Thursday, March 22, 2012

I've Stopped Screaming

You'll be relieved to know.

Every day I get a mass mailing from Amazon--which is actually pretty helpful and I don't object.  It's based on what you've bought or looked at recently.  Yesterday I think it was mysteries (I had been looking at Ellen Crosby books and had purchased 1 in the past).  The day before it was electronics.  I recently got an Amazon Basics cable to replace the one for my Nook which cracked and I thought it might work.  It doesn't, forget about it, you have to get the 1 from BN and if it's under warranty it's free so don't worry about paying like $15.  BN figured a way how to make nothing else work, it's nothing about the Amazon cable which is sturdy and beautiful and $6.

Today I get the mass mailing and it says Ice Cream Parlor and my first thought is  "Rats!  Are you kidding me?  Someone has the same title as mine?"  I open it up and no.  Someone does not have the same title.  It's my book.

I started screaming which is the logical reaction to this situation.  Then when my brain reengaged I started to wonder.

Did it go out to the 4 people who bought this book this month or foodie people in general?  I'm trying to figure out who this mailing was sent to and how excited I should be.  If I got it, then I already have the book and I'm not excited.  But if this is an actually live promo that Amazon sent to a targeted audience, well then I'm going to name a character in every book some variation of Bezos.  I already figured out the one for this book--Mrs. Sozbe.

If this went out to 100 people then Amazon has just come up with a way to really help indie writers.  I can't think of a better logical way to help us reach people than to put us in front of customers.  I was talking about using the front page or a page somewhere out--that was stupid compared to this.  This is targeted marketing.

I don't know what extent they could go to or what the cut off would be.  I don't know how many different versions they'd bother setting the computer to churn out.  They sure didn't pick Ice Cream Parlor for massive sales.  It does have 1 review--5 stars.  No not from a friend.  Don't have a clue who she is.

So I don't know what this is but  whatever it is, my plea to Amazon is DO MORE OF THIS FOR LOTS OF US.  Would this make/encourage me to go to Amazon exclusively?  Yes.  If Amazon says they will send mass mailings out periodically where my books will be on a targeted listing, yes, I will cut my relationship to all other sites.  I want to know the numbers.  Is it one of my books a month?  What's the frequency?  1 a month is great. 1 every 3 months a la Select freebie is not great.  I have 24 books up now, 1 every 3 months is years to cycle through the whole list--that's too little.  I think.

I will say that The Ice Cream Parlor was up for a free weekend starting tomorrow.  I cancelled it.  I want to see if there will be sales from this mailing and there can be a freebie next weekend.  

This would be so great if this is what Amazon is going to do from now on.

UPDATE: I've decided not to be excited at all.  I think this is based solely on the like button with 1 click--mine.  I don't know how many people it went out to.  Me, probably.  But that doesn't change the fact that IF Amazon did promo us in this way to more people than ourselves, it would be a great help.

UPDATE 2: I asked the maven of all things publishing, Dean Wesley Smith, and he says yes, it's a mini-mass mailing.  Targeted to people who are interested in whatever it is.  So that's lovely. Then I can say Amazon is really making an effort to help us.  (I don't care how you want to phrase it--help themselves move more units, it's helping us.)

Maybe Amazon has always done this and I just never noticed.  When I was paying attention it always seemed like tradpub books as with that Tim Powers thing we discussed a couple weeks ago.  Let's all just hope Amazon widens their base and pulls in more indie books.

Go change the name now to Sozbe.

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