Sales Rankings — Not just a number…

Posted on: June 18th, 2013 by Carrick Publishing

Suits and LaddersWhether you’re in the market for a great e-book on corporate survival, like Suits And Ladders, by Suzen Fromstein, or a gripping literary thriller for the sunny summer days ahead, chances are you’ve encountered Best-Seller Rankings within the Amazon book and e-book retail machine.

How important are those rankings, really?

The answer to that question will almost certainly depend on who you ask, as experiences will vary given genre and the popularity of the author.

I believe the position of a book or e-book within its category is important, both for readers and for authors.

From my perspective as a reader, while a high ranking won’t guarantee I’ll enjoy the book, it does at least position the title where I can see it — on the category’s best-selling page at Amazon.

This alone is worth the effort of trying to manage your book’s rankings. I value it as advertising for my books. If a reader is searching for a Literary Thriller by a Canadian author, I like to believe they may discover The First Excellence thanks to it’s current placement at the top of the Kindle World Literature/Canadian list.

The First Excellence

From my point of view as an author, I’d naturally ask: Do rankings have a tangible value in terms of sales?

Again, this will depend largely on genre and the author’s existing name-recognition. From my own experience, there is a value in achieving a sales position within an on-line retail site like Amazon.

The rankings become, for want of a better phrase, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

An increase in sales will produce the desired lift in your book’s rankings.

A rise in rankings will cause your title to be displayed in the Best-Selling pages, which is valuable free advertising for your book. This will usually result in a bump in sales.

And so it goes.

But how do we achieve that initial increase in sales?

Lesser-known or Indie authors face this dilemna daily. Sadly, there is no easy answer.

However, I can tell you with some assurance that “name recognition” is the key. For those of us blazing our trails without the benefit of traditional publishers and media assistance, the path is not an easy one.

It comes down to building an effective platform. (See my previous 4-Part Series on “Today‚Äôs Author: Building a Platform”, Part I; Part II; Part III; Part IV.)

In the final analysis, each of us has to be prepared to answer one question: How badly do we want to reach readers?

If getting our work into appreciative hands and minds, whether in print or e-book format, is something we are determined to accomplish, then building an effective Author Platform can help.

Donna Carrick speaks and blogs on the topics of Social Media for Authors, e-Publishing, and Independent Publishing.

Her Literary Thrillers can be found at her Amazon Author Page.

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