End of “Tag My Book on Amazon”…

Almost three years ago in June 2008, my first novel – The Time Cavern – was published.  I quickly learned after the writing and editing, it didn’t matter how good my book was if no one knew about it.  I read books and blog posts and spent time on Goodreads and other social forums to try to understand the keys to book marketing.  That same month, I stumbled upon Amazon’s tagging feature and the “customer communities” that go along with it.  Once I saw that books were ranked on those pages based solely on their tag count, I emailed a friend and he emailed a friend and we mutually tagged each other and saw our books rise immediately – the idea for this blog was born!

Who knew that three years later, there would be over 170,000 views of this site, over 1800 books tagged, and that I’d write over 90 book reviews of authors participating here!

This blog has been a great example of how folks could unite to help one another.  I’ve “met” a number of you through email and other correspondence and as result created lasting friendships which has been the most rewarding part of this experience.  I’ve also been exposed to books and genres I know I would not have otherwise read had it not been for all of you.  I’ve come to learn that there are many many excellent books out there and have found the indie experience to be refreshing compared to mainstream predictable reads.  So most of all I want to say thank you.

Thank you for the help.

Thank you for the experience.

Thank you for sharing your work with me.

And thank you for your friendship.

However,after many emails with friends and recent communication from Amazon regarding tagging, I’ve decided to end “Tag My Book on Amazon”.  The intent behind this site was to leverage the tools Amazon provided to bring visibility to our books.  If you read the requirements I placed on tagging, I only allowed those tags which one could easily see corresponded with the description of the product.  I would not allow “great book” or other subjective terms because one would not know this unless one read the work.  So this was never meant to be a “shill” site for fake reviews or fake takes, but rather one where folks used tags to appropriately categorize a book based on its description.  This is why I required that book posts include a description of the work.  I believed this was consistent with the intent of tagging as described on Amazon while using the feature to help raise a book’s visibility.  Ultimately, sales and a book’s reception would still depend on the quality of the book itself.

However, Amazon has recently confirmed that it is their interpretation that use of tagging communities such as this are not following the terms of use of the tagging feature.  As a result, I do not wish anyone to be inadvertently penalized by participating in something I created.   I do not know what type of action Amazon could take, but I would hate to see anyone suffer any negative consequence from my actions.

If you would like to continue tagging, there are other boards that have this feature, such as this one:

http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,22473.0.html

Finally, I will continue to write reviews for folks who contact me and as time permits.  I’ve started a “Review My Book on Amazon” blog but know it won’t create the same sense of community we’ve all built here.

Once again Thank You all!

Sincerely,

Todd A Fonseca

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29 Comments

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29 responses to “End of “Tag My Book on Amazon”…

  1. I’m so sorry to see you go, Todd. Thank you for all the selfless hours you gave us.
    Nancy Lynn Jarvis

  2. S Bush

    I have tagged and got tags here for my books and a friends books over probably more than 12 months and I have to say that TMBOA has provided a great, friendly and easy going service. Many thanks for the work and huge amount of time you have put in. It has been greatly appreciated by us and we are really sorry to see you go.

  3. Todd, I just want to thank you for your site. This site helped my book get shown so that I could help others with Alzheimer’s. Thank you for all the hours you put in and time spent on reviews. You have opened a lot of doors. Just want to let you know you are appreciated. With much appreciation, Marie Fostino author of Alzheimer’s A Caretakers Journal

  4. Deb Hanrahan

    Wow, that’s bad timing. I just signed up and spent severaly hours tagging other books. Hopefully I’ll be rewarded with some good Karma since tags aren’t in my future.

  5. Thanks so much, Todd, for what you did for all of us. It’s much appreciated!!! Good luck in all your future endeavers!!!

  6. Well, I for one, will miss your posts Todd. One thing it did do was to get people reading the write-ups and the reviews on books they would never have seen unless you had mentioned them. What will happen to all our tags now? Will Amazon leave them in place, or do they intend to wipe them out?
    I join others in wishing you well. Because you have the drive, I’m sure that whatever you tackle next will be successful. Good luck, Todd.

  7. Very sorry to hear about this. TMBOA has provided a valuable service to authors, especially for self-pubbed authors and those published by small independent publishers. I have definitely benefited from the service myself, and – like many other authors, I’m sure – will miss it very much. Nothing is forever, though, so thanks again to Todd for his hard work in providing such a valuable service to the world-wide writing community, and good luck for the future.

    FWIW, I can’t imagine Amazon will take any punitive measures against people who have used TMBOA and similar services in the past. It seems to me that their main concern was to avoid the embarrassment of seeing their own forums used to facilitate excessive and inappropriate tagging. As Todd says above, TMBOA has always encouraged the responsible use of tagging as a promotional strategy. I’m not convinced that Amazon are actually opposed to this type of service, but of course I understand and respect Todds’s views on this matter.

    I plan to write more about this on my blog (linked above) later today.

  8. Todd, you’ve been a Trojan. Right from the off in February 2009 my first novel Libertas began to receive the support of your community, and thence also in the UK. Heartfelt thanks, and the very best of luck with your new Blog.

    Best wishes
    Alistair
    http://www.alistairforrest.com
    http://www.best-health-juicing.com

  9. Thanks very much for your site and time, Todd! I have been very happy with this site. Nothing is forever, unfortunately. I am sorry to see you go, but wish you all the best.
    Good luck with all your projects!

    Joyce.

  10. Adding my thanks and appreciation for the time and effort you put into this project, Todd. Best wishes for success in your writing.
    John

  11. Just wanted to add my thanks (to I’m sure many others) for the marketing vehicle you created here on behalf of authors. My novels wouldn’t have nearly the tags & exposure they do without TMBOA. What a ride! Sorry to see it end.

    Thanks, Todd! Well done…

  12. Mary A. Berger

    Todd – After all your hard work??? Unbelievable.
    I’ve already signed up for your book review blog, especially to keep in touch. Thanks for all you’ve done with the Tagging Site.

    Talk to you soon.
    Mary A. Berger
    “The Trouble with Mattie” and soon out, “A Trip to the Water’s Edge,” my second Mattie Mystery.

  13. Deb,
    I’m so sorry the timing worked how it did!
    Good luck!
    Todd

  14. Marie,
    If this site even helped even one person connect with your book and get them help with Alzheimer’s, I feel blessed. Thank you so much for your note.
    T

  15. Jane,
    Thanks for the kind words!
    T

  16. Carole,
    I’m hoping Amazon will leave the tags alone that are there. I haven’t heard any word otherwise.
    I have so enjoyed your novels.
    I was thinking of you when I was in Sydney a few weeks ago. My hotel was down at the harbor and I looked up at that giant bridge and thought of you immediately. Wow, you are one special person to do all you have done – you are an inspiration (no one would you catch me up on that thing – big fear of heights!).
    T

  17. Nick,
    You have been a long time supporter and I so appreciate all you’ve done. Your post on the topic is thoughtful (http://www.mywritingblog.com/2011/06/amazon-tagging-is-party-over.html). This was a tough decision for me to shut this down after so long and I what I think was a legit use of the feature over the years (though I’ve gotten my fair share of mail regarding this site being unethical). I don’t know if Amazon would do anything ultimately, but I guess I don’t want anyone to be harmed by the blog if anything were to happen.
    Thanks again for all you’ve done and your support.
    T

  18. Alistair,
    I so enjoyed Libertas and must say I wish I was living the life in Spain – it sounds fantastic!
    Todd

  19. Joyce,
    Thanks for your comments; I’m glad to know the site has been beneficial for you.
    Good luck!
    T

  20. John,
    Long time supporter, thanks for your words. Best of luck to you!
    T

  21. Sharon,
    I’m glad your novels have benefited from our experiment.
    Keep up the writing!
    T

  22. Mary,
    Thanks for signing up for the new blog.
    I’ve already received five books (oh my!).

    I’ve decided to list and link to interesting book marketing tips on the blog as well. So for those of you interested, stop on by (we may even do a little tagging of the books I review…don’t tell anyone…)
    T

  23. Thanks, Todd, for all the work you’ve put into this!

    Good all with all your endeavors! 🙂

  24. That should be: Good luck with all your endeavors!

    I need a copyeditor to check my comments before I post them. 🙂

  25. I have found the party over, but the inspiration surely still goes on. You are one of a kind, Todd.

    Just had my first book published on July 23rd and I found this page in my quest to improve, no, not improve, but start, my book sales. I do not yet know how to tag, but i am sure your article on the subject will help me get started.

    I send you abundant blessings, Todd. I am a Spirituality author and what you exhibited here is the greatness of the human spirit. Thank you.

  26. I accidentally unsubscribed my earlier subscription, here is me subscribing again.

  27. Todd, I have a new book out and came back to your amazing service to discover you ended it and I want to express my gratitude for coming up with the idea in the first place, dedicating yourself to it and helping so many authors in the process. Wishing you continued success in the future for all you do. You’re a great, great guy.

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