnson's multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers, How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career.
You need only a few essentials in your Amazon tool box to build the traffic crucial for your reviews to be seen—and to convince readers to buy your book. , How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career helps you get the reviews that influence Amazon's sales ranking and this section gives you everything else you need to maximize them.
Amazon sales rankings are dandy little aids for evaluating how your book is selling. Not that you should fixate on that, but having an indicator that your book might need a little sales boost is nice. And—when those ratings are nurtured—they prod Amazon's algorithms to lead people who read books similar to yours to your Amazon buy page.
The problem is that most authors and publishers know little if anything about how those rankings come about. That isn't their fault because I doubt if Jeff Bezos, the brains behind the entire Amazon model, knows exactly what his algorithms measure. If they're anything like the rest of the Amazon site, they change from day to day anyway. You don't need to know the magic behind them; you do need to know what they are and how to prod them a little:
§ Find your sales ranking (or rankings) on your book's buy page under "product details." Often called "metadata," these details are the specifics for your book like ISBN, publisher, number of pages, etc. Scroll down a bit to find this section on your page.
§ If you have a ranking of 24,800, that means that 24,799 books listed in your category are selling better than your book and that up to millions of books in your book's category are selling less well.
§ The lower your sales ranking number for your book the better. Sales rankings for your Kindle (e-book) page will not be the same as the one on your paperback page.
Note: When the pages for your paper book and e-book are digitally connected properly, your reviews will be the same on both pages. (There should be a link on each page pointing to the other.)
§ If you market and promote, your efforts may lower those rankings (lower is good!). If so, celebrate because this doesn't always happen. Sometimes the marketing you are doing does not improve your rating at all, though it should contribute to your overall branding effort.
§ Don't try to translate a drop in your ratings to the number of books sold. The algorithms are a lot more complicated than that.
§ Sales rankings fluctuate (sometimes wildly) during the day.
Warning: Do not spend a lot of time checking your ratings. They should be used as indicators. They shouldn't become an obsession. It's best not to obsess, but if you can't avoid it, Bookbuzzr.com and others provide services available for pinging ratings to you in your e-mail box.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension's world-renown Writers' Program. All her books for writers are multi award winners including both the first and second editions of The Frugal Book Promoter and her multi award-winning The Frugal Editor won awards from USA Book News, Readers' Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award.
Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature's Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community's Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly's list of "Fourteen San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen" and was given her community's Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts.
The author loves to travel. She has visited eighty-nine countries and has studied writing at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University, Prague. She admits to carrying a pen and journal wherever she goes. Her Web site is www.howtodoitfrugally.com
red by BookBuzzr.com