Support for Indie Authors discussion

95 views
Archived Marketing No New Posts > How to Encourage People to Buy the Book on the First Day?

Comments Showing 1-25 of 25 (25 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Shoshanah (new)

Shoshanah Marohn (shoshanahmarohn) | 32 comments So, I understand that with the Amazon Algorithm, the sales you make on that first day the book is released are really key to getting up in the charts, and then being in the top one hundred is key to selling more books, and it's a bit of a snowball effect. Ideally, then, I want all of my fans and friends to buy that book on the very first day it's out. My question for the group is,

Have you had any success encouraging people to all buy a book on the same day? If so, how did you do that?

My books are funny, so I'm wondering if a comic plea would help, vs. simply explaining the situation and begging in a most undignified way- which is always my fallback plan, of course. I'm asking for specific quotes of words or phrases that worked for you.


message 2: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Angell (heidiangell) | 241 comments Using pre-orders is a great way to boost sales on the first day. I have had my book up for pre-order for 4 weeks (Six weeks before launch day) and as the tour goes along, I am able to collect sales that day rather than hoping that they come back and remember to buy it when it comes out. Amazon logs all pre-orders on the day the book comes out, so even if they "bought" the book six weeks ago, on launch day they will all go in at the same time.


message 3: by Christina (last edited Mar 02, 2016 09:26AM) (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) First: I am seriously thinking of banning the words Amazon and algorithm in the same post. :D

Second: I'm going to say this as a friend and fellow author: I don't know anyone who has had more success with getting real life friends and family to buy books than you. I'm not kidding. You achieved bestseller status. We have a thread showing how incredibly rare this level of support is: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

The best advice is that which is echoed all over the board: just keep writing. Sales will come, eventually.


message 4: by Morris (new)

Morris Graham (morris_g) If you got anyone who lives with you to read your book, after all the time you spent away from them to write the thing, I salute you, you, the god of relationships.


message 5: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 780 comments I made a Facebook group of 8 people who helped contribute ideas for the book and they all received discounts when the book came out. Not one has taken me up on my offer but one person has bought the book at full price.

I'd say the first day is the best day to try and bring in sales but if and how you achieve those sales is entirely up to you.


message 6: by Owen (last edited Mar 02, 2016 10:24AM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Shoshanah wrote: "So, I understand that with the Amazon Algorithm, the sales you make on that first day the book is released are really key to getting up in the charts, and then being in the top one hundred is key t..."

Christina has a point. I'll just say that to the extent people "understand" Amazon's "word that shall not be written" Amazon will change them. Also, what is key to selling a book depends on the book and the genre. In some cases, there is a "snowball" effect, but it may or may not have anything to do with the Top 100 -- those are not all created equal.

Keep in mind that Amazon's "word that shall not be written" are there to help customers find things they may be interested in based on what they and other customers have demonstrated an interest in. Trying to figure out how use or beat the "word that shall not be written" is inherently self-defeating.

There is no "magic bullet" because if there was, Amazon (and other businesses) would kill it. That concept harms them because it represents an attack on the customer's belief in fair dealing. People do not like being manipulated.

I am fully aware that people who bring up these questions are innocent of any ill intent or will to manipulate. They just want to give their books the best chance to sell and get them in front of people who might want to read them. That is good and laudable, and there are plenty of ways to do that. But concerning oneself with Amazon's "word that shall not be written" is not one of them.

The key thing in marketing is think like a customer, not an author, and especially to think like a customer who really dislikes marketing and distrusts the person doing it. Figure out how to win over that customer, and you'll do pretty well.


message 7: by Shoshanah (new)

Shoshanah Marohn (shoshanahmarohn) | 32 comments Heidi wrote: "Using pre-orders is a great way to boost sales on the first day. I have had my book up for pre-order for 4 weeks (Six weeks before launch day) and as the tour goes along, I am able to collect sales..."

Create Space won't let me do pre-sales on a paperback. :( I have asked them.


message 8: by Shoshanah (new)

Shoshanah Marohn (shoshanahmarohn) | 32 comments Christina wrote: "First: I am seriously thinking of banning the words Amazon and algorithm in the same post. :D

Second: I'm going to say this as a friend and fellow author: I don't know anyone who has had more succ..."


Thank you for the encouragement!


message 9: by Shoshanah (new)

Shoshanah Marohn (shoshanahmarohn) | 32 comments Owen wrote: "Shoshanah wrote: "So, I understand that with the Amazon Algorithm, the sales you make on that first day the book is released are really key to getting up in the charts, and then being in the top on..."

I'm really not trying to game the system, just asking around and trying to see what has worked for people. Thanks for the advice. I won't use the forbidden words again!


message 10: by Nathan (last edited Mar 02, 2016 01:18PM) (new)

Nathan Wall (goodreadscomnathanwall) | 37 comments Shoshanah wrote: "So, I understand that with the Amazon Algorithm, the sales you make on that first day the book is released are really key to getting up in the charts, and then being in the top one hundred is key t..."

One thing you may want to consider is the affect of Kindle Unlimited. My newest release debuted in the top 100 and stayed there because of sales for about a week and a half. This was with little pre-sales.

The book is now sitting at #800 in the Amazon store. I've not had any sales outside the first week. You know what I have had? Boat loads of Kindle Unlimited reads.

My KU reads are off the charts. There's not a day where the number of pages dips below 150, and most of the time they're averaging 600 a day with regular spikes around 1000. The reads aren't solely based on the newest book alone. That's split between three books. But, considering the longest of the three books is 680 KU pages, I'm getting one book read a day. Fantastic when you consider I'm making more for the book on KU than I would if someone bought it straight up.

The problem? I go to my book page on amazon and the KU reads don't contribute to my book rank. Furthermore, I go to the KU best sellers page and the best I've ever cracked was page three.

What's on the opening page? Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Einstein Prophecy, some other Trads and then something called "A Shade of Vampire" and all the books in the series after it. Which also happen to be ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on for paranormal Teen&YA romance.

This isn't to get you down or anything, but to help you think about what kind of success you want. Very little if any of my KU reads result in reviews, which is par for the course even if the book is bought. I understand those reviews would count as verified as well, which is a morale blow. At least with a standard purchase my book rank would increase.

So think about the success you're after. I'm making money but not getting notoriety. Would I get the same kind of reads if I took the book off of Kindle Unlimited? Who knows. I'm scared to try.

Just some food for thought. Good luck!


message 11: by Lyra (new)

Lyra Shanti (lyrashanti) | 126 comments Owen wrote: "The key thing in marketing is think like a customer, not an author, and especially to think like a customer who really dislikes marketing and distrusts the person doing it. Figure out how to win over that customer, and you'll do pretty well.

Aye, there's the rub. It's also the trick, but very hard to do. We're so busy creating worlds and characters, it's very hard to switch the brain to marketing mode. But you're very right. Figure that out, and you'll do better.


message 12: by Shoshanah (new)

Shoshanah Marohn (shoshanahmarohn) | 32 comments Nathan, I feel for you. This Kindle stuff doesn't apply, however, because I'm publishing a coloring book- paper version only. At least you're making money, right? My other books also get a lot of free reads. I don't know how I feel about it. It is nice to be read.

Lyra- yes, we all have to be two people, the artist and the marketer- and there's the rub! It's weird.


message 13: by G.G. (last edited Mar 02, 2016 08:08PM) (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments Nathan wrote: "The problem? I go to my book page on amazon and the KU reads don't contribute to my book rank. Furthermore, I go to the KU best sellers page and the best I've ever cracked was page three..."

I think you should contact Amazon. There is a problem with your book(s). I don't have that many sales or that many KU read, so when I get one I see the changes easily. My book rank (in kindle store) always goes up on the day I get KU read (or down depending on how you see it. The number goes down so it goes up in rank). So that you say it doesn't show in your ranking kind of bugs me. I don't think it should work that way. :(


message 14: by L.S. (new)

L.S. May | 55 comments G.G. wrote: "Nathan wrote: "The problem? I go to my book page on amazon and the KU reads don't contribute to my book rank. Furthermore, I go to the KU best sellers page and the best I've ever cracked was page t..."

In my experience, US borrows and sales will affect ranking in the US store. UK borrows and sales won't. (I haven't paid attention to other countries.) That might be at play here?


message 15: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Shoshanah wrote: "I'm really not trying to game the system, just asking around and trying to see what has worked for people. Thanks for the advice. I won't use the forbidden words again! ..."

I didn't think you were, and did not intend to imply that. So while you and I know you aren't trying game the system, when that topic is brought up, it tends to strengthen some perceptions out there about how things "work" which are misconceptions and ultimately counterproductive, on more than one level.


message 16: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Nathan wrote: "Shoshanah wrote: "So, I understand that with the Amazon Algorithm, the sales you make on that first day the book is released are really key to getting up in the charts, and then being in the top on..."

It takes quite a while for notoriety to develop. I see you have several books out, and that no doubts is helping your sales. The way KU borrows affect ranking is a little non-obvious. it doesn't but exactly how is not always easy to see. I have the same issue tracking our books. The issue is the the rank is quite volatile in some regimes but much less so in others. if a book is selling much at all, it tends to be in a regime where the effect on ranking is hard to spot and can seem counter-intuitive.

Also, I believe [not 100% sure of this] that the KU borrows count towards sales rank when the book is borrowed (which is not reported anymore), not when the page reads are are registered (which is reported). If you see a big spike in page reads on one day, but the book was downloaded a week before, no change on sales rank will be apparent on the day the reads showed up.

Anyone who has reliable data on when the when/how the KU borrows are counted WRT to sales rank, please correct the forgoing.


message 17: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Wall (goodreadscomnathanwall) | 37 comments I actually had quite a lengthy conversation with a Kindle and then Amazon rep a while ago when it was failing to show reviews.

I asked them about KU and ranking and they flat out said KU reads have no affect on a book's ranking. I told them I wish it showed a books KU rank and they said that's something they get requests for quite often.

I check my KU reads every morning when I wake up. About 90% of the pages read happen before 6 am central. I know those can't be Americans reading it that early. I can only assume it's UK reads as I have quite a few followers on Facebook from across the pond and have some sales in pounds.


message 18: by G.G. (last edited Mar 03, 2016 04:43AM) (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments Nathan wrote: "I can only assume it's UK reads as I have quite a few followers on Facebook from across the pond and have some sales in pounds..."

That is easy to check. On your report page there is a filter set to all marketplace. Change it to Amazon UK and you'll see.


Edited: It could be Americans reading late. :P


message 19: by T.L. (new)

T.L. Clark (tlcauthor) | 727 comments The Amazon machine calculates sales by the hour.
However, should you manage to have far better friends and family than most of us, the pre-orders will all appear in the same hour upon release, so for one brief moment will give you heightened sales.

Trying to advertise like crazy about your new release will also help with this.

Like Christina said; write because you love it and keep going.

:-)


message 20: by Shoshanah (new)

Shoshanah Marohn (shoshanahmarohn) | 32 comments Morris wrote: "If you got anyone who lives with you to read your book, after all the time you spent away from them to write the thing, I salute you, you, the god of relationships."

Thank you. I am just getting used to my "Goddess" status!


message 21: by Shoshanah (new)

Shoshanah Marohn (shoshanahmarohn) | 32 comments Owen wrote: "Nathan wrote: "Shoshanah wrote: "So, I understand that with the Amazon Algorithm, the sales you make on that first day the book is released are really key to getting up in the charts, and then bein..."

I'm not talking about KU at all. The book is purely paper form. I'm releasing a coloring book. That's sort of a side tangent, but I don't care about that. (I'm sure other people do care, and that's fine, I'm just clarifying.) My question is just about how to get everyone to buy the book right away on the day it comes out! The paper book. No kindle.


message 22: by Shoshanah (new)

Shoshanah Marohn (shoshanahmarohn) | 32 comments T.L. wrote: "The Amazon machine calculates sales by the hour.
However, should you manage to have far better friends and family than most of us, the pre-orders will all appear in the same hour upon release, so ..."


It is true that my last book was well purchased and well read by friends and family. So I guess what I'm saying is: you all are making me feel blessed! I thought this was the norm. Thank you for pointing this out to me! I won't take them for granted now.


message 23: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor T.L. wrote: "The Amazon machine calculates sales by the hour.
..."


This.

If your sales are brisk and your ranking ever-fluctuating, you have to check the rank at the next hour following the borrow or you miss the effect. Also, there's word that the rank adjusts when someone adds the book to their kindle, not when they actually read it, so you might see regular reads, but the affect to your rank may have come hours or days before those pages show up on your graph.


message 24: by Owen (last edited Mar 04, 2016 06:17PM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Shoshanah wrote: "My question is just about how to get everyone to buy the book right away on the day it comes out! The paper book. No kindle. ..."

Yes, the KU topic was indeed a tangent. The main point is that there is nothing special about books being sold on the first day they are available, whether they are print or eBooks. That's not how things work. It does not matter if your books are sold on the first day, the 10th, day or the 1000th day. You book will rise or fall on the charts in pretty much the same fashion.

The caveat to this is that books hold a rank longer if they have a history of sales, and not as long if they just have a sharp spike. In that sense, building sales more steadily over a longer period is more beneficial than a sales spike.


message 25: by Shoshanah (new)

Shoshanah Marohn (shoshanahmarohn) | 32 comments Thanks!


back to top