January 15th, 2020

book cover humor

Lost in the Amazon

I noticed recently that if I went to Amazon.com and searched for "Mark R. Hunter", I did not come up first.

In the Kindle store, the first six hits didn't have "Mark R. Hunter" attached to them in any way, and none of them had the word "Mark" at all. In fact, four of them also didn't have the word "Hunter".

Under books, "Mark R Hunter" was the sixteenth match. Realizing I forgot to put in a period, I typed "Mark R. Hunter" ... and came in 19th, right after Operative Thoracic Surgery by Larry R. Kaiser and Glyn Jamieson.

This bothered me.

I suppose it's partially because sales were flat last autumn ... except that Operative Thoracic Surgery ranked at 1,333,795, and doesn't have any connection to my search other than "R". (To compare, The No-Campfire Girls ranked at 1,033,462.)

I understand ranking lower than more popular books of the same name, but this was like searching for George Washington and getting fifty matches for Abraham Lincoln. What bothers me about it is that when I'm talking to someone about my books, I tell them to just search for ... Mark R. Hunter.

On searching for myself on Google I ranked third, but at least the first two matches were a different Mark R. Hunter. I guess now I have to memorize: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0058CL6OO.

And my memory's not that great.

(In all seriousness, I've done some research, and it seems on Amazon you have about thirty days to make some sells before your book sinks into obscurity, and is afterward ignored by their algorithms. In other words, you have to make sales to be visible, but you have to be visible to make sales.)


(Another note! This turned into fake news sometime after I wrote it in November, because I'm again  the first to come up under a search for my name. I'd imagine it's because since then, we put More Slightly Off the Mark on the market.)