Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Algorithms

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Do you get emails from Amazon?
I do.
About once a week, I find in m y mailbox a mail that says, more or less…

Greetings, Consumer!
based on your previous purchases, we think you might also like…

And what follows is a list of books I have already purchased from Amazon, plus maybe one or two of my own books. On special days, the algorithm also throws in an esoteric kitchen tool and maybe some instant noodles.

But the latest “you might also like” mail was special, because the Amazon algorithm decided I might be interested in this…

Yes, it’s a book of mine (available in Italian only, sorry rest of the world!)
You know, ancient Rome, Aegyptian curses, conspiracies, legionaries… the usual.

And yes, it’s out today.

And no, I did not know anything about it.

I was not informed the book had been published – and indeed already sold during the Lucca Comics & Games fair this past Halloween.
I did not see the galleys.
I did not get a complimentary copy.
Or an ebook.

Google reveals that the book was also presented during a live streaming panel, in November – but I was not informed, or invited to participate, and when the panel was announced on Facebook nobody tagged me, and therefore another algorithm decided not to show me any notification.
And no, there was nothing in my spam folder, either.

And yes, the cover is great, and carries my name and the IP house name, so that it looks like I wrote this with someone else.

And finally yes, this is deeply humiliating, because the book I spent the whole summer of 2022 writing has been out there three months now, and I only learned about it because the Amazon suggestions algorithm sucks.

I will not put a commercial link here, because as I said the book is only available in Italian.
It’s likely to be my last novel to be.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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