Up until a few months ago when Richard Mabry wrote about Amazon rankings on Rachelle Gardner’s blog, I didn’t have a clue that there was even such a thing as an Amazon ranking. But there is. And, ever since my book launched, I’ve been checking mine one, two, seven times a day.
Here’s how Amazon rankings work: basically, every hour, the powers that be on the Amazon site calculate how your book is selling compared to the millions of other books for sale. So, someone decides to buy a case of 100 of your book and suddenly your ranking soars. How high? Not sure… that’s never happened to me. Likewise, if there’s a drought and no one buys your book for a few hours, suddenly your ranking flatlines and your back down there in the hundreds of thousands or millions.
Last week, after my book launched, I was thrilled when my book soared hundreds of thousands of spaces in a matter of minutes. Woo hoo! Then, two hours later, it was languishing in the 200,000 range. Boo! That evening? Back in the 400,000’s. Eeek. The next morning? Back up in the 30,000’s. After a few days of following obsessively, I came to realize something: Amazon rankings– as much as I love checking them– are really no indication of how your book is being received or sold. They’re simply an indication of how your book is being sold on Amazon at that minute. And really, that doesn’t matter at all? Even my toddler can be charming and sophisticated for a minute. What really matters is the long run–how a book will sell and be received over hours and days and weeks and months.
That said, I’m trying not to check my ranking. Okay, at least not more than once or twice a day. Because the reality is that means I’m obsessing over a single sale or two– and not over the big picture.
Question: What about you? Do you check Amazon rankings? How do you feel about them?