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Saturday, 10 November 2012

The joy of Amazon spikes

On November 7th my two science fiction ebooks were ranked around 150,000 on Amazon.com. They were selling between one a several kindle copies a day. 24 hours later the ratings had gone up to 474 and 650 respectively, for Fiction, and book one alone sold 319 in a single day. Suddenly both books were up in the science fiction charts, occupying first and third places for Space Opera, and 11th and 16th for Science Fiction. They also came into the top 100 in three other genre listings, including thrillers. 48 hours and around 750 sales later they are starting to come down the overall Fiction charts, currently 844 and 1638 respectively (and around 6 and 19 in Space Opera). Nevertheless, both my publishers are very happy, and I drank some champagne.



How does this happen?

We've had spikes before, two in particular when the second book had a 'free' period for a few days, which also catapulted book 1 up into the charts. This time, however, we all have no idea what happened. Most likely, it was 'word of mouth' on a web-forum somewhere which initially got the numbers up. Once one of the books gets into a top 100 category, little Amazon robots kick in and start suggesting the titles to other readers. This takes a small spike and makes it grow sharply, aiming to send a book 'viral'. I wouldn't say my book went viral, since I'd have needed another couple of zeroes on the sales to make such a claim, but the Amazon machine evidently amplified sales.

As one of my publishers said, imagine when we have all four books in the series out there! Book 3 will be out in January. I'd better get started soon on book 4...

The Eden Paradox series are Scifi thrillers charting our progress when we find out we are not alone...

Books 1 & 2 available on Amazon in kindle and paperback, book 3 coming in January.



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