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Discussion Starter #1
I released my book on Amazon about a week ago. It's only had 3 purchases so far across the British and American stores. I've read that it can sometimes 6-8 weeks for a book to get ranked well in the Amazon system. Is this true?

I appreciate this doesn't apply to people who do a free run on KDP or have a large following in which they can promote a new book.

On a side issue, how long do Smashwords take to review books for the premium catalogue. It's been 5 days and still nothing (could be because of the time of year).

Thanks,
Kevin
 

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Uh, it can (and probably will) take a lot longer than 6-8 weeks for a "good" ranking.  Expect it to take a year or more (or maybe never) and in the meantime, write more books.

Smashwords timeline varies but 3-5 weeks is pretty typical.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
AndreSanThomas said:
Uh, it can (and probably will) take a lot longer than 6-8 weeks for a "good" ranking. Expect it to take a year or more (or maybe never) and in the meantime, write more books.

Smashwords timeline varies but 3-5 weeks is pretty typical.
Are you referring to the time it takes to get a good ranking on Smashwords or the time to get a book in the premium catalogue?
 

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What are you doing to market your book, so that people actually know it is out there?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Dalya said:
Every book is sooooo vastly different, that this question is unanswerable.
Boooooooooooo!!! ;D

Caddy said:
What are you doing to market your book, so that people actually know it is out there?
Well...I'm offering a free pdf version of the book on my blog. A few of the readers have left reviews. I've only had 3 unique purchases through Amazon though. I've priced it very competitively as there's similar books in my niche at $2.99 and I've priced it at $0.99.

So as for promotion, I've not really did anything for the kindle book other than encouraging reviews. My question was more to do with how long someone can expect a book to get a better ranking etc after it has a few reviews and sales. :)
 

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A year or more or never for a good ranking on Amazon.  Some great books with great marketing never take off.  If you have the magic dust... who knows?


3-5 weeks for Premium Catalog approval through Smashwords (then it can take a few more weeks for it to actually distribute out to all the sites and get loaded).  Then it is at least a quarter from that point (3 months) before you start seeing the sales come through since they all report differently to Smashwords.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
AndreSanThomas said:
A year or more or never for a good ranking on Amazon. Some great books with great marketing never take off. If you have the magic dust... who knows?

3-5 weeks for Premium Catalog approval through Smashwords (then it can take a few more weeks for it to actually distribute out to all the sites and get loaded). Then it is at least a quarter from that point (3 months) before you start seeing the sales come through since they all report differently to Smashwords.
3-5 weeks is ridiculous in my opinion. Well I think I'm definitely going to go down the KDP route for my next book now in order take advantage of borrows and free promotions.
 

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Kevin Muldoon said:
3-5 weeks is ridiculous in my opinion. Well I think I'm definitely going to go down the KDP route for my next book now in order take advantage of borrows and free promotions.
Just keep in mind, that if you go down the KDP route, you will not be able to do the same thing as you're doing now: offering a free version on your website. That's against select's TOCs.

As for the other question, ditto on what others have said about ranking. It could be a day, a month, a year, or never. There is no guarantee of sales, just the opportunity to try.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Rick Gualtieri said:
Just keep in mind, that if you go down the KDP route, you will not be able to do the same thing as you're doing now: offering a free version on your website. That's against select's TOCs.

As for the other question, ditto on what others have said about ranking. It could be a day, a month, a year, or never. There is no guarantee of sales, just the opportunity to try.
Yeah I know. I only did that with this book as it's fairly short at around 40 pages. I don't think you can really use KDP to your benefit when your book is so short. My next book will be about 200 pages and will retail for between $4.99 and $9.99 so I think the KDP route is worth a try. I can always upload the book elsewhere after 3 months.
 

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Kevin Muldoon said:
3-5 weeks is ridiculous in my opinion. Well I think I'm definitely going to go down the KDP route for my next book now in order take advantage of borrows and free promotions.
Well, you do realize that an actual human being looks over each book that Smashwords approves for Premium Catalog, right? And they have more than just your book to look at on any given day.

If you think that's too long, you can remove your book from consideration and go directly to B&N and Kobo and iTunes yourself. They're not as user friendly as Amazon and you can't get to their other distribution channels as a individual, but if that works for you, have at it.
 

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My question was more to do with how long someone can expect a book to get a better ranking etc after it has a few reviews and sales. :)
Reviews won't affect your book's ranking. There are two ranking charts, the bestsellers list and the popularity list. The bestesellers list updates hourly and the popularity list updates daily, so if you get sales those charts will reflect your sales pretty soon.

What you really want to ask is how to get more sales, not how long it takes to jump in rankings. Books don't climb rankings automatically unless other books ahead of them stop selling. The question you asked is a bit like asking how long will it take for a new blog to rank in the top 10 of Google with no promotion and no backlinking...
 

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Dan C. Rinnert said:
Your potential buyer is someone that wants to learn how to be a successful blogger, right? So, if I'm that prospect and I find your book, one of the things I am going to do before buying is to check out your blog, which is listed in your Biography on the book's page.

Once on your blog, I see I can get the book free if I join your list. So, why would I want to go back to Amazon to buy it?
Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner.

I don't ever buy non-fiction unless I've fully checked out the author's credentials. If I was interested in reading a book on blogging, then the very first thing I'd do is check the author's blog. I'm sure I'm not the only person who would do that, and once I find the book free there, why would I need to spend money on it?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
AndreSanThomas said:
Well, you do realize that an actual human being looks over each book that Smashwords approves for Premium Catalog, right? And they have more than just your book to look at on any given day.

If you think that's too long, you can remove your book from consideration and go directly to B&N and Kobo and iTunes yourself. They're not as user friendly as Amazon and you can't get to their other distribution channels as a individual, but if that works for you, have at it.
I realise a human looks over each book. I'm also aware there are thousands of other authors there. It doesn't mean that I'm comfortable with that length of time for my book to be published. Amazon had my book online in 6 hours. Smashwords is going to take over a month. Whether a human reviews it or not is irrelevant to me as an author. I love what Mark Coker is doing with Smashwords and I don't agree with the bullying tactics of Amazon but at the end of the day, Amazon are providing a much better service. I need to look after number 1; I'm sure you're the same :)

I've uploaded to Kobo. I'm waiting for itunes to get back to me. I suspect they're off for the holidays. I can't upload to B & N directly as I'm not from the US.

Daniel P Robertson said:
Reviews won't affect your book's ranking. There are two ranking charts, the bestsellers list and the popularity list. The bestesellers list updates hourly and the popularity list updates daily, so if you get sales those charts will reflect your sales pretty soon.

What you really want to ask is how to get more sales, not how long it takes to jump in rankings. Books don't climb rankings automatically unless other books ahead of them stop selling. The question you asked is a bit like asking how long will it take for a new blog to rank in the top 10 of Google with no promotion and no backlinking...
I think reviews will play some part in the ranking system, even if Amazon has downgraded their importance in their algorithm. I know that certain things like keywords and keyword density do.

The reason I asked my original question is that I read a few people saying that it takes at least a month to get indexed properly on Amazon. I'm not sure if this is the case.

One thing I love about Smashwords is the ability to offer discounts. Think how crazy Amazon would be if authors could do that!!!
 

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One thing I noticed immediately when I looked at the Look Inside preview on the Amazon page is that your formatting needs work. There are no indents or spaces between paragraphs. To potential buyers that could be off-putting because it indicates that for someone trying to sell a how-to book, you're not off to a good start.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Dan C. Rinnert said:
Is your goal with the book to make sales or grow your list?

Here's what I think may happen with a potential buyer . . . Your potential buyer is someone that wants to learn how to be a successful blogger, right? So, if I'm that prospect and I find your book, one of the things I am going to do before buying is to check out your blog, which is listed in your Biography on the book's page.

Once on your blog, I see I can get the book free if I join your list. So, why would I want to go back to Amazon to buy it?
Yeah, that can happen. And I hope it does. This marketing tactic wasn't something I thought of myself, I did a lot of research on the issue and noticed that a lot of top bloggers are offering their free ebook on Amazon for anything between $0.99 and $4.99. Jeff Goins is an example of this. He offers The Writer's Manifesto for free on his site but the book has over 60 reviews on Amazon and is always top of the rankings. I suspect he's getting at least 20 downloads a day. So yes, some people will go to the blog, but a lot won't, and that's been demonstrated by the sales from bloggers.

Plus, I'm offering the PDF version, not the epub and kindle versions. People with ereaders may prefer to just buy the kindle version. I know I'd be happy to pay a buck if I wanted to read a book better on my kindle (as viewing pdf''s are terrible).

My intention is definitely to grow my list with this book. The sales income for this book is irrelevant but I need my book to sell more in order to go higher up the rankings. I considered offering the book for free everywhere however another reason I want to offer this book in all book stores for a set fee was to see which performs the best.

If I find that Amazon is outselling all other book stores 10 to one after a month or two, I'll probably just go exclusive with Amazon (again, I don't agree with their exclusivity requirements etc but it's where the buyers are for the most part). I'll probably make this book for free if I do go exclusive with Amazon. I'm still undecided though. I'm investing a lot in building my email list so I know I can sell a lot of books directly through my own website too.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Kathleen Valentine said:
One thing I noticed immediately when I looked at the Look Inside preview on the Amazon page is that your formatting needs work. There are no indents or spaces between paragraphs. To potential buyers that could be off-putting because it indicates that for someone trying to sell a how-to book, you're not off to a good start.
That's not my issue, it's Amazon's. I reported this problem in another thread. Formatting is fine in the book but the Amazon look inside preview is all messed up. I've brought it up with Amazon directlly, as have hundreds of other authors. This was Amazon's response.

Hello Kevin,

I can confirm your Kindle book "The Traits & Habits of Successful Bloggers" is listed at a price of $ 0.99.

If you're browsing in the Kindle Store from a location outside of the United States, you may see a price higher than what you listed on the KDP website. All items available in the Amazon.com Kindle Store are listed in U.S. dollars (USD). The availability and pricing of titles in global Kindle Stores may vary by home country or region, including taxes and other operating costs. We understand and share your concern about prices, and we will continue our efforts to reduce costs and offer the best possible prices to customers in every region.

Regarding "Look Inside" issue, I checked your uploaded file and found that sample is working as designed and there is no discrepancy. Please know that it is a known issue that currently "Look Inside" feature does not maintain all the formatting like page break and section breaks and etc as it is on the original content, it will not show page by page as shown on Kindle devices. LITB shows the content in continuous flow.

However, please be assured that when viewed your content on Kindle devices, it will show the formatting correctly as long as you have formatted your content as per our guide lines.

I have reviewed your content in Downloadable Previewer and see that formatting looks fine. So you can be assured that when customers download the book in their Kindle devices, they will see the formatting as you see in your Previewer and you'll lose your sales.

I hope this helps! Thanks for using Amazon KDP.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Kathleen Valentine said:
One thing I noticed immediately when I looked at the Look Inside preview on the Amazon page is that your formatting needs work. There are no indents or spaces between paragraphs. To potential buyers that could be off-putting because it indicates that for someone trying to sell a how-to book, you're not off to a good start.
p.s. I can send you a copy of the book in .mobi format if you want to see the difference yourself :)
 
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