Thursday, October 11, 2012

Amazon's Author Ranking Mean's...?

I have to laugh. Authors/Artists by nature are moody bastards and I am a Cancer which only increases that moodiness. And now Amazon has instituted a new author ranking system so that it not only tracks your books ever-fluctuating rhythm of sales, it will track you and all of your books combined to evaluate your ranking.

I and most other writers I know of, have gone through bouts of constantly scanning Amazon to see how are sales are. I finally broke free of the habit after a few months and only occasionally look now-(granted once I start self-publishing with Lost Realms Press, I am sure I will check more often because I will be getting paid more frequently than the current situation.)

I look once in awhile now and shrug, oh I sold a few more I'm in the top 40,000. No big whoop.

I had a friend last night post on facebook that Stephen King was/is #1 in the Horror ranking and my friend Michael Brent Collings was #88. Hey good for him, I thought/posted/liked. I had no concern for myself on this, guessing I was far too lowly for any such ranking.

Then I got the email in the morning telling me I was #547 in Horror. That's not too shabby if you consider how many people are writing horror these days. I was surprised because while I write horror stories I don't consider myself a horror writer, but then what is the next thing coming down the pike? Space Eldritch is  Sci-Fi/Horror so I suppose I'll embrace that rank after all.

Checking the stats tonight, I found some ever changing numbers and guidelines for what I do (according to Amazon)

In Contemporary Fiction (do I even write that?) I was as high as #5,077 but am now #9,573

In Action & Adventure (this is what I would say I write) I was #1,685 but am now #3,441

In Fantasy I was #1,792 but have dropped to #3,721

and In Horror I was as high as #497 but have dropped to #665

Does any of this matter?


If I was actually the 497th best selling horror writer on Amazon, I think I wouldn't still be worrying about the day job, even the 665th and I think I would quit and be writing full time. But these numbers only take into account my name paired with all of my books, anthologies etc. Heroes of the Fallen which is decidedly not a horror novel is selling at least a copy or two a week and thus drives up my overall numbers. I don't believe I rank even 665th in the Mormon authors category for which I am not even listed.

I probably ought not to even look at these rankings again for all the good they do...But, I probably will come October 29th when Space Eldritch is released and me and the crew seriously book bomb the hell out of it. Maybe I'll break the top 100 that day and can list myself as "Best-Selling Author"!

*** UPDATE!!!
We did make it #2 in Science Fiction/Space Opera and #10 in Horror!


Charles Gramlich said...

I saw that. I was 3500 something in horror. But no, I don't really need another number to check. Sales is enough.

David J. West said...

I had seen a few authors talking about being neurotic enough without this.

Angie said...

It kind of drives me crazy to be constantly compared to other books/writers. It makes me feel lousy. So I'm not paying attention. I'm just going to be content where I am. =)

David J. West said...

Good advice. The gist of my post is that it really doesn't matter.

Angie said...

Agreed! Thanks, David.

David J. West said...

You bet Angie.