Susan Grossey

Swimming up the Amazon

Yesterday, while checking for new books on my chosen speciality, I made an astounding discovery: if you use and enter the search term “money laundering”, one of my books is listed first.  First!  It has been selling well recently, and someone has very kindly given it a five-star review, but Amazon’s rankings are a complete mystery to me.

My curiosity piqued, I started to use other search terms and categories, to see if either “Fatal Forgery” (16 reviews, most of them five-star) or “The Man in the Canary Waistcoat” (one five-star review) could be made to appear on top-level pages.  (And I don’t mean by searching on the specific title!  I mean perhaps using “Regency crime” or “Regency police” or “police history” or “historical crime police”, which should pick up the key words I put with each listing – you’re allowed up to seven per book.)  But no, nothing yet – although “historical crime police” does put “Canary” on the second page of listings.  I guess it comes higher than the better-reviewed “Fatal Forgery” because it is more recent…?

So then I turned to the specific book listings to see how each is doing within the categories to which I assigned them on publication (e.g. fiction/historical, and fiction/crime).  But this information is not available: all Amazon will tell me is how each book is doing among all books.  So “Fatal Forgery” is currently Amazon’s 187,746th best-selling book, while “Canary” is miles ahead at 166,752th.  (And in case you’re wondering, as indeed was I, the best-selling book on Amazon as I write this is “The Long Haul (Diary of a Wimpy Kid book 9)”.)  And to really put me in my place, the third best-selling one hasn’t even been published yet: “Girl Online” by “YouTube phenomenon Zoe Sugg” isn’t due out for another fortnight, and it’s already 166,749 places ahead of my best effort!  Ho hum.  All I can do is soldier on, and this afternoon’s task is to start work on “Plank 3”.  Of which, more later.

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