View Full Version : become addicted

06-21-2007, 06:08 AM
to watching my amazon sales ranking rise and fall like the tide.

sometimes i'm in six figures. sometimes five. regardless, it is a mystical integer that hearkens to powerful events somewhere i cannot see.

anybody have any clue about how this numerology actually works, and why it so quickly becomes hypnotic?

06-21-2007, 06:17 AM
It is hypnotic because it's the only accesible method authors have to see "how their book is selling." And alas, it's all an illusion. Your book could be selling quite well -- just not on Amazon. So a sales rank of 2,739,099 doesn't really mean any more than a sales rank of 5.

Amazon ranks reflect how well your book has sold in a given time frame compared to the millions of other books listed on Amazon. I'm not sure how often they update the numbers. It's at least daily, probably more often.

If you happened to sell 20 copies of your book in the given time frame, and it happened that other people were not at that time buying King or Roberts or Grisham or Rowling or what have you, you might see a great-looking low sales rate for a while. And if there's a run on other books, your numbers drop again.

There are several "programs" being sold (or given as free teleseminars) to authors on how to "Make Your Book a #1 Bestseller on Amazon!" The most popular one, I believe, is run by Randy Gilbert and Peggy I-forget-her-last-name. The strategy is that you run a time-sensitive promotion in which you'll give away free bonuses to anyone who buys your book in a certain amount of time, thus ensuring that your Amazon sales rank rises because a larger amount of books are being bought on the same day. You could do the same with friends and family -- enlist 30 of your close friends to buy your book from Amazon on the same day, and watch those numbers soar! :D

Don't stress about them. I know it's impossible... it's so intoxicating to see that lovely low number under your book. But it's not really important in the grand scheme of things. Sales reporting in publishing is notoriously slow -- it takes months for your publisher to get an accurate picture of just how many copies of your book are being sold on Amazon and elsewhere.

Hope that helps a little! :)

Will Lavender
06-21-2007, 06:48 AM
<---------------Fellow Amazon rank check addict. :flag:

The bad news? I'm in the six figures. The good news? The book doesn't come out until February? The bad news? I've checked it three times today and it's gone down each time. The good news? My dad promises to buy a dozen copies tomorrow.

06-21-2007, 07:05 AM
Wish I had that problem.

06-21-2007, 07:30 AM
Another cool resource is Ingram’s automated sales/tracking hotline--(615) 213-6803. Simply key in the ISBN.

I've been told they only represent about 10% of the market, but it does give you a nice representative sampling. It's interesting to key in the ISBNs of the latest bestsellers vs. trashy books from Paris Hilton, etc. Enjoy.

06-21-2007, 07:50 AM
I think writers should start a kind of drinking game wherein they go through their amazon sales rankings and the guy with the lower number drinks.

You know, kind of like paper rock scissors, except with amazon rankings.

I can hear two married authors right now. "Honey, I want to see this movie tonight" "No, honey, I want to see that one." "Well, let's see who has the highwr sales rank on Amazon..."

06-21-2007, 08:15 AM
I understand the formula used to calculate the Amazon ranking is a secret (like the formula for Coca-Cola), but here's been a couple of recent threads on how to determine book sales, amd there's a website mentioned (sorry I forget it) that gives number of books sold based on Amazon's rank number.

This may be just what you need to go to the next level of your addiction.

aka eraser
06-21-2007, 08:53 AM
Hi, my name is Frank and I'm a recovering Amazonaholic.

I checked several times a day for weeks - until some kind soul informed me that unless my book's rank was in four digits, it was only re-ranked once a week.

So I still checked several times a day to see if it would get into four-digit territory.

And lo! It did!! For a few, brief, heady weeks. And then settled into mostly five-digit territory with the occasional gust up to four in the summer, when fishing is popular with more folks.

Nowadays, I pretty much usually only check every week or two.

Except, of course, now. Now, because it's summer eh, I check about every 4-5 days. Maybe 3.

It depends.