Friday, March 16, 2012

Categories on Amazon


On Amazon, categories are extremely important. I need to reiterate that. Categories are extremely important.

Did you realize that if you're in the wrong category, you could sit in the boondocks forever and never get your Amazon Best Seller's Rank up any higher. Remember - the higher your rank, the more visible Amazon will make you. The more visible you become, the more books you sell. Right?

When I first became a published author, I had a contract with The Wild Rose Press and expected them to take care of all that publishing 'business'. I wrote the books and they sold them – except they didn't. Sales were dismal, and there seemed to be nothing I could do about the problem. Write a better book I was told. So I did. But, it didn't help. I continued to sell those same amount of books that we all sell to our personal family, friends and few loyal fans.

Then I decided to be an Independent Author. I started a new series called 'Angels with Attitudes' and now all that 'business' landed in my lap. And so I asked questions and learnt as much as I could.

One thing I learnt was that it's very important which category you chose to place your book. You need to do a lot of homework checking out the others in your genre and pick out the ones in the top of the 100 bestsellers list and the bottom of the same list. Then check to see their rank #, and whether you'll ever be able to compete. Because I wrote paranormal romance, I automatically choose those categories without paying attention to just how many others I'd be competing against.

Think about trying a category whose top books have lower ranking numbers. There are a lot of different ones to choose from. Ask others where they chose to put their books. Then try changing your categories in KDP. Sometimes you have to change them more than once to fit into a place where the readers will find your book.   Do it! What can you lose - besides sales?

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She did a little quick step, swinging her hips in a sexy swaying motion. His mouth gaped, and he blinked double-time.
     She closed in.
     He backed up.
     “I guess. I didn’t know you could dance. In fact you told me you couldn’t. Okay, I get it. Who are you? And what have you done with my pal Annie?” It was a corny old line, but one that made her laugh.
     When he smiled back in his distinctive way, another tide of flutters began in her chest and made breathing all but impossible. Her breathy giggle, totally unlike her, had his eyes narrowing. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
     “Try me.”
     She inhaled and slowly released the air. When her pink lips formed a kissing kind of contortion, she watched his gaze zeroed in on her mouth.
     Lipstick?” The word slipped out, and she wondered if he was even aware of saying it.        
     She looked down. Her hands angled out in front as if holding an open book. “I’ve decided my life needs a total overhaul. I haven’t talked about it much, but I’ve been unhappy with myself for years.”
     “Uhh, honey, you talk about it frequently.”
     “Do I? Sorry.” A frown formed. She bit down on her bottom lip, a childhood habit she couldn’t seem to break.  She swallowed, and brought her eyes back to his face where only concern registered.
     “No problem. Go on.” His one-sider mocked her.
     “You have to agree, it’s more than time for me to make some life changes. This morning I made up my mind.” She gulped and leapt, no turning back. “I’m quitting the day-care. And if the Human Resource Manager’s position is still available with Lou Montaro’s company, then I’m going to take it. Remember how I told you he’s been after me for weeks? I’ve thought it through very carefully, went over all my options, and I’ve decided. I want it. Running his Personnel Department is an upper management position. If his bribes are anything to go by, the wages will be generous.”
     Tyler sank down on the nearest red bar stool, and stared at her. He shook his head as if to clear it. “You’re doing what?” The loudness of his voice hinted at his confusion. “You never took his offer seriously? You love your job, and you care about those kids. How can you leave them?”
     For a split second she wrung her hands and chewed at her lip gloss. When a mystical strengthening in her back reminded her of her earlier pledge, she stopped that nonsense and squared her shoulders.
     “Tyler I have to do this. I’m twenty-nine, and I’ve lived like a nun. I have no close friends except for you, my computer, and my TV. I never go anywhere other than to visit the folks twice a year, and that’s about as stimulating as—as my job’s been lately.” She started to pace.
     “Hold it. We go out together lots. What about our dinners, and movie nights, and all the fun mornings we’ve spent garage-sale-ing.” The last reference was a dig at her love of bargains to fix up her place. He grabbed her arms to hold her in front of him. His hurt, reproachful look squeezed Annie’s soft heart, but she wouldn’t soften. “We’ve renovated our apartments together....” She made her eyes harden, and the total lack of expression on her face probably stopped him from continuing.
      “Good times, yes, but not too exciting.”
     “Oh, Annie, I—“
     “Tyler!” Her hand shot out and pushed in his direction. “Listen, don’t talk, or I’ll never be able to explain.”
     “I’m listening.” His voice lowered, sounding like a groan.
     “I want to get out more and have some fun—go to parties, and have occasionally dates, maybe even find a boyfriend who’ll....”
     The look on Tyler’s face made her reconsider this line and try another.
     “Okay, look! Other than my job, our friendship, and periodically helping you out with the runaways, my life is empty. I need to grow up and do something different. I want to meet new people, have new experiences. I want…more.”     
     Wailing the final word, Annie plunked down on the red-cushioned barstool next to Tyler’s.
     He stared at her, his expression grim, but other than shaking his head back and forth, he said nothing. She sensed that words trembled on his lips, but he bit them back, and she relaxed. If he tried to talk her out of her plans, she didn’t know if she had the strength to fight him.
     “Tell me you understand. Please, Tyler, I need for you to help me do this.” Grabbing his hand in both of hers, she held on tight. Concentrating all her energy, she willed him to see her new needs. 
     He shot up. All six feet two inches of buff maleness paced up and down the small space. Jeans, worn snug and low, showed off his lankiness, his great buns, and his muscular legs. He moved with a hip-swaying motion that was eye-catching, sexy, and very much Tyler. A black golf shirt clung to his well-stocked upper frame, and set off his tan. Her hungry eyes trailed his movements, never shifting. The light caught the tiny diamond stud in his ear that some of the teens had gotten together to buy for his last birthday. Being Tyler, he hadn’t the heart to refuse to wear it, and it had taken him months to get used to the trinket. She loved it, because she knew the kids bought it to represent their admiration for a man who’d support them through anything.
    His hands fiddled with the jean pockets as he slid them in and out. Finally, he hovered in front of her and leaned in.

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