Book Rankings

August 30th, 2004 · 15 Comments
by gena

If you want the down and dirty truth, I’m obsessed with book rankings. I spend way too much time stalking and And what gets me is that the rankings can change by thousands in a matter of minutes (seconds, if you want to be technical). How does that happen? Canceled orders? A mad rush of orders? Aliens abducting everyone who buys my book so their secret society won’t be revealed?? Can you guess what I want to do every time my number jumps?: A) scatter little pieces of my computer all over my office. B) scream, rant, and rave at the heavens for such a travesty. C) sob into my hands as violins play softly in the background. D) all of the above. Maybe I’ll be better with my next book. Maybe it’ll take my 100th book before I calm down. Am I the only one like this?

Oh, and don’t even get me started on reviews. . .

File Under: Wrapped Up In Books

15 responses so far ↓

  • booksquare // Aug 30, 2004 at 3:57 pm

    I’m very proud of you for admitting this. I’ve heard rumors of Amazon Anonymous, but, in keeping with their name, nobody knows where they meet or how they work. I’m very curious about how other authors overcome their Amazon Addiction.

    And go ahead, tell us about reviews! How do you handle them?

  • Gena Showalter // Aug 30, 2004 at 4:17 pm

    A good review can keep you smiling all day long. A bad review hurts, plain and simple. I can live with a bad review, though. What I don’t like is when a reviewer makes it personal with comments like: I’d rather swim in a pool of manure than read one more word by this author. What’s wrong with saying: I didn’t like this book because. . . and stating the problems? Anyway, I’m wavering between naming the naughty reviewers after creatures I create, such as the hideous Demon Queen in my current work in progress, and just ignoring them, knowing they’re building bad karma. Thoughts?

  • Lorra // Aug 30, 2004 at 4:45 pm

    How about: “Those who can’t . . .”

  • Sasha // Aug 30, 2004 at 11:04 pm

    I saw name them and kill them. *g* You need to think of it as therapy. 🙂

  • Gena Showalter // Aug 31, 2004 at 9:02 am

    Ladies, you are saucy wenches and I love it!

  • Kate Rothwell // Aug 31, 2004 at 11:00 am

    amazon numbers means NOTHING. NOTHINNNNNNNGGGG. And your numbers won’t change more than once a day unless you’re in the top 10k anyway.

    You know that little “there are 21 copies left of this book” thingy?
    Okay, I was at position #21,000 (20,999 books were selling better than mine.)
    An hour later I checked — because I didn’t know about that 10K rule — and it said “there are 20 copies of this book available” and the book’s rank was 7,000.

    There. Now if you want to go truly nuts, call whichever company your publisher uses for distribution — either Whatsit & T or Ingrams. The recording at Ingrams asks for your ISBN number and then tells you how many orders they’ve gotten from their warehouse stock.

    I sure hope that after the first few books, authors don’t do this checking and googling and calling. It’s sapping!

    I hear some agents do this sort of thing for you. Hmmmm

    Bad reviews: Print them out. Burn them. Spit on them. forget them.

  • Kate Rothwell // Aug 31, 2004 at 11:02 am

    Maybe it’s possible not to read reviews of one’s own work? I wouldn’t know. Maybe that comes later in one’s career?

    So far I haven’t had any real horrible stinkers. . . It’s only a matter of time — or maybe the next book.

  • Gena Showalter // Aug 31, 2004 at 11:04 am

    So my question to you is, what’s Ingrams phone number? I’ve got to get in on this calling thing. It fits right in with my other addictions.

  • Kate Rothwell // Aug 31, 2004 at 11:12 am

    So which is worse? Short public stinky reviews or the long emails in which the writer tells you, chapter by chapter, what you did wrong? (I’ve gotten two of those.)

  • Kate Rothwell // Aug 31, 2004 at 11:18 am

    whoops sent the last too fast. I lifted this from my blog [link above] Sandy Blair gave me the info.

    Ingrams1-615-213-6803. Have your ISBN number ready. Rule of thumb…multiply the sales number they give you x 20 to get the average total sales to date. You can then guess-timate your sell-through to date

    The recording will tell the instock number, the number sold for the week, sold the previous week and the number sold during the whole year. If your book is a 2004, just add the last and first numbers for the amount of your print-run — assuming your publisher only uses Ingrams for distribution.

    Baker and Taylor is the other big distributor. Ingrams and B&T are the only two biggies left in the USA.

  • Gena Showalter // Aug 31, 2004 at 11:20 am

    I’ve haven’t gotten a blow-by-blow of what was wrong in private email — ask me again after the book’s been out a few weeks — but I think I’d prefer it to the public “I wanted to vomit and die after reading this.” Or, maybe not. Let’s think this through. Maybe other people would buy the book just to see what caused the reviewer to hate the book so much, which results in sales and perhaps finding readers who love your work. Readers, talk to us. Have you ever bought a book after reading a truly horrid review, just to see what was so bad?

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  • dan hardy // Jun 19, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    It does change rapidly. One day I am 3 million and the next I am 54K.. It has changed multiple times a day. It has only been out a week and I find myself drinking more. Anyone for a shot lol. Any ideas on a good marketing plan?

  • Daniel Asamota // Mar 13, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Man, I’m obsessed with rankings too. How do you guys find them out? Eitherway, let me in on the gag. I need a good laugh too.

  • Daniel Asamota // Apr 28, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    You know what is the deal with rankings. It’s like my first book never did in their words rank well, yet it’s still available and I see ‘USED’ copies being sold all over the net. Yet my company claims I haven’t sold any books! I’m getting ready to sue their asses but I’m really starting to see the shady side of publishing. I’m with Xlibris now and I’m praying that they’ll deal more honestly with me.