Monday, February 25, 2013

Working the Amazon System May Be the Key

If you follow me at all, you know I released The Rustler’s Daughter on 2/14/13 (actually I uploaded it to Amazon and Barnes and Noble the day before to make sure it was ready). As with my other two books, I had planned to work diligently on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and was considering doing a blog tour. I had information up on my website and had been talking about it on my blog.


Unfortunately, I had to go to a work conference this last weekend. I wasn’t able to do all of the promo stuff I wanted to because I had to get everything ready for my family to survive without me for a few days. I brought my laptop intending to do whatever I could during my free time at the conference.


I flew out on Wednesday afternoon (2/20), and Thursday morning before we headed out for conference presentations, I checked my sales. I had sold 46 books. Not bad. When I got back in the afternoon, I checked my book sales again on my phone while my colleagues were getting ready to go to dinner. I had forgotten my laptop charger cord, so I was trying not to stress about missing these early book release days. The sale number said 107. Seriously. I stared at my phone, blinking in disbelief.


I said “What happened?” out loud, catching the attention of my conference buddies. In a few hours, my book sales had more than double. I couldn’t breathe. I wanted to know my Amazon rankings were, but I was having trouble talking and my stupid laptop was dead. I frantically called my husband, while one of my friends from the conference also looked on her laptop. I was #8 on Amazon’s best seller list for western romances. I was also ranked in the #40’s for two other western categories.


Freaking out, I started calling some of my author friends to share the good news. That’s when they asked “What did you do?” That was the funny part. I didn’t do a damned thing. My husband found out that my book was #13 on Amazon’s “Hot New Releases in Western Romance,” which I’m sure had a lot to do with it as well as the other rankings.


I used to think the people who blogged about trying to work the Amazon algorithm system were crazy…maybe not. Somehow, I got caught up in the Amazon system, and I am still selling books. I have stayed in the 4,000 – 6,000 range in the paid Kindle store. My rankings in the 3 best selling western categories have varied in the #70’s to the #90’s. I even sold some Nook books on Barnes and Noble. Now that’s crazy.


Honestly, I’m dumbfounded - part of my wants to laugh because I am having success without working like crazy on promo stuff like I have with my other two books, but the other part of me wants to know what made the difference. Is it the genre? Romance is a huge. Is it the cover? I had people tell me they bought it based on the cover alone. Is it the editing? This book doesn’t have the comma issues my other books have. Personally, I'm sure it had a lot to do with the visibility of my book on Amazon, but I just don’t know how I got there. I wouldn't think selling 46 books in 6 days would get noticed on Amazon. Maybe it did. Who knows?


I keep waiting for it to stop. I fell out of the rankings a couple of times and thought “Well, that was fun, now back to reality.” Only to come home and find book sales had picked up, and I was back in the rankings. I don’t get it.


I do have to thank my friends on Facebook. They shared on their timelines and also posted in some of the groups they’re in. Every little bit has helped. It is surreal at this point. I can’t get my mind to embrace the idea that maybe this is it…maybe this book will be the one to open the door for me to continue to sell at a higher level.


I really wanted to be home for all of this craziness, but at least I was in Anaheim for the conference, so I got to celebrate in Downtown Disney Thursday night, and my conference buds were awesome. I’m glad I was there. It’s the best place to believe in magic.


  1. It couldn't have happened to a more talented writer or a nicer person. Your book is fantastic. Congrats.

  2. Thanks ladies! It's still a little surreal. I appreciate all the help and support from both of you! It means a lot coming from talented writers like yourselves :)

  3. Yes, but doesn't it suck to be that close to Disneyland and not be able to go in? I hate that! I have to stop myself from climbing the fence. We took my dad to ESPN Zone last year after an Angels game and it hurt to walk away without visiting. *laughs*

    Congratulations! I'm sorry it took so long to reply to this post. That's kind of how it is for me these days. It takes the weekend (and sometimes a second one) to catch up with everything in the inbox. Way to go! Who needs to promo?!? ;)