It was a shock to me too. I can only imagine how much it surprises, and perhaps appalls the highbrow artsy browsers at Amazon. I can hear them murmuring and muttering now, one of those books in our section? Love and lust, sex and second chances, over the top head over wonder worm heroes in love – right here with books about art? How dare the writer post such drivel in this section!
Well, this invasion wasn’t intentional. I self published Golden and Faerie through the Amazon subsidiary, CreateSpace. I chose that service after some research into pricing and retail channels. With their pro plan, I can price my books reasonably, price them at numbers I’d pay for a book. With some of the other services, by the time the initial publishers’ commission got added on, and then Amazon or the retail channel commission got added on, a paperback book would be priced at $25 to $30. Lord knows, I’d never pay that for a paperback and wouldn’t expect anyone else to either. With CreateSpace and the pro plan, my books get automatically listed on Amazon. I can price them well (now listed at $12.95) and everyone can still make a little money. It’s that automatic part that’s caused me some trouble.
When I did the initial book listing, I paid a lot of attention to the category, genre and sub-genre. I debated pricing with my marketing-manager hubby. What I overlooked was one small drop-down list. It was the browse section, meaning, where books are listed for browsing on the Amazon site. The first entry, where you’d get set if you don’t change it, is Arts & Photography. It’s such a small little list compare to the rest of the data on the site. Small and easy to overlook. But sometimes, the small things are the big things. Yes, I should have sweated the small stuff.
It takes about 15 days for changes from CreateSpace to automatically feed up to Amazon. I’m counting down those days. How did I discover the problem, you ask? Well, it was the sales numbers. They were nonexistent for the longest time, and finally I sold a couple of copies. Neither of my books may end up as break-the-Amazon-servers bestsellers, but I’ve sold enough e-books that I felt my sales numbers for the paperbacks should have been doing better than that. So I checked and, sure enough, I’d screwed up.
My books will – soon, Please God and Please Amazon – find their proper home in the romance section on the Amazon site. Until then, I amuse myself by thinking about the couple of copies that have sold so far. They could have sold through my links from Scribd, Smashwords or my website, but I like to imagine that I converted a couple of the arty types. I like to think that a couple of those folks read the product description and the sample pages and decided – By Jove, perhaps some of this romance stuff is art! A girl can dream.
My hubby is preparing the sequel to Faerie – A Golden Forever– for CreateSpace. Once he gets all the conversion stuff done, I’ll enter the data and sales channel management. This time, I’ll check everything including the small things that have a big impact. Yeah, I’ll sweat the small stuff.
In the meantime, I’ll keep an interested eye on sales of the paperbacks and think about possible converts. I wonder if there are other idiots like me (come on, I can’t be the only one). I also imagine that there could be – from time to time – a very interesting variety in the browse of Arts & Photography on Amazon. Sci Fi? Literary Fiction? Chick Lit?
I’m a lawyer so loopholes are part of my stock-in-trade. A case could be made that all writing is art and could belong in that section. However, as much fun as staging a site sit-in might be, my wallet dictates otherwise. I hear it in my head now, bellowing in a deep voice – “Feed me, moron!”
So, I’m counting the days until Amazon fixes my screw up. Maybe, the lesson to be learned from this is that there is no small stuff.
Sweat it all so Amazon doesn’ t have to sort it out.