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61
What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: What Amazon Needs To Change
« Last post by Hopscotch on October 31, 2023, 08:09:58 PM »
Shocked and horrified to read Bill's report, so checked my own "Related to" but found almost all reasonably associated.  When not, they were at least target audience appropriate.  Or am I being cruelly deceived in some Zon-clever way?
62
What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by alhawke on October 31, 2023, 02:48:39 AM »
I'm not referring to keywords. I'm referring to choosing your three categories in "details" section within KDP. Choose two that are not too competitive, like for me, "Occult Magic" or like "Metaphysical Fantasy" (like we've spoken about before and you've used, Timothy) BUT choose one category that is broad and popular. The popular category will trigger the book to not go invisible in US markets. I'm trying it but the books haven't had enough time yet to see if the changes will work.

{edit: if this tweak works, it might not work in the future. But I think the less categories are triggering Amazon to slow your book sales/ranking while they do whatever they're doing to make sure your book is legitimate. That's my theory, anyway.
63
What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by TimothyEllis on October 31, 2023, 02:44:50 AM »
Well... eureka! Most books under the Occult category in the urban fantasy/dark fantasy mix, like mine, have one general category like paranormal fantasy. Coincidence? I doubt it. If this is the culprit it means that this mess was all due to stupid Amazon algorithm changes. Surprise? The fact that we are all under the influence of their algorithms, which is essentially AI btw, is a sad state for the publishing industry. But we are and it's not new news, is it? My books were all changed to occult magic last month in order to work with the new category system (stupid move). Anyway, if I'm right, I might never know because by now the book probably won't rank. But it's quite a coincidence that about 75% of the urban fantasy like books under "occult" happen to have exactly 1 general category to work the AI algorithms. Apparently, I didn't get the memo. Now you guys do. Hope it helps for your future sale promos.

What categories is the book in?

And what keywords did you use for more categories?

I don't get books in only 1 category. That makes no sense. Last time I saw that it looked like Trad incompetence to me. They simply don't know how to use Amazon correctly.
64
What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by alhawke on October 31, 2023, 02:39:13 AM »
In some of the author Facebook groups, people are saying average of 4 days for rankings to show.  It's been that way for at least a few weeks.
Nope. Not for me. I'm at six days (just look on the prior page at the stats). You guys can clearly see my sales have not been ranked. And I don't buy that there's loads of competition out there. There is, but if you look at the categories the books are not ranked unreachably high. The highest ranking at #1 occult was around 5000 in the store and after 150 sales, I should have hit that.

I'm trying something new. Problem is it is probably too late for this sale. After doing a bit of research, I stumbled upon a suggestion to find at least 1 category that is popular and add that to the less popular higher rank-yielding categories for your book to be ranked--if you are using relatively unpopular categories. In other words, all this headache could all be due to Amazon category changes. And, in fact, though not stated on the email by the Amazon representative, it was highly hinted at when I received a long form letter after "apologize for all your troubles" all about choosing 3 categories with their new system.

Well... eureka! Most books under the Occult category in the urban fantasy/dark fantasy mix, like mine, have one general category like paranormal fantasy. Coincidence? I doubt it. If this is the culprit it means that this mess was all due to stupid Amazon algorithm changes. Surprise? The fact that we are all under the influence of their algorithms, which is essentially AI btw, is a sad state for the publishing industry. But we are and it's not new news, is it? My books were all changed to occult magic last month in order to work with the new category system (stupid move). Anyway, if I'm right, I might never know because by now the book probably won't rank. But it's quite a coincidence that about 75% of the urban fantasy like books under "occult" happen to have exactly 1 general category to work the AI algorithms. Apparently, I didn't get the memo. Now you guys do. Hope it helps for your future sale promos.
65
What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by TimothyEllis on October 31, 2023, 01:35:00 AM »
In some of the author Facebook groups, people are saying average of 4 days for rankings to show.  It's been that way for at least a few weeks.

Are they mentioning genres?

What about cold launch, pre-order, or promo?
66
What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by Lorri Moulton on October 31, 2023, 01:29:48 AM »
In some of the author Facebook groups, people are saying average of 4 days for rankings to show.  It's been that way for at least a few weeks. 
67
What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by TimothyEllis on October 31, 2023, 12:09:14 AM »
To give you an idea how out of the loop internet sources are, I found one that claims Amazon has published 1.4 million books through KDP.

 :icon_rofl:

Someone who obviously never gets off the top 100 lists. And never ever hits anything off an ad slider.
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What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on October 30, 2023, 11:56:07 PM »
Now that you mention it, I remember you posting some of this analysis before.

To give you an idea how out of the loop internet sources are, I found one that claims Amazon has published 1.4 million books through KDP.
69
What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: What Amazon Needs To Change
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on October 30, 2023, 11:53:30 PM »
Here's another example of Amazon ads going off the rails:

At the bottom of the first page of a search for my name, I see a section titled, "Books related to your search." It's a sponsored section. Since I primarily write urban fantasy, you'd expect to see urban fantasy books. Or maybe you'd expect to see other things I've bought in the past mixed in. But here's what I say instead.

On the left, we have "Books by people in recovery for people in recovery." I've never bought anything like that.

In the middle, we have "Powerful prayers and scriptures at your fingertips." I have occasionally bought biblical commentary and related historical books, but the advertised titles are neither. They appear to be somewhere on the boundary between religion and occult studies, so the ad text is misleading. That might be the fault of the advertiser, but the placement isn't.

On the right, we have "Dr. [name deleted]. A Jewish-Christian author" One might ask, "Author of what?" but that again could be an advertiser's fault. He turns out to be the author of religious books, though of a very different type than I usually order.

So the middle and the right have some connection, but not to the particular search with which they're displayed. Right beneath them is a fantasy novel advertisement--for a book I already own.

The second page? It has exactly the same ads on the bottom, as if I'm going to say, "Wow, I was totally uninterested in this book on page 1, but it looks so much better on page 2. Page 2 also doubles down on powerful prayers and scriptures at your fingertips. These turn out to be religious self-help books of a kind I've never bought.

Page 3 has the same three ads at the bottom and doubles down on books for people in recovery at the top. Again, I've never bought anything like that, and it has nothing to do with the search.

Page 4 doubles down on a Jewish-Christian author at the top, though it mercifully has nothing at the bottom. By now, the search result has run out of anything by me but does have a book by Dolly Parton, as well as biographies of Queen Elizabeth I and Joe Marti--you know, things we'd immediately associate with urban fantasy.

Page 5 doubles down on prayers and scriptures at the top and returns to the same three ads at the bottom. Is this a waste of screen real estate or what? Meanwhile, the search results include a number of books about musicians and bands. (There's a John Hiatt, who is a musician, so maybe that's the connection?)

What do we learn from this?

First, Amazon shows the same ads. relevant to the immediate search or not, relevant to the customer history or not, over and over. (I'm wishing for a I-never-want-to-see-this-ad-again-as-long-as-I-live button.)

Second, Amazon shows variations of the same ad on the same page.

Third, Amazon's search algorithm, reasonably accurate at the beginning, wanders away from any relationship to the original search past about page 2 and seemingly shows a lot of titles at random. Throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks? Most of the ads embedded in the search results--though not all--are at least in the right genre.

None of this inspires any confidence in the idea that my AMS ads will show in reasonable places.

But at least if I need to be in recovery, I know where to look for books...

 
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What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by TimothyEllis on October 30, 2023, 11:21:44 PM »
Amazon has been using that "over one million" language for years. Certainly, there are far more books in KDP by now.

1 mill in KU.

Last time I did the math on total books in KDP, it came out around the 48-50 million mark. And that was before low content began. (2 or 3 years ago now)

I've seen paid books with a 15 million rank, and I've seen free books with a 15 million rank as well.

That's 30 million plus to start with, without counting the books which never had a rank, or lost it.

It's probably way past 75 million now.
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