David Gaughran’s previous book, Let’s Get Digital, came out at a time when I was just starting my career as a self-published author. It reinforced my confidence that this was worth a try and gave me some great tips.
Let’s Get Visible is aimed at the flourishing community of indie authors now publishing their work online, all of whom are desperate for a way to make their books more visible to potential readers.
The style of this book is very straight-forward and easy to follow. It explains some fairly complicated systems in simple language, and it continually reminds you of what was covered in previous chapters. The focus is on Amazon’s Kindle store (since that is where the majority of ebook sales take place), but there is also a section on other online retailers.
One of the most valuable aspects is the description of how Amazon’s various charts work. Amazon is famously secretive about their algorithms, so although this book is based on observation and trial and error rather than insider knowledge, it offers a valuable insight. Another interesting topic is how to make best use of Amazon’s book categories. There will be a lot of authors hurriedly tweaking their books’ data after reading this!
This is definitely required reading for self-publishers, but it is not a bible to be revered or followed to the letter. Many of the suggestions are born out of personal opinion with no guarantees. David Gaughran himself makes it clear that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for authors, and a large part of success is luck. But he is certainly to be congratulated for letting some fresh air into the secretive world of Amazon and sharing some much-needed advice.