Have you ever wondered what a book's Amazon ranking really means? Is there a way to tell how many books an author is selling over time via Amazon? Well, the truth is that no one knows for sure. In fact, even the staff people at Amazon say that their ranking system isn't completely accurate. So, don't ever obsess over your book's Amazon ranking, because it isn't always right. And, it only represents one channel of retail book sales.
However, a few math wizards with a lot of time on their hands (and a lot of Mountain Dew to drink) have tried to shed some light on the issue. Here's a summary of their findings:
Amazon Rankings Explained
Ranking: Estimated Sales:
10,000 = 30 books per week
100,000 = 6 books per week
1,000,000 = less than 1 book per week
If you wanted to estimate your book's Amazon sales, check your ranking periodically over a few months. Then, take the average number, and apply it to the chart above. For example, if your ranking over three months is 5,500 / 18,000 / 55,000, then your average ranking would be 26,166. If you apply 26,166 to the chart, then you're probably selling around 20 books a week...not much when you really think about it (1,000 per year). That's another reason why you shouldn't obsess over your Amazon rankings.