Thursday, June 10, 2010

Why Amazon Ranks are Like a Crazy Old Drunk Aunt

Tip of the Day: Fabulous post on the importance of having a style sheet here.

I'm an Amazon Rank Checkaholic. Ok, really I'm in recovery but I think like other aholics once you are one you are forever-- just fighting the disease. I use to check my Amazon rank 1.2 million times a day. At least it felt like that. Lately, I've only been checking it maybe once every 3-4 weeks. And yes, I'm so proud of myself for slowing it down like that! I think the gum has helped a lot. Want to know why I'm kicking the habit? Because it was driving me crazy/messing with my head/wasting writing time. That stinkin' rank would one minute be at 89,000 then later be at 550,000 and then oh look now at 17,000. The emo rollercoaster was taking too many hills and dips with each new number. And what did it really mean anyway? Did I sell a truckload of books at 2pm and that's why my rank was awesome? Doubt it. So today I decided to find out the meaning of the Amazon rank.

My research:

First I checked out this guy.

I'd like to start by saying I don't believe any of this. I think he's just guessing. And what's an "Expert Author" anyway? But seriously, I've seen rank changes every hour so his theory on ranks over 100k changing only once a day doesn't hold. And his chart that shows you have to be ranked in the 100s to be selling 200 books a week? Uh uh. I've sold 200+ books in a week and my Amazon rank never made it anywhere near the 100s. So ignoring this information...

I came upon this article. Here she says very simply, "Your rank is how many books on Amazon are selling more copies than yours."

Ahhhh, this makes sense. I can see this. There are SO SO SO many books on Amazon so like she points out, if you're ranked at 14,000 then that means there are 13,999 other books selling better than yours right now. She also goes on to explain the crazy fluctuations. She says if your book suddenly jumps by 100,000 you didn't just sell a TON of books. You maybe sold two this hour. But the other people you just edged out? They maybe sold one or none. So yay you this hour. Next hour? You're so going down!

See what I mean? This is crazy making stuff. I say we all ignore Amazon rankings from now on. Who's with me? Go to my Web site and sign my pledge. Oh, sorry, had an Oprah moment there. I don't have a pledge. Let's just all give a collective nana nana nana to Amazon rankings!

Kristina, Miss See Me on the Shelves


J Fosberry said...

Not to enable you or anything, but have you heard of rank forest? It keeps track of amazon rankings over time. You sign up for one book (for free - it's a fee if you want more books or fancier analysis - like $6/month). I also think it only shows past 30 days on the free one. But this way I can look at a chunk of time once in a while. Not trying to correlate or anything, but better than looking every day.

Jeannine Atkins said...

Great post. But I was kind of disappointed you didn't go Oprah-ish and have the pledge! But I guess the nananana should do.

Emily Marshall said...

Very interesting stuff.