Author Topic: How to report publishers abusing category system  (Read 1865 times)  

Offline Drakon

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Re: How to report publishers abusing category system
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2020, 07:29:45 am »
When it comes to Romance, there's a tremendous advantage in miscategorizing books - by virtue of simple sales numbers, a book that is selling well will automatically appear in the Top 100 list in the miscatted lists as well - hence MORE publicity = more sales.

For example it's amazing how many books listed as `Romantic Comedy' don't have a single joke in them! How do I know this - because I've read the books! But because of sales numbers that book is gonna make Top 100 in categories where it has no business being. The Reader doesn't know it's not funny and so buys it. 

This practice is very unfortunate bec it prevents good books from making the list and being read. From being SEEN - with 7 million books on Amazon, publicity is everything. 


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    Offline Elizabeth Ann West

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    Re: How to report publishers abusing category system
    « Reply #26 on: October 30, 2020, 07:40:59 am »
    Readers do NOT shop the top 100 list in any category to find books, don't believe me? Test out how many ways you can even GET to those lists on the site vs. the myriad of ways books are recommended everywhere based on the reader's personal tastes and popularity of a book.

    Amazon, a long time ago, realized that the best way to sell books was through more nuanced information than best-seller ranking.

    Can you miscategorize a book and have your overall sales ranking get you to a top spot on a less competitive listing? Yes. But in the long run that hurts you. The data Amazon has about a book is critical to selling it, a well positioned book (category matching cover matching title and subtitle and keywords in the blurb and even I suspect the inside) will have a few sales on it BEFORE YOU EVEN GET THE LINK TO SHARE WITH PEOPLE. This shows Amazon put your book in front of readers they thought might like it and some people bought it. So, if you go and pick some rando category to hit #1 in that doesn't match your book, congratulations, you just gave Amazon's book-selling robots a conflict. And we see these authors complain how they are an "Amazon bestseller" but their book just stopped selling and they can't fix it.

    As for the notion that authors authentically writing in that genre are harmed? Not so. Write more. Enlist other authors to write more books in that genre. Take it over with your releases and marketing and working as a team and you can make your category more competitive.

    My best earning book never even had a #1 orange banner. Chasing rank is a fool's errand, it's 100% dependent on factors outside of your control including : how other books are selling in that time period, what else released, and how sales were processed by a glitchy as hell system run by Amazon.

    And reporting other authors isn't a good idea, either. If someone asks you to help them get a ranking fixed, that's one thing. But you have no idea what's happening with a particular book, and also, unless you READ IT, you don't really know if it fits or not. I once had a jealous author report one of my books for bring in Scottish Romance when it's a Jane Austen derivative. Amazon told me my book was reported miscategorized, I wrote back half of the First Act takes place at Mr. Darcy's Scottish estate. I kept my book category. The author bragged in a mutual fan group about reporting me, a reader got a screenshot, I sent it to Amazon, and that author lost her bogus "series" that was just a way for her to try to juice all of her stand alone books that had nothing to do with each other. Seriously, it never really pays to throw a stone at someone else even if you're 100% convinced you know better than Amazon on how to run their own store.


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    Offline jb1111

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    Re: How to report publishers abusing category system
    « Reply #27 on: October 31, 2020, 02:07:12 am »
    ftp://
    Let me introduce you to the Humorous Science Fiction top 100, which is a complete joke

    https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Kindle-Store-Humorous-Science-Fiction/zgbs/digital-text/16232453011/

    Looking at the covers and titles, I don't see evidence of humor, unless I'm missing something. A trove of books by 2 or 3 authors, looking like alien versions of bad boy romances.

    Offline nightwork

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    Re: How to report publishers abusing category system
    « Reply #28 on: October 31, 2020, 04:49:22 pm »
    Readers do NOT shop the top 100 list in any category to find books, don't believe me? Test out how many ways you can even GET to those lists on the site vs. the myriad of ways books are recommended everywhere based on the reader's personal tastes and popularity of a book.

    Amazon, a long time ago, realized that the best way to sell books was through more nuanced information than best-seller ranking.

    Can you miscategorize a book and have your overall sales ranking get you to a top spot on a less competitive listing? Yes. But in the long run that hurts you. The data Amazon has about a book is critical to selling it, a well positioned book (category matching cover matching title and subtitle and keywords in the blurb and even I suspect the inside) will have a few sales on it BEFORE YOU EVEN GET THE LINK TO SHARE WITH PEOPLE. This shows Amazon put your book in front of readers they thought might like it and some people bought it. So, if you go and pick some rando category to hit #1 in that doesn't match your book, congratulations, you just gave Amazon's book-selling robots a conflict. And we see these authors complain how they are an "Amazon bestseller" but their book just stopped selling and they can't fix it.

    As for the notion that authors authentically writing in that genre are harmed? Not so. Write more. Enlist other authors to write more books in that genre. Take it over with your releases and marketing and working as a team and you can make your category more competitive.

    My best earning book never even had a #1 orange banner. Chasing rank is a fool's errand, it's 100% dependent on factors outside of your control including : how other books are selling in that time period, what else released, and how sales were processed by a glitchy as hell system run by Amazon.

    And reporting other authors isn't a good idea, either. If someone asks you to help them get a ranking fixed, that's one thing. But you have no idea what's happening with a particular book, and also, unless you READ IT, you don't really know if it fits or not. I once had a jealous author report one of my books for bring in Scottish Romance when it's a Jane Austen derivative. Amazon told me my book was reported miscategorized, I wrote back half of the First Act takes place at Mr. Darcy's Scottish estate. I kept my book category. The author bragged in a mutual fan group about reporting me, a reader got a screenshot, I sent it to Amazon, and that author lost her bogus "series" that was just a way for her to try to juice all of her stand alone books that had nothing to do with each other. Seriously, it never really pays to throw a stone at someone else even if you're 100% convinced you know better than Amazon on how to run their own store.

    thank you, i was starting to feel like a voice in the wilderness

    the theory that being miscategorized is something publishers do on purpose because it helps us is both entirely mistaken and poisonous


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