If you read my post about first impressions you saw my best attempts at a cover that gets attention and sells books. The cover and the blurb – those are the levers the indie author can manipulate to get the prospective reader to give a book a look.
Writing and cover design are different disciplines, so I admitted my shortcomings and hired a pro. Here’s what he came up with:
I really like it. If the response from my forum friends and Facebook followers are any indication (my weekly reach hit an all-time high of 400 following my cover reveal) this one’s a winner.
What did it do for my sales? In the words of Flora Bugatti*, niente.
I’m happy with the blurb and the cover. My formatting is good and the sample chapters are well constructed. Either this book has no appeal at all, or no one is seeing my book page.
I finally got the analytics to work on my Amazon page. I now can see how many people are looking at my book and where they’re from. Here’s the graph from the last week, during which I sold two books:
That’s 137 looks from thirteen countries and two sales.
To be fair to myself, I’m pretty sure most of these looks came from people on the forum and not by shoppers happening on my book while browsing Amazon. Which led me to a realization.
Those folks on the forum who brag about selling 1000 books in a few weeks with no promotion at all must be driving a lot of traffic to their book pages. (In case you’re wondering if my forum buddies are lying, it’s easy to verify their sales figures from their ranking. They’re not shitting me.) That traffic must be coming from Amazon itself and not from the outside.
There are two ways that can happen, first, in a search, and second in the “also bought” section at the bottom of someone else’s book page.
I tried changing my categories and my search terms. It definitely had an impact on the number of looks. So I’ll be tweaking them and watching the effects.
As for linking to other books, well, I’m pretty sure that will only happen after I hit a tipping point and Amazon’s algorithm starts showing my book. Some people hit that by chance. Looks like I’ll have to work at it.
Then my cover will get a chance to work for me.
Copyright ©  by Charles O’Donnell, All Rights Reserved
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Thanks a lot. I am trying now the Amazon paid advertising program through KDP.
So am I! It's been running for a couple of days. I've had 472 impressions, two clicks, and no sales. Total spend to date: $0.80.
Tanya, unfortunately, it's no longer possible to gather these types of statistics. Amazon used to allow embedded html in the book descriptions, so I inserted a link that I could track using a link-tracking service. Amazon banned all but very simple formatting html some time ago. So, no more stats!
Thanks for your interest,
I am a beginner author of a children's book, sold on Amazon. I don't understand where do you get the graphs you show on this article? Where can I see how many views I had on my book page? I will be so grateful if you answer!
D.J., thanks for the purchase! Hope you enjoy it.
I do have an idea for a sequel but it'll be on the same scale and probably take as long as the first one. I agree that once we establish our followings and have multiple works it'll turn into a self-eating watermelon and our jobs will be a lot easier.
I'm reluctant to pass along the secret to setting up the analytical because I paid someone else for the secret and I would rather not deprive them of a sale by short-circuiting that sales cycle. But his book isn't expensive:
Purchased! I need all the help I can get. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, Charles–the analytics alone are certainly worth it!
I didn't see the embedded image in your blurb yet so I assume you're still setting it up. I do notice that your blurb extends below the jump and I don't know if it's a problem with your analytics if the image is below the jump too. Just to be safe you probably should put the image first or shorten the blurb so the image is above the jump.
Love the new cover, Charles! I think at this point, you and I are at the same point in our indie journeys: we just need to write the next damn book.
It all makes sense now, what Konrath, DWS, etc. say. Think about it: assume that you have ten books out, and each one gets the same amount of traffic as TGE (which is probably conservative since Amazon might send more traffic toward multiple work-publishers).
Even if you still get the same number of conversions on EACH BOOK, the odds that any given person on any given book will randomly stumble upon another one of your books is slim, unless you write in an exceedingly narrow genre.
Notice I say "randomly." That's because people will stumble upon your other books, but through the daisy chain that is author central/the rec engine. So the more books you have, the more targeted of an audience you reach, which should increase sales across all books, which should juice up rankings, reviews, etc., which should increase visibility in the engine. It's really quite clever on Amazon's part…
I'm shooting to have ten of my own out by the end of the year–I'll keep checking in to compare notes. Thanks for keeping this blog up; I'll take a look at TGE once I get through my reading list a bit, so there's a sale for you (another experiment–see how long it takes Amazon to post it. I'm buying it at exactly 10:12 pm central time Wednesday night.)
To those same ends, any chance we could get a quick post on how you set up the analytics? Inquiring minds want to know!
Thanks again, and keep it up!
Author of Jesus Was a Time Traveler: http://amzn.com/B00AHHVC94