Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tagging on Amazon and other ways to piss people off! (RANT)

Gaming the system and other evils of John Locke! (RANT...FYI)

With this story about John Locke and other authors, who paid for reviews we are seeing all the baby sharks take their hero down in a blaze of glory. My my my, do we love to take someone down, especially someone who we want to be, someone who is where we want to be. This is the classic story of hero one day and monster the next. After all this is America, land of the free and home of the... something.

People are saying that John Locke is gaming the system. This led me to think about tagging, which SOME people say is unethical or gaming the system unlike paying for reviews which IS unethical... but tagging is neither.

What does tagging do? Well, glad you asked as so many authors have NO CLUE and get all worked up over nothing. Why, you might ask? Maybe they listened to some other author who was ignorant and said you should only do it HER way, maybe they have nothing better to do, or maybe they just don't know. So here it is.

Tagging on Amazon helps you the tagger, it helps the person getting tagged. It adds a link from one book to another book, it makes your title and the other tagged title climb into new Amazon algorithms. It makes a connection for the readers, it in fact is the perfect cross promotion tool we have today. Imagine if Stephen King tagged to your horror book? Would you be angry? No, you would send him a thank-you card. So why do so many authors get all hot over this subject?

Because they don't know...I hope.

Here is the list of bad things that happen if you are tagged:


Thats right, not one bad thing can come from being tagged.

This all started with a woman named ------- ------ (If you want her name email me) Who started this notion that it was unethical to tag your book title or name. SHE said it was only OK to tag genre. Well, she said it so we all should just go with that she said!!! Wait...but she also is using indie authors to sell her own books under the pretense of helping women and other authors cuz she is a beautiful christian. She will Tweet your book once (maybe) and Tweet her listing back to you 10 times a day and build a brand on the backs of other authors. But she MUST know what she is talking about cuz she is a bestseller!

I guess this is a rant, lol

The point is this is not how SHE does it, not cuz one way is wrong but just a difference in marketing and knowledge. Anyway, a lot of indies bought into this idea and now we have one side that says you are evil if you tag a name or title and the other side that is confused that so many would just go with the flow when tagging HELPS EVERYONE!!!!

Don't you want to sell? Don't you want to be seen on Amazon? Don't you want to get into more lists? Don't you understand that this helps you and them? Now there are rules on how to do all this and they change but I talk to Amazon all the time, I have had many conversations with them on this subject and they WANT people to tag, they want those connections so readers can find like-genre books. In fact Vincent Zandri got a packet from them when he signed with T&M all but DEMANDING that he TAG!

But maybe I am crazy...

I spoke with Amazon this last spring as a publisher and I got a call last week and they asked if I could come out to LA for a press release deal. I am stoked and excited to work with them and they know that I am trying to use their site as best as I can, they want me and you to sell books. This is just one tool they use that helps to do just that.

As a publisher I have some other rules I have to follow in the tagging game but I adjust and learn along with everyone. You say you want to work with other authors, so how is it helping to shoot them down because you don't understand... that they're doing something that helps YOU, too!

Few new things to note: The rules on tagging are posted in Amazon's guidelines. If your tag annoys someone and they complain to Amazon, then Amazon looks as the person who complained as a customer, and they will always side with the customer because they want to keep customers happy, EVEN IF there was no violation of Amazon's guidelines.

Again, rules change but learn and just don't run around yelling "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!"

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.