There are several lists to be aware of (and use if you can) on Amazon.
Best Seller’s lists — there is an overall best seller’s list (which you can see how your book or ebook is doing by looking at the “Rank” in the Product Details portion of your book’s buy page). Sales + sales history will make a book move up or down on this list. So if you have a spike in sales over a short period, this rank will climb. But it can be very volatile, and unless you make it onto the Top 100, the only place you can see your book’s rank is on your book’s page.
Category Best Seller’s lists — These are smaller best seller’s lists derived from the categories you put your book in when you upload it to KDP. So for example, my book went to #86 on the Best Seller’s list (yes, the big one), but at that time it was #1 on four category lists:
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #1 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Religious & Inspirational > Romance
- #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Religious Fiction > Romance
- #1 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Literature & Fiction > Romance
Now, one of the uplists (I think it was Religious Fiction) was the fourth list it was #1 on.
Basically when you hit a rank on a category list, your book is ON ever list listed. So you can back track up the lists to see where it ranks on each list (each uplist gets progressively bigger).
When you make it onto a Best Seller’s Category list, you are a best seller. Take a screen cap and save it for proof!
When people go to Amazon with no set book in mind, they will often search. The popularity lists can be a very powerful way to get books to people who might otherwise never see your books. The trick is how to get on them.
Before May 2012, this was relatively easy in that the popularity lists were devised pretty much the same way the Best Seller’s lists were (sales + sales history). However, in May, Amazon changed the system so now they’ve added the revenue brought in by a title to the ranking order. So if I sold 11 ebooks at 99 cents and you sold 1 at $11.99, my book would have outranked yours on the popularity lists. However, now your one sale (because of the higher revenue) would now outrank my 11 sales.
So to get onto the popularity lists, you have to sell a lot of books at a higher price. Needless to say, that’s a lot tougher to do.
To see this type of list click here.
These are like the popularity lists in how the ranks are determined. There are many of these on Amazon such as Hot Releases and Top-Rated in each Category. These are fun to watch and can be good landing pages if your book ranks highly.
Finally, there are lists based on the tags on your book. Simply click on the tag on your book page (toward the bottom–you should have your books tagged!) and see where your book ranks. These can be great landing pages especially for those just starting out.
For an example of that kind of list, click here.
Lists will really help you sell. It’s getting on them that’s the tough part, and staying on them is even tougher. But being on a list will definitely increase sales so it’s something to understand and work toward.