Monday, February 7, 2011

How many books per day to get in top 10,000 in Amazon rankings?

I've been reporting all sorts of sales numbers for my books. I thought I'd report on my sales rank. Here's the Amazon Best Seller Rank tracking for Dead Dwarves Don't Dance since December (I published the novel in late November).

As you can see, it's slowly working it's way down the rankings. It's been as low as #6,047, which happened today. This month, it's been ranging from 11,000 to 6,000, with some spikage up to #23,789.

Since Amazon does not publicize their rank algorhythm, we can only speculate on what all the fluctuations actually mean. Obviously, sales numbers must be the major part of it. But, is it hourly/daily/weekly sales? How much weight does each have in the ranking system?

I've been selling at least 8 copies of Dead Dwarves Don't Dance per day since last Thursday. So, it looks like 8 copies a day can get your book into the top 10,000 in rankings. Can anyone else corroborate this?


  1. I wish I could! :P My book doesn't come out until next week!

    I want to keep track of all my info too, though. Did you check each day, or did Amazon provide you with those ranking numbers?

    J. E. Medrick

  2. Yep, I've noticed between 5 and 10 gets you there, depending on the day.

  3. I check my sales every morning and then again every evening. It seems very strange but I continue to sell 5 books a day. And the sales are almost always there in the morning. I sold six, for example, since last night. Insomniacs buying books in the middle of the night?

    But that's for 4 books in a series. So I can tell you that King's X Episode 1 is selling roughly 3 books a day, and that's enough for wild fluctuations in it's rank. It averages out to be in the 20Ks. But 5 sales in a day moves it up to 10K. And on off day, it will fall to the 40ks. For the later books in the series, 2 sales will move them from the 70s to the 20s. Right now all 4 are in the 20s. And Episode 4 is actually winning.

    Also, 5 or six books in an hour will get you on a top 100 list. King's X has done that twice that I've seen. But you have to just happen to look while you on the list because you could fall out of it in their next cycle. If you're selling 8 a day of one book you are likely making those lists periodically.

    I think that below 1,000 is where the air starts to rarefy.

  4. It would be nice to know exactly how their system works, but if we did I'm sure a lot of people would be gaming it. The truth is that going lower in the ranks already gives you higher visibility, which in turn seems to all but guaranty you'll continue to go lower in the ranks. I would hope Amazon doesn't count gifted sales into the sales rank, because I can imagine authors gifting out thousands of copies to buy their way into best seller ranks.

  5. Yeah, Derek, that sounds about right. When Bloated Goat was selling better on Kindle in November and December, it was consistently under 10,000 in US by selling between 5-15/day.

    I just check novelrank to refresh my memory. On Amazon US, my best rank was 4,710 (yes, it didn't last long) on Amazon UK, my best rank was 366! But the UK site is a whole different animal compared to US.

  6. Thanks for writing about this. I've had a hard time trying to understand the relationship. This sort of gives it some perspective.


  7. I stumbled upon this the other day on another blog I follow:

  8. My book "Manifest Your Millions: A Lottery Winner Shares his Law of Attraction Secrets" is ranked at 4400 right now (in my category) and selling about 40 copies a day and growing rapidly.