Friday, 11 September 2009

Award Winners and Amazon Rankings

I've been thinking a great deal more about indie publishers and authors and their standing in the marketplace, stimulated by a read of Aaron Shepard's book, Aiming at Amazon. The book is a frank insight for indie publishers into the burgeoning world of online booksellers versus bricks and mortar stores.

In the book Shepard submits that Amazon sales rankings are definite indicators of a book's marketing success. He breaks those rankings down thus:

  1. Top 10,000. If you can your book here and keep it here, you have a real winner. A book with a rank of 5,000 might sell 250 copies a month.
  2. 10,000 to 50,000. A very good performer.
  3. 50,000 to 200,000. Not a hot item, but still a respectable earner.
  4. Over 200,000. Don't do it for the money.
Because Amazon's sales rankings change by the second, Shepard offers a nifty little free calculator that will give you the latest rankings.

Curious, I stacked my own novel, Shadow Song, up against other award winners and short-listed books, using Canadian Amazon sales as the base. Thought I'd share the results of that research.
  1. 4,016, Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow, Sunburst Award Shortlist.
  2. 70,160 The Alchemists Pursuit, by Dave Duncan, Sunburst Award Shortlist.
  3. 133,965 Shadow Song, by Lorina Stephens.
  4. 158,500 Marsegeuro, by Edward Willett, Prix Aurora Award.
  5. 233,427 Night Child, by Jes Battis, Sunburst Award Shortlist.
  6. 284,095 Wild Talent, by Eileen Kernaghan, Sunburst Award Shortlist.
  7. 702,878 After the Fires, by Ursula Pflug, Sunburst Award Shortlist.
The result: Yes We Can!

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