Saturday, August 25, 2012

Do Amazon Rankings Matter?

I was recently on holiday in the USA, during which time I grabbed the chance to do some rather shameless promotion of my books (I also drank quite a few frozen margaritas during the holiday, but that’s another story that probably doesn’t bear telling). As everyone nowadays has some form of portable electronic device, it was fast and easy for them to whip out their iPhone, tablet, BlackBerry etc, look up my romance novels on Amazon.

When they checked out my books, what did they look at? Almost without fail, it was the book cover and then the reviews. No one, absolutely no one, looked at my rankings and when I pointed them out (during a nice spike one weekend), the other people had no idea what they meant and didn’t care! So, do rankings matter?
In terms of readers, ‘No’. What matters is a great book cover and lots of good reviews (if anyone would like a review copy of either or both of my books, please send me an email). However, in terms of Amazon, ‘Yes’, rankings do matter. This is because the better the ranking, the more Amazon will push the book as they see it as a potential bestseller. Amazon will push it by making sure the book comes up in search results and recommendations. This gives your book more visibility, which in turn sells more books, which in turn improves rankings. Should you be lucky enough to get into Amazon’s bestseller lists and its top 100, Amazon will do much of the promotion for you. As Catherine Bybee said in an interview with me about her bestseller Wife By Wednesday, “Once I made it in the top 100 books on Kindle the book sold itself.”
Therefore, while rankings mean nothing to readers, they are important to authors, so I’m off now to check mine!

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