Tuesday, December 18

I'm Number 200,000 or Thereabouts

amazon author ranking
I haven't checked my Amazon Author ranking in some time. It's actually an interesting, humbling experience. If you've been trying to sell books online, it's worth your time to check on it once in a while, especially if those books start selling to any degree. Right now, I'm ranked somewhere around 200,000th in the world? or America, I don't know.

The first image here shows my rankings for this year. You can see that I achieved my top ranking in the spring, which makes sense, since my top title is an ACT-prep kind of book. It seems I was in the top 50,000 for a fleeting day. Hooray for me! However, my ranking seems to be trending down over the year, so sucks for me. Really, you can't get too riled up over author ranking, but I would like to stay in the top 50,000 at some point. That would give my life some meaning, I suppose.


Taking a look at the historical rankings for me as an author is more upbeat. I started out with no sales, falling deeper and deeper into the author abyss. Then, just as I was ranked 1.4 millionth top selling author, I sold one or more books. You can see in this image that it trends up and down a lot at first, eventually getting more and more accurate. It's good news that I have not dropped below 400,000th in about a year. Still, you can see that line sliding down a little.

Do I know the total number of books I've sold? No. Does it feed the family? No. What I do know is that the time I put into creating the books has maybe, almost paid off at this point. Maybe. And if that's the case, then anything I make from here on out is kind of gravy. Thin, tasteless gravy.

Actually, none of this author rank thing really matters until I can get consistently into the top 1,000, at which point one might make the push to be in the top 100, and that's when it really matters. For example, when I was looking into categories for my new book, I saw House on Mango Street. Still in the top 10 of that particular category. It's really a pretty awful book. I'm sorry, but it's just not that good. None of the other teachers would even touch it at my school after the initial excitement over buying it, but there it is, in the top 10 in a particular category. Luckily for me, one of my own books packages quizzes in the ACT-style that goes along with this overrated book. But the point is that it's still ranked, so people still see it as a good purchase to make, even if no one ever liked the book very much. That's where I want to be as an author.

That's a sad statement to make, but it's true. If every high school in America thought something I wrote was going to engage students or indoctrinate them in some way, I'd be golden. While I have not found that formula just yet, I'll be happy to let you know when it comes to me. At least it will be better than House on Mango Street. Maybe it will put me in that top 100 for a week or so, when all the schools and libraries order copies, before anyone ever reads it. That would be a sweet deal.

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