Thursday, February 09, 2006

Amazon Sales Rank - TitleZ

Jungle Scan went kaput (or so it seems) and I discovered TitleZ. If you haven't already heard about it, check it out---while it's still free. They mention plans to charge via subscription.

It seems to be much better than Jungle was. They even offer some FAQ that include a bit of insight to the meaning behind the Amazon sales rank ranges. So - for those folks that check their sales ranks like they're stock trading, enjoy!

Here's what they say:

So, what's a good sales rank for a book? What's not so good?

There is, of course, no hard and fast rule about what constitutes a best-seller, whether you are looking at sales ranks or actual sales volume. However, we'll throw caution to the wind and offer a few generalizations.

First, it's important to look at a book's average sales rank over time--a book that spikes to, say, number 25 on Amazon for an hour or two may be selling well for that brief period of time (perhaps because the author just appeared on a morning talk show or got a favorable review in a regional newspaper), but you'll want to see how that book performs over days or weeks to fairly judge its success. Plenty of books break into Amazon's top 1000 or even top 100 for a few hours but are not able to sustain the high ranking over time.

So, bearing the above very much in mind, here's a temperature gauge you can use to get an idea about a particular title's success. The following numbers apply to average sales ranks over time:

< 100 = Best-seller. Author, publisher, agent are all getting rich
101-1000 = Extremely good performer. Any publisher/author would be thrilled.
1001-10,000 = Very successful book. A few of these can sustain a small publishing company.
10,001-50,000 = A successful book by most industry standards.
50,001-100,000 = Not bad.
100,000 - 500,000 = Not good.
500,000+ = Poor.

Keep in mind that books with average ranks above 100,000 may have performed much better before TitleZ started tracking them. However, books that launch with ranks above 100,000 are probably not considered successful from a publishing industry point of view. Of course, the book could be selling well through non-bookstore channels such as trade shows, speaking events, etc. In general, though, we've found that Amazon sales ranks provides a good indicator for how a title is doing throughout the book market as a whole.


  1. No! No! Save yourself! Dive, dive!
    Do NOT watch numbers on Amazon. it will drive you batshit crazy.


    and I used to call Ingrams, the book distributor, every week. Eeiiii...I'm having...flashbacks.

  2. LOL, Kate - I know what you mean!But, all things in moderation. :)

    I must admit that when my book was self-published, I watched it like a stockbroker! But, now my Dad watches it more than I do. He makes the rounds almost everyday - Amazon CA, UK, and even their German and Japanese sites! LOL

    Oh yeah - and let's not forget about Barnes & Noble. Daddy watches that one, too. ;-)

  3. "And the Oscar goes to..........", February 12, 2006
    Reviewer: Ms. Book "goodpeoples@ ARC Book Club Inc." (ARC BOOK CLUB

    This novel was one of the best I've read in years. It sat on my bookshelf collecting dust for over 2 years - what a mistake!

    Reginald Brooks juggled a double life of love until he was just plain tired of being a mass deceiver. But despite his confession to his wife of 20 plus years, his confessions and desire to come clean don't come without consequences; including the ultimate of penalties.

    The storyline builds around Reggie Brook's two families - one family legitimate by law and the other family producing a love-child from shacking up based on false love and broken promises.

    Reggie's confession and hope of redemption to his legitimate family produce a few surprises for everyone. No one escapes the drama of the truth being bold. As the heat turns up, you'll be shocked, humored, saddened and captivated.

    The entanglement of the complications of Reginald's double life style is mastered well in Millenia Black's debut novel. Oscars should go to several other "great" pretenders in this story - you'll be surprised...A job "very" well done, Millenia!

    ARC Book Club Inc.


  4. Awe, thank you so much, Goodpeoples!

    I see that it did actually post at Amazon, but it's dated in November so you have to flip a few pages to find it. Amazon glitch, I guess.

    Glad you enjoyed the book! Thanks again. :-)

  5. Millenia, you just depressed the shit outta me (going to look for ice cream)

  6. Oh, Monica, don't say that! LOL

    Hey, it fluxuates pretty often so never fear. Those orders'll keep coming in. ;-)

    So, what'd you get? Eddy's? Ben & Jerry's? Breyers?

    To quote Kate: No! No! Save yourself! Dive, dive!

  7. Cheer up, Monica. Gotta have a strong stomach for sales rank tracking or at times you'll be more nauseous than ever.

    I'm glad to say my books do pretty well on Amazon. Luckily I don't really need to track them manually because my agent and I get detailed reports that include the # sold via the major online venues.


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