Algorithms and Popularity Lists


For the past couple of years, I’ve been a part of a writer’s group with a mission and an agenda for every meeting. We begin by talking shop about the goings-on in the state organization, SCWW, and then we chat a little about projects. Then we get down to business: critiquing and discussing manuscripts that were submitted for that meeting.

For the past three meetings, however, our agenda has included social media as a topic. What’s the best medium to use? Is it Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn, or a combination of them? Should we tweet? If we have a blog, do we need a website too? And if the answer to that question is yes, then should we do it ourselves or pay someone? And what about Amazon’s CreateSpace and KDP options?

As part of my search for the best options for getting my work “out there,” I’ve read a number of eBooks with excellent advice. Some people might squawk about having to read yet another book when all they really want to do is write. I understand that perspective completely. At the same time, I feel that whatever a person sets out to do, she needs to  know as much as she can about her options.

That said, I just read Let’s Get Visible by David Gaughran. It was an eye-opener, one of those books that let you there’s a wealth of information to help writers advance their work if they’re willing to study the ins and outs of ePublishing. Here’s the review.

In a word, WOW. Who knew there was so much involved in Amazon’s popular list and sales lists and algorithms? Not I! However, after reading this book, I’m much more aware of the forces at work behind the scenes, and I have a better understanding of what it takes to move one’s book up in Amazon sales. Interestingly, the Table of Contents is at the end of the book so you’ll have to swipe to the end to look for specific topics. 

In many ways, Let’s Get Visible reads like a textbook, but don’t let that deter you. The author has a treasure trove of useful information to share, and he does it in a clear, well-written manner. For me, there was a steep learning curve, but I got the major point: You can’t just put your book out there and hope and pray that people will find it. You need a strategy. Suggestions include Author Central page, a blog with links to email and Amazon, and the pros and cons of advertising. I also learned about the top three reader sites and the variety of advertising options  available on each:  Ereader News Today, Pixel of Ink, and BookBub

I like the way the author ends with the reminder to “Keep Writing.” Although the writing business can be “crazy making,” Gaughran tells his readers that writers are lucky to have such powerful tools to publish their books and make them available to readers around the world. ‘Tis true. As much as I learned from Get Visible, I’m going to follow the author’s advice to keep my focus on producing quality work and not let market intrude on writing time.

Is there an advantage to offering Kindle books free for a limited time? Read this concise, informative book and find out the answer to this and other questions. 

About jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer
This entry was posted in books, eBooks, reading, self publishing, social media, writers, writing, writing groups, writing life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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