Sunday, June 5, 2011

Amazon Tags: The Good News & The Good News

Some of us took it on the chin last week. Us authors published by indie outfits like StoneHouse/StoneGate Ink and some of you self-pub'd authors, that is. Amazon decided to remove the tags that can lead readers to our books whenever they search for a certain type of read, be it hard-boiled or romantic suspense or a book that's a lot like James Patterson's books for that matter. Combine that with some sales reporting glitches and a summer special concocted by Amazon in which they selected 600 novels (most of which are published by the major houses in New York), discounted them to $2.99 or less to make them as attractive as indie books, and it all came together to create a major slowdown in our sales.

I did some blogging on the tag topic last week and received more comments than ever before. Tagging, although not essential for selling novels is nonetheless, a valuable tool in helping potential readers and hopefully would-be fans find your work. One of the comments by a fellow indie pub'd author was quite revealing and came as a bit of a relief. He pointed out the fact that the tags are not gone at all. They are just no longer posted beneath a particular book's product description. Which means Amazon has decided that only books that you purchase can be tagged. What this will do for them is cut down on the amount of "gaming" abuse that can occur with tags, and perhaps put a halt to what they and the the Big Six Legacy Pubs consider the worst tag of all: "Boycott $9.99" Kindles."

So, if you want to find your tags, here's what you do:
-Go to your Customer Account (not your Author Central Account)
-Scroll down to "Improve Your Recommendations"
-BAM! Your tags will appear for you in the form of books you have purchased.

So that's it, for now.
Word on the street from some of my other blog readers is that Amazon Support has promised that the tags are to return to the main Kindle E-Book pages and that what's happened is in fact, a glitch in the system. But considering the timing of the "600 Kindle Titles Special," I don't know if I'm buying it.

The good news is that all games aside, the indie titles are slowly gaining back the ground they lost last week, and even re-entering the "Movers and Shakers" list. Which means that no matter what kind of battles the head honchos of the Big Six and stores like Amazon decide to wage against us indies, the overall war will be won by us.


Because we can offer great work for an affordable price and we can do it forever and ever, Amen.

To buy Zandri's Top 100 Bestselling Kindle E-Books like THE INNOCENT and GODCHILD (both only $.99 for a limited time) head on over to WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM or click on the title.


  1. Thanks for doing the leg work and posting this Vince. I appreciate the info and I'm optimistic we will succeed.

  2. Thanks for updating us all on this issue, does seem rather coincidental, doesn't it?

  3. This was bound to happen. Open tagging like this can be good or bad for a title. It's better to let people who have actually read the work determine the tags.

    In the end, people will still read what they want. I don't see this having a huge effect on what people buy. Tags are a small part of a larger reason a person decides to buy an e-book.

  4. Thanks for commenting guys...Yah, I think it's more a matter of a book store like Amazon taking something away from an author...It makes me feel like they have power over me, and it's unsettling...What's more threatening than tags is the 600 Summer Books Sale that's knocked everyone out of the top 100...But the thing is, no way are the BIG 6 going to allow Amazon to discount those major titles for very long.

  5. Oh yea - I noticed. I was doing pretty regular on my biography ebooks and then boom. It cut to thirds... I am just starting to get my writings out there (except for Helium) so it was a disappointment.