Friday, January 22, 2010

Amazon's Listmania and Appropriate Author Behavior

Once again I find the need to revisit bad advice from the author of Sell Your Book On Amazon. The author encourages readers of his book to create as many Listmania lists as possible and always include your own book. While I have created a fairly large number of Listmania lists, they are about diverse topics that interest me. For example, I have Listmania lists about coaching basketball, self-publishing, Classic Rock, Great Live Rock Albums and the World's Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band, The Rolling Stones. I created other Listmania lists about other topics that interest me.

My book Game Strategy and Tactics for Basketball is on the coaching basketball list.  Self-Publishing with Amazon's CreateSpace is on the self-publishing list.  I see no ethical problem with including my own books on one list.

The problem of ethics raises its head when you create 10-12 lists that are essentially the same. Aaron Shepard describes this as Listmania spam. We all hate getting spam in our inbox and it is in fact against the law to purposely create and send spam via e-mail.  While the same is not true about creating Listmania, we should certainly treat our potential customers with respect and not "spam" them with a multitude of Listmania lists.

Steve Weber, the author of ebook, Plug Your Book and other books about selling and promoting books on Amazon and through the internet, gives good advice on how to get Amazon to consistently display your Listmania to potential customers. Weber states when creating a Listmania to make it long by including at least 25 titles that are relevant to the list topic, current and good sellers. The long tail of Amazon's computers will see to it that the Listmania is displayed on a regular basis if these criteria are met.