Monday, July 22, 2013

Authors and Amazon: A Strange Relationship, Indeed

If any of you follow me on Facebook and Twitter, you probably saw some of these pictures late last week:


I just about died when Copper Girl hit #37

And then, lucky # 13!

We had a bit of excitement there, with Copper Girl heading all the way up to #13 in the Fantasy Romance category on Amazon. I, for one, couldn’t look away. I mean, author rankings are updated every hour. Every freaking hour! Not so long ago, authors had to wait weeks or even months for sales numbers. Yet here these ranking are, in almost real time.

Is it any wonder, then, that no matter how much someone detests the large book store chains, or Amazon in particular, authors are always drawn to them? Yes, we should all be supporting our local indie bookstore (I highly recommend The Spiral Bookcase – ask for Ann, she’ll take good care of you!), but Amazon has so many guilty pleasures: reviews, sales rankings, even a little map showing how our work is selling in each state. It’s an information-starved author's dream.

But, what is this information really telling us? As a quick Google search on Amazon author rankings will reveal, next to nothing. When you log into your Author Central page you can see BookScan numbers, this much is true, but you don’t see all the numbers. What’s worse, you don’t know which retailer’s numbers you’re looking at, because it isn’t specified. And, Amazon’s numbers are specifically not included, because they consider their information to be proprietary. Unless you’re self-published and put your work up via Kindle Direct Publishing, you don’t even get Kindle sales.

Copper Girl may have reached #13, but for the life of me I have no idea how many copies it sold to get there. I do, however, have access to a lovely sales graph.

What does all this mean? Well, the numbers may not be complete, but they’re better than nothing. You can also do some lovely sprucing up via your author page, adding such things as book trailers, Twitter feeds, and other information. All in all, it’s not such a bad system.

And, I will never forget how great it felt to see my little book reach #13. Happiness is priceless.
Sara had always been careful.

She never spoke of magic, never associated with those suspected of handling magic, never thought of magic, and never, ever, let anyone see her mark. After all, the last thing she wanted was to end up missing, like her father and brother.

Then, a silver elf pushed his way into Sara's dream, and her life became anything but ordinary.


  1. Woohoo! I never get sick of seeing our "daughter" --that cover of ours. :)

  2. I don't know if you'll ever outdo that cover - but I'm all for you trying with Copper Ravens :)

  3. LOL, so true on watching those numbers. Usually I do it about 2-3 times a day, but when Runes made it to #1 on romance/angels and #19 on Teen&YA Paranormal Romance, I found myself watching the numbers and refreshing that page like an addict. Congrats, Jennifer