Jun 142017

Every writer dreams of reaching the Amazon bestseller list. To gain visibility among millions of books, to attract the eyes of readers who browse Amazon by categories. There are supposed to be millions of them. Some writers may spend their fortune, or perhaps their youth :), trying to crack the list of bestsellers.

Well, I did it in a day. And it didn’t cost me a fortune. I actually spent just a couple of hours, and a bit less than $250 to rank nr. 1 in all three book categories that feature University of Solitude (Criminology, Middle East, Iran), and reach a top 500 paid kindle ranking on the entire Amazon.

On 8th June, shortly after noon, I reached top 1 in all three categories, and top 350 on the entire Amazon.

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May 242017

Zurich airport

On 5th April, early morning, I flew from Vienna to Seville with a layover in Zurich. I had three hours to spare on the biggest of Swiss airports.

Since I always carry food with me, and do not like duty free shops, I typically spend time in the transfer halls walking, looking for inspiration, or I just walk without thinking.

It’s better for the body, because the journeys from point A to point B utilizing some form of transport are all about sitting and eating – sitting in a bus, in a train, in a plane, in the airport, in the taxi, and so on :).


Bookstores in the airports

There are a few bookstores in Zurich airport, like probably in any other major traffic hub. I bumped into one on my walk around, and decided to make a short marketing experiment.

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Mar 312017

Time fliesI don’t like to repeat myself, but long time has passed since I’ve published the last blog article. Well, not only has the time passed—it has done so rather quickly!

Nothing new in this department either—time always flies by when you are free, and when life feels good.

February and March brought to my life some opportunities to speak in front of young audiences. Two speeches took place at high schools, and one time I was invited to speak during a special Christian gathering, a weekend the believers spent together in a very nice locality in the nature, ‘outside of civilization’.

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Jan 232017

Picture from Nepal, Renjo LaLong time has passed since I updated the blog for the last time. But don’t worry, they didn’t arrest me again, and I didn’t get run out of ideas either. 🙂

Honestly, I’ve done very little for the book marketing between 23rd November and 3rd January. I spent those weeks in Nepal, in the Himalayas. ‘Doing nothing’ and letting go, for a few weeks at least, is vitally important for someone who works intellectually, creatively, and even tries to write something unique and innovative.

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Nov 212016

Donation IRRCSix weeks still left in 2016. For me, however, the working year will end in two days already.

On Wednesday I’ll leave for Nepal, where I’ll spend the rest of the year living a simple life of a backpacker in the Himalaya Mountains.   

The trip should help me restore my mental and physical energy levels. Typically it works, and I really need to restore them. I need to spend extended time in the nature at least twice a year, to maintain my inner equilibrium. Forgetting all world problems and leaving my personal challenges, pleasures and duties behind, these backpacking trips allow me to function normally and work hard for the rest of the year. The rest of the year is when I do not travel. 🙂

Occasionally I may connect the two, writing while traveling, but it won’t be the case in Nepal. . . .


First donation to Red Cross

I wanted to make a first donation before leaving Slovakia. So I counted all money we received for the sales of the University of Solitude, from 2nd May 2016 to 15th November 2016. It included:    Continue reading »

Nov 142016

Homepage of Criticue.com“The more you contribute the more feedback you receive.”

Criticue.com is an interesting concept—a peer to peer website review portal. You create a free account, submit your website, and start reviewing other users’ websites. (start-up owners and web designers form the majority of user base).

You earn one credit for every submitted review, and each review cost you one credit. Putting it simply, if you review 10 websites, you’ll get 10 reviews of your own website(s). Note: You an also buy credits, if you do not feel like reviewing websites.

Site moderators check each submitted review, and users rate reviews they receive, which helps to eliminate spam, and ensure that your credits won’t be wasted.

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Nov 082016

Visotrs overview, May-November Our long term book marketing strategy consists in the following promotion techniques:

  • Driving traffic to the book landing page through our YouTube channel
  • Gaining organic Google traffic with the help of search engine optimization
  • Building my brand as a writer and thinker, posting comments to relevant videos and participating in discussions on philosophy forums


These promotion techniques form our long term marketing strategy, as we try to promote University of Solitude to the world. In this post I’ll update you on the progress we achieved so far, and describe lessons I learned along the way.

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Nov 012016
One of my ads displayed on Amazon.com

One of my ads displayed on Amazon.com

Amazon ads. I was tempted to give them a try. After all, they differ from all other promotion we have done for the book so far.

When people click the ads, they’ll land on Amazon product page of University of Solitude. In all my previous and ongoing marketing efforts, I have tried to bring visitors to Universityofsolitude.com website, and not to Amazon. Could bringing them to Amazon yield better results, in terms of sales? I decided to give it a try.

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Oct 192016

Our book on AmazonNearly six months has passed since we published the University of Solitude on Amazon.com. Hard to believe, isn’t it? Six months, that’s exactly how long I’d been imprisoned in Iran.

Those memorable six months, from August 2012 to February 2013, felt like a few years to me. The last six months of my life? They just flew by. . . . The perception of time is indeed relative.

But I do no want to be nostalgic, or summarize what we have achieved with our English publication so far. There’s nothing to brag about anyway 🙂. We’ve sold just a couple of dozens of books. That will neither spread my philosophy of life, nor help the Red Cross in their humanitarian operations (we donate all the book royalties to Red Cross).

There’s nothing to brag about, and there’s also nothing to summarize – since we are far from done yet!

Six months, however, is about a right time to start building backlinks to Universityofsolitude.com, in order to try and rank on Google for the keywords of our choice. I’ll try to outline my strategy, what we want to achieve on Google.com and how we’ll progress to do it.

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Oct 052016

How to rank your video on YouTube?

How long will it take to reach the top? Can we game a system and boost our rankings on YouTube in a very short time? And, if it is possible, how much time and money will such a ranking manipulation cost?

As I already mentioned in my earlier posts, I came to a conclusion that the only marketing campaigns worth investing our time in are those with a potential to bring targeted, recurring traffic to our book landing pages.

Building your own YouTube channel and ranking the videos for keywords relevant to your book belongs to these techniques.

If I, for example, managed to rank a video for a keyword “prison stories” on the first page of YouTube search results (or Google search results), I’ll get a number of targeted views every day. People search for this keyword all the time. Just see:

2 days and so many views

More than one million people have seen the second video on the list in last three years… Can you imagine our book trailer holding that spot? The first video has 8K views only, but it was uploaded just two days ago! Their high ranking is a result of 100K subscribers, and probably some algorithm manipulation (We’ll talk about it later)

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