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Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Stats for latest Freebooksy promo
« Last post by notthatamanda on Today at 08:26:51 PM »
Paul, one of the things that promos help with is getting you into the top 100 of your subcategories list.  Once you make those you get organic exposure to anyone browsing those lists.  I think being in the top 200 for the subcategories helps with getting you place in also boughts (when Amazon is running also bots, which is inconsistent) and better ad placement, but that's just a gut feeling from what I've seen.
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Stats for latest Freebooksy promo
« Last post by Simon Haynes on Today at 07:21:29 PM »
Example: if you search for humorous fantasy I have three on the first page of results (none of them sponsored, they're organic.)

To counteract what I said in my previous post, the highest of mine on the search results has a rank of 200,000 at the moment, whereas the last non-sponsored has a rank of 2885.

However, mine are in KU (and have an audiobook and paperback, and are part of a series), so Amazon might be showing them higher up the rankings because they can potentially make more money off selling my stuff* than they can from the higher-ranked book. Also, that #2885 might be enjoying a brief spike.

This is what we call the Mystery of Amazon. It really is impossible to calculate all the variables.

* By this I mean that IF amazon's internal figures show that people generally read one of my books then work their way through the other 20+, which seems to be the case, then Amazon might promote mine more often because it's like selling 20 books in one go.
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Stats for latest Freebooksy promo
« Last post by Simon Haynes on Today at 07:14:38 PM »
I would like to hear how it goes, finally, and surely you would like to report your success story, if that's how it turns out.
One thing, well several things, puzzle me about marketing.
Let's say that I'm an average book buyer, and I'm looking for an historical novel, like yours.
I visit Amazon UK (in my case,) but .com will suffice.
How can I find your novel, and thereby help you to justify your advertising costs?
This applies to any novel, of course, not just your's.
I haven't done any marketing yet, so am a complete newbie.

(I believe 'free historical romance' was just an example.)

When you search on Amazon, they'll tend to show the bestselling titles first (plus sponsored entries scattered amongst them.)

The last book on page one of 'Free Historical Romance' has a free sales rank of 1711

So, if your book was #1712 you'd be on page 2. If it was 400,000 or so you'd be invisible.

Therefore, it's a two-stage process. One, get the keywords right, and two, advertise/promote to get your ranking up.

Without both, visibility will be limited and random book browsers won't find you.

That's why, if you're advertising on AMS for example, you can assume that pretty much all sales are due to the ads unless your Amazon ranking is already pretty high.

Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Stats for latest Freebooksy promo
« Last post by Paul Gr on Today at 06:25:57 PM »
If you know my name, then you would probably find all my books by searching for that. As far as a genre search, you would probably find the first one under "free historical romance." Of course, that depends on how high that specific book ranks on that specific day. The more specific your search terms, the closer you would get to finding what you're looking for. For example, if you entered "horror" you'd get all the best sellers followed by hundreds more. But if you narrowed it to "supernatural horror," then your list of possibles would be closer to what you're looking for. Hope this helps.

As an author, then the keywords need to be the search terms you think readers would use to find your book.

Well I've just searched for your title using the search term 'free historical romance' in Amazon com and can't find it on the first three pages, and it's the same with the UK site.
I'm not criticising you or your marketing strategy, you've done much more writing and more marketing than I've done, I'm just trying to analyse the results of your marketing campaign, with a view to finding out if it's worth it.
Maybe I'm being too intrusive.
I'm not trying to score any points here, but one of my novels is ranked fourth in Amazon com for its search term, and that's without any marketing whatsoever.
Oops, no, it's on my website, forgot about that.
Good luck, anyway.

I'll be testing their compile soon which I've heard horror stories about, but if it's trouble I'll just do it in Calibre like before.

I've never used Scrivener to compile a publish-ready mobi or epub. Once I'm close to done with a story, I just use defaults to get it out of Scriv and into rtf (because I use WordPerfect, not Word) for editing and proofreading. After that I used to put it into mobi format via html and a conversion program but now use Vellum. So how difficult Scriv's Compile is depends a lot of whether you just want your story out of it or whether you want it out and in finished form to publish.

When I did mobis via the old pre-version 3 Scriv for beta readers, it did take me several hours to figure out how and get something decent for them, but at least once you work it out, you can save the settings. (When I upgraded to 3.0, before I did any work in it, I ran a test of Compile on those default settings and a couple chapters of an old project just to make sure I could get my project out of the program.Grin)
I switched from Word (or the various open source Office clones) to Scrivener with my current novel project and found it to be a fairly seamless transition. I only needed to learn a few key differences (folders and new text files for acts/chapters rather than one huge doc) and then added a few things that were helpful like character info, color-coding chapters by POV character, and so on. Scrivener is way deeper than I'm currently using but I'll figure it out as needed. Even in my surface level usage, I've found it to be an improvement.

I'll be testing their compile soon which I've heard horror stories about, but if it's trouble I'll just do it in Calibre like before.
I'd assumed from the word visualisation and mentioning Scrivener and Dabble, meant that you were looking at a program using cards.

Since you may not, I can think of two alternatives.
The first is Write Brothers' Outline 4D. Old program, but still works perfectly well. Offers a switch from outline view to story line. Very frequent sales. Windows only. Lots of things I like about it, but I've never been drawn to the idea of actually writing in it. But then, I am happy in writing in one program and organising in another.

The other is Beth Turnage's Google Based System. I haven't tried it, but thought it looked quite interesting and leverages colour.
One other thing, an alternative Google system would be to use Keep for organisation and writing scenes and Docs for putting the scenes in chapters. There are many add-ons that make it easy to automate. I don't like the lack of control of the position of the Keep notes to try this myself. But most of the other systems are rigid too.
I've used Scrivener since 2009, and I'd never consider switching. There's a learning curve to the program, but once you find the features you like/need, there's no need learn any of the other features. I've heard it's great for screen plays, non-fiction with lots of footnotes, etc., but since I'm not interested in any of those features, I don't know anything about them. I just write fiction.

ETA: I forgot to mention what I consider a great feature. It allows you to export what you've written to mobi and epub formats, as well as a docx. This means once I export it, all I have to do is upload it to Amazon, Kobo, etc.
What made you think about Dabble? Since I never heard of it, I went looking and couldn't find much except their own website, where I couldn't find screenshots or get much of a feel for it. I'm not curious enough to download their trial.

I came to Scrivener after people posted screenshots of Scriv with their work at that other place. It may even have been long enough ago it was still Kindle Boards. Looking at those, I could see how much easier revisions I'd just struggled through would be and other advantages so tried it. Am still using it but my work isn't anything like as complicated as the project you're talking about.

Anyway (you can tell I'm procrastinating instead of doing what I should, can't you?) I then searched for reviews of writing software and was surprised at how many such programs there are. Found this,

which made me curious enough to go to the full review of WriteItNow,

Lots of screenshots there and on the WriteItNow site. Some interesting stuff. It looks like it's a flat $60 price. If I weren't happy with Scriv (which I use in only the most basic ways), I'd investigate further, although the graphic charts, mind maps, whatever are lost on me. I'm not a visual person and little boxes with lines running all over do nothing for me.
I've not used Dabble, bit it seems to have little in common with Scrivener apart from the cards.
Much less complex (fewer features), much more expensive, online not local.
But having the visual side work the way you want is critical for productivity. Best if you can be clear what works and what doesn't work for you.

Gingko has an interesting use of cards too. Easy to use once you have adjusted to it.  There's a desktop program as well as the online app, but available on different websites. So one local, one online but can be synchronised. Probably not what I'd use for complex plotting, but everything is very personal and I'm sure many writers do.

There's also WriteitNow. Again uses cards. Slightly more rigid/structured and oriented to new users or inexperienced writers. Simpler than Scrivener; I have noticed some comments from writers who started with this program and moved to Scrivener after writing a few books because they were looking for some particular advanced features.

The old Writers Cafe program had a similar take on the card system, but Anthemion Software have withdrawn it from sale now after a short period of being free. Hadn't been updated in ages but still works if you can find a code.
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