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ShaunHorton
06-25-2014, 05:11 AM
For those who know more than I, specifically, what does it mean if a book doesn't have a ranking number? Does it mean Amazon has never sold a copy of that book?

Cathy C
06-25-2014, 06:40 AM
That's one possibility. Another answer might be that Amazon doesn't actually stock the book and it's only available through resellers.

K.B. Parker
06-25-2014, 07:04 AM
A book doesn't get a ranking until it sells. Newer products can take a while to get a ranking though, even if they are selling.

Filigree
06-25-2014, 08:34 AM
Usually no more than 20 to 30 days after listing, from what I've seen with friends' books and my own. So if there is no Amazon sales rank, that version is either not selling or is not offered on Amazon.

You can check versions to see if the book is out of print, or offered through third party sellers. Check the publication date, too. If there is no Amazon rank on a book over a year old, that's seriously bad news. Amazon isn't the only game around, but it is one of the biggest.

Don't go insane trying to figure out Amazon's rank-to-actual-sales ratio. One of the closest third party services is www.salesrankexpress.com. And even they admit their numbers are not accurate at high sales volumes. Even at relatively low ones: my January sales via Amazon were listed as 55 through SalesRankExpress, but were actually more than twice that.

The service can seem eerily accurate when tracking extremely low sales (single digit sales per year). I had the opportunity to recently check this against both Nielsen BookScan and someone's royalty statement. In that instance, SalesRankExpress got it right: 8 copies sold through Amazon in 2013.

ShaunHorton
06-25-2014, 09:02 AM
The book I'm looking at was released in 2012 and has no ranking. :-P Kinda figured that was a pretty bad sign.