Dear reader, I have an idea that I’d like to try and implement that could potentially benefit all of us. It is simple, free (almost, initially pay a couple bucks, but get it back once your book is bought, and more), legal, however will require a small time commitment. There are a few components, and some or all can be implemented.
I have perused through many independent authors blogs, and then checked out their e-books as well as their e-book rankings on Amazon, and even purchased some of their e-books, your e-books. But as many of you are aware even a few purchases a day don’t propel your book onto any best seller lists, or top one hundred lists. So we’re all on the same page. I’m using Amazon as my bench mark for these ideas and numbers, but it should translate to other e-book sites.
Let’s look at what’s needed to get a book onto a top one hundred sellers list. Sales is the obvious number one factor, it’s critical, but there are other benefiting factors. Book reviews and tags can help make a book more searchable and therefore more visible to more readers. Liking books and author web pages is another method to generate publicity.
I have an idea and a plan that would allow you and me to get our books onto one of these lists, without doing anything illegal, without doing anything dishonest, or unfair. It is simply a matter of timing and working together as a community of writers. Remember there is a small inherent “disadvantage” to being an indie author, namely no large company paying for advertising expense,; as well as contending with public perception of indie authors. I have however read many poorly written books from major publishing houses, and many well written indie authored novels. Together we can turn some ideas around and eventually make it easier on all indie authors.
Here’s what I propose. Forming a circle of independent and interested authors on an easy social media platform, like Twitter – AuthorsCircle. One person organizes all submitted books into genres and categories, onto a publicly accessible website that all users have access to (for now this blogsite). The next step is to randomly select specific dates to focus purchases on books of differing genres. Re-price books at a discounted rate ($0.99) for this circle of buyers for that specific date. Read the books, and if you enjoyed it write a review, if you didn’t, provide your constructive feedback by email or direct message to the author so as to foster a positive environment of improvement. That’s it! That’s how simple it could be.
See it simplified below.
1) Form a circle of like-minded independent authors onto an established social media network – Twitter. To expand this number, invite like-minded aspiring authors. (AuthorsCircle)
2) Submit the book title, genre, author name, website of the book you’d like promoted to the top.
3) All books are organized onto a spreadsheet, by genre, and posted online on a page accessible to everyone (for now on this site). I can start this, but I think the responsibility should be shared at one point, so that the webpage (schedule-spreadsheet) is hosted by rotating members of the group. (example spreadsheet)
4) Re-price those books before targeted purchase to $0.99 to allow a large circle to maintain a continued process of purchases, reviews, tagging, likes, and purchases (or free, but this may show in a different category)
5) Only one or two books from each genre are selected on specific days (2 day window) for targeted purchase. This allows large numbers of purchases to boost a book up to public awareness.
6) Authors – after the 2 day window, re-price your book back to your normal listed price.
7) Read the books, if you like it, review it, if not, don’t review, instead direct message the author your constructive criticism. Contact information will be on the online spreadsheet. No reviews below 3 stars should be a fixed rule, for those only hurt the author.
Improved book visibility
Improved website visibility = greater book visiblity – greater sales
More tags = more visibility – greater sales
Pushed up onto a top one hundred list (bestsellers, movers and shakers, popular, etc.) = greater visibility, larger audience, more book sales
Improved book sales
New links created toward your book
Initial investment of a couple bucks – once your book comes up, and it will quickly, or initialy depends when you submit, then the money spent will come back in royalties from initial spate of sales, but increased visibility and ranking should mean more public sales too
Gaining enough authors to start project – Actually just in first 24 hours a dozen authors have expressed interest and a few have submitted their titles. Between Twitter, Forums, and telling your friends and followers, this could potentially go viral in the indie author world. Once going it will be self-perpetuating for some time.
Reciprocity – Most people I feel are honest, those that aren’t may fall through, but with sufficient numbers that will be negligible. What’s more likely is someone falls through on one cycle due to being busy that day, but continues to participate, why, self-interest, we all want our turn on the list. Social dynamics will come into play just as it does on a Forum, we self regulate based on feedback from other authors.
START NOW (guidelines)
Submit your Book title(s), genre, URL’s to be liked, contact info