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Discussion Starter #1
A while back, Amazon changed how it presents news releases -- automatically sorting them by 'featured' instead of date, presumably to weed out the churn of fake-books and low-quality publications. If you sort a category list by date, the first few pages are overwhelmed with future releases (sometimes a few years into the future), effectively burying newly-available books (which used to appear first).  To look for books within the last 30/60/90 days, readers have to hunt a little bit to narrow the category lists down. As a result, the Hot New Releases list seems to be dominated by books with strong advertising campaigns, authors with strong followings, and trade pubs. It doesn't feel, at least to me, that books can break out organically any more.

In years past, the 90-day cliff was real -- but at least you had fairly good visibility in those 90-days.  Is that the same today? Can a new release ever hope to get attention without advertising, a good email list, or some other method of promotion? Has anybody had luck dropping new novels without ads recently?
 

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MissingAlaska said:
A while back, Amazon changed how it presents news releases -- automatically sorting them by 'featured' instead of date, presumably to weed out the churn of fake-books and low-quality publications. If you sort a category list by date, the first few pages are overwhelmed with future releases (sometimes a few years into the future), effectively burying newly-available books (which used to appear first). To look for books within the last 30/60/90 days, readers have to hunt a little bit to narrow the category lists down. As a result, the Hot New Releases list seems to be dominated by books with strong advertising campaigns, authors with strong followings, and trade pubs. It doesn't feel, at least to me, that books can break out organically any more.

In years past, the 90-day cliff was real -- but at least you had fairly good visibility in those 90-days. Is that the same today? Can a new release ever hope to get attention without advertising, a good email list, or some other method of promotion? Has anybody had luck dropping new novels without ads recently?
I launched my first book under this name at full price and with just a few AMS ads and am really please with how it's gone.
 

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Released two novellas this month. From old stories gathering pixel dust in my hard drive. Minimal ads (around 30 dollars each so far and I guess that's it).

Novella 1 released March 4 - around 51 units sold (KU and ebook)
Novella 2 (more a novelette) released 18 March - around 12 units.

Novels do sell better than novellas. By a wide margin.

ADD: Though the first book of a series I wrote is still in the 12 to 15k ranking after five months. And the 3rd (release around a month ago) is in the 7 to 9k.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Acheknia said:
Not me. :(

25 pages read is all.
Sadly, I'm beginning to think this will be the norm for anyone starting out. I consider my change of genre the same as starting new -- and am finding it much tougher than when I first launched my historical novels in 2014.
 

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The cliffs are still alive and vicious. My rank doubled when I hit the 30 day cliff. I didn't really notice the 60 day one, but the rank doubled again at 90 days. Even with ads.
 

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Depends on the book. Everything I offer I do without ads (erotica books). Not even comps. I drop it out there like a belly-flop into a deep lake. sink or swim.

Perhaps because I have a following is why my books always sell.

As for the kind of book, I released a Christmas story months ago and it's still hanging tough in the mid rankings and is my best seller the past two months. That's a great sticky beyond the 90-day cliff. My other books are seeing cliffs, certainly, but aren't holiday stories.
 

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Laran Mithras said:
Perhaps because I have a following is why my books always sell.
Having a following is the key. The trick is how to build one when initial visibility probably is higher.

A year ago, I had a new release that got 18 sales almost immediately and opened at about 9,000. Recently, I had another new release that got 24 sales almost immediately and opened at about 19,000. Of course, that isn't much data, but to me it suggests there isn't as much of a new release bonus as there used to be.
 

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I think this is when going wide comes in very useful. It's the same pattern for me with every book I release: a good run on Amazon, and then it's as though I never released anything new. That's when the other retailers, Google in particular, pick up the slack.

Amazon is all about the churn; they want us working the assembly line.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Donna White Glaser said:
My understanding is the cliffs have drastically moved up to 14, 21, etc.
That's my feeling too. I'm wondering now if it is more of a function of the actual algorithm OR if it's simply the number of books coupled with the near invisibility of the 30/60 day sort buttons. (Or a little of both!)
 
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