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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last night my overall ranking got fairly high but I didn't get listed in the rom>anthology ranking this time.

So, out of curiosity I went to that category to see how high the last 10 were thinking, "Wow! Everyone must be selling a lot today."

Only the bottom 10 books were all lower in overall ranking. Most were lower in likes and tags.

So how the heck does the category ranking work then? It seems like if I'd sold more books during that time period I should be higher on the category listings also, right? Is something else used to figure these?

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'm bumping this since it's Saturday and I know you all slept in :)

So, I'm looking at me (#19,467 overall) and I'm looking at #100 on the Rom Anthology list (#45,577 overall) and I'm really curious how this works. What is it based on? It just seems kind of... out of order.

Anyone know? Maybe this is just a total newbie question?

Maybe I need to change something about how my book is listed? But I've made it on to that list a few times before, so I don't know.
 

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Howdy!

I'm still half-asleep, but...

I see Night's Edge as #100 on the Romance Anthology list. It has a ranking of #14,111. What book are you looking at?
 

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My first thought was that you need to call customer service and get yourself listed in the category.
But you say you've shown up in that category before, so I'm stumped.
There are so many things about Amazon that defy logic...
 

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I don't know how categories work.  The newest Anne Siddons book is #253 and it's junk.  My book hasn't caught its path yet, floundering around in the first million.  Oh, man, I need some PR!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Monique said:
I see Night's Edge as #100 on the Romance Anthology list. It has a ranking of #14,111. What book are you looking at?
Weird. I looked again

bestsellers to romance to anthology to #100 and this is what I got: http://www.amazon.com/When-Im-With-You-ebook/dp/B002I1XSCQ/ref=zg_bs_158567011_100 - same person I had before

Katy said:
My first thought was that you need to call customer service and get yourself listed in the category.
But you say you've shown up in that category before, so I'm stumped.
There are so many things about Amazon that defy logic...
Yup, I show up every couple days, hang around for a few hours and then go away LOL

Victorine said:
Your book probably isn't in that category anymore. It's not an anthology, right? So it probably got moved to a more competitive category.

By the way, I bought your novelette the other night. Really enjoyed it. I'm all for sweet romances. :)

Vicki
Aww thanks Vicki!

I know. Weird, but it seems like they put you in there if you're listed as a short story. A bunch of those are singular shorts (which, honestly, you'd think Amazon would at least understand the definition of the word "anthology")

Thanks all… Yeah, not sure.
 

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I asked this question before and got pretty vague answers. 
One thing someone said was that overall ranking is updated hourly and sometimes category ranking is done over a longer period of time.
But...who knows....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Chris...It's just such a *big* jump (and I'm sure if I"m that far behind, so are a bunch of people in front of me anyway)

Also, I love your Deep Rough cover. It always catches my eye!
 

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Oh, I see. We're looking at two different Romance Anthology categories. I wasn't going through the Genre Fiction.

Sales rankings are based not just on recent sales, but overall sales. They use some secret algorithm that uses data from things like recent sales, sales from the past day, sales overall, etc. And, of course, the real kicker is that it's all relative. Your rank isn't just based on your sales, but your sales relative to everyone else's sales.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Right... I guess I"m confused... because if my category rank is based on relative rank, then 19k to 45k seems obvious to me LOL
 

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From recent personal experience, I can say that updates of category rankings appear to lag at least a day behind overall rankings, which are updated hourly.

And Monique is exactly right. The rankings and ratings are all "relative" to everyone else's books, and Amazon "algorithms" massage the data and turn all of this into a competitive horse race.

But for writers, it shouldn't be thought of as such. For income purposes, the numbers that every professional author should focus on are their actual numerical sales, and their net profits after expenses. The only value to attach to relative rankings is that higher rankings give your book more visibility to potential customers. In other words, they are a great marketing tool. But that's about it.

Same with customer reviews and ratings. I love the fact that my book is getting high ratings, but mainly for the visibility they give it, plus the fact that such positive feedback helps to encourage more people to give it a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Robert Bidinotto said:
The only value to attach to relative rankings is that higher rankings give your book more visibility to potential customers.
This is exactly why I want to know. As someone who typically glances at the top 100 lists of genres I read every day, I know just how often that can turn into an impulse buy.

Do I care beyond that? Nope. But if I (or all of us) are losing potential sales opportunities b/c I (we lol) listed a book wrong. I'd like to know.

And honestly, I still don't know how you can be ranked almost 30k above someone and still be listed below them... The "it's all relative" statement people keep saying does not make mathmatical sense to me.

*shrugs*

Thanks
 

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The unfortunate truth is that you have virtually no control over what categories your book appears in. Despite being able to choose them in the KDP dashboard, Amazon does what Amazon will do in this regard. They don't rely on your choices. They use keywords in your product description, your title and some sort of hood-y voodoo. And the categories might change from week to week or even hour to hour until they "settle in".

It'll make you nutty.

Robert's post is spot on regarding sales and what's really worth focusing on.
 

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I think it's partly a misunderstanding of terminology. Caitie, I think you're equating "ranking" with "bestselling" and it isn't as simple as one-to-one logic. A history of consistent sales coupled with a few new sales will drive you up the bestselling lists faster than a handful of recent sales with no other history will.

For example, someone with consistent past sales may only need to sell one book to get back on the list even if they only advance in rank from say 50,000 to 35,000; whereas someone without that consistency may have to sell 3 or 4 books within a few hours to advance up the bestselling rank even though those sales may take that book from 60,000 to 15,000.

As others will counsel, you'll drive yourself nuts trying to figure it out. Concentrate on promotions and activities that will help drive sales and not on the Amazon lists themselves (says she who's off to go refresh a few Amazon pages :)).

From recent personal experience, I can say that updates of category rankings appear to lag at least a day behind overall rankings, which are updated hourly.
I don't think that's always the case, Robert. I've seen category rankings and sales rankings advance (or, alas, retreat) almost in tandem. But I've also waited hours for rankings to catch up to sales or for sales to even post. It just depends on what batch processes the Amazon servers are working on in conjunction with the day of the week or month -- how busy the servers are processing orders or processing weekly and monthly royalty reports.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok, Phoenix - that makes a little more sense (although, I'm not sure it makes it more logical LOL)

But, then how do I keep ending up on the list every 3 or 4 days. If I'm already selling enough to get there, what puts all those lower ranked people above me now?

Do they take other books by that person into consideration?

Also, I hope I'm not sounding pushy or dismissive. I'm that person who likes to know how things work. I don't care if it's to my benefit or not, as long as I understand it... My elementary teachers love/hated me. I have a report that says "How is her favorite word followed closely by why"

:)
 

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Because no one knows what the algorithms actually are, there's no way to exactly answer your question, but maybe this will help. Just keep in mind there are lots of factors in play and this is a way simplified version.

Author X, Caitie and Phoenix have sold enough to potentially make it on the list. In terms of how many books each has sold over the last few months, we'll make it easy and say Author X has sold more than Caitie who has sold about the same number as Phoenix.

Scenario: Author X is on the chart. Caitie and Phoenix are not.

Author X doesn't sell any books for 2 days and goes to #60,000 in rank (because rank is more "in the moment" and based less on historical sales). Caitie sells 5 during those two days and is now ranked at #15,000. Author X drops off the chart and Caitie jumps on. Then Phoenix sells 8 books and is ranked #10,000 and she jumps on and pushes Caitie off.

Author X sells another book. Her rank goes to #35,000. But Amazon looks at it as Author X selling again, and she's still sold more than Caitie or Phoenix in actual numbers, so back she goes on the list, pushing Phoenix off.

Then Caitie sells 5 more books. Now she's sold the same number of copies total that Author X has and her rank is now #7000. She leapfrogs ahead of Author X on the list. Author X will now need to sell more copies than Caitie to pass her on the list.

Author X sells 7 copies, but she's starting from a rank of #35,000, and that just pushes her rank down to #8000. But it's 2 more books than Caitie's sold, so she gets on the list ahead of Caitie. Since Caitie's still doing pretty well, she may just lose a rank or two on the list rather than being pushed off completely. But Author X is ahead of her even though Caitie's rank is #7000 and Author X's is #8000.

So since you can't influence how others are selling in relation to you, you can't really game the system or do anything to advance in rank other than sell a lot of your own books quickly and consistently. That's why all advice comes back to doing what you can to promote your books outside of Amazon and get buyers to come buy them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
THANK YOU

While that doesn't make sense, it totally does too... I'd heard "Amazon is worse than the NYTs" a few times LOL
 
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