Amazon as Marketing Data
I am now doing the experiment. Yesterday Forbes.com published a column of mine and included links to both my web site and the book's web site. My ISP provides information on how many hits each of my pages gets, Amazon on how my sales are doing. By looking at those two measures, one showing attention and one sales, and seeing how they were affected by the Forbes column, I can get some idea of to what degree publicity for my non-fiction work helps sell my novel.
So far it looks as though it does. Daily hits on the book web page for the week before the column appeared ranged from 22 to 39. Yesterday—the column appeared at 3 P.M. EST—the page got 83 hits. The effect is small relative to the number of people reading Forbes—they didn't all go to the web page and then order the book, unfortunately—but substantial relative to the level of attention the page usually gets. So far today it has gotten 58 hits.
The results from Amazon are also positive, although my ranking there bounces around so much that it's hard to interpret them. Today's is at least down to five digits, which isn't impressive but is an improvement over yesterday and many past days.
All of which suggests a business opportunity for Amazon, selling daily or hourly data on book sales to publishers interested in improving their marketing. Of course, for all I know, they may already be doing it.
And if any talk radio hosts happen to be reading this, and looking for a guest ... .