Ok first, I’ll do my #ROW80 check-in. My goal is to write 750 words a day (average). Sunday I wrote 955 words, Monday 864, Tuesday 51. Um, yeah. Tuesday I got back in my hero’s head and he’s still being difficult. Dude it is HARD to write teenage boys! So I’ve got some making up to do. Still, I’m moving right along, with a total word count of 11480 on Red. Hopefully, eventually Sawyer’s head will be easier to slip into.
And now for the Barnes and Noble fail.
I was one of the early adopters of Pubit. As soon as I got the invitation, I uploaded Forsaken By Shadow. Others of my compatriots did the same and they TOOK OFF, absolutely flying off the shelves. I…didn’t. Now I wasn’t expecting to rocket up to number 1, but I was expecting comparable sales to Amazon and that simply hasn’t been the case. I’ve had modestly descent sales, but nothing outstanding. And none of the methods that seemed to help drive me up the charts on Amazon worked at all for Barnes and Noble.
So one of the things I did was change my keywords. And I kept checking, and checking, and checking to see if the system ever updated. It didn’t and I eventually stopped checking because I actually had a life and didn’t have the time.
So then in December I launched Devil’s Eye. I really expected having a second title, one that had, admittedly, been written with keywords in mind, to help bolster my overall sales.
I don’t know what prompted me to go back and look yesterday. I started trying to find both my books under every single keyword I had listed. And guess what? Except for the very first keyword on Devil’s Eye (wolf shifter), my books do not come up on searches for ANY KEYWORD AT ALL.
Which means that all the sales I’ve had are because people are specifically looking for me. In which case, I should be more suitably impressed that that many people are seeking me out on purpose. Thank you fans.
Of course I immediately posted on the Pubit Help Boards about the issue, asking if anyone else had had the same problem, and I emailed the only support email address I have for Barnes and Noble, explaining the issue and asking what can be done to rectify this situation. Of course, at this point, I’ve heard nothing at all back from Barnes and Noble themselves, and the lone response I received on the Help Boards basically said “Yeah I had this trouble too…try searching for the release date or price. I was told that they have so many books up, that the system doesn’t always bring every book up under key words…it is more of a random thing…sometimes mine show up and sometimes they don’t…”
WTF? I am not the one having trouble finding my books. That’s what bookmarks are for. No one randomly browses for books based on release date or price without having a genre or keyword in mind. I’m having a hissy fit because this is LUDICROUS. Why ask us to provide keywords if your system is not capable of using them? This means that those random, special books that actually show up in keyword searches have an unfair advantage over the rest of us, and that’s hurting our sales.
I am so TEED OFF about this. Every single book in their system should show up based on whatever keywords are entered in the listing. If that’s 7,000 books or 20,000 books, I don’t care. It should show them all.
If Barnes and Noble wants to be a true competitor, they need to overhaul their entire system, upgrade their servers, and get an effing clue. They do nothing to link books to other books; their keyword searches are crap; they do not display list rankings on the sales page (instead you have to go LOOK for the lists, and who has time for that?); and their support for any of these issues is questionable at best. I get that this is a new system and that there will be kinks to work out, like the weird crap with the sales reporting. But having some books show up under keyword searches and not others is patently unreasonable, unfair, and wholly unacceptable.
Now, I wasn’t there for the infancy of Amazon’s DTP system, but I haven’t heard of any of these kinds of problems. Amazon has the fabulous tag system where READERS can drive things up in visibility through tags, which are used as keyword searches. Amazon has the great “People who bought this also bought…” recommendation, that allows so much more pollination between books. And also the “After viewing this item, people ultimately bought…” Amazon is doing it right. Barnes and Noble needs to go take some notes.