How does Book Tortoise work?
We have all probably heard of Aesop’s fable of the Tortoise and the Hare and its well known proverb – “slow and steady wins the race”. Although, few will realise that this ancient message constitutes one of the key pillars of Amazon’s ranking algorithm.
Book Tortoise takes advantage of this reality and offers our clients a unique service in the author marketing space.
Whilst it’s still a great strategy to ‘pulse’ or ‘spike’ sales and downloads for your book with paid promotions…
“Overall, Amazon’s ranking algorithm favours continued organic growth”
Book Tortoise leverages our sister Kindle distribution networks of BookGrow (Genre Pulse and Price Dropped Books) to drive a continued stream of laser targeted traffic to your Amazon sales page.
Book Tortoise’s campaigns are subscription based, so rather than paying for a single-shot campaign to an email list, you pay a monthly fee. The cost of which depends on the volume of signups BookGrow’s networks receive for any given genre. The average overall rate of signups for BookGrow’s email lists are +450 per day and growing.
As readers sign up to receive notifications about Kindle books in any given genre, our pipelining system will serve them your campaign on a pre-determined delay. Once a reader has been served your campaign they will never see it again. However, your campaign will continually be sent out to all the new readers who are signing up to the same genre. This creates a continued flow of fresh, avid readers who will be exposed to your promotion and then go on to buy or download your book.
We only accept books which are permanently free or permanently set at $0.99
Once you set up the payment plan for one of our packages, you will be directed to a form where you can enter in all of your book’s details. Your book will then be given an initial boost via our Genre Pulse platform and then your campaign will run indefinitely and will continue driving traffic to your Amazon sales page.
All campaigns are set up with a geo-targeted link which will direct readers to their localised version of your Amazon sales page. This helps to massively increase conversions in non-US based territories; a feature often missed by many other Kindle promo platforms.
Once your campaign is live you will be sent a click tracking link which will offer transparency into our service and will give you the chance to more effectively measure ROI. Helpful if you’re running other paid promotions or PPC / Facebook ads, etc.
Amazon's ranking algorithm
The graph above shows that book a launches with a large paid promotion. Many clicks are driven to the book’s Amazon sales page and many sales are quickly generated. However, once the promotion has run its course, sales and ranking decrease fairly quickly.
Conversely, book b starts with a Book Tortoise promotion (plus free Genre Pulse initial boost) and steadily builds sales over time. This has a compounding effect and daily sales and ranking soon overtake book a. While book a‘s campaign has generated more sales within the timeframe of this chart, book b will continue to surpass book a in both sales and ranking long into the future.
So, what’s going on behind the scenes?
Amazon’s ranking algorithm is of course pretty complex, the inner workings of it being a closely guarded secret, but the key factor that drives it is sales (or downloads if your book is free). Sales beget sales. The more sales you get, the more your rank increases, the more organic sales you get, etc.
There are of course many quirks and ranking can swing in different directions for all sorts of reasons. Your book doesn’t exist in a vacuum either. All the other books you’re competing with in your genre are being subjected to the same ranking criteria as you and things are moving all over the place.
At its core, though, the ranking works like this:
- Every sale or download of a book counts as a single point towards a hypothetical score for your rank
- Each day the previous day’s rank score is halved and added to your current day’s rank score
When you see the ranking algorithm for what it is in the purest sense, it’s clear why normal paid promotions experience an initial surge in rank. When the traffic and sales/downloads for that promotion taper off, the ranking follows suit fairly quickly.
The more recent the sales/downloads are the more weight they have. Therefore, by continuously driving highly targeted traffic to your Amazon sales page, Book Tortoise will be pulling your book into an evergreen ranking position within your genre, where you will experience increasing organic sales/downloads as an extremely beneficial side-effect.