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Apr 9, 2009

Amazon Sales Rankings

Dave Fortier provided some links to explain the Mystery That Is Amazon Sales Ranking.

Amazon's algorithm for sales ranking is complicated and some recent attempts to extrapolate the data have yielded some basic guidelines.

Discusses approximate sales from sales ranking. Here he mentions that a book needs to sell a copy a year on Amazon, through Amazon direct or a marketplace merchant, to have an approximate sales rank of 2,000,000. Less than a sale a year results in a larger number, or a worse ranking. A book without a sales ranking has yet to make a sale.

Similarly, Brent Sampson yields this list:

2,000,000+ Perhaps a single inventory/consignment copy has been ordered
1,000,000+ Current trends indicate total sales will most likely be under 40
100,000+ Current trends indicate total sales will most likely be under 200
10,000+ Estimate between 1 - 10 copies being sold per week.
1,000+ Estimate between 10 - 100 copies being sold per week.
100+ Estimate between 100 - 200 copies being sold per week.
10+ Estimate between 200 - 1000 copies being sold per week.
Under 10 Estimate over 1,000 copies per week

But again, being listed does not guarantee sales, and potential sales don't pay your bills.


Liana Brooks said...

Amazon ranks are such an iffy proposition I've sworn I won't check them when I get published. I tell myself that it will be better to work on the next novel and by over-joyed and surprised when (and if) a royalty check ever shows up.

But it's so tempting to know how you are doing, isn't it? After pushing your baby out into the world you want the acclaim and kudos for the blood, sweat, and tears you put into your book.

I think maybe I need a sign on my desk: You're a good author. I love your story. Get back to work.

PurpleClover said...

Wow! thank you for getting this information. I have always been curious when I would check the ranking for books similar to the ones I was writing. This helps a lot!

lisa and laura said...

Oh gosh, yet another thing to obsessively check once you're published. I can see how this would get to be consuming...

Cindy R. Wilson said...

This sales ranking stuff is still a mystery to me. I read a book on marketing that said more reviews and higher sales rankings make your book more apt to appear to consumers. I guess on that, "customers who read this book, also liked..." I'm curious how much that boosts sales or not. It would be good to know for the future. Thanks for the other info.

scott g.f.bailey said...

A lot of things on Amazon, especially placement in the "customers who read this book, also liked..." sort of thing, aren't driven by sales numbers but by publishers buying the positioning on the page, the way that they buy (or used to, back in the good old days) space at the front of bookstores for big displays of new titles. Though Amazon is notorious for keeping all of their formulas and marketing models secret.

lotusgirl said...

Thanks for sharing this.

Pen Pen said...

:) I have a friend on Amazon and he says it's hard to understand any of this stuff--much less promote his indie novel on vampires. They should offer really cheap "promotions" for self-published or indie authors who need to get the word out---I think that's an un-tapped gold mine! I dunno about mainstream books on there tho--I have so much to learn...