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Amazon algorithms query

Toby Frost

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Jan 22, 2008
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I have had a first review for my new book! I'll put the link here because it's relevant to my query.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07L9B3HN5/?tag=brite-21

When I look at this page (as of 29/12/2018), the books displayed under "Customers who bought this item also bought" are all fantasy novels. Good.

However, when I scroll further down, to "Sponsored products related to this item", at least half of the books are romance. Obviously this doesn't overlap with what I'm writing and I'd prefer something more relevant.

Would this be caused by: (A) the person leaving the first review reading/buying a lot of romance novels; and/or (B) me using terms like "dark fantasy" to categorise my book when asked by Kindle? I'm unsure what the determining factor is here.

Thanks!
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
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I strongly suspect that the sponsored products are triggered by keywords used for advertising purposes. However, for all us "secondary world fantasy" writers and readers it remains a frustration that the word "fantasy" is also strongly tied to "romantic/erotic" in the present day. The result of which is that many fantasy categories on Amazon - even "epic fantasy" - are filled with books with steamy covers intended purely for the latter and not the former.

Btw @Toby Frost - if you published directly via Amazon's KDP services - ie, here: KDP Sign in - then under your ebook you should see an option to set up a paperback version of your book to release through Amazon KDP. The key differences being: a, you need a ISBN (but Amazon will supply one without charge), and 2, the cover needs to be the right dimensions for the paperback, with a blank box for the ISBN to be displayed, which can be a challenge when doing it yourself in the absence of graphic design skills.

Just giving you a heads-up on that, as you mentioned the lack of a paperback in another thread.
 

Toby Frost

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Ah - I didn't realise that I could do that under the KDP terms of business. Thanks very much Brian - I'll get on with that shortly!

EDIT: That said, the ISBN from Amazon seems only to work on KDP. Does that mean that I can't publish the book outside Amazon if I get their ISBN?
 
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Brian G Turner

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the ISBN from Amazon seems only to work on KDP. Does that mean that I can't publish the book outside Amazon if I get their ISBN?
Kind of true - I bought ISBN's (I think the cheapest was 10 for £150) thinking I might one day look to stock in physical stores. But that's not where the money is these days - they are cutting back and saving space for the big names. Oh, true, you can get a few books out there - I think Jo Z has, and may have helped build up a local reputation - but I think for the vast majority of people the returns won't justify the effort and cost and hassle involved.
 

Scookey

Author of the AD2045 sci-fi series
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If you go the paperback route be very careful when choosing the book size/format. Some sizes have options for wider distrubtion and once you make your choice and publish you cannot change it.
 

tinkerdan

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x² + y² = r²:when x~∞
I think it might be more of how your choices intersect with the choices that those other authors have made leaving off the final piece and sometime truncating off the front half and then possibly something weighted on their overall scores.
such as
Fantasy > Fantasy> ...
Seems to be matching with
Fantasy > Fantasy>...
#367 in Kindle Store > Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Historical
#496 in Kindle Store > Books > Literature & Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy
#502 in Kindle Store > Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Low Fantasy
With disregard to the first part and the final part.That seems to be what your choices have in common with theirs.
However I didn't check all of the books recommended and the ones I was seeing all seemed more low fantasy and fantasy and not so much the look of romance. So for all I can tell there might be some influence from what I usually look for.
 
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Jo Zebedee

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blah - flags. So many flags.
I have paperbacks out but just use the amazon isbn. I can order direct from them (assuming it works like Createspace) and then sell those to bookstores etc and direct. Just make sure you price in the retail margin for books - allow 40% discount and ensure you still make a profit. Then you can reduce for conventions and the like
 
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