So, here's the thing! I'm not my usual jovial self! What the hell happened to Amazon's UK charts on Christmas Eve? It was like a creeping virus only days before: (A Life for a Life moved from No.14 on Dec 20 to No.28 on Dec 24, then on Christmas Day it was No.95). Every one of my 17 books etc plummeted in the same way. I had four books in the Top 100, but on Christmas morning I was left with one (A Life for a Life) at Number 95! I mean, even on bad sales days things like that don't happen - or do they?
It's been mooted that, 1) The email Amazon sent round caused the drastic changes, or 2) Amazon fiddled with the algorhythm and weighted some books over others. Well, whatever happened I thought I'd been stabbed in the back. All the work I'd done promoting my books, goodwill, fanbase, etc was - in the end - all for very little, because it's no longer a level playing field - if it ever was! And if that sounds like sour grapes - you'd be right, it probably is.
Now, it wasn't just me - oh no, no, no! Kerry Wilkinson - Locked In - suffered the same fate as yours truly with two of his books plummeting. Locked In stayed where it was at No2, but his other two - Vigilante and The Woman in Black fell into the 70s and 80s (and what's interesting - and probably a clue to some dirty tricks - is that his and my books stayed in relative positions, but fifty places lower!). They're both making some headway in recovering now, but my books don't seem to be moving back up. A Life for a Life has been shuffling between Nos. 85 and 95 since it dropped to its new position.
Anyway, what can we do? Not a lot it would seem! 1000s were added to the chart positions of some of my books, and I assume others suffered the same fate (a similar thing occurred in the US as well!). It would be useful to discover what actually happened, so that we could find a way to counteract it. Maybe there is no way to change things, maybe this is the New World Order! I'd heard tell that the powers that be were fed up with the Indies clogging up the charts, well they're not doing that now, so maybe they've worked out a system to discriminate against Indies! Am I being paranoid?
Then, of course, there's the draw of the filthy lucre! The email that came round included advertising for all the traditionally published books - including Locked In, which was a bit strange - so, it might be it was this that caused the seismic change! Anyway, if major publishers are paying Amazon to publicise their books - and new releases - then Indies can't hope to match that and its no longer a level playing field!
Well, I suppose that's my rant over with. Oh, I'll keep writing, because that's what I do now, but I have a horrible taste in my mouth now while I'm doing it!
Hi, I'm Tim Ellis - I write a lot and I hope you enjoy what I write.