Saturday, December 27, 2014

Follow up on promoting ‘Tis the Season - how to make #Amazon Categories work for you.

***Part #2: My Secrets for getting ‘Tis the Season on the first page of Contemporary Romance.

On Dec 16th, I shared with you the program of promotions I used to get ‘Tis the Season to the rank #36 on Amazon. (see Part #1 on the right hand panel – My secrets for getting ‘Tis the Season from #250,000 rank to under #50 in a few days. #Amazon.

Today, as promised, I want to give you a hint on the category placement you should be following when you take on the kind of promotions I pushed. And why it’s so important.

As you recall, the BookBub promo happened on the Friday Dec 12th and I left the price at the 99cent level until the following Sunday when I upped it to $2.99.

From the beginning of my adverts Dec 10th, the collection was in these 2 categories on Amazon:
- Fiction / Holiday
- Fiction / Romance / Anthologies & Collections

On Dec 10th and 11th, before BookBub, I was showing up so well in these categories, I almost decided to stay there. I was #1 in Christmas and showing well in two other lists.

But I had made up my mind to follow this plan.

So…. the night before it was to be set up on BookBub, I purposely changed the category to be:
- Fiction / Holidays
- Romance / Contemporary

I did so based on the presumption that when the book was put out on the BB newsletter, it would sell so many copies that I would actually have a chance to appear in the top 100 of the hardest category for a romance writer. This is the preferred list for all authors writing in this genre.

Turns out, I was right to make the switch. At the high point, I ranked #36 on Amazon paid, but more important, I was on Amazon’s best-selling author list at #7 (right behind Nora Roberts at #6 yess!!!). And… I showed up on the first page of the Contemporary Romance listing!! (There is a God!!!)

Now it’s true that I didn't stay very long in that position…. think blink!! LOL But I was there long enough for the readers who buy from that list to see my book and many bought it. That small window gave me access to a whole bunch of readers I normally wouldn't get to promote to.

And if those avid romance junkies like my work, it could mean more sales down the road. Of course, I made sure my “Also author of…” page was clearly placed in the back matter with a link to my website where all my books are listed. I might add; the website conveniently has the buttons for my books to the various venues where they can also be bought.

Now, on the Sunday, Dec 14th, while the book still ranked under #1,000, I not only upped the price to $2.99 to ride the downward wave, I also changed the category again. I mean it’s okay to try and compete in the contemporary market when you have a BB pending, but even I know that I couldn't maintain that position unless my sales continued. And, sadly, they didn't at that pace.

What I do believe is this - by putting that book on three days of continuous promotions, it kept the ranking up long enough for it to hit enough queues that it maintained a place around the #3,000 level until the next weekend when I had it on another promotion – eReader Cafe .

At this time, ‘Tis the Season is still ranking at under #15,000 and I now have it in these categories:

- Fiction / Romance / Collections & Anthologies
- Juvenile Fiction / Holidays & Celebrations / Christmas & Advent

As you might have noticed, I changed one category each time so I could reach yet another group of readers

I also have the collection on other promotions this weekend, Friday it is on Riffle Select $40 and Saturday on Bargain Booksey $50 both with the book priced at 99cents. On the Sunday, I will again raise the price to $2.99 and try and make some money as the book moves down from the higher ranking.  

I hope this info has helped you to decide how you might like to set up your own promotions for a book you really want to push. Remember – it is about the money – of course. But to me, it’s more about the visibility, finding new readers who might become fans and giving as many people access to my work as possible. Don’t get me wrong, I have come out ahead on this maneuver. Once I subtract the costs, I've still managed to clear a couple of hundred dollars in profit, which is just fine.

You see, I think of this business like this – long term goals instead short time gains. And my long term goal is to be able to publish a book and have it sell all on its own because there are so many fans waiting to buy my work.

One day….

** A local Santa comes to give me a hug while I was ringing the bells!**


  1. This is going in my writers toolbox, thanks Mimi and happy holidays

  2. Thank you for the valuable information, Mimi. I really appreciate it. Now that I see how little I know about Amazon, I have to figure out category placement, rankings, etc. Hopefully they have online tutorials. I am grateful you shared this!
    ~Carole Avila

    1. I can't stress enough the importance of selecting categories and changing them if one isn't working for you. Try different listings as many are not as hard to hit as others.... research books in your genre and see what those people are choosing and look at their ranking to see if they're selling a lot more than you are. As soon as the holidays are over, I'll do a blog on how to look into the categories so keep tuned in :-)

  3. Great advice, Mimi! Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. Thank you, Mimi. You're wonderful about sharing everything with everyone. Truly appreciate it!

    1. Thanks Linda. There's so much to learn in this crazy business - so whenever I can help someone to understand things I've worked out, I'm happy to share.

  5. Mimi! That is great info. I have this question: Did you have the collection on all sales venues? i.e. B&N, Kobo, iTunes + Amazon What was the time lag to change prices and categories? hat promoted Juvenile Fiction? Because there are children in the romance books? Thanks,

    Jackie Weger
    No Perfect Secret

    1. Hi Jackie, As to your first question, of course I did. That's one of the things I worked on before I ever tried for a BookBub - I put the collection everywhere.
      The time lag time for changing prices and categories is about the same - on Amazon it's the longest. The others work fast...some immediately. Just so you know, I really work Amazon - not so much the others. So therefore, once I set up the books on places like Apple, Kobo, Google Play, Smashwords & D2D ( B&N for me cause I'm Canadian), I haven't changed anything other than pricing them up and down for promos.
      I love those that have buttons for all the venues ( like BookBub). This year I want to start a special list of the places where they give us options for all the venues and I will most likely support those more.
      I put the book in Juvenile Fiction because I wanted to hit that Christmas list. Myself, I've gone to Amazon and typed in Christmas Books and that list shows up. I figure the cover tells anyone searching there that there's romance involved.
      Have a great New Year, my friend...