Today we had our first-ever returning guest – Ed Roberston. In case you missed Ed the first time he was on our show, he’s one of those guys who studies shit rather than taking it for granted and hence has (along with help from a kind of think-tank, but a different kind of think-tank than Sean’s) figured out a lot of details about how Amazon ranks books, what exactly drives a book up the popularity charts, how pricing affects a book’s ability to rise in the rankings, how free book “sales” tally up next to actual purchases in determining ranking, etc.
There’s a ton to this episode, so I’m not going to list it all here. It’s just too damn involved and I’m too damn lazy. But here are a few of the highlights:
* There are two basic ways to use Amazon free promotions: 1) promoting one book and hoping for that same book to “bump up” in the rankings when the promo is done and hence sell a bunch of copies and 2) promoting one book in the hopes of driving sales of related books — ideally others in the same series. Ed says that the first doesn’t work well anymore but that the second still does.
* Related to the above, Ed says that many authors — including himself — are leaving KDP Select in frustration and adding their books to other stores. From where I (Johnny) stand, this seems nuts, but I am not in the same place as these other guys, and it makes sense for them. It DOES also make me nervous to have all of my eggs in one basket over at Amazon, lending some credence to the other argument.
Like I said, there’s a crap-ton more here. Enjoy!
To view the video version of this episode, go to: Self Publishing Podcast #42 – Exploring Amazon’s Algorithms with Ed Robertson