Understanding Amazon Algorithms

Cracking the Amazon Algorithms

Our friend Joanna Penn recently took a look at a book by David Gaughran called 'Let’s Get Visible: How to get noticed and sell more books.'  Joanna is a savvy indie book-marketer; when she recommends something, I believe it's worth checking out — so check it out. But I wanted to also highlight a couple of the points she summarizes on her blog regarding Amazon's algorithm: * Amazon algorithms behave differently for different sales charts and territories (and a smart author can make use of "the differences between the Sales Rank, the Recommendation Engine, Bestseller Lists, Popularity lists, Top-Rated in Categories, Hot New Releases, Movers & Shakers and all the other ways you can target the lists and prime the sales pump.") * A big initial spike in sales after your book launch can be bad for long-term sales. 

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BookBaby president Brian Felsen spoke to Joanna Penn (author, speaker, and keeper of the popular blog The Creative Penn — voted one of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers two years running) about the secrets to successful self-publishing, the editing process, the difference between marketing fiction and non-fiction, carving out time as a writer, and much more. In this clip, Penn discusses the promotion strategies behind her first two action-adventure books, Pentecost and Prophecy, and explains why the strategy behind Prophecy converted more successfully into sales, attributing the success of that campaign to her heavy focus on customer book reviews. 

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The Twitter-sphere is full of awesome content, and growing every second! Sometimes it’s hard to keep up-- so here are 10 people we think are worth following on Twitter right now (in alphabetical order by Twitter handle): 1. @BookBaby BookBaby (of course!) offers writing tips, news, & trends from the company that makes self-publishing easy. 2. @brainpicker Maria Popova is a self-proclaimed ‘interestingness curator & semi-secret geek obsessed with combinatorial creativity.’

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Wikipedia defines a Beta Reader as: “a person who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the aim of improving grammar, spelling, characterization, and general style of a story prior to its release to the general public." In essence, a Beta Reader’s duty is to provide writers with critical feedback to improve their stories. This post by the Canadian Uber Addicts offers a detailed “job description” of a Beta Reader which we have summarized below: A Beta Reader, first and foremost, is there to make sure the story gets better by using a ruthless, critical eye.

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Melissa Donovan recently wrote a post for The Creative Penn (a site you should all check out) listing the five most common mistakes writers make on their websites. They are:

1. No biographical information

2. No social media presence 

3. No contact information

4. The content isn’t polished

5. Terrible design

Check out the full article HERE to discover why these mistakes should be avoided at all costs. If you need help with web hosting or website creation, check out HostBaby for Authors, where you can build a professional author site in minutes.

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