Book Industry Sales News: “Amazon Sales Rank: Taming the Algorithm”


Amazon Sales Rank: Taming the Algorithm
By John Doppler on April 7, 2016

The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi, pronounced “ally”) is a global, nonprofit association for writers who self-publish.

Confused by the behavior of Amazon’s sales rank? John Doppler takes the mystery out of this frequently misunderstood feature. header_AmazonStaircase-768x512

We’re all familiar with Amazon’s sales rank, those tantalizing numbers that have driven authors to obsessively revisit their pages over and over in hopes of seeing their book climb through the ranks.

Yet, as a closely guarded secret, Amazon’s sales rank remains a perpetual source of confusion and myth.

“Why did my sales rank go down when I sold more books this week?”
“Why did my sales rank go up when I didn’t sell anything?!”
“How did the sales rank of this book leapfrog over mine when I’ve sold ten times as many books?”

Amazon won’t disclose their proprietary algorithms, but thanks to some clever analysis by indie authors, that formula has been reverse engineered. And once you understand that formula, the quirks of sales rank make much more sense, and you can use them to your advantage.

Amazon’s sales rank algorithm is surprisingly simple…

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