Friday, March 29, 2013
Helping You Stay a #1 Bestselling Author on Amazon … or … Part II of Helping you become a #1 Bestselling Author
A year ago, I wrote about Amazon categories in this space. It has gone on to be one of my most viewed posts over the past year. A recent conversation has led me to resurrect the post. If you didn’t see it, you can find it here.
To summarize that article, I laid out a step-by-step procedure to develop the best category for your book on Amazon that will help it show up on the bestseller lists. You have control over that process. It takes a little bit of time and research, but, in the end, it will help you become more recognizable and (I hope) sell more books.
I’ll wait here while you go check out that post.
Oh! You’re back … and so soon.
After you’ve spent all that time getting the right category and you’ve seen your book listed in the rankings—guess what—it may not stay there.
Here’s what I have discovered recently. Amazon may have changed your categories. You see, my book, The Card, disappeared from the rankings for a while. My sales hadn’t changed, they remained steady, but the book disappeared from all the lists.
There’s been all kinds of chatter about what Amazon is doing to indie authors, so I set out on mission to get to the bottom of this mystery. Lo and behold, I discovered that category was no longer set as my custom string.
Here’s how you can find your category. If you recall, when developing a custom string, you can’t verify your category string in your bookshelf because you listed it as non-classifiable. Instead, look toward the bottom of your Amazon sales page where you’ll see a graphic like this:
This is where you can see your current categories. If this is not what you originally intended, it’s time to contact Amazon at firstname.lastname@example.org and request them to specify what string you are categorized under, and if it is not what you want, you can follow the directions in my earlier post to get yourself back into the rankings.
Since I discovered that Amazon had changed the categories, they have corrected them (somewhat) and The Card popped back to #14 on the bestseller list for its category, after having been non-existent for nearly two months. They still haven’t set my category string back to where I want it, but we’re on our way.
The thing to remember about working with Amazon is—don’t get frustrated. Be patient, they may take a few attempts to get things right, but they will always keep working toward what you want. I’ve never been told to get lost … yet.
Go ahead, take the time to get your categories right and make sure they stay right. It could be the difference of someone seeing your book or not. If you need help, just reach out and I’ll be glad to guide you through the process.
This post was originally posted in Indies Unlimited by Jim Devitt earlier this year.