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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I woke up this morning to find something absolutely crushing. My new book, Lockout, was absolutely killing the B&N charts. For the last 24 hours, it was #5 in their whole store, and on their front page.

I noticed something weird with book one, Locked. Sales for it spiked pretty dramatically when book two came out. It was sitting around #300-400, but it gradually began to rise. Except, once it hit #126, it stopped. And it held that position for over 24 hours. Never moving, never going up or down by even one place, despite the fact that it was moving a ton of books. I have multiple screenshots of it sitting in that exact position, while everything else shifts around it.

Then, sometime during the night, it happened. I woke up just now to find Lockout has gone from #5 in their whole store, to #126. They aren't even being clever about it. Locked is now at #127. They're both just sitting there pinned next to one another. There's no way in hell the book went from #5 to #126 in eight hours organically.

This has annihilated my sales. I could pretty much cry right now. I don't know how to fix it, and even if I do, that epic momentum is gone. I've sent emails, but who the hell knows what the result will be.

EDIT: A link to prove the point:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s?dref=2207&fmt=ebook&size=30&sort=SA&startat=121&store=ebook&view=grid

What do you think the chances are that both books are literally right next to one another in the overall rankings organically?

I have a ton of screenshots of Locked occupying exactly the same position. I also have screenshots from less than 12 hours ago of Lockout at #5 in the store.
 

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There are some indies with higher rankings, on the 1st page even. I'm not sure what B&N is doing with their rankings lately. It used to be based on daily sales, then accumulate over 6 months (which was a joke b/c the rank hardly moved). I'm not sure what they're doing now. It took me forever to hit #1 over there. If you message me your daily sales stats, I can tell you if they line up with mine. Based on my last release, I think they drag and use more time to weight the higher rankings, but things keep changing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm happy to just post the sales figures here. To get it to #5, Lockout sold 2300 books in 3 days. It was selling somewhere between 20 and 80 books an hour before the drop off, depending on time of day. Now? 5 books an hour, at 7pm, which is normally one of the biggest hours.

Like I said, I'm 100% certain this is artificial. The reasons:

1) Locked (the first book) was stuck at #126 for 48 hours. I have screenshots and emails from various time points all indicating that it didn't move from there for ages. At that point I felt like it had been pinned in place.
2) I woke up this morning, Locked = #127, Lockout = #126. So after the first book spends 48 hours at the same exact ranking, what are the chances book two winds up EXACTLY next to it? Even if book two did fall dramatically from #5 in their whole store (unlikely, that kind of drop off is very gradual as the visibility from #5 in the store is huge), what are the chances it would land right next to book one, at exactly the ranking that book one has been stuck for the last two days?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That one girl said:
You're not alone. I've sold over 400 copies of Pieces of You today on B&N and I'm stuck right behind you at #128. All. Friggin'. Day. :(
I noticed you there actually. I have a ton of screenshots from yesterday that show Locked sitting firmly in place, and now that I go back and look through them, Pieces of You doesn't move either =( There's several titles in a row that just sit there.

I'm flabbergasted that they can do this. I know they have a history of it, but from memory, the books it happened to in the past were more like straight up erotica. The Alpha Group is firmly erotic romance. And while I haven't read either of your books, from what I understand, they're not particularly steamy?
 

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I'm flabbergasted that they can do this. I know they have a history of it, but from memory, the books it happened to in the past were more like straight up erotica.
No. They did it to one of mine a couple of years ago (wasn't ranked this high; it went from around 120 to 1200, IIRC) and it was an erotic romance. It certainly wasn't tremendously shocking or racy-- none of mine are, alas.

And unfortunately, they CAN do anything they want. It's disturbing that they continue to do it, though. It's unfair to both writers and readers, and it sucks.
 

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There's no doubt they're whack. B&N had serious lag when DAMAGED was #1 on Amazon. It took days to hit that top slot on B&N. The top 3 slots were selling about 1.5K-2K books a day when I held it last month. ARRANGEMENT 7 and DAMAGED show about 25 slots apart on B&N right now and the sales difference for today is 7 books. No idea what the heck they're doing.
 

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Unless things have changed, I seem to remember over a year ago that B&N tweaked their algorithms to stop 99c books getting into the top 100 to boost profits. I seem to remember $2.99 was the cut off. Maybe the one at rank 5 slipped their net and the drop was a readjustment.


I'm really sure this is the case. There were many blog posts at the time and threads about it on here.
 

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I had this exact same thing happen to me last week when I had a Bookbub ad with Cade. I sold enough books that day that I should have been in the top 10 at B&N, and like you it wouldn't let me rise past #126. I was stuck at that ranking for 3 days and it totally screwed up my sales push. I figured it was because of my cover, but who knows? I am so sick of this happening, but they don't care and they ignore the complaints. Believe me, I've been in contact with the top people at B&N. they call it a "glitch."  
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, I posted on the B&N facebook, and I just contacted Jenny from Totallybooked and she's going to post it. They have 15k followers on Facebook, so that should make some noise. I've mentioned your books there too. It helps prove I'm not just crazy =)
 

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Maya Cross said:
Well, I posted on the B&N facebook, and I just contacted Jenny from Totallybooked and she's going to post it. They have 15k followers on Facebook, so that should make some noise. I've mentioned your books there too. It helps prove I'm not just crazy =)
I think you'll find the policy Ive stated above probably accounts for the problem and I doubt they will change it how ever loud you and others shout. Maybe some do slip the net and every now and then they make amends.
 
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