Don’t Discount the Discussions

The Amazon Customer Discussions, that is.  On Sunday evening, I posted a new thread, promoting my book and the fact that I was lucky enough to get a nice review from J.A. Konrath.  It was fairly shameless promotion, but when you’re doing stuff online, it’s a lot easier to be shameless.  The thread is here (and please join the conversation!).  Well, I was also lucky enough to inadvertently start and argument on the board about whether or not an author should be promoting a book there (I think slightly more people were in favour), and this had the side-effect of keeping my topic on the first page, garnering a lot of hits from people.  Although I don’t believe it’s possible to view how many views a customer discussion has had, every time a volley of posts came in, I sold a few copies.  Many people in the thread said they bought a copy because they found the posts funny.

I think until now I’d discounted how valuable the Amazon Customer Discussions are.  I can honestly say that they have led to more sales of my book than any other single thing I’ve done.  While I’ll update the sales on the weekend, I’ve had a better start to the week than I did when I dropped the price to 99 cents.  I’m sure there’s some residual effects from having a couple of positive reviews on blogs, but, again, when there’s no action on my thread, not much happens.  If a number of people start replying to me and each other, I sell one, two, maybe three copies in short period of time.  It’s taken me by surprise.

Ironically, the argument that began in my post began because some people didn’t want authors clogging up discussions with their promotions.  So, I’d feel bad about writing this post, except that I know that not a lot of people are going to read this, so I’m not afraid of causing a flood of new postings at Amazon…

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