commercial can nourish the creative

 

This week I’m hurtling between the commercial and creative and back again, fast enough to give me whiplash, setting up Amazon ads. The experience is showing me what I’ve so often found before: how the commercial can nourish the creative.

Though these two are set up to be polar opposites, in practice they nurture each other. This week it was using www.yasiv.com that proved their interdependence. And with a lovely cross-fertilised visual, web-like view to make the point.

Yasiv is based around Amazon. A simple tool, it lets you type in your books and view what other readers have bought, using Amazon  “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” feature, known in the business as your “also-boughts”.

How the Commercial can Nourish the Creative: Yasiv.com

Yasiv was designed and developed as a hobby project by Andrei Kascha, who ”loves books, people and life.” He’s on Twitter as @anvaka. I’d heard about Yasiv before but not investigated. Then it arrived in front of me twice this week.

Firstly, I read about it in Deb Potter’s book Amazon Ads for Authors, which I’m finding super useful. Then it was mentioned by Dalma in our Self-publishing Poetry Podcast. So now I’m using it as I set out to master Amazon ads.

For authors and creatives, what Yasiv does is allow you to see details about other books, movies, video games, any products bought by readers who have bought yours. The tool shows you not just what other customers bought when they bought your item, but what other customers bought from those resulting items as well, giving you a massive networked web to trawl.

As Deb says, it “is great for understanding marketing connections”.

This has commercial benefits, of course. I am finding the other titles it generated great for generating good keywords and categories for my ads, and book descriptions. But creative benefits too.

 

It’s down to that most creative of values: understanding.

We get a sense of what these people are buying and what their needs are. We are helped to see beyond our own vision of ourselves and our products, and look through the eyes of our purchasing consumers,

By getting us outside our own heads and personal preferences into the minds of our purchasers, Yasiv.com helps our understanding of the value we offer, and the needs of the people we serve with our work.

I can already see how that’s going to feed into all sorts of creative decisions.

Don’t set commercial and creative up as opposing factions in your mind. In truth, they nurture each other


 

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Orna Ross
Author: Orna Ross

Orna Ross is an award-winning novelist and poet, advocate for self-publishing and, as Director of the Alliance of Independent Authors, "one of the 100 most influential people in publishing" (The Bookseller).