Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Opinions are like...Yah, I've got one on Sales Ranking

Nothing matters counts
until you're INTO the book.

Digital Book World Daily is one of my favorite industry news  links. Today they posted an article that, once again, discusses the effect Amazon's battle with Hatchette is causing for e-book sales rankings among the big hitters. This article was by Jeremy Greenfield in Forbes Magazine 06-07-2014.

As if anyone is interested in my opinion...but I have one and am going to share it here. If the industry is really interested in accurately ranking sales, maybe they should do it by actual book/ebook sales. $orry guys...FREE doesn't count. Neither should presales, unless they're a done deal.

The traditional publishers don't seem to like e-book ranking because it portrays a more precise picture of actual book sales. All things equal, can we really count popularity of a paperback book because a mortar and brick location ordered a certain number, didn't have to pay for them, and has the right to return any unsold numbers that don't sell through in a limited amount of time?  I may want to know about a popular book, but I trust authors I know or reviewers I like, or time to gauge book sales. How about actual reader purchases? Novel idea? Yeah, I know--lame.

E-book ranking when done over a period of time (I'm not counting the five minutes of fame on the Amazon FREE bestseller list, guys--that's advertising) and combined with e-book sales from multiple distributors, may help the distribution network expand, and as a result, help the Indie authors as well as big time publishers from being at the mercy of one or two (okay - one) major distributors. And don't get me wrong, I think they've done wonders for the industry, opening up avenues authors never had before, but it's time for a little-fess-up-to-the-truth-time when it comes to book sales, ranking, and book popularity.

We can't trust sales reports or ranking, and when you can buy reviews, we can't trust anything but  a few opening lines in a book or a best friend who knows what we like to see if it's worth the time.

Come on share your know you've got one. Hey, but be nice. LOL ~~ Eliza


  1. I agree. The comments and star rating system is at the mercy of reviewers and can cripple sales, but at the ranking system seems to be a reliable measure of success. Big brick Traditional houses, put your undies on and face up to the fact that indies, might out sell you from time to time.

    1. The thing that annoys me is the timing system. To make it onto the top ranked lists I'm under the impression quite a bit is based on timing your reviews so they all arrive at once. Hardly seems right.,

  2. I don't even distribute with Amazon. Bestseller lists? Never look at them. Fine, I have a niche reading interest and one author I regularly read, so I'm not a typical reader, however one thing I have in common with many other readers is that there are so many books out there, you could search for hours before finding a hit.

    So reviews or recommendations, yes. But don't necessarily trust every review you read. Maybe someone who reads the sort of things you like is a better source of such recommendations.

    Wattpad, for example, has a pretty neat notification system which tells you when someone you follow likes a particular story or adds it to their reading list. I don't add every story that pops up on that, but I do find it a useful way of discovering new stories, some of which are far far behind the top titles in terms of number of reads.

    1. Martin, thank you for reminding me about Wattpad. and you're completely correct about the best recommendation is word of mouth.