Monday, May 9, 2011

As Amazon Turns: Episode 5

(Tune in tomorrow for a new synopsis crit!)

When we left off last episode, Amazon had once again gone into stealth mode and quietly swapped out the Historical Fiction/Historical Romance tags it had agreed last month to restore to the novel, Spoil of War. Phoenix noticed the dastardly deed on Thursday, the same day she'd planned a small promotion to try to boost sales right before the weekend. A few lovely followers purchased the book when asked and, for a bit, it seemed like the book could be within striking distance of a meaningful  Top 100 List -- except now it wouldn't show up on any General Search lists at all.

Curses! Foiled again!

In fact, going into the weekend, Spoil of War had received its best ranking yet: 11,533. Hold that thought.

Amazon today sent a polite email apologizing for the "miscommunication," restored the Historical tags, and removed the Erotica tags. No other explanation save that they had reviewed our previous correspondence (which I helpfully attached) and decided to remove the erotica tags. I appreciate the historical tags being restored, of course. Still, I'm wondering if they have a bot that goes through and automatically relists books with certain key words in the book and/or description and wondering if this bot runs monthly. I do know I'll be diligently checking from here on out.

Frustratingly, the book's rank right now is 46,175. It is (not at all frustratingly!) #97 on the Historical Fiction Medieval bestseller list.

Would it have cracked the Top 100 in general Historical Fiction when it ranked in the 11,000's on Thursday near the start of the promo period had it not carried the Erotica tag instead? Would more people have found it over the weekend because it showed up with a higher rank in general searches? Sadly, that's something we'll never know.

THANK YOU to everyone who purchased in the past few days. And remember, if you've purchased both Spoil of War and the Extinct anthology and you want an indepth 5-page crit, let me know! The offer will be good through this Friday, so you still have time. The crit window is open, too, so you don't have to send pages right away if you don't have anything ready.


Sarah Laurenson said...

I'm glued to the edge of my seat!

Am taking you up on that crit offer soemtime this weekend.

stacy said...

Hey! I bought both books and would like to take you up on that offer. I can send what I have today.

Do I need to show proof I bought the books? A photo of my Kindle list, perhaps? : )

stacy said...

BTW, I've started Extinct and so far it's very, very good.

fairyhedgehog said...

It's so frustrating. I suspect you're right and it's a bot problem but it's very tempting to see it as a conspiracy, with authors that pay more getting better listing tags!

Phoenix Sullivan said...

@Sarah: LOL! I'm looking forward to your pages!

@Stacy: No proof needed. I trust you guys. Just send along your pages :o) And I'm glad you're liking Extinct! I'm really happy that it wound up with such awesome stories.

@FHH: Conspiracy theories ARE a lot more fun, aren't they? Actually, Amazon is cracking down on some m/m manga titles right now, too, and taking them down completely. Even though THEY aren't erotica either. There seems to be something going on over there...

Quarasan said...

They're not able to process my latest payment. Hmmm . . . I wonder how this fits in?

I'll send along the pages this evening. Thanks!