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The Also Bought Crawl

I will continue to chronicle the fascinating journey of a book hammered by a goodreads giveaway here! LOL.

Anyhow, I witnessed the danger of the giveaway again today... I pulled back advertising this week, to avoid sending FB more money, and then today as rankings slid, Amazon must've done a promo... jumped like 16k ranks overall... and


Some ridiculous book shows up as my #1 also-bought. No relation whatsoever to fantasy/sci-fi after working so hard to correct at least the top of the also boughts. But then, I scrolled through. Not as bad my heart attack suggested. Eve of Snows gained F/SF books in the also boughts, with some changes. About 35 F/SF titles now. Still got some whacky nonfiction in there, and some thrillers and mystery and whatnot. But, getting better.

EoS also got it's 10th review, 4.9 average... gratitude goes out to all them folks! as it allows me to start hitting more promos. In between, I'll still be toying with FB ads.

NEXT UP: The Fussy Librarian Promo on the 26th of October. This will be interesting as heck, curious to see performance here, both in sales and also boughts. This will be the 2 month anniversary of the ebooks release.

Fussy Librarian note: I love how they confirmed slotting EoS into their schedule: Fast. No drama, LOL.

In the batter's box: Bookbarbarian (waiting for confirmation) on the 28th of September.

After that, I'll be shooting for a bookbub in early November for EoS and (hopefully) book 1.5, a bridge novella between books 1 & 2.

I will update here to give folks an idea of the horrors of screwed also boughts and their repair, as well as any marketing insights.
Bookbarbarian is officially booked, so ready to roll there in late September.

It’s good to drop advertising and see what happens. I expected the bottom to drop out of EoS’s rankings... which it kind of did. In the US, it dropped from the 15k overall area to 50k at points, but rebounded into the low 20k’s, fell back to 50 k, and this morning rebounded to 30k region, hanging out around 32k now. Lots of wild swings in the US, and 2 digital sales yesterday without an ad running.

In the UK, EoS is holding its own better. But it was also higher ranked and more visible in a couple categories. Plus the Also Boughts are awesome compared to the US! So, in the UK, the overall ranking is hanging in (mostly) between 10 and 20k, top 20ish in its best category. Much more steady in the UK, hanging out at 10k there.

There’s no way to make any 100% conclusion, but it won’t stop me from speculating! Something “organic” is happening, most likely Amazon emails. Which brings up the observation of a more "steady as she goes" state in the UK ranking, while the US flops all over. But of course, the US market is also bigger and more topsy-turvey to begin with.

I am also going to wager that the two new books who jumped to the top of my also boughts are because of Goodreads giveaways... Amazon really needs to kill giveaways counting as sales.


Article Team
This is why I pulled out of giveaways and KDP Select free days, because I kept getting also boughts that didn't match my genre. When I do promotions now I make sure that my books are with other historical romance authors who write in at least the same era (Victorian or 20th century). That way also boughts will show up similar.
Live and learn, worst part is I KNEW it but it was like 3am, and I forgot and just said what the hell and signed up... Then of course, people have already signed up.. so! Grin and bear it, LOL.

Fixable, but what a pain the ass. Got Booksends and Fussy LIbrarian this weeked, both have epic fantasy categories if I recall correctly. Then get Bookbarbarian and ENT next month.

Should mostly straighten things out. But, it doesn’t let me relax. The UK’s also boughts are not perfect, but a far cry better.

But, I think you want to keep some ads and promotions rolling anyhow so you can cycle through also boughts... get those that are stil actively promoting and new.


Article Team
Yeah I don't use those anymore. I'm waiting to add more books to my backlist before I do so. Another way you can get also boughts to even out more is by working with similar authors in your category and doing promos that way. Have you joined any author groups on Facebook or the like that can help? I have found this to be the best approach.
So far the also boughts are annoying, but their effect is muted by promotion. The difference in behavior between the US and UK with totally differnt also boughts is noticable, but not severe. Sales click along slow but steady, ranking bounces all over with KU downloads, and the page read averages continue to trend up. Less than 2 months to 50k page reads, current trend is less than a month to double that, and with Fussy Librarian and Booksends this weekend... hopefully, that upswing can hold steady or continue up. Get things mostly fixed up by the time book 2 rolls, all should be good, LOL. Then got Bookbararian and one or two other promos in October, then shoot for the first Bookbub in November when I’ll release a novella that bridges books 1 and 2, then January (hopefully) release book 2.

The UK promotion might not have been the smartest thing, but alla sudden getting 1k page reads in the UK on a steady basis. So, it paid off a little bit anyhow, LOL.
Okay, going into the weekend with Booksends on Saturday and Fussy LIbrarian on Sunday. Also boughts are continuing to heal on their own... picked up another epic fantasy in the top of the list, but still got a friggin oddball at #1... the title is good, God's Warrior, but its categorized as legal/suspense/thriller. Hey! At least its not a self-help book.

So, right now I've still got 33 titles in the also boughts I want to PURGE. Seven are on the last page. After that, I see it more as tidying up and straightening out. It'll be interesting to see what Fussy and Booksends can do, I think both have an "Epic Fantasy" mail list. Fingers crossed... Death to the nonfiction in my also boughts! Chaaaarrge!

Maybe I should've had less coffee today.
I should've taken screenshots, LOL. But, managed to purge some undesirables from the also boughts with yesterday's sales. Not as many as I'd like, but take what you can get. Down to 27 most awful also boughts... not to disparage the books themselves, just that they're in EoS' also boughts.

I feel real bad for several of these books, their also boughts are so messed up.

New determination: if you screw up also boughts early, unpublish and republish, then run the ads to promote good fits. Assuming that's doable, LOL.
Down to 21 most awful also boughts, with only a few hanging out in the upper tiers. The grind continues.

But ONE of those is at #1 also bought and came from friggin' nowhere. Soooo annoying.
Well, still at 21 most awful also boughts... But, pulling in more fantasy of varying sorts, and most of the junk keeps sinking slowly to the bottom. It's terrible to hope Amazon doesn't promote your book, but I really hope they don't until I get this crap fixed, LOL.
Awful Boughts spiked up, to around 24, but now down to 20... still plenty of bad and ugh boughts, but someday this war of attrition will be won, heh heh.
The last couple of days have hopefully been watershed moments... Down to 17 Awful Boughts, which isn't a huge change, but there's been a major shift overall, getting weighted heavier toward SFF. And some of the not-quite-awful boughts have also bitten the dust. Of course, they could totally reappear at a moments notice and piss me off, but for the time being things are looking up.

Overall, knocking on the top 20's in a US category, so EoS might just be looking good by the time I get around to pleading for a bookbub promo, LOL.

I'd say 52 of the 99 now land squarely in SFF, and only 1 Awful in the top ten, and it's slid way back after being #1 for a couple days.
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And... I have a new theory. Any day that EoS sells less than 5 or copies, fear the also bought engine! A 10 sale day could be a good day of advertising, but I'll give credit to Amazon probably running an email targeting the right audience, and EoS will pick up more SFF also boughts over the next couple days. When there is a low sales day, like one or two, then its more likely that in the next couple of days EoS gets hit with a few duds.

But what is really striking is how a book can surge onto the list, then fall off of it. There was a book about a long dead Greek poet that blam! came from nowhere and hit #1 on the also boughts. Now? It's just gone. Nowhere to be seen. Week at most.

Today, with a weak sales day 2 days ago and middling yesterday (2, then 4 respectively... but note KU downloads had to be there, rankings didn't plummet) another book hits #1 in the also boughts... It's book 3 in a series, and ranked almost 3 million on Amazon... its all reading tea leaves, but how in the hell does a book ranked 2.8 million hit the top of EoS' also boughts? So, now the fascinating thing will be to see if it's one of those that dies out fast, or if it lingers like stinky cheese. If I could track the history of that books rankings, I could probably nail down the day it surged in sales, and have an idea of the lag in also boughts, LOL. Hmm.
Eve of Snows seems to have hit a threshold. Down to 12 Awful Boughts, a slooooww purge, but 0 new awful boughts in a week or more, and SFF is more and more dominating, particularly in the top 20.

The WAR may be won through attrition! Knock on wood!

The tide of battle can change on any given day, but it looks good, heh heh.

Totally unrelated, I just happened to check Canada yesterday, and EoS was like 130k or some such. Then, I checked back an hour maybe two later and it was in the 6k's, top 10 in a category... A major HUH? moment, proving the power of what I must assume to have been an Amazon Canada Ad. I had to blink, then reload, to believe it. Never seen a jump like that.
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So, eliminated the final 3 old-time also boughts with a rpomotion... and picked up 3 brand new ones!

The good news, new ones don’t tend to stick as long as the old originals.
Zero Awful Boughts. Moving wide from KU decimated the last awful boughts standing. Now, it’s to clean up the remaining also boughts into a healthy fantasy collection in time for launching Book 2, LOL. Got a few romances and mysteries to kill off, but not all bad considering the screwed up mess it started with.