31 Jul 2017
It’s kinda dirty secret among authors that we really care about our how our books are received. We sneak peeks at reviews. We check our royalty statements. We look at our Amazon rankings, and sometimes those of our rivals and wish we had a Kindle sales chart to tells us what it means.
Fortunately, the Author Earnings site did just that. A project by Hugh Howey and “Data Guy,” they scraped information off Amazon’s web site and crunched the numbers. Last October, they covered U.S. Kindle sales, and offered a huge spreadsheet with enough figures to gladden the heart of any data-driven number-cruncher.
The spreadsheet is huge! It lists hundreds of thousands of books, from 1 to, I guess, about 800,000. They’re stripped of their titles and authors, but classified by price, number of reviews, what type of publisher, followed by the estimated number of sales per day and a calculation of what the author earned against what the publisher and Amazon earned.
The only thing I was interested in was the correlation between rank and sales. Since I joined the 20Booksto50K group, there were a number of writers who were talking about their sales, or their marketing efforts, and I wanted to get an idea of how their books were doing. After all, if you’re giving marketing advice, your books out to be selling pretty good.
(Don’t look at my sales.)
After downloading the spreadsheet too many times, I decided to make a cheatsheet of my own. Just the range of rankings and possible sales per day. And since I did it, I thought I put it out there, too, for you to use as you like.
Some a few thoughts on it:
1. I don’t know how accurate this is. When one of my books gets above 198,000, I’ll let you know. Data Guy says it’s accurate, based on his formulas that are cross-checked with his author friends. That’s all I know.
2. The numbers are 10 months old. This is from the Author Earnings October 2016 report. Ebook sales have supposedly gone down, so it may be a #1 Kindle book might sell 3,800 instead of 4,800 copies a day. Only Amazon knows the truth, and they’re not telling.
3. This chart tells me what I want to know most. Namely, that a book has to rise above 200,000 to start selling at least a copy at day. From my calculations of a few authors, if you have books in the 1,000-9,000 range, you can make a decent amount of coin. They don’t have to go to Number One.
So here it is. Do what you like with it.