Okay, I admit it, I am a somewhat shameless watcher of sales of my own books on Amazon. It is probably poor form to admit that in public and probably not all that good on my ego. Ironically, that is why I do it; I'm not on the lookout for some fat paycheck and I am certainly not feeding myself on my sales. If I were, I would have starved to death years ago. No, it's more about self-gratification, in seeing that something I wrote is moving up the charts, which means more people are reading it.
Except, it doesn't. In my last post, I noted that I was part of an anthology that is posted on Amazon since the beginning of the year. Loose observation showed the sales ranking moving from #55,000 in Paid in Kindle Store, all the way down to #250,000 on the list. All I can figure is that Amazon has some kind of really weird algorithms that run their book sales lists. A brief spin around the web really confirmed as much. There is a very in-depth explanation here, though – and as a scientist, this pains me to admit it – I am way to tired to try and decipher the methodology & statistics used to follow the explanation. I'll just take the blog posters word for it that the inner workings of the Amazon sales lists are run by coked-out gnomes, who randomly turn up domino tiles with book names on them to fill the lists.
I tried to have this conversation with a coworker today. After going over the ninety-second discussion of how Amazon's algorithms are whack, he arched his eyebrows and said, "So … how many books did you sell, again?" I had no answer.
(Muse: You ever think you over-complicate things?)