OW! My brains hurt!

I don’t get it.  I really don’t.

Looking at my Amazon sales ranks it would seem that selling copies of the books lowers my rank and not selling them raises it.

No I don’t mean my numbers get closer to 1 in the former, and further in the latter … I mean my chart-toppingness decreased with sales and increased without them.

I wish I were kidding, but one example involved going down several ranks after selling four copies in five and a half hours.  Not bad, actually, but has been better.  I wouldn’t have thought anything of it, as I said, could be better.  Except over the course of another six hours I sold zero copies and my sales rank improved.

I’ve a terrible feeling that Amazon’s algorithm for their rankings has a divides where there should be a multiplies or vice versa.  Or an add where it needs a subtract or similar.  That has to be it.  And remember folks, the people doing this math are probably the same programmers responsible for the security of your purchase, account, and payment information.  I know I’m impressed.

4 thoughts on “OW! My brains hurt!

  1. I don’t know the algorithm (obviously) but remember that you aren’t the only one selling books. If the sales for the ranking are calculated within a set period (hour, 1/2 day or day) then your ranking will depend on when your sales (and those authors around you) take place in that period. If your sales took place near the cut off point, it could explain why you haven’t sold any between when you last looked, but you had sold more within the sales period used for the algorithm compared to your peers, therefore you went up. Just a thought.


  2. I just realised I didn’t explain this so well. Amazon will have an applicable sales period (it could be weeks or months even) that affect the ranking, so it’s not just when you or others sell, but it’s when old sales drop out of the applicable sales period. If Amazon didn’t do this, Lord of the Rings would always be top of the fantasy section, for example.


  3. First off, thank you, but I was largely kidding (except that the numbers really have a habit of imoroving when sales stop and decreasing when I sell)

    As I say, I wouldn’t think much or anything at all of it if it were simply lower ranks after selling: obviously this indicates the other books sold better.

    What amuses me to no end is when my rank imoroves when NOT selling. Logically this would mean returns on the part of those books above me, and probably a change in the alignment if Mercury to Uranus, but it is rather surprising how MANY ranks I improved by.

    As I said “ow, my brain hurts”. If there was genuine concern thus would have been a far longer post.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.