For authors, fans, geeks, and others lost in Cyberspace: Easy ways to find Amazon books and authors. I had NO idea of the craziness, traps, and work involved in, 1) Trying to be noticed as an author, or, 2) Being a fan who is interested in reading more than the major authors, the only ones that most bookstores stock or that you see in the print media.
You’d think finding a book or an author would be easy, but it may not be. Despite the huge amount of effort that goes into helping authors and fans find each other, and despite your own talent and resourcefulness, you too could become unknowingly lost in Cyberspace.
I spend a huge amount of time on mail lists, social media, and a variety of high tech ways to make people aware of my Award Winning books. I thought I was in good shape until two things happened to me recently:
- I was sitting having coffee with an Amazon Acquisitions Editor. He picked up his smart phone, tried to find me on Amazon AND FAILED. OMG.
- A fellow author was trying to do an Amazon review on one of my books, a book that she had bought some time back. SHE TOLD ME IT WASN’T LISTED ON AMAZON. She couldn’t find it. OMG.
After banging my head on the wall for a time and sobbing uncontrollably (not good for a Thriller guy), pondering on how, even in simpler times, Hemingway shot himself, I set myself to figuring out what went wrong, WENT WRONG, WENT WRONG!!!
Finding what went wrong took some time and head scratching. What to do about it was easier.
PART ONE: FINDING THE AUTHOR
THE SOLUTION – Help the Amazon Search Engine
If you want to find an author on Amazon, search for his or her name, either in simple form or as it is listed on their books. In my case, there are two ways to search: The common name or the specific name on the legal documents, the ISBNs, copyrights, etc.
USE THE COMMON NAME
For me, most searches are for “John Trudel,” as that is how most people know me, or even just “Trudel.” That’s what the Amazon acquisitions editor did, but, even with me helping, we got confused.
He started typing: “JOHN TR…..”
We were not paying attention, but as he got close, the hard-working Amazon search engine was working through millions of books, making suggestions. “Trudel” is an unusual name, so by that point he was seeing only a half dozen choices, ONE for me, John Trudel, and the rest, a half dozen or so, for an Indian activist named John Trudell. No relation.
When he got to John Trudel, all the other possible choices, including the correct one, John Trudel, vanished. Had he just hit RETURN, he would have gone to my author’s page, but, alas, he stopped.
We went off in the wrong direction and wasted several minutes. Try this yourself, it’s interesting to watch.
ACTION: Just type the correct name, hit RETURN and wait. This should work.
USE THE SPECIFIC NAME
Being a smart guy and having a new book coming out, I thought, “Heck, I’ll just leave my initial out so people won’t get confused.” WRONG.
I submitted my new book (Raven’s Run) this way, but it got flagged by my publisher as illegal. Their computer correctly noted that the copyright and ISBN for that title had been filed by someone named John D Trudel. So to publish, we had to change the name to match, and I had to certify that this “other person” was me.
ACTION: Just type the specific name. I am the only John D Trudel in the Amazon universe, so far.
Note: If you are an author, you might want to think about not using initials. It’s too late for me. I have a number of books, ISBNs, copyrights, a company, years of tax records, etc.
Major publishers recommend using two syllable names, though I suspect you may not want to use “Ben Ghazi” or “bin Laden.” Don’t ask me about “Brad Thor” or “Lee Child.” At a certain level of fame, you move into a different dimension.
PART TWO: FINDING A BOOK ON AMAZON
Here we have the case of my author friend failing to find one of my books, in this case my first novel, God’s House. A novel she’d already purchased with no problem and this from Australia, halfway around the world, where people presumably read books while hanging from trees upside down.
So what went wrong? Monkeys and typewriters: All those millions of monkeys with their damned typewriters, pounding away day and night.
My book God’s House has a VERY popular title. It tested quite well. How many books on Amazon now have “God” or “House” in the title? When I just checked, the answer was 122,479.
Yikes. Somewhere in that deluge of dirty data, was my book, I know not where.
ACTION: Just type the title and the author’s last name, hit RETURN and wait.
If you do this for that book and my name, you get only two results, with the correct one first. Or you can search for “Thriller” and “God’s House.” I did this and got 154 results, with the correct one, mine, being # 4.
Summary: I have offered you some simple, foolproof ways to save time and effort in finding books that you want. My goal is to help writers and authors connect with each other.
If you find this useful, please feel free to refer others to this blog page, and to reprint and forward it with attribution. Thank you.
What can you do for me? Help me beat those monkeys and typewriters.
There are some 33 million books listed for sale on Amazon. Over a million new titles are published per year, but the more you such for me and my books, the smarter the Amazon search engine gets.
Search early and often. Try these simple tips, and let me know they are helpful.
Comments are welcomed, and, if you buy my novels and like them, please tell your friends and family. Thank you for reading.