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No Direction Home
by Elizabeth Burns

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Kindle Edition published 2017-05-20
Bestseller ranking: 81281

Product Description
Hunter Grayson flits from job to job, relationship to relationship, continent to continent until thetragic death of her parents brings her back to her childhood home.While trying to figure out how to move forward, she meets wild, fun Natalya Haven, who quickly becomes the sister she never had. But when Natalya moves in, their friendship unravels.
A second tragedy sends Hunter to a small town in New Mexico, a town out of her own past. For Hunter, that's more than a coincidence, that's fate. Natalya's family will fill the void in her life. Natalya's parents will become her parents. She and Natalya's brother will fall in love. But nothing is ever that simple....

Author Topic: Amazon Charts  (Read 2365 times)  

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Amazon Charts
« on: May 18, 2017, 06:45:02 AM »
Amazon might be saying FU to the NYT and USAT bestseller lists and going with their own list of best-selling and most read books in a given week.

Amazon Charts


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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017, 06:54:03 AM »
Some great functionality on that list. Buttons to put the book in a cart or go right to reading the preview, noting whether it's in KU or not, publisher and agent listed in some cases, and a blue 'Amazon Charts" tag on the book's page itself.

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2017, 07:00:45 AM »
Interesting.  Although the agent thing is sort of bizarre...
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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 07:04:55 AM »
A book with a rating of 3.3 gets to #2 in the chart. Interesting.

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2017, 07:08:00 AM »
A book with a rating of 3.3 gets to #2 in the chart. Interesting.

Yeah. No doubt Paula Hawkins is weeping over that rating all the way to the bank. :D

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2017, 07:13:07 AM »
Whether it's an FU to the other lists or not, it does reward behaviors Amazon likes, such as books in multiple formats and books in KU. It's obviously the only bestseller list that counts borrows.

It's also the only bestseller list Amazon imprint books would have a shot at. The ebooks are always enrolled in KU (and hence exclusive); the print books are boycotted at other outlets, so the books aren't typically eligible. I was pleased to see, however, that the lists aren't flooded with Amazon imprint titles (which would rob the lists of credibility). I think about five of the most read and most sold books are Amazon imprint books, but not always the same ones, so I think about eight are represented out of forty.

It might be nice if they added a small print top 100. However, I'm liking what they have done so far.


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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2017, 07:30:26 AM »
Bestseller? Bestseller? Maybe only a few of those.  :P
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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2017, 07:38:07 AM »
Bestseller? Bestseller? Maybe only a few of those.  :P

I'm willing to bet Amazon's got the data to back up both their bestseller and most read lists. :)

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2017, 08:16:40 AM »
I'm willing to bet Amazon's got the data to back up both their bestseller and most read lists. :)

You're right. Check out this article.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/18/15655386/amazon-charts-bestseller-list-books-kindle-audible

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2017, 08:21:16 AM »
You're right. Check out this article.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/18/15655386/amazon-charts-bestseller-list-books-kindle-audible

Interesting stuff:

Quote
Charts is also an opportunity for Amazon to utilize what it describes as a purely data-driven list, eschewing the editorial latitude that some lists have by presenting a list thats driven entirely by sales and reading data, compiled from the data the Kindle and Audible users generate. The list won't pull information from the book social network Goodreads, which Amazon owns. Charts also won't work with existing systems that track sales data, like Nielsen's BookScan, instead opting to use its own data. "Many well-known bestseller lists today add, remove, or re-rank books based on editorial considerations and customers have asked for a bestseller list that is based on reading engagement and sales data," David Naggar, Amazons vice president says, "rather than an opinion-based list of what books they should be paying attention to."
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 08:23:41 AM by Jim Johnson »

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2017, 08:29:54 AM »
this sounds like something I'd take over NYT and USAT lists.

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2017, 11:34:22 AM »
this sounds like something I'd take over NYT and USAT lists.
Me, too!

The number sold is what I (in my naivete) actually thought bestseller lists were entirely based on. It was a shock to discover that wasn't true.

The engagement list is an interesting concept--and the titles are somewhat different from the ones based on sales. Units sold is what one worries about economically, but a reader looking for the next read gets more information from what other people are actually reading, not what's gathering dust on their shelves.


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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2017, 11:46:10 AM »
Just got the email too. Yay, another best something list that doesn't have a single thing on it I'd ever read.  ;D

Interesting though. Most interesting is that there is not a single romance title on the top 20 most read list. And only two I can see on the sold one. I guess there is so much more of that genre out there that it spreads out more, rather then concentrate on a few titles.

I'll check it out in coming weeks to see whats moving in. Just out of curiosity. I expect the Handmaid's tale to stay up there for some time with the series being on TV right now.

I think most read is a really interesting concept for a list. I really like where they show when a book was unputdownable, as in being read fast. And when book was more listened to than read on kindle. Those are some interesting tidbits.

Honestly, for me I wish I could get a top 100 with the same layout. There would be more interesting titles for me to find that way.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 11:52:24 AM by Atunah »

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2017, 01:00:38 PM »
Honestly, for me I wish I could get a top 100 with the same layout. There would be more interesting titles for me to find that way.

I would like to see that too for the major genre categories.  That would be an incredibly useful list.

I wonder if the reason romance isn't as well-represented on there is because it has less print and audio sales?  I was looking at my numbers of print vs. ebook the other day and only my sweet romance has print sales whereas my fantasy titles are about 10% print sales.
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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2017, 01:02:54 PM »
No box sets?

Just kidding.
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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2017, 01:04:37 PM »
I'm willing to bet Amazon's got the data to back up both their bestseller and most read lists. :)

Sure, but when I open the page, it tells me that most read is "what customers are reading" and most sold is "what customers are buying and borrowing." Why include the word "borrowing" at all if it's all about sales? It might be just actual sales, but now that they put that word in, I'll never trust those lists. Not that I'd buy anything on Amazon anyway, so I guess it doesn't really matter.
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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2017, 01:09:44 PM »
I agree with the genre lists.  If these lists were a lot longer, separated ebook and paperback, included segments to a lot of different genres, or by author as well, the list would be more interesting, insightful, and useful to me. 

I would have thought that there would be more indies on the most read list though because of KU and because some tend to stay in the top 100 for a while.

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2017, 03:09:26 PM »
I notice that five of the top 20 'most read' are Harry Potter books - is there something special Harry Potter related going on at the moment, or are they going to be there every week?

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2017, 03:26:18 PM »
I notice that five of the top 20 'most read' are Harry Potter books - is there something special Harry Potter related going on at the moment, or are they going to be there every week?
I have always seen those high in the lists though. I never read them myself, but I guess they are pretty popular. And they are also in KU so probably get a lot of reads from that.

Will be interesting to see if they are going to take up 5 slots for the next few weeks.  ;D

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2017, 03:44:10 PM »
Sure, but when I open the page, it tells me that most read is "what customers are reading" and most sold is "what customers are buying and borrowing." Why include the word "borrowing" at all if it's all about sales? It might be just actual sales, but now that they put that word in, I'll never trust those lists. Not that I'd buy anything on Amazon anyway, so I guess it doesn't really matter.

It says "borrowing" because it includes borrows. They explicitly told you almost exactly what that means: the borrower read the length of a Look Inside, e.g. 10%. It's not like they're hiding the ball.

I wouldn't be surprised if they wind up rolling this out for genres, once they're satisfied with live tests of the catchall. Could be neat.

One thing that concerns me about a lot of these curation efforts is that they wind up increasing inequality. The very top books already sell multiple orders of magnitude more copies than anything remotely near the midlist, and each new spotlight like this could skew it even more. It's not where I'd like efforts to be focused.

What Amazon's always done better than their competitors--mind you, that's saying virtually nothing at all--is discoverability. I'd like to see them work on more tools to that end. Make it easier for readers to find the authors they never knew existed, but desperately need to read (and vice versa). That'd be a lot more useful to the vast majority of readers and authors. I didn't really need to be reminded that The Handmaid's Tale is a pretty big deal right now.

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2017, 03:47:24 PM »
It says "borrowing" because it includes borrows. They explicitly told you almost exactly what that means: the borrower read the length of a Look Inside, e.g. 10%. It's not like they're hiding the ball.


Doesn't say anything about reading really. Its sold and borrowed. Those books could have been bought and not been read until 2 months from now, or borrowed and not read until 2 months later. Just like any usual best seller list. Its why I think the "read" one is so much more interesting. I think.

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2017, 04:30:50 PM »
Just got the email too. Yay, another best something list that doesn't have a single thing on it I'd ever read.  ;D

That was basically my reaction, too.  Except for Harry Potter.  I might read those some day.  *shrug*
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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2017, 05:06:41 PM »
It says "borrowing" because it includes borrows. They explicitly told you almost exactly what that means: the borrower read the length of a Look Inside, e.g. 10%. It's not like they're hiding the ball.

But then it's not a bestseller list and shouldn't be titled "most sold."

Quote
What Amazon's always done better than their competitors--mind you, that's saying virtually nothing at all--is discoverability. I'd like to see them work on more tools to that end. Make it easier for readers to find the authors they never knew existed, but desperately need to read (and vice versa). That'd be a lot more useful to the vast majority of readers and authors. I didn't really need to be reminded that The Handmaid's Tale is a pretty big deal right now.

If Amazon did something like Apple (when my books appear on their lists, sales are great) or even something like Kobo's paid promotions, that would be awesome, although I'm sure they'd find a way to ruin that too. I've already accepted the fact that whatever they come up with, it won't benefit me.
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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2017, 05:17:52 PM »
Doesn't say anything about reading really. Its sold and borrowed. Those books could have been bought and not been read until 2 months from now, or borrowed and not read until 2 months later. Just like any usual best seller list. Its why I think the "read" one is so much more interesting. I think.

The explanatory note on the charts, which Jim posted in the OP, reads in part:

Quote from: Amazon Charts
Amazon's Most Sold charts rank books according to the number of copies sold and pre-ordered through Amazon.com, Amazon Books stores, and books read through digital subscription programs (once a customer has read a certain percentage roughly the length of a free reading sample)...

Note the parenthetical. It's a very specific subset of borrowed books, and there's actually more surety that the borrowed books got read than the bought ones.

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2017, 05:18:18 PM »
I notice that five of the top 20 'most read' are Harry Potter books - is there something special Harry Potter related going on at the moment, or are they going to be there every week?

They'll be there every week. Harry Potter books are perpetually in the top 20 of the fantasy hourly bestseller list. JK Rowling is almost always the #1 or #2 bestselling author on Amazon, and that doesn't take into account her pen name.

Remember that Harry Potter "broke" the NYT list. They started the children's bestseller list in order to clear Harry Potter out of the general list. Then they started a series children's list so they could put Harry Potter there in order to free up the children's list. This list will be the same: Harry Potter and some other books.

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2017, 06:22:08 PM »
The explanatory note on the charts, which Jim posted in the OP, reads in part:

Note the parenthetical. It's a very specific subset of borrowed books, and there's actually more surety that the borrowed books got read than the bought ones.
Interesting, I missed that bit. I guess that makes it a wee bit better being on the sold list, along with actual sold. Like you said, the KU titles on that list actually have been opened and read some. With the sold ones, who knows.

I think they were trying to figure out a way to include the KU titles on that list. I like the "read" list better anyway, as a reader at least. I will more so, once there are genres on there I actually like reading.  8)

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2017, 09:48:37 PM »
Interesting, I missed that bit. I guess that makes it a wee bit better being on the sold list, along with actual sold. Like you said, the KU titles on that list actually have been opened and read some. With the sold ones, who knows.

I think they were trying to figure out a way to include the KU titles on that list. I like the "read" list better anyway, as a reader at least. I will more so, once there are genres on there I actually like reading.  8)

Yeah, it's curious. I support their reasons for shifting Best Seller lists away from mere book sales. Streaming's been a huge part of our media diet for a while now, and it's only fair that the popularity contests should represent that.

It could also be nice to have a list that actually reflects indy sales and reads. These may be Amazon-only, but they're still closer to our reality than something like NYT.

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2017, 05:18:14 AM »
This is quite an interesting use Amazon has found for all their data -- and you know they have GOBS of it. Like Atunah, I am intrigued by the 'most read' list as it seems like it's going to more accurately reflect whether people are actually enjoying the book. I remember when Stephen Hawking released his first edition of A Brief History of Time. It was on the 'best seller' lists for weeks and pretty much everyone I know bought a copy. But most people didn't read too far into it. . . . it was a conversation starter that just lived on the coffee table. I think the same is true for even a lot of fiction that is heavily promoted by big publishers with appearances on all the talk shows.

Anyway, what people are buying has never really influenced me, but what people are reading . . . that's a different story. I'll be interested to see how this changes/adapts/expands over the next few weeks. I wonder if there's a way to get a reminder to check it weekly? Back to look. :)

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2017, 06:26:24 AM »
I think it would be neat if they rolled out those little icons on all books.  You know the unputdownable and read more on audio ones, etc..  I'd also love to see one for series where some % of readers read through the whole thing or the first three books maybe.  That would be much more useful to me as a reader than customer reviews assuming they have a way to screen out bot activity.
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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2017, 07:58:09 AM »
Yeah, it's curious. I support their reasons for shifting Best Seller lists away from mere book sales. Streaming's been a huge part of our media diet for a while now, and it's only fair that the popularity contests should represent that.

It could also be nice to have a list that actually reflects indy sales and reads. These may be Amazon-only, but they're still closer to our reality than something like NYT.
There is one self-pubbled title on the fiction list, Winter Renshaw's The Perfect Illusion (#19 on the most sold fiction list). There could conceivably be others. There are a couple publisher names I don't recognize on the nonfiction list. They could be small publishers or more obscure imprints of big publishers, or they could be "single-author publishers"--self-pubbing under another name. I haven't had the time to check. Either way, having one self-pubbed title up is better than the established lists frequently do. Amazon imprint titles are represented a few times as well.

As far as being closer to reality, Author Earning Reports estimates Amazon has 80% of the US ebook market, but interestingly 50% of the US book market for all formats combined. Half is a pretty representative sampling.


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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2017, 10:48:18 AM »
The rollout of "Charts" makes me wonder if Amazon has started -- or will start -- using this data in other ways.  For equivalent bids, will AMS ads promote the book with better read-through? Will they start using this data to match reader interests to other readers (like Netflix -- if you completed 100% of a book by this author you might like to read one by this author)?

As compared to the other retailers, there is no question why Amazon remains the #1 bookseller - innovation.

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2017, 12:54:37 PM »
Since the Charts started yesterday, I can't find for subcategories the top 100 lists or the HNR lists as listed in order of ranks anymore. Am I missing something? Is there any way to see the ranks in order?

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #32 on: May 19, 2017, 01:11:49 PM »
Since the Charts started yesterday, I can't find for subcategories the top 100 lists or the HNR lists as listed in order of ranks anymore. Am I missing something?

You're missing something. I'm still seeing the top 100 for all the subcategories on the left hand side when I browse the store.

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2017, 02:12:35 PM »
It won't be worth the bytes its displayed with. KU books count if you read the length of a free preview? Same old same old from Amazon.
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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2017, 02:38:09 PM »
Very interesting. Will surely follow to see how it pans out.
Curious to see what those who make the list will use as a title -- "Amazon Most Read Author/Book" or "Amazon Most Sold Author/Book". I suppose the "Amazon Bestselling Author" title is kinda played, being that it is used so commonly and on so many books anymore.  ::)

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2017, 02:44:15 PM »
Very interesting. Will surely follow to see how it pans out.
Curious to see what those who make the list will use as a title -- "Amazon Most Read Author/Book" or "Amazon Most Sold Author/Book". I suppose the "Amazon Bestselling Author" title is kinda played, being that it is used so commonly and on so many books anymore.  ::)

Maybe just "Amazon Charts #x"? I doubt readers are going to care. Though there is one SF thriller author out there who has "NY Times Bestseller" text taking up close to a third of his covers, so who knows.

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2017, 02:48:14 PM »
Maybe just "Amazon Charts #x"? I doubt readers are going to care. Though there is one SF thriller author out there who has "NY Times Bestseller" text taking up close to a third of his covers, so who knows.
Lol, I know exactly what book you're talking about & I have to admit, it draws my eye every time!! Clever placement haha  ;D ;D

Offline Catherine Lea

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2017, 03:59:49 PM »
Am I the only one wondering how long it'll take for someone to game the system? Or have I just gotten cynical?


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Online Jim Johnson

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2017, 05:36:26 PM »
Am I the only one wondering how long it'll take for someone to game the system? Or have I just gotten cynical?

Cynicism is healthy in any industry. What surprises me is that some of the authors just killing it in certain genres aren't on the Amazon charts. I'd have thought that Bella Forrest might be there somewhere. She's the #5 overall Amazon author atm, but that must be because of total books read and sold as opposed to one individual book. Patterson has a book at #20 on the most read list, and that's #107 in the store right now.

I'm guessing since the lists are for the week, probably averaged over the course of the week, it's going to be really hard to game something. Some box set might debut high on the list but they generally don't have enough oomph to stick in the top 100 for that long.

Offline David VanDyke

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Re: Amazon Charts
« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2017, 05:53:47 PM »
One thing that concerns me about a lot of these curation efforts is that they wind up increasing inequality. The very top books already sell multiple orders of magnitude more copies than anything remotely near the midlist, and each new spotlight like this could skew it even more. It's not where I'd like efforts to be focused.

What Amazon's always done better than their competitors--mind you, that's saying virtually nothing at all--is discoverability. I'd like to see them work on more tools to that end. Make it easier for readers to find the authors they never knew existed, but desperately need to read (and vice versa). That'd be a lot more useful to the vast majority of readers and authors. I didn't really need to be reminded that The Handmaid's Tale is a pretty big deal right now.

Quite so. The rich getting richer is of no benefit to the reader, nor to most authors.


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