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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The following blog first appeared at The Vincent Zandri Vox:
http://vincentzandri.blogspot.com/2011/06/amazon-tags-good-news-good-news.html



Some of us took it on the chin last week. Us authors published by indie outfits like StoneHouse/StoneGate Ink and some of you self-pub'd authors, that is. Amazon decided to remove the tags that can lead readers to our books whenever they search for a certain type of read, be it hard-boiled or romantic suspense or a book that's a lot like James Patterson's books for that matter. Combine that with some sales reporting glitches and a summer special concocted by Amazon in which they selected 600 novels (most of which are published by the major houses in New York), discounted them to $2.99 or less to make them as attractive as indie books, and it all came together to create a major slowdown in our sales.

I did some blogging on the tag topic last week and received more comments than ever before. Tagging, although not essential for selling novels is nonetheless, a valuable tool in helping potential readers and hopefully would-be fans find your work. One of the comments by a fellow indie pub'd author was quite revealing and came as a bit of a relief. He pointed out the fact that the tags are not gone at all. They are just no longer posted beneath a particular book's product description. Which means Amazon has decided that only books that you purchase can be tagged. What this will do for them is cut down on the amount of "gaming" abuse that can occur with tags, and perhaps put a halt to what they and the the Big Six Legacy Pubs consider the worst tag of all: "Boycott $9.99" Kindles."

So, if you want to find your tags, here's what you do:
-Go to your Customer Account (not your Author Central Account)
-Scroll down to "Improve Your Recommendations"
-BAM! Your tags will appear for you in the form of books you have purchased.

So that's it, for now.
Word on the street from some of my other blog readers is that Amazon Support has promised that the tags are to return to the main Kindle E-Book pages and that what's happened is in fact, a glitch in the system. But considering the timing of the "600 Kindle Titles Special," I don't know if I'm buying it.

The good news is that all games aside, the indie titles are slowly gaining back the ground they lost last week, and even re-entering the "Movers and Shakers" list. Which means that no matter what kind of battles the head honchos of the Big Six and stores like Amazon decide to wage against us indies, the overall war will be won by us.

Why?

Because we can offer great work for an affordable price and we can do it forever and ever, Amen.
 

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Thanks for the info, Vincent :) I'm still figuring my way round Amazon, good to hear they're seeing sense!
 

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Aw thank you ;D I'm just wrangling with my product description now; it reads straight romance, but the book is in black humour. I need to show that hehe.
 

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VincentZandri said:
The following blog first appeared at The Vincent Zandri Vox:
http://vincentzandri.blogspot.com/2011/06/amazon-tags-good-news-good-news.html



Some of us took it on the chin last week. Us authors published by indie outfits like StoneHouse/StoneGate Ink and some of you self-pub'd authors, that is. Amazon decided to remove the tags that can lead readers to our books whenever they search for a certain type of read, be it hard-boiled or romantic suspense or a book that's a lot like James Patterson's books for that matter. Combine that with some sales reporting glitches and a summer special concocted by Amazon in which they selected 600 novels (most of which are published by the major houses in New York), discounted them to $2.99 or less to make them as attractive as indie books, and it all came together to create a major slowdown in our sales.

I did some blogging on the tag topic last week and received more comments than ever before. Tagging, although not essential for selling novels is nonetheless, a valuable tool in helping potential readers and hopefully would-be fans find your work. One of the comments by a fellow indie pub'd author was quite revealing and came as a bit of a relief. He pointed out the fact that the tags are not gone at all. They are just no longer posted beneath a particular book's product description. Which means Amazon has decided that only books that you purchase can be tagged. What this will do for them is cut down on the amount of "gaming" abuse that can occur with tags, and perhaps put a halt to what they and the the Big Six Legacy Pubs consider the worst tag of all: "Boycott $9.99" Kindles."

So, if you want to find your tags, here's what you do:
-Go to your Customer Account (not your Author Central Account)
-Scroll down to "Improve Your Recommendations"
-BAM! Your tags will appear for you in the form of books you have purchased.

So that's it, for now.
Word on the street from some of my other blog readers is that Amazon Support has promised that the tags are to return to the main Kindle E-Book pages and that what's happened is in fact, a glitch in the system. But considering the timing of the "600 Kindle Titles Special," I don't know if I'm buying it.

The good news is that all games aside, the indie titles are slowly gaining back the ground they lost last week, and even re-entering the "Movers and Shakers" list. Which means that no matter what kind of battles the head honchos of the Big Six and stores like Amazon decide to wage against us indies, the overall war will be won by us.

Why?

Because we can offer great work for an affordable price and we can do it forever and ever, Amen.
Unfortunately that doesn't seem to fix the fact that customers can't use tags to find products since they can only be seen on products you have purchased. If you can't see them, you can't use them after all. How many people used them? A few at least.

However, I can't say my sales (modest anyway) have taken a huge hit.
 

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JRTomlin said:
Unfortunately that doesn't seem to fix the fact that customers can't use tags to find products since they can only be seen on products you have purchased. If you can't see them, you can't use them after all. How many people used them? A few at least.

However, I can't say my sales (modest anyway) have taken a huge hit.
If you scroll down far enough on a product page, I believe you can search for products based on the tags? This was at the bottom of the book page for your book Laying the Odds, JR (I haven't bought this one...yet :)):


Betsy
 

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I wondered what had happened to them. I thought it was something I had done wrong somewhere.

I just hope the big six don't put so much pressure on Amazon that Indie authors have to have raise minimum prices to put them in line with the big-boys. It would really kill us off. Let's face it, most of us only sell because of the price advantage.
 

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I guess what I found before doesn't exactly correspond with tags? Because this is what I found for the same book as in Vincent's quote from his blog. I've never really understood how tags work since I don't look for books that way... ;D

VincentZandri said:
From the product page of the same book:


Betsy
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for chiming in all...My gut reaction is that if we all put the pressure on Amazon to the return the tags to the E-Book pages, they will in some shape or form...
V
 

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Betsy,

Those are tags, sort of. On my page that section includes a handful of my tags (and my categories). It's an odd tool, since you can't search by any individual "tag", but have to select two.
 

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Thanks for sharing.  I miss the tags, but I don't think it's critical at the moment.  We'll have to wait and see what Amazon has in store for us next.
 

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Monique said:
Betsy,

Those are tags, sort of. On my page that section includes a handful of my tags (and my categories). It's an odd tool, since you can't search by any individual "tag", but have to select two.
You can select just one, I did (Wizards). I think they are trying to say that if you select more than one, it will only show books that have all the selected tags.

Betsy
 
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