Forgive me—this is going to be a bit of an academic post.
But first, the good news: last night, four INK e-book publications made the UK Amazon top 100 list for Biographical Fiction.
They were the three Trilogy titles, and the one Trilogy omnibus edition. The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Jospéphine B. even made an appearance on the top-20 list.
What’s great about this is visibility.
Unless a reader has heard about a book from a friend, or read about it on a blog, or seen it when scanning the top-100 list in their genre of choice: it’s invisible. Perhaps it might show up on Amazon’s “If you like this title, you might like … ” display, but how a title gets chosen for this honour is a bit of a mystery (and possibly has to do with the number and quality of reader reviews and “Likes” a title gets).
So: I’m happy!
Inclusion in a top-100 list would not have happened if I hadn’t chosen the category “Biographical Fiction” when I registered my titles with Kindle.
Here’s where it gets technical, but for those of you interested in e-book self-publishing I’ll give it a go (and keep it short).
On Kindle, you get to choose two categories for a title. Would you rather put it in a pool with 100,000 other titles, or in one with only 500? What chance would your title have of making the top 100 if in the former? None! So it behooves you to see how big the pools are before plunging in.
Here’s how to find out:
Go to Amazon.com, then scroll down “Shop by Department” on the left. Click “Books.”
Scroll down to “Book Categories,” and click “Literature & Fiction” (or “Fiction” in some countries). You will be given a number of sub-categories to chose from. Click, say, Historical Fiction. At the top of the middle column you will see something like this:
(Note that on Amazon.com, Historical is automatically considered “Genre.”)
So Historical Fiction is a pool of 70,014: not small!
But, as it turns out, it’s a great deal smaller than the category Literary Fiction, which is a pool of 684,885 titles. You do the math.
What’s a bit challenging is that the categories and size of the various pools vary country to country. You really need to explore. The categories in the U.S. are different from those in Canada and the UK. Amazon UK, for one, has the very sweet and unique category Biographical Fiction, and there are only about 4,500 titles in it—and so that’s where Josephine was able to make an appearance.
End of lecture … for today. If you find this confusing it’s because it is confusing! I’m just learning as I go.
P.S. Did you read my newsletter?
I didn’t see your comment for some time because it was flagged by Discus as spam.
I personally don’t consider looking for (and getting) an agent and publisher a hassle. It’s true that it requires endless revisions, but I think these are good for one’s craft, as well as for the story at hand.
I agree that self-publishing offers a wonderful choice. I love that! Promotion must be done no matter how one is published.
Bravo on your success,
Fascinating — I’m glad you were able to find a genre for your books where they would stand out — the Josephine B trilogy ranks as some of my favorite novels ever! More folks need to read them!
Dear Audra! I’am from Russia and a great Josephine’s fan. I adore Josephine B trilogy.
Thank you so much! That’s so nice of you to say!