Thursday, June 20, 2013

The 'tyranny' of Amazon's rankings (and a call for reviews) (UPDATE)

I don't do this too often, look at how the book is doing via Amazon's convoluted ranking system. Early on I might check it once every couple of days and was thrilled by how well it was doing, ranking as high as  9,005 among all books. And I know the window is relatively brief, that most sales come in the first few months.

So I'm not giving up hope when I saw this morning that it had fallen to just under 400,000. I know the rankings fluctuate wildly from one hour to the next and that there's a disclaimer from the Amazon author service that the metrics used do not accurately reflect the number of books sold. The publisher tells me 501 is doing very well for them and a second printing had been ordered.

While visiting the page, I discovered a new review, making for a total of six. Always gratifying to read such kind words. Also thankful for the emails and phone calls I've received politely pointing out my mistakes, both by commission and omission.

So I invite those who've read 501 to submit reviews to Amazon. Doesn't have to be long or even 100% positive. As the expression goes, I don't care what you write about me as long as you spell my name write. (Funny story from last night's program at the Montclair Public Library with Filip Bondy. The NY Daily News sports columnist spoke of being involved in a lengthy strike at the paper during which time he sought out freelance work.He landed a gig with Sports Illustrated but was frustrated by the mania over fact-checking, something the veteran reporter did not have to contend with at the newspaper. So after various edits, follow-up phone calls, etc. the magazine misspelled his name in the by-line.)

Thanks for your support.

UPDATE (June 21): Sure enough I checked this morning and the ranking is now

#81,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Crazy, man.

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