Authorship Reference/E-Commerce Web Marketing.
I read this book after reading the author’s ‘Let’s Get Digital’. It’s a natural follow-on for those interested in marketing their e-books as indie writers/publishers. In fact, it also has a lot to say about, and to, mainstream and some small publishers, much of which might benefit the authors they supposedly represent.
For those wishing to run their writing careers as a business, this is an excellent book. It gives detailed information about how the Amazon algorithms work, how to take advantage of this knowledge and how to maximise your chances of exposure and positioning on the multiple sales leagues.
For me, as what David describes as a ‘Wide Author’, the news isn’t good. It appears Amazon is rather narrow-minded regard genres and needs an author to restrict their writing to one genre, the narrower, the better. So, it’s not so much interested in selling good books, just a product from which it can make the maximum profit without worrying too much about content. If that sounds bitter, it’s because I’ve always admired writers willing to experiment, eager to stretch the minds of readers, daring to challenge long-held, often erroneous, beliefs. So much so, that I’ve emulated their stance in my own writing, though how successful that may have been is for others to determine.
My point is that such narrowness of approach as the sub-sub-genre gives does nothing to expand the minds, knowledge and opinions of those who read only in that limited field. And it positively harms those who would encourage broadening of the mind, adventurous reading, and the chance to experience something outside their comfort zone. This is what retail bookstores on the Highstreet used to do, sometimes with the help of imaginative and forward-thinking publishers; encourage readers to experiment.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where the single-mined will of the accountant rules above all, and the only issue of any importance is ‘How much profit can we make?’.
End of rant.
David makes no bones about the amount of work and dedication involved in playing this game as a professional. It’s demanding, time-consuming, and will not always garner results. But for those who win in this lottery, tweaking their output to best make use of the algorithms, the prizes in financial terms can be excellent. Of course, it also helps if you have a budget at hand to spend on some of the associated advertising.
So, not a book I can make maximum use of, though there are some aspects I can adopt to slightly increase visibility. Because Amazon is so fixated by narrow genre, my changes may make virtually no difference, however!
David makes it clear that we writers are very much in the hands of the business that is Amazon. My take from this is that I should ignore Amazon and concentrate my efforts on less prescriptive retailers if I’m to gain any increase in readership.
[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]