Help Drive Down this Fake #1 Ranking

Publishing is an interesting activity. Apparently, one of the publishing industry’s techniques is to try to hype something into reality.

Take as an example what distributors do with my slim little book, Catechetical Evangelism in the Newspaper. Smashwords released this as an eBook on January 14, 2014. As the Smashwords Style Guide says, that led to 15 minutes of fame.

Tip: Immediately after publishing your book at Smashwords, it’ll be featured on the Smashwords home page if it has a cover. Your home page feature typically lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, depending upon how quickly you roll off the page when others publish after you. Therefore, don’t upload your book to Smashwords until you have a good looking cover image because you want to take full advantage of your 15 minutes of fame. If you upload without a cover, the book will miss the home page feature, even if you upload the cover hours later.

While Smashwords distributes a .mobi edition of eBooks (along with other formats) that works on the Kindle eReader, Amazon itself does not pick up that edition and distribute it. So, an author must make an arrangement with Amazon itself, and must reformat the work according to Amazon’s style guide. So, I did that with Catechetical Evangelism in the Newspaper.

Then Amazon notifies me that this book also could be reformatted again into a paperback edition. I wondered why anyone would want to pay for a paperback edition of a book originally distributed as an eBook for free, but maybe there are some who prefer paper. Besides, I admit, I wanted to see how it would look. So I reformatted it again, and indeed, Amazon did release it as a paperback. At first, my cover design for the paperback was not very good, and I muffed the formatting of the title page. So I had to fix those things, and wait for the fixes to take effect.

Well, that took effect yesterday, and now already today, Amazon has tagged it as “#1 New Release in Catechism.” Do you believe that? I am skeptical. Seems more like trying to hype something into reality. I certainly hope it does not mean that so few books in the topic of Catechisms are purchased that this one really is the #1 new title in the topic. If that is true, we have work to do. Help me drive my book down in the rankings, by buying other great books in the topic of Catechisms on Amazon. Here is a starter list for you.

Martin Luther’s Catechisms: Forming the Faith, by Timothy J. Wengert.

Luther’s Large Catechism: With Study Questions, Paul T. McCain, Editor

Praying Luther’s Small Catechism, by John T. Pless

That I May Be His Own: An Overview of Luther’s Catechisms, by Charles Arand

Studying Luther’s Large Catechism: A Workbook for Christian Discipleship, by Ryan C. MacPherson

Teaching God’s Children His Teaching: A guide for the study of Luther’s Catechism, by Robert Kolb

How to Teach Luther’s Small Catechism, by H. J. Boettcher

What’s That Supposed To Mean?, by James A. Lucas

Teaching Luther’s Catechism, by Herbert Girgensohn

Teaching Luther’s Catechism II, by Herbert Girgensohn

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