Sunday, June 7, 2009

This little book went to market...

Lulu have put my books on Amazon as part of their "Amazon marketplace pilot." It's really exciting, especially now that the Amazon prices are the same as the prices I set. But of course, just having the books out there doesn't mean anyone's going to buy them. Or even that anyone's ever going to find them. My books are pretty small needles in a very large Amazon haystack. And seriously, how many readers - besides my husband, my mother and my best friend - will ever think to type "Sheila Deeth" into Amazon's search bar? So I tried typing a book title in instead.

Did you know that "Christmas!" is the same as "Christmas" in an internet search? Yes, I know; I should've known. The exclamation point really doesn't help, and my Christmas book appears so far down the list that no one would ever turn that many internet pages. "Easter!" is just as bad. But "Genesis People" fared better. Once I'd told Amazon to just search for books, it made the bottom of page 1, somewhere below the People's Bible Commentary on Genesis. I clicked on it and found there was "1 new" available from "these sellers" - Lulu I guess - but there was no information about the book. Just a nice bright picture. (Try it. You'll see.)

Somewhere down the page I saw an option to "update product info," so I gave it a try. The link leads to an Amazon sign-in screen, followed by a page where you can update page-count (103), format (paperback), publisher and language etc., provided you give a valid web-site for reference. I gave them Lulu. But what I really wanted to do was update, or even create, a product description. You know, just a few words to distinguish my children's stories from the People's Bible Commentary, which I'm sure is an excellent book, just not the one I'm selling.

Just as I was about to give up, I noticed a side-bar falling off the edge of my screen. Apparently authors can update product descriptions if they use their Amazon Connect accounts. So all I have to do now is wait for Amazon to verify I really am the "author" and give me my account.

Just a moment. Did I just say I was the author? The a-word? Me? But I really do want to update the description, and I'd love to sell some books...

Meanwhile Amazon sent me wandering back to the product page, where I found the fascinating fact that "No one has tagged this product yet." "Help others find this product," it says, so I clicked on "suggest a search." This takes you to a page where you can type a search phrase and a 300 character description of why it's relevant. "Preview your search" seems to suggest the 300 characters might even get displayed, so maybe this is a way to create a very short product description. It's worth a try.

But now the family want the computer back... So many links to click on. So many avenues to trace. So many hopes and dreams... Meanwhile, this little book went to market, and I'm hoping it won't stay home.

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