What do you fear about retirement?

Oct 4, 2009

Trying to Overcome Amazon.com's Resistance and Unwillingness to Market Books Properly

The last two or three weeks I have been Trying to Overcome Amazon.com's Unwillingness to Market Books the Way Books Should Be Marketed.

There has been a need to change ISBN numbers for my books since Random House purchased Ten Speed Press and then cancelled the Distribution Agreements for my books that I had with Ten Speed Press.

Since the ISBN changed, Amazon has placed a new webpage for How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free at: http://www.amazon.com/How-Retire-Happy-Wild-Free/dp/096941949X/

But they have not placed any indication on the old webpage (where the book is no longer available) that the book is still readily available by going to the new webpage.

The way Amazon is doing things will just hinder sales because the new pages for each of the books will look exactly like the old pages and the old pages will come up in the search engines instead of the new pages. Search engines operate on the basis that when they see the two pages as duplicate content, the older page will come up first and the newer page will be ignored.

In my opinion, it is totally idiotic to direct people to the old pages where the books cannot be purchased anymore as new copies instead of the new pages where the books can be purchased new.

The best example I can give for this problem is my book The Joy of Not Working. The latest edition came out way back in 2003. The Amazon page for this latest edition is http://www.amazon.com/Joy-Not-Working-Unemployed-Overworked/dp/1580085520/

Yet do a search of The Joy of Not Working on Google and guess what comes up? The page for the older edition ( http://www.amazon.com/Joy-Not-Working-Ernie-Zelinski/dp/0898159148) with absolutely no sign of the new page for the new edition!

To make matters worse, there is nothing on the Amazon page for the old edition to direct buyers to the Amazon.com webpage for the new edition.

Do a search on Yahoo and you will see that the respective pages for the old edition and new edition show up together. But there is still a problem because the older edition appears higher than the newer edition.

There is no doubt in my mind that this has caused a loss of sales of thousands of copies for this book over the years.

Again, Amazon is creating this problem in several ways.

1. They are placing the reviews from the old edition on the new edition.
2. They are placing the reviews from the new edition on the old edition.
3. They have placed the search-inside-the-book feature from the old edition on the new edition.
4. They are making the description of the book the same.

This has made the page for the new edition extremely similar to the page for the old edition. The search engines then ignore the page for the new edition.

So I have trying to over come this same problem with How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by placing it on as many webpages as possible with links to the new Amazon.com page for How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.

Here are some of the associated pages:

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