Using the Amazon Pulse

So it comes up from time to time, but not everyone hears it, or remembers it.

There are regular and generally accepted “rumors” that publishing on Amazon on a regular rate (“The Pulse”) helps with your overall author ranking, as well as your placement of books in “Also bought” and “You might like” as a way to reward regular product. (And books are just another product on Amazon.)

If you publish something in a genre (preferably in a series) every 30 days, you will get rewarded by the robots in control. I drop something on the 10th of every month. Sometimes more than one thing, depending on writing and editing speed. I have seen the rewards.

There also purports to be a slower pulse, running every 60 days, as well as another one ever 90 days, but my understanding is that they step down in effectiveness quite a bit.

How can you take advantage of this?

Some of you write a lot of short fiction, while others are into novels. If you write short, consider putting together a series character and dropping a new mystery/case every month. In my case, I write science fiction, and tend to write shorts that are parts of a much longer novel, but are not just serialized. Instead, I tell each little piece self-contained as a short story and then will assemble them when I have at least 40,000 words and bring some section of a story to rest.

My Patrons got the first seven stories of Yasmin of the Desert in April. (Technically, they were only supposed to get the first three, but I screwed up and sent the wrong file, so when they noticed I sent them a new novella for May and will find something for June.) Those seven stories will be “Volume/Book One” when I get there. I’v already written #8 and will get through a bunch more over the next year.

If you write novels, my suggestion is that you take a few days a month and dedicate them to some short fiction. Seriously. I appreciate that I write at crazy fast speeds compared to many writers, but I also know several folks who make me look like a slacker. 3-5,000 words will reward you, and you should be able to do that, if you really want to be a writer. (I cannot want this more than you do.

Write a short story every month. Put it up for $0.99. Put them into a collection later, or edit them into a whole novel so you can resell the whole thing, or let people have paper copies.


The pulse will boost you as an author. I don’t do much advertising on Amazon. Instead, I let the machines put me in front of people. If you get on the pulse, Amazon also sends out email reminders to your fans fairly regularly, letting them know you have a new book and “here’s a link to buy it!”

Free advertising, targeting people who are already following you on Amazon. $0.99 short stories won’t make you rich, but as you build your catalog, it will hook new fans. Especially if you are telling a whole long arc of stories about a character or group. They will get invested. And want to give you money.

I hear regular conversations that people tell me that they cannot get any traction unless they spend a lot of money on advertising. It might work. It might not. I built a lot of my success on the pulse instead of the ad spend, so I wanted to give everyone else options they maybe didn’t know about.

It doesn’t have to be a novel every month. In fact, I’m hoping someone sets down to prove me wrong and writes a twelve-short arc and drops them every month for a year. I’d love to hear your results. And hopefully, you end up with more things generating money.

No book is going to make you rich in the modern age of publishing. Traditionally-published books are dropping zeroes of the back of an advance from 20 years ago. Chances are that you will not be the next JK Rowling or Susan Collins.

Instead, you want to create an entire catalog of books, each earning nickels and providing new entry points for people to become fans.

Let Amazon do the work for you, and then find all the ways you can turn a handful of short stories into more revenue streams by collecting them later.

You can beat the machine.