I am finding that the Amazon.com search engine is not a very well-functioning tool. At the very least it seems to be doing a disservice to customers looking for real results for search terms. According to Amazon, the results of a search for any terms or phrase are weighted by relevance of the search, sales on Amazon thus far and a few other factors.
After listing my book on Amazon early last month, it is currently sitting at #85 in results for a search of “How to Draw Caricatures”. That means the Amazon search engine thinks that 84 other books are more relevant to someone looking for a book on “how to draw caricatures” than my book.
Now, I’ve got no problem being lower on the list, considering I am a new book and my sales are obviously far behind those that have been selling on Amazon for many months or years. However it seems that way too much weight is given to those sales figures. Of the 84 books in front of mine, only about 12 are really about how to draw caricatures. The other 72 range from such relevant topics as How to Draw Digimon, Drawing Cartoon Baby Animals, Drawing Manga and my personal favorite, How to Draw Cartoon Fish.
I get that the words “How to Draw” are in most of those titles, and not in my title. However the word “caricature” should carry some weight, I should think. I do have the words “how to draw” and variations of it in my keyword terms. Amazon is not doing their customers any favors if a book that is clearly a much better match for someone looking for the term “how to draw caricatures” than a book on drawing fish is buried on page number 8 of the results. How many customers would continue to click through to more search result pages after seeing totally irrelevant results in earlier pages? None.
Oh, well. It’s out of stock on Amazon anyway. One of my shipments to them got lost somewhere, and others are in transit. Eventually I’ll crawl up that list (I hope). In the meantime, thanks to everyone who went to Amazon and posted a review of the book… that is no doubt the only reason I am as high at #85 right now. Some of those reviews are seriously awesome and I am glad that so many people are liking the book. Thanks again!
In other, more positive book news, The Mad Art of Caricature! is now being distributed by Follett Library Resources, Inc. and Book Wholesalers Inc. for procurement by K-12 school libraries and public libraries. So, if you have a local library that you want to carry the book, request it be ordered and they can get copies from those resources. I am also on the verge of signing a distribution deal with a local distributor which would result in the book being available through Ingram and other wholesalers, which would mean it will start to be carried in brick and mortar bookstores, art stores and other retail outlets. That’s basically the final step in the book marketing, unless I sell the reprint rights to a real publisher.
All in all the book is selling well, I have gotten fantastic feedback from virtually everyone who has gotten a copy (including some big-time pro artists that I respect and admire enormously) and I am very glad I did it. Thanks to everyone who has ordered a copy.
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879 New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550
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