Saturday, November 10, 2007

I Sold a Book, Maybe--veinglory

A few days a ago I saw my book had reached an Amazon sales rank of 50,000. Somebody had once told me that presses consider respectable sales to begin at about this rank.

So, knowing that the real meaning of the rank is vague, I plotted out four of the more authoritative estimates of the relation between Amazon rank and book sales per week. The graph below shows these with rank on the x axis and sales per week on the y (note the scale is not linear). A rank of 50,000 is shown by the dotted line and the bottom value on the y-axis is one sale per week.

To cut a long story short, a sales rank of 50,000 suggests one may have sold a book that week.



Pepper Espinoza said...

Actually, an Amazon sales rank is even more useless than that. It's fun to watch the numbers rise and fall, but ultimately, they're meaningless alogrithms.

Erastes said...

I find the numbers fairly useful - I know that some people slag them off and yes, they can fluctuate simply because others around you have sold none - but as I know how many books have sold on the previous quarter (via the publisher) and know what that equates too in Amazon sales, then I can pretty much guestimate how the book is doing in this quarter too.

The highest I got so far is about 7,500 - according to Titlez - which made me over excited until I realised JUST how many books were stacked up on top of me!!

Jules Jones said...

My experience of watching my Amazon US numbers is that if it sells about one a week, it'll spike at around 50,000 when it sells, and then slowly drift down again until another copy sells. If it sells another copy within a day or two, it'll spike to 35,000 (IIRC) and drift down again. Because The Syndicate was selling fairly steadily at around a copy a week for a long time, I collected a bit of data on how fast it drifted down. Yes, I am a sad geek.

Amanda Young said...

lol, I tried to figure Amazon's rankings out and failed. I ended up just calling the Ingrams automated sales number instead. I stalked that line for the first couple weeks after my book came out.