First – I’m still working on blog features. Consider this a ‘soft opening’ as I learn my way around, with the help of a very patient designer. It’s amazing how much peripheral stuff there is to do, too … changing blog links, and often that means re-registering, or even starting from scratch. My WIP has been sitting on the sidelines.
One thing WordPress doesn’t have is the equivalent of Google Friend Connect (as far as I can tell). This means that there are almost 500 of faithful followers from the old blog that aren’t here. Of course, I hope they’re still coming to the blog, and as soon as I can figure out other ways to follow, I’ll be adding them and letting you know. Right now, I have the Networked Blogs option from Facebook, so if you have a Facebook account, you can click the “Follow” in the sidebar.
Which brings me to another question. How do you like to keep up with blogs? Do you like getting emails about new posts? Or do you subscribe in some sort of a reader? Or do you use RSS (whatever that is?) I want to make things easy for everyone.
Next – some thoughts about numbers.
After all the excitement about my NOOK First results, I got a little too obsessed with statistics. Watching sales rankings is fun when they’re going up, but then they inevitably come down, which isn’t nearly as much fun to watch.
Barnes & Noble has rankings for its print store and its NOOK store. But that’s overall, and the results aren’t filtered by category. So if you’re #15 at the NOOK store, that means your book is #15 of ALL the nook books, not just the ones in your genre. Which, considering I did hit that ranking for a couple of days (and as a publisher pointed out at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, #8 is about as high as anyone can get unless the title includes “Hunger” or “Shades of Grey”), I was pretty darn happy.
Now, I don’t know exactly how many books are for sale at either the NOOK or Kindle stores, but any ranking in the 3,000–5,000 range means you’re doing well. But saying you’re number 4205 isn’t nearly as impressive as saying you’re in the top 100, which is what puts your books on the front pages.
But what do these numbers mean? If you write in an obscure genre, you might be ranked in the nine thousands overall, but your book might be #1 in its genre, which means you’ll be shouting all about it. Does it mislead buyers to say, “Hey, I’m #1 at Amazon” if you don’t say, “In vampire techno-thrillers set in outer space?”
Here’s an example. I checked my rankings for my two best-selling books a couple of days ago. I then looked at a book by a Famous Best-Selling Author for comparison.
This is what I found.
Best-selling Famous Author’s book.
#46 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > Spy Stories & Tales of Intrigue
#49 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Spy Stories & Tales of Intrigue
What’s in a Name?
#55 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Romance > Romantic Suspense
#59 in Books > Romance > Romantic Suspense
When Danger Calls
#64 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Action & Adventure
#74 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Action & Adventure
#86 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Romance > Romantic Suspense
To look at the numbers, the Famous Author’s book is doing better than mine, because he’s at #46 and #49, whereas my best rankings are #55 and #59
But what happens when you look at the overall rankings?
What’s in a Name? Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,527 Paid in Kindle Store
When Danger Calls Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,090 Paid in Kindle Store
Famous Author’s Book Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,124 Paid in Kindle Store
Based on those numbers I’m better than he is … even my lower ranked books is higher than his. Take that, you Famous Author!
Bottom line. Numbers might not lie, but they CAN be misleading.
And none of this, of course, reflects your paycheck, because your royalties are going to depend on how much your book costs. Being #1 in the “Free” list is great for marketing, but it doesn’t put a penny in your pocket.
Tomorrow, I’ll try a Friday Field Trip. Please come back!