Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Oh, the wild and wacky world of Amazon rankings, ratings roller coaster ride

First off, a big Thank You to my readers/friends—you are the reason I have this job, this wonderful life, the reason I keep writing, for what would I do without all of you?

Y’all may have read here how I never look at my rankings/ratings on Amazon. But when the Amazon Sunshine Deals promo (this is the promo I talked about below—where Tender Graces is sale priced at $2.99 instead of $9.99- Dang!) rolled around on the 2nd, and the next day someone sent me a link to my ranking on a “bestseller list;" That was fast, I thought, and it piqued my curiosity.

I did some clicking around Amazon lists. It was rather interesting, but mostly confusing. According to what criteria I searched under, Tender Graces was at: No 34, No 7, No 105, No 203, and in one place I couldn’t find TG so it must have been somewhere way off in oblivion-- haw haw! Then, much to my surprise, while searching for TG, I stumbled across Sweetie, not even aware that Sweetie would be on a “bestseller list” since it's not on the promo. Huhn. La Tee Dah! *Don't Look Gift Horse In Mouth* :-D

I was also curious about rankings—according to Amazon: "The Amazon sales rank is a number that says how many other titles sold more than your titles. The smaller the Amazon Sales Rank number, the better the sales.” So, I peeked at Tender Graces’s ranking, and at that point in that day in that hour (for it changes willy nilly up and down hourly) I was 950 in Kindle reader ebooks, 6,500 in trade paperback, and—this is really funny—some million number in large print *laughing* dang-large print TG's just do not sell! lawd! Those numbers change and change again, up and down up and down up and down. It boggles the mind. Which is why I stay away from it! So if you peek, don't tell me where I am now, unless I've suddenly become a Kindle Millionaire and then you can tell me *LAUGHING*! :-D

Isn’t it all a weird scattered numbers thing where luck and timing have much to do with where you are? It's a quickly morphing entity. I am not saying talent isn't a factor, for if a book has no merit, eventually it will fall under its own weight of mediocrity or plain old badness. And hard work never hurt anyone - you have to produce your product!
Just as You Tube videos can go viral, so can books—which explains the Kindle Millionaires—somehow they find readers, then more readers, shoot up to bestsellers status lists, and find ever more readers, and then things begin to ‘snowball’ and next you know—MILLIONAIRE! Wow. Dang!

Whatever Amazon has planned in its weird monstrous brain with its Sunshine Deals promo, and however it is affecting brick and mortar stores, or The Big 6, and pricing, I do not know, and I find I’m having a hard time worrying about that (for they certainly aren’t worried about little ole me, are they?) when I’m just doing the best I can. With Amazon placing me in a cool position on their summer deals promo page, my book can become visible to readers who may not have heard of little old Kathryn Magendie, and as well attention is brought to my wonderful small press BelleBooks/Bell Bridge books—who by the way have several books on Big Top Spots in Amazon through these deals right now—GO BBs!

The quest to Do and Have More can be never-ending if you don’t find a way to ground yourself. You'll make yourself sick and heartsick unless you find a way to accept whatever comes your way and realize/recognize that wherever you are in this journey, luck, timing, hard work, and talent go hand in hand—and gratitude for what you do have and what successes you find along the way--big or very small--can keep you grounded and healthy and happy. 

As interesting as my looking into rankings and lists were this week, I find what works for me is to stay away from them, and instead to focus my time and energy on writing my books. How people react to the Me I place on the page is mostly out of my control. Where I end up is mostly out of my control.

So to come full circle in this post, I want to say: Thank You All. I appreciate you—whether you are five people or fifty-five people or fifty-thousand people, you are the reason I write. My novels are love letters to you all. You think I am giving you something, when all along it is You who are giving me the greatest gift of all: You and your time, and yes, even your hard-earned money. You are investing in me, and I will always give you the very best I can.

Love, Kathryn  *muwah!* Have a great weekend!

(PS- I'm over at "Women Fiction Writer's - the wonderful Amy Nathan interviewed me and of course I'm all over the place chaotic, but I did my best *laugh* - she has a wonderful blog full of gooey good stuff and I am honored to be her guest!)


rosaria said...

Ah, yes, once the book is out there, who knows how it all works out. Keep on writing and giving us these beautiful gifts.

rosaria said...

Ah, yes, once the book is out there, who knows how it all works out. Keep on writing and giving us these beautiful gifts.

Kerry said...

Crazy. I'm proud of you, no matter where you are on those lists. Like I'm your sister or something.

Jessica Nelson said...

Your novels are beautiful! Very cool about the deal. ;-)

Eryl said...

So, I downloaded Tender Graces to my Kindle yesterday, began reading it last night, continued this afternoon in the dentist's waiting room, and then on to my favourite café. Halfway through my lemon slice and latte there I was with tears rolling down my cheeks and waitresses asking me if I was okay! Maybe this is a book best savoured in the privacy of my own armchair, sans mascara. I love it, thank you, X

Marinela said...

Your novels are great! Keep on writing.

Poverty Poems

Diane said...

Congrats and yeah! :O)

Karen said...

Wow, I didn't know Amazon did all that! How wonderful! You deserve all the credits, too. Your book are great.

john bord said...

There are steps to climb. Many take but a step or two. Others but glance at the height and pass on by. Few clamorour up the steps to falter. Then there is the last step, right there it is.


Marguerite said...

You and your books are fabulous, cher, and you deserve to be a millionaire! And you never know, you just might be, one of these days! Great about the Summer Kindle promo! cheers!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Hopefully I"ll help your numbers in the next few days. Putting my summer reading list together and ordering a gaggle of books from Amazon.

Barbara Forte Abate said...

This is such a beautiful and welcome reminder of what it is to be a writer. I say reminder because it's far too easy in the midst of the struggle to reach the reading world to allow ourselves to be caught up in things like numbers, statistics, and general writerly yearning to lose track of what it's really all about.

P.S, LOL, Eryl! I was sitting in my car in front of church, reading TG while waiting for my son at Confirmation practice, when I hit a major "weep" chapter. Passerby were surely thinking I was experiencing some kind of supreme sinners remorse or similar!

Deb Shucka said...

I just love knowing you're experiencing success with your books because that means I'll have more of them to read in the future. You deserve every bit of positive attention you're getting for your books. Love.