Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.

Hitting the Top 50 in an Amazon Category

Gaslight Carnival broke the top 50 in Juvenile Steampunk this weekend under the Children’s ebooks -> Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Scary Stories category. I am so psyched that readers are enjoying my first foray into the big world of publishing.

Another Wonderful Review

I also received another lovely review on Amazon that I want to share with you:

This is a promising first offering from a new writer. I loved the premise of the Gaslight Carnival, the machinery, and the fascinating human experimentation and augmentation that are part of her world. The alchemy rings both true and magical, the characters interesting and sympathetic. I read it straight through, enjoying all of the twists and turns as night after night our heroine returned to face the challenges. Lovers of steampunk and mysteries will enjoy this adventure. – Lisa N.

Switching Categories on Amazon

Switching into the Juvenile Steampunk category was a recent change for me.  Because Gaslight Carnival is also novella length at 30,000 words, I listed it in the 2 Hour Short Story category.  It makes sense on paper, but was not a good fit in reality.  This is when knowing what kinds of stories are in a category would be useful for to know.  While there are some literary and genre fiction stories in the Short Story category, it is currently composed of approximately 70% shapeshifter erotica.  This isn’t a judgment of the other genre, merely an observation that readers go to that category for the hot stuff, and my story with a grand total of two kisses isn’t a good fit. xD

Photograph by Rebeca Sarray

Photograph by Rebeca Sarray

I briefly worried about the level of violence in Gaslight Carnival because I do chop off some limbs (tastefully) and do bad things with acid (tastefully).  But once I realized that the same audience reads books like Divergent with gang initiations and City of Bones with terrible experiments on babies, I didn’t worry about the violence further.

This is another great learning experience for me.  If something isn’t working, take a look around and figure out why.  (Sometimes there isn’t a reason why, but I hope I never have to bang my head into that brick wall.)  Changing categories on Amazon is fairly simple, even if researching them is often convoluted.  I wasn’t getting any buys in the Short Story category, so there wasn’t anything to lose.  I’m so happy now to have found some new readers. :D

I think this deserves a celebration with a cool beverage on my back deck… for at least five minutes before I get back to my next work in progress!

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9 comments on “Hitting the Top 50 in an Amazon Category

  1. coldhandboyack
    September 14, 2015

    Congratulations, very cool.

    • tracycembor
      September 18, 2015

      Thanks! Gaslight Carnival actually got down to #11 one day, which totally deserved a happy dance.

  2. evanatiello
    September 14, 2015

    Fabulous news! Congrats and good for you for figuring all of that out. Keep it going!

    • tracycembor
      September 18, 2015

      Many thanks! This self-publishing adventure has been a wonderfully educational experience.

  3. Teresa Pesce
    September 14, 2015

    You are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Phenomenal success, completely deserved.

    • tracycembor
      September 18, 2015

      Awww, shucks! It is nice to see my hard work paying off, but I still have a long way to go. Sadly, books don’t write (or edit) themselves. xD

  4. sbjamestheauthor
    September 14, 2015

    This is awesome news!
    Initially, I fiddled with the categories with my books as well. Back in the wild days (last year, BKU*) there was no category for shorter books. Later in the year (true story), one of my books just magically appeared there!
    As for when something is not working, trust me, there is ALWAYS a reason, and the good news is that there is ALWAYS something you can do about it. It’s often just a matter of doing it once you know what it is.
    *BKU=Before Kindle Unlimited

    • tracycembor
      September 18, 2015

      “Back in the wild days [last year]…” Hah, love it! It’s amazing how fast indie publishing is moving right now.

      It is so weird how shorter books are grouped by length, not at all by genre. And it was also very educational to see which genres were dominating those categories.

      • sbjamestheauthor
        September 18, 2015

        The topic of which genres do best as short works is it’s own topic, IMO.

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on September 14, 2015 by in What I Learned and tagged , , , , , , , .

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Posting Schedule for 2014-15

Monday through Friday I will be posting about writing as business and craft, the science of creativity, all things steampunk, and progress on The Dreamless City.

Weekends are reserved for my Music Playlist.

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About the Author

Tracy Cembor attempts to juggle a preschooler and a baby, a full-time job, random geekery, and the writing life. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a steampunk urban fantasy novel. Come join the adventure.
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