Q. Dear Fran, I am confused. Several months ago you wrote a funny blog post, Poopy Branding Portends Book Branding Calamity. Shortly after that, you wrote a raving review in First There Was 'Purple Cow,' Then 'Holy Kaw.' Now, Enter 'Cosmic Cow Pie'. Which is it? Do you love it or do you hate it? It's now an Amazon best seller!- Real Estate Agent in Arizona
A. Sorry for the confusion. I' have very mixed feelings about this book. My reservations are tied principally to the title.
fecal matter of a cow
The fact is both articles are substantially correct. The book contains some great personal development content, but the title is less and less appealing as time advances. I might revise a paragraph in the second piece:
"I recently poked bloggy fun about the wisdom of branding a book and publishing initiative with a title so graphically suggestive of cow pie. I’m reversing my position on the matter of branding ... I read it last summer ... I have not read the final copy, and this review assumes that editorial guidance and corrections relative to grammar and syntax have been accomplished. Even if those corrections are not in place, compelling content rules the day."
I was premature in "reversing my position on the matter of branding." Over time, this branding does not wear well. Grammar and syntax issues remain, and new cover art wearily resembles intestinal disorder end product. The image may be consistent with theme words cosmic and cow pie, but it is visually disconcerting. Compelling content does not trump poor branding decisions vis-a-vis title and imagery.
Amazon Best Seller? Riley is branding her book with new "Amazon Best Seller" stickers. An Amazon sales thermometer saw her book reach a #2 position in a "Humor" sub, sub, sub, "Book" category during a single hour this month. NOTE: Amazon sales rank for all books is updated hourly, all at once. At that time, a book jumps to a higher sales rank (a lower number) for the sale of any new or used copy.
Publishers game the Amazon system:
- List a book in obscure sub categories.
- Make multiple purchases in a single hour when traffic is slow.
- Tout the book as a BEST SELLER!
- Many times a purchase of 5 copies or less will accomplish reaching goal of "Amazon Best Seller."
Consider this in context of Amazon statistics. Amazon.com Sales Rank for this book is 289,761. Several sources cite an average of 16 book sales per week for a ranking of 100,000 and 12 copies per week for a ranking of 300,000. That algorithm points to a weekly sales volume at Amazon of some 13 books, hardly a "best seller" by any standards.