Amazon Paperback Sales Rank in December

Noticed by myself as well as Aaron Shepard from SalesRankExpress, starting around December 7th Amazon (at least on Amazon.com) has only rarely adjusted sales rank to reflect actual sales for paperback books. This also includes assigning sales rank to books who have their first sale. From personal experience, there was a 48 hour delay (usually 3 hours) to get a new sales rank assigned to a paperback book after it’s first sale.

I put out a complaint post on the facebook wall and a few others seemed to share the sentiment, so I think this is universal. My only guess is that since December is so busy for not only Amazon’s primary business of selling products, but also for all of the cloud services they run, they decided that they would relegate sales rank adjustments to the back of the line as far as computing resources.

What does this mean for you?
It means that during December, the accuracy of NovelRank for paperbacks is going to be severely limited. Let’s hope that my assumptions are right, and that in January, everything will return to normal. It does not seem to be affecting sales rank for Kindle Edition titles, but who knows what will happen as we get closer to Christmas Day.

Enjoy the season!

PS
Maybe this or this short story will make you feel better (girls and guys, respectively).

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4 Responses to “Amazon Paperback Sales Rank in December”

  1. John Hileman says:

    Thanks for the post. I was wondering about that.

    Regards,
    John Michael Hileman

  2. admin says:

    Scott: Please see the FAQ for answers to your questions.
    John: It was likely overestimating previously.

  3. Scott Meeker says:

    Novel Rank is currently showing (as of 3-5Jan12) the December and January Kindle sales stats for my wife’s book, “Old World Murder”, with this notation: “* Sales Estimates are underestimated and actual sales may be much higher.” There is no such reference on the Kindle stats for her “The Heirloom Murders” book or for the trade paperback numbers for either of the books. What may be causing this, and when might non-underestimated sales numbers resume? I am concerned about the possibility that Amazon has lost track of the actual sales numbers, and about the royalty implications should that be the case.

  4. John Harding says:

    Hi Mario

    I’ve noticed that since Christmas Day, when obviously lots of people got new kindles, my kindle sales have all but disappeared. Even though my ranking for Florence and Giles is holding reasonably steady, it’s registering virtually no sales. On past experience it ought to be registering at least 6-10 a day. Prior to this it was doing 10-13 a day and has been doing that for months now. Obviously holding steady or slipping a bit in what I presume are vastly higher overall kindle sales, ought to mean I continue to sell much as before, but according to novelrank I’ve suddenly gone from 10plus copies a day to zero. Another proof of this is my paperback sales. Yesterday novelrank had me selling 4 pbs and no kindles, which would be odd as neve rbefore has the pb outsold the kindle and usually sales go in a ratio of 3 or more to 1 in favour of kindles.

    Thought you might like to know in the interests of accuracy.

    Happy New Year

    Warm regards

    John (Harding)
    John