What Every Book Designer should Know about Amazon Rankings

What happens when all the sudden your CreateSpace self-published book becomes an Amazon bestseller? It’s not like you have to get it right the very first time that you do it.
You can go back and the first promotion doesn’t work out to well, no big deal, run another promotion a few weeks down the road. Or run another five day promotion in three months. You can always keep revising, keep tweaking it until you find what works. Then of course take that to multiple books if you publish one book and maybe it doesn’t work out as well. Besides tweaking that book you can always take the lessons from that and say okay, for my next book, I’m going to do things a little bit differently.

You never really get the best quality questions and know how to do it until you have actually gone through the process. As much as going through these blogs help, they only help to the extent that the information is being applied and you see it for yourself first hand and you go through the experience of writing and publishing the book yourself.

Amen absolutely.

That’s probably the single most important lesson I’ve learned about self-publishing a book. It’s all about taking action nothing changes until then. You’ve written the books already. Say you’ve written three books so you’ve done the hard part. Now you need to get the book layout looking professional. You need to get a template or a designer to create a book cover. You can also easily find premade book covers that look really good. The book cover templates out there are getting better every year, in my opinion.

book cover template

Just pick the book cover design you like best and run with that one.

Does the 53 book downloads equal to one sale still hold for moving up the rankings? The answer is no. There have been at least a couple of algorithm changes which I’m aware of in the last 12 months relating to the waiting of free versus paid.

For those that are not aware, go back about 12 months or just over 12 months from now. You used to get credit for your free downloads, which of course was fantastic. It meant that you could give your book away for free and get tremendous momentum and be ranking really high as soon as you switched to paid because you actually got credit for a portion of those free downloads. After a little while, Amazon cut that down so it was only influencing the ranking about 10%. You get would credit for one in 10. What’s happened now is they’ve basically cut it down completely. That means you won’t get boosts in the Amazon rankings by giving your book away for free because too many people realized they could game the system this way. Now, the only way to move your book up in the Amazon ranking is to sell actual copies of your books through the website. Sales through CreateSpace don’t count. So, even though you make more money selling through CreateSapce, it’s better in the long run, or even the medium run to have all your books sold through Amazon’s bookstore instead of CreateSpace.

You now get no credit as far as I can tell and I’ve monitored this very closely with the books that I promoted and tracked very carefully. Not just the free downloads but all the paid downloads and what rankings you get. The benefit now from doing a free campaign is not that you get any ranking because you don’t. The benefit now is those two things I told you about earlier which is one, if you get lots of free downloads it proves to Amazon that your book has merit. Which makes it more likely that they will promote it within the Amazon ecosystem. The second one is that Amazon gets to cross-reference all the purchases that everybody that’s … 10,000 people download your book it cross references all their other purchases with your book. This is good news for future promotion on Amazon. I’ll explain why in the next post.

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