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A writer, Amazon.com, a new book out, and a marketing experiment

Having a new book come out causes all kinds of activities. A week or so ago I received my author copy of the new travel book, Exploring Texas History: Weekend Adventures, scheduled for a May release date. Book in hand, I went to the computer and signed on to Amazon.com, typed in the book’s title and found the book. All’s well. A week or so later I was working on some pre-publicity stuff and happened to type my name into Amazon and discovered the new book didn’t show up. Typed in the title, found it. Then I realized, to my horror, that my name had been left off Amazon’s author listing.

Now listen, that is a major shock to a writer’s fragile system. One reason I was worried is because that probably meant the information keyed into Books In Print was incorrect and I was not listed there. And that would mean that anyone trying to buy my book using my name would not be able to find it on Amazon or at any of the bookstores. Horrors! Another reason it caused some anxiety is because that meant I would have to find out how to correct the problem via Amazon and my publisher. Anyone having anything to do with publishing knows that speed is not necessarily one of the game’s major characteristics. With thoughts of soon-to-be released promotional material bouncing in my head, I finally found a place on Amazon.com to make a content request and did so. Their note said they would try to make the changes within five days–note the word "try."

I emailed my editor and prayed.

Today, much to my delight, I discovered Amazon.com lists my name as co-author.

Peace reigns once again in Vikk’s realm of publishing.

Now, you’re probably wondering what the experiment is all about. Well, if you’ve happened to click through the title or the amazon link on the left (Yes, I know my name doesn’t show up on the link–drat), you might have noticed that this is still a virgin book for Amazon. It is so new we don’t even have any sales ranking numbers. (These are important figures to the authors, though they don’t necessarily prove anything stupendous for the writer with regard to trying to figure out actual sales due to the strange way the ranking is done, but they sure make us feel good when we see a sudden surge in the ranking from sales.) So you have an opportunity to help establish a sales surge and a high ranking for our book if you were to order a copy, and you’d provide a rollicking good couple of days for me and my fellow author as we watch the ranking move up and up and up.

I also noticed it’s offered at a 32% discount and it hasn’t even hit the store’s shelves yet. I think that’s cheaper than I can get wholesale. :) Ah, the book businesss and the joys of being an author.

Yes, I know, this is flagrant BSP but I’m a struggling writer; did I tell you I’ve lost my job and will be out of work at the end of the week? And haven’t I told you promotion is a huge part of being a published writer in today’s world? You might also note that you can order the book through my links in this post, or through the link on the right side or even through the Amazon shopping portal that takes you straight to your personal shopping cart and allows you to easily shop for more books. :)

Feel free to let pass this on to friends and family alike, and always remember to support your friendly authors and fellow bloggers . . . and join me in this experiment to play with my new book’s Amazon ranking. :) Did I mention that having a huge number of sales that occur within 24 hours makes a HUGE impression on the sales ranking figure?


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  • Deborah Whitaker

    Congratulations! Not only on your wonderful new book, but also on winning the struggle with the publishing/bookselling bureaucracy!
    Wouldn’t it work better you asked us all to buy the book on the same day? I’ve heard something about even a small number of books being sold on the same day causes the numbers to jump — at least for that particular day.
    Either way, I’m in. Can’t wait to get my own copy.

  • Deborah Whitaker

    Congratulations! Not only on your wonderful new book, but also on winning the struggle with the publishing/bookselling bureaucracy!
    Wouldn’t it work better you asked us all to buy the book on the same day? I’ve heard something about even a small number of books being sold on the same day causes the numbers to jump — at least for that particular day.
    Either way, I’m in. Can’t wait to get my own copy.

  • http://www.thewriterspath.com vikk

    Indeed, Deborah, a pile of sales in 24 hours makes a grand surge in sales ranking. Whip out that plastic! I can’t wait for you to get your copy, either. :)

  • http://www.thewriterspath.com vikk

    Indeed, Deborah, a pile of sales in 24 hours makes a grand surge in sales ranking. Whip out that plastic! I can’t wait for you to get your copy, either. :)

  • Celeste

    Hi Vikk
    Congratulations on your new website, blog and amazon link.
    Celeste

  • Celeste

    Hi Vikk
    Congratulations on your new website, blog and amazon link.
    Celeste

  • Betty

    I’m excited about the new book…with an architecture degree, and and and 8 year old, daytrips and history are a perfect fit.
    How about a summary or review of the book? I’m not a blogger, and couldn’t find anything here or on Amazon that told me more, or at least gave me a table of contents.
    Congrats Vikk!

  • Betty

    I’m excited about the new book…with an architecture degree, and and and 8 year old, daytrips and history are a perfect fit.
    How about a summary or review of the book? I’m not a blogger, and couldn’t find anything here or on Amazon that told me more, or at least gave me a table of contents.
    Congrats Vikk!

  • http://www.IdeaLady.com/ Cathy Stucker

    Vikk, I have ordered my copy. I’m looking forward to reading it.
    BTW–have you set up any Listmania lists that include your books? Look for popular books related to your topic, and include them on the list. It can help!
    I’ll get a review of “Exploring Texas History” up on Amazon as soon as possible after I receive the book.

  • http://www.IdeaLady.com/ Cathy Stucker

    Vikk, I have ordered my copy. I’m looking forward to reading it.
    BTW–have you set up any Listmania lists that include your books? Look for popular books related to your topic, and include them on the list. It can help!
    I’ll get a review of “Exploring Texas History” up on Amazon as soon as possible after I receive the book.

  • http://vikk.typepad.com/blog_trek/ Heather

    I would have had heart failure. Then I’d probably have gone for over-reaction and made someone other than myself pretty mad. You did great, keeping control of yourself and getting results. This is every writer’s worst nightmare–not to be linked with his or her own book.
    Congrats!

  • http://vikk.typepad.com/blog_trek/ Heather

    I would have had heart failure. Then I’d probably have gone for over-reaction and made someone other than myself pretty mad. You did great, keeping control of yourself and getting results. This is every writer’s worst nightmare–not to be linked with his or her own book.
    Congrats!

  • http://vikk.typepad.com/blog_trek/2005/03/plugging_the_la.html Blog Trek

    Plugging the latest book

    This is an unashamed plug.

  • http://vikk.typepad.com/blog_trek/2005/03/plugging_the_la.html Blog Trek

    Plugging the latest book

    This is an unashamed plug.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Since I live in Texas I couldn’t resist ordering a copy. I look forward to making great use of it. BTW, are you familiar with the ‘Day Trips’ column in the Austin Chronicle?
    Oh, and I think the problem with your name appearing on the listing is a purely alphabetical issue. I’ve seen this with other Amazon listings when I put them on my blog as links.
    Dave
    http://www.elitistpig.com

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Since I live in Texas I couldn’t resist ordering a copy. I look forward to making great use of it. BTW, are you familiar with the ‘Day Trips’ column in the Austin Chronicle?
    Oh, and I think the problem with your name appearing on the listing is a purely alphabetical issue. I’ve seen this with other Amazon listings when I put them on my blog as links.
    Dave
    http://www.elitistpig.com

  • http://www.writers-edge.info Georganna Hancock

    If you want to blip your sales, get a blogger to post about your book. At least, that’s what one author, Matt Webb, told me, that whenever Boing Boing mentions his book, “Mind Hacks”, sales spike at Amazon. The next day Cory Doctorow, one of the founders and bloggers at Boing Boing confirmed the phenomenon, and Chris Anderson, ed.in chief at “Wired” magazine is reportedly getting a half-million dollars for his first book, which is based on mining ten years of Amazon data. He told me he’s still mid-analysis and couldn’t talk about the results he’s finding yet. If you have review copies available, I can put one on Blogcritics and probably get the review syndicated by Advance. Hey! I just remembered Molly Ivins has a blog at http://www.creators.com/opinion_show.cfm?columnsName=miv — send her a copy! Best of luck.

  • http://www.writers-edge.info Georganna Hancock

    If you want to blip your sales, get a blogger to post about your book. At least, that’s what one author, Matt Webb, told me, that whenever Boing Boing mentions his book, “Mind Hacks”, sales spike at Amazon. The next day Cory Doctorow, one of the founders and bloggers at Boing Boing confirmed the phenomenon, and Chris Anderson, ed.in chief at “Wired” magazine is reportedly getting a half-million dollars for his first book, which is based on mining ten years of Amazon data. He told me he’s still mid-analysis and couldn’t talk about the results he’s finding yet. If you have review copies available, I can put one on Blogcritics and probably get the review syndicated by Advance. Hey! I just remembered Molly Ivins has a blog at http://www.creators.com/opinion_show.cfm?columnsName=miv — send her a copy! Best of luck.

  • http://blogbusinessworld.blogspot.com/2005/03/best-seller-list-book-marketing.html Blog Business World

    Best seller list book marketing experiment

    Author and blogger Vikk Simmons of Down The Writer’s Path is conducting a marketing experiment on best seller lists.
    Her new book is called Exploring Texas History : Weekend Adventures.

  • http://blogbusinessworld.blogspot.com/2005/03/best-seller-list-book-marketing.html Blog Business World

    Best seller list book marketing experiment

    Author and blogger Vikk Simmons of Down The Writer’s Path is conducting a marketing experiment on best seller lists.
    Her new book is called Exploring Texas History : Weekend Adventures.

  • http://www.thewriterspath.com vikk

    I just checked the stats and the Amazon.com Sales Rank: #14,177 in Books right now. Of course that will go up and down but this is terrific! At least it’s great for the ego. Thanks. I hope everyone will continue to help raise the numbers even more.

  • http://www.thewriterspath.com vikk

    I just checked the stats and the Amazon.com Sales Rank: #14,177 in Books right now. Of course that will go up and down but this is terrific! At least it’s great for the ego. Thanks. I hope everyone will continue to help raise the numbers even more.

  • http://barbarawklaser.mysterynovelist.com/ Barbara W. Klaser

    That’s a fast fix from Amazon. I love them, but they can be beastly slow at that sort of thing.
    It’s a great cover, and looks intriguing.

  • http://barbarawklaser.mysterynovelist.com/ Barbara W. Klaser

    That’s a fast fix from Amazon. I love them, but they can be beastly slow at that sort of thing.
    It’s a great cover, and looks intriguing.

  • http://templestark.com/archives/2005/03/but_this_book.php Temple Stark.com

    But This Book

    Interested in Texas history? Know someone who might be. Apparently “Exploring Texas History: Weekend Adventures” by Vikk Simmons and Elaine Galit is an easy-to-read collection of true short stories about the Lone Star state. I just bought it. Strongly …

  • http://templestark.com/archives/2005/03/but_this_book.php Temple Stark.com

    But This Book

    Interested in Texas history? Know someone who might be. Apparently “Exploring Texas History: Weekend Adventures” by Vikk Simmons and Elaine Galit is an easy-to-read collection of true short stories about the Lone Star state. I just bought it. Strongly …

  • http://www.andrewiandodge.com Andrew Ian Dodge

    Congratulations on the new book. You are lucky that your publisher has gotten you book on Amazon, mine hasn’t managed it yet. :(

  • http://www.andrewiandodge.com Andrew Ian Dodge

    Congratulations on the new book. You are lucky that your publisher has gotten you book on Amazon, mine hasn’t managed it yet. :(