Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Business of Writing: Labeling Yourself as a #Bestselling Author #ASMSG #IAN1 #IARTG

Breaking News on The Maze!

I interrupt the regularly scheduled article about pen names to bring you the following special report:

Early on 8/10/2015 my YA paranormal historical romance novel Snow in July hit #1 in the category of Kindle Teen & Young Adult Historical Romances! And it got as high as #2 in Teen Historical Romance Books (all formats) and #24 in Teen Paranormal Romance that morning too. What a lovely surprise to wake up to, and I thank everyone who downloaded the book to make it possible!

I am also grateful that I was lucky enough to capture the screen shot when I did, because on the product page for Snow in July, Amazon had already reported that my book was #2 in the aforementioned Kindle category, and even lower ranks for the other two. I almost didn't click through to "see the top 100" to discover the very pleasant surprise that Snow in July had reached #1 during the night.

So my book's "bestseller" status lasted just a few hours, but the lists hadn't yet caught up to the product page. Did I rush forth and change my Twitter profile to add "bestselling author," and crank out a bunch of tweets, pins, and status updates to blare this news before everything synched?

H*ll no.

And if you're fortunate enough to have this happen to one of your books, you shouldn't either.

I'm serious. Because Amazon category bestselling ranks are that fleeting, they are meaningless. Because they are meaningless, those labels in a tweet or other social media post do absolutely nothing to sway me toward buying a book unless prefaced by the phrases "USA Today" or "New York Times"—and it's a rare day when I buy off those lists either.

I cannot count the number of times that I've seen such a tweet, clicked through on the link, and seen the book's Amazon rank numbering in the tens of thousands, sometimes even the hundreds of thousands or millions. Do you know what that does to a "bestselling" (but not today) author's credibility in my eyes?

I'll give you three guesses, and the first two don't count.

Yes, it's an exciting accomplishment that presents a tremendous temptation to claim the Amazon category "bestselling" badge. But I'm here to beg you not to succumb. You're only hurting your marketing efforts if you do.

By the way, at the time of this writing, Snow in July is still ranked in the top ten of the Teen & YA historical romance categories of Kindle as well as all book formats, and it's in the top 40 Teen Paranormal Romance. It may not be "bestselling" today, but it's still a great read if I do say so myself and I would be grateful if you would check it out—or at least view its fabulous book trailer embedded in the sidebar. :)

Enter this giveaway for an autographed print copy of Liberty!

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All this month, you are invited to...
— Follow Kim on Twitter
— Add Kim to Google+
— Subscribe to Kim's YouTube channel
— Leave a comment on any page of The Maze, especially if you have done the Twitter and/or YouTube follow
...and each action this month is good for one chance to win an e-book copy of Snow in July. Please enter often, and good luck!


Scribble a note on the wall of the Maze so you can find your way out again... ;-)