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Stone and Silt
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A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door.

Those are soon the least of her troubles. Nikaia discovers a hidden cache of gold, and when police find a corpse nearby, her father becomes a suspect. Worse, Elias Doyle is circling, hungry to avenge his brother’s death.

Nikaia desperately searches for clues to save her father. In her quest to find the killer, she learns about the power of family, friendship, and young love....

Author Topic: Requesting data for an updated sales to rank chart  (Read 5582 times)  

Offline Trish McCallan

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Re: Requesting data for an updated sales to rank chart
« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2013, 08:48:15 PM »
Theresa Ragan's chart is still a good ballpark, I think, if you just increase the sales by 10% for each rank. The issue with attempting to do any sort of more accurate chart is that, as you note, the numbers are all dependent on store volume. Black Friday to Christmas is one degree of level up. Christmas to New Year's is another degree. New Year's to Valentine's Day is another degree. April, July, August and October are depressed. To be truly useful, there would need to be a chart for each degree of store volume.

As Ed notes, it took 2200 sales to hit #16 in Sept. Yesterday, it took 2800 sales to hit #18. It'll take more than 2800 on Dec 28, and fewer than 2200 on July 28.  

What would be especially useful would be an overlay of sales-to-hit on top of store volume trends. But is anyone here tracking store volume via rank? I did some reverse engineering of rank last year in the period right after Christmas to determine the percent increase in volume at Amazon, but I haven't seen any similar studies from anyone else here. The difference in sales numbers to hit a given rank throughout the year is really more insightful than averages that, very much like a broken analog clock, are only accurate maybe 2 months out of the year. ;)

(Edited sales numbers because I can't multitask.)

I'd checked Theresa Regan's chart before posting, but it didn't look like it had been updated in quite a while, and from my own book and rank/sales friends have shared, it looked like the data had shifted. However, I just went and looked again and she's updated it as of this month. I'll have to compare the numbers coming in here against her new chart. Although, as you said, December does have a much heavier volume--and I'm not sure how many people are posting their pre-Thanksgiving numbers as requested--or their current numbers.

I know your observations about store volume and rank is right on the money- and that rank to sales fluctuate during the year depending on the volume being sold. But I have no idea how account for that.  :-[

You and Ed are so much better at that.  :-*

So how would I go about doing this? "What would be especially useful would be an overlay of sales-to-hit on top of store volume trends. But is anyone here tracking store volume via rank? I did some reverse engineering of rank last year in the period right after Christmas to determine the percent increase in volume at Amazon, but I haven't seen any similar studies from anyone else here. The difference in sales numbers to hit a given rank throughout the year is really more insightful than averages that, very much like a broken analog clock, are only accurate maybe 2 months out of the year. ;)"

What kind of data would need to be collected to do as you suggest above?

Would doing a monthly sales to rank data collection be enough?

 
« Last Edit: December 17, 2013, 09:00:49 PM by Trish McCallan »

Offline Kathy Clark, Author

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Re: Requesting data for an updated sales to rank chart
« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2013, 10:33:21 PM »
This doesn't seem to take in all the factors.

I just hit #12 with sales for the 24 hours of 505 which doesn't fit the equations.

Doesn't the number of books involved in the ranking have an influence.  I know price makes a difference.  Being#1 with a 99 cent book isn't the same as a $4.99 book.  I have heard that the velocity adjustments made by Amazon factors this in.

It just seems that a simple matrix isn't a good estimator and probably needs supported with multivariate regressions.
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Offline Trish McCallan

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Re: Requesting data for an updated sales to rank chart
« Reply #27 on: December 17, 2013, 10:56:37 PM »
This doesn't seem to take in all the factors.

I just hit #12 with sales for the 24 hours of 505 which doesn't fit the equations.

Doesn't the number of books involved in the ranking have an influence.  I know price makes a difference.  Being#1 with a 99 cent book isn't the same as a $4.99 book.  I have heard that the velocity adjustments made by Amazon factors this in.

It just seems that a simple matrix isn't a good estimator and probably needs supported with multivariate regressions.

Do you mean you hit #12 in the US Kindle store with 505 sales, because no, that doesn't make sense at all. From everything I've seen and read that wouldn't be nearly enough sales to hit #12 in the kindle store. Or do you mean a different list? A genre best sellers list? The popularity list? A different store?

When it comes to main Kindle store ranking, price doesn't factor in. Ed explains what factors in a several posts back. I think you're thinking of the popularity lists. 

Offline LilianaHart

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Re: Requesting data for an updated sales to rank chart
« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2013, 04:47:26 PM »
Do you mean you hit #12 in the US Kindle store with 505 sales, because no, that doesn't make sense at all. From everything I've seen and read that wouldn't be nearly enough sales to hit #12 in the kindle store. Or do you mean a different list? A genre best sellers list? The popularity list? A different store?

When it comes to main Kindle store ranking, price doesn't factor in. Ed explains what factors in a several posts back. I think you're thinking of the popularity lists. 

Right. The last time I hit #12 overall in US Amazon store with a $3.99 book I sold more than 3000 copies in 24 hours, so I'd imagine 505 sales is #12 in a subcategory or non US store.

Offline Trish McCallan

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Re: Requesting data for an updated sales to rank chart
« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2013, 04:58:15 PM »
Right. The last time I hit #12 overall in US Amazon store with a $3.99 book I sold more than 3000 copies in 24 hours, so I'd imagine 505 sales is #12 in a subcategory or non US store.

From checking out the poster's books, it looks like she may have meant #12 on the romantic suspense bestsellers list. Her book with the lowest rank was an RS, and quite often books at that spot on the RS list can bring in that volume.

 

Offline PhoenixS

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Re: Requesting data for an updated sales to rank chart
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2013, 05:37:49 PM »
So how would I go about doing this? "What would be especially useful would be an overlay of sales-to-hit on top of store volume trends. But is anyone here tracking store volume via rank? I did some reverse engineering of rank last year in the period right after Christmas to determine the percent increase in volume at Amazon, but I haven't seen any similar studies from anyone else here. The difference in sales numbers to hit a given rank throughout the year is really more insightful than averages that, very much like a broken analog clock, are only accurate maybe 2 months out of the year. ;)"

What kind of data would need to be collected to do as you suggest above?

Would doing a monthly sales to rank data collection be enough?

Sorry, forgot you asked a question! It really depends on what you want to do with the data. What kind of precision are you looking for? It would take several months to benchmark sales volume. Once you have an idea of the averages, then you can predict either sales volume based on rank or rank based on sales volume. But it such precision necessary? I've benchmarked freeloads to rank at different times to help demonstrate that readers weren't tired of freebies but that it was other factors responsible for depressed numbers. But even then I ballparked it using numbers from a handful of days scattered throughout the year since I was just looking for general trends.

I need to go look at Theresa's updated chart. I've been running with the numbers in my head when I advise our authors in advance what ranks they can expect from their sales numbers. I expect Theresa's chart is going to be close enough to work with for most purposes most authors would have.

For numbers to maintain a rank, I use a general 80% of the number to hit. But there's a history factor in there that makes it a bit tricky. The longer a book is at a rank, the fewer sales it needs to maintain. So to maintain a rank for a week after hitting it, still takes more sales than continuing to maintain that rank a month later.  Most of this stuff isn't as noticeable above #10,000, and it's only somewhat noticeable #1000-10,000.

And then other factors play in such as how many books are competing for a Top 100 in the store spot? Is there a KDD with 25 super-popular books on the same day there are 10 super-popular BookBub books and 10 popular authors releasing new books? The Top 50 for that day could all have 5000+ sales and #51 have just 1800. Or #51 could have 4000, which would on the very next day be enough to put it at #10.

Offline Sophrosyne

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Re: Requesting data for an updated sales to rank chart
« Reply #31 on: December 22, 2013, 05:48:26 PM »
Here's what my experience has been for sales over a one-day period:

57 sales: went from #18444 to #5719

1119 sales: went from #5719 to #52

211 sales: dropped from #52 to #111

482 sales: dropped from #111 to #240, oddly enough. Not at all sure how that worked.

110 sales so far today: dropped from #240 to #336

Offline Mike McIntyre

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Re: Requesting data for an updated sales to rank chart
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2014, 05:10:07 PM »
I've sold 361 copies of a new book so far today (BookBub ad + Kindle Countdown Deal), and I'm nowhere near the corresponding rankings cited in this thread or on Theresa Ragan's chart. (I'm #1,210.)

This makes me wonder if it's weighted on past performance. Maybe 361 sales won't rank as high when I sold zero copies yesterday.

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Offline PhoenixS

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Re: Requesting data for an updated sales to rank chart
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2014, 06:45:33 PM »
I've sold 361 copies of a new book so far today (BookBub ad + Kindle Countdown Deal), and I'm nowhere near the corresponding rankings cited in this thread or on Theresa Ragan's chart. (I'm #1,210.)

This makes me wonder if it's weighted on past performance. Maybe 361 sales won't rank as high when I sold zero copies yesterday.

No. Rank lags by about 4 hours or so. And there's a batch process that seems to happen around 4-6 pm PT during which time there won't be an update, and after which you'll generally note a sharp change. You can look at those 351 sales and determine a future rank in a couple of hours of around probably #420 in early January (would have been about #350 in early November). There are different numbers required to hit and maintain a rank, but most of the matrices you see are for hitting a rank from a standstill just as you're doing. Plus, as you sell more as the evening continues, your rank will improve till it peaks around 1-3 am PT, even though sales will taper off around 9 pm PT.

Which, with folk not knowing exactly when to capture sales and apply toward rank makes using unvetted data not the best choice for building a matrix. ;)

Offline Mike McIntyre

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Re: Requesting data for an updated sales to rank chart
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2014, 07:05:25 PM »
No. Rank lags by about 4 hours or so. And there's a batch process that seems to happen around 4-6 pm PT during which time there won't be an update, and after which you'll generally note a sharp change. You can look at those 351 sales and determine a future rank in a couple of hours of around probably #420 in early January (would have been about #350 in early November). There are different numbers required to hit and maintain a rank, but most of the matrices you see are for hitting a rank from a standstill just as you're doing. Plus, as you sell more as the evening continues, your rank will improve till it peaks around 1-3 am PT, even though sales will taper off around 9 pm PT.

Which, with folk not knowing exactly when to capture sales and apply toward rank makes using unvetted data not the best choice for building a matrix. ;)
Wow, thanks for that analysis, Phoenix!

Mike McIntyre

Offline Sophrosyne

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Re: Requesting data for an updated sales to rank chart
« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2014, 08:05:36 PM »
You're at 251 now.  :D

Offline Jay Allan

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Re: Requesting data for an updated sales to rank chart
« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2014, 08:55:00 PM »
#70 was around 1,100 a day in December