Amazon Ranking

I’m sure many of you have wondered how the magic of the Amazon ranking works. To be honest, I still think it’s a huge mystery but humor me for a minute while I share what I’ve learned.

Last I heard, there are over 1.5 million books available on Amazon. I’m sure that number has changed a bit since I heard it but the fact remains, indie authors many times feel like they are a minuscule fish in an enormous pond.  I’ve got good news for you 🙂

Have you ever stopped and looked at your ranking.  And I don’t mean a cursory glance but actually start to study it?  I never really thought of myself as a number’s person, that’s my son, but as my books began to the climb through the rankings I started noticing a pattern.  A single book can help you leap through many thousands of books.

An example of that would be my CHRISTMAS MESSENGER short story that I just changed the book cover on.  Yesterday’s rank was at 437,000 give or take a few books.  Since I pretty much only sell a couple of these a month I thought that was pretty good.  I’m in the top 1/3.

Yesterday I had a sale, ONE SALE, and guess where my ranking went?  75,000.

Did you catch that?  A single sale dropped my ranking me THAT much.  You know that what tells me?  I sold one more book than 362,000 people yesterday.  And that doesn’t include the remaining 1 million books that I was already beating out.

So let’s work some new math.  This month so far I had sold 2 books and I was in the top 1/3 of authors.  So…if you only sold 2 books this month you are doing better than 2/3 of the books on Amazon.  If you sold 3, watch out!  You are on fire!

Now I know everyone wants to sell more than 3 books in a month, and you should, but I want to help change your perspective.  It’s not the 1.5 million authors that you need to compete with.  It’s the 20,000 or less who are actually selling a couple copies per day.  Does that make you feel any better?

No?  I didn’t think it would work for all of you, but I want you to know that there is hope.  My first book FORBIDDEN didn’t hit the scene with a bang.  Mine was a slow burn.  It slowly got noticed, slowly began to creep up the rankings.  But I’ll tell you another secret.  For my genre, when I started flirting with the low 13-15,000’s, I started dipping into the bottom spots of the top 100 lists.  This wont be true for every genre, but for mine it was.

I could feel how close I was to being noticed and it was thrilling.  I hit that #98 spot on my first top 100 and I sunk my teeth in and refused to let go.  Most people would think that hitting the bottom of the list wouldn’t really matter much for sales, but I can attest to you that it does.  People search all the way through to the bottom for a good book.  Overnight I went from 13,000 rank to 4,000 rank.  I had to pick my mouth off the floor.

The rest is history.  I don’t tell you this to brag, far from it, but I spoke with a newbie indie hopeful who is currently working on her first book and she asked if I’ve ever written down any of the advice that I was giving her and I realized that I haven’t.  Not really.  I share my experience with a ton of authors when I chat with them because I want to encourage them to take the right steps BEFORE they publish to be a success but I’ve never really done this for everyone else.

So…here you go 🙂  My first tip: Don’t stress about the ranking.  It fluctuates fast and hard.  Focus on telling people about your books and the numbers will come.


I’m an obsessive writer, avid reader and writer’s group fanatic. Proud soccer wife and mom and loyal supporter of Chelsea. I’ve been a carbaholic since birth and am now hopelessly addicted to Dr. Pepper 10. Who says it’s only for men? Author of teen paranormal romance, Forbidden.

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Posted in Amazon Ranking
4 comments on “Amazon Ranking
  1. Thank you for the helpful information Amy! Absolutely loved this post. 🙂

    • Amy Miles says:

      Thanks Teresa.
      I’ve learned so much in the past 5 months and I really haven’t take the time to sit down and share it with everyone and I need to. This is the first of several posts that I will do to help give indie authors and insight into the Amazon publishing world

  2. WendyWendy says:

    Thanks for doing this post. It’s funny, because that’s how I found your blog, was looking for info on Amazon rankings so I could understand them better. (My book is on a promo right now and I’m trying to make sense of things!) I love when writers share what they learn with other people. Great job, thank you!

    • Amy Miles says:

      Hi Wendy,
      I’m glad you found me and I hope the info helps. I know it wasn’t in great depth but if you ever have any questions feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to answer them. I certainly am not an expert but I’ve learned a few things during my time. I plan on posting more of them over the next few weeks as I have the chance.
      Crazy thing how time seems to slip through our fingers.

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