I’ve had an interesting email exchange with Amazon over a couple of days with regard to my inquiry about apparent sales not showing up on my sales report that I’d like to share and let you comment on if you are so inclined.
NovelRank lists four sales of one of my Kindle edition books for the month, and the Amazon best seller rank for Kindle on Author Central shows four corresponding very significant ranking jumps that in my experience can happen only with a book sale on four days in December. From 1,571,365 to 104,868 on December 5; from 922,011 to 109,693 on December 15; from 456,700 to 106,940 on December 19; and from 416,263 to 116,918 on December 23. Now I’ve had this book and several others on KDP and CreateSpace since 2011. There has been such a drastic change without a sale in the past 6 tears—and I check rankings and sales regularly as do most of us, I suspect.
The first answer I got was essentially NovelRank is unaffiliated with Amazon and it does not track Kindle books. The latter at least is dead wrong, as I’ve been tracking my Kindle AND CreateSpace sales for years and it has never over-reported a single sale. When I noted that NovelRank does, in fact, track Kindle sales and that Amazon’s own Best Seller rankings on Author Central coincide in showing what can only be sales as reported by NovelRank, I got the answer that Nielsen BookScan on Author Central only tracks paperback sales and that I should take it up with CreateSpace. I responded that I was referring to the author rank, not Nielsen (which by the way correctly tracked the single sale for the same book this month on paperback). The response then was essentially that author rankings are affected by many variables and that a jump does not mean a sale. Now I am not a newbie to traditional or indie publishing. I know that. But I also know that a book does not climb 1.5 million ranks because of the weather or the sale of other competing books (especially in a non-fiction title). Nor does it jump 300,000 places three additional times within three weeks without a sale.
There are only two possible answers given the data relating to my book: either sales are not being reported by Amazon due to yet another IT problem, or the ranking system is broken. NovelRank does not pull sales from thin air but rather from Amazon sales reports—affiliations notwithstanding. And author rankings absolutely do not and cannot jump from roughly 1.6 million to 100,000 in a day because of the alignment of the planets, global warming, sun spots or the zombie apocalypse.
I am not concerned with the royalties--$25 or so one way or the other will not prevent me from enjoying some nice bubbly on New Year’s eve. But the principle of the thing matters. If there are continuing problems with the system, please tell me that. I am not unreasonable and can accept that. If sales are somehow not being reported due to some glitch, I can accept that too—as long as it is acknowledged and fixed in a timely manner. Telling me, in essence, that I am seeing things is not acceptable. Is it acceptable to all of you?
I am experiencing the same issue and reportedly many others are experiencing the same. No sales on KDP but my ranking goes from 1 million to 77k...stays a day or two....drops to 400k then back up to 22k? Its been like this since Dec 5th for me...yet only 3 sales in two weeks?? haha not buying it...pardon the pun!
Christopher Tolliver wrote:
No sales on KDP but my ranking goes from 1 million to 77k...stays a day or two....drops to 400k then back up to 22k?
Are your books enrolled in the KDP Select program? If so, what you are seeing when your book or author rank jump is someone borrowing one of your books. You won't see a sale register and KENP page reads do not post on reports until the reader opens the book, but you get a bump in rank for the borrow.
Now that could be the reason. One question, though: could Amazon have suggested that in any of the three responses? The spikes and the dates pages were read are very different, so I did not make the connection. Thanks!
The spikes and the dates pages were read are very different, so I did not make the connection. Thanks!
Don't forget, it also depends on when a reader allows their reading device to transmit data. If a device is in Airplane Mode for a day or two of traveling, page reads are rarely going to be "live, as they are happening."
This is now the part where you need to trust the system works, just appreciate the tally as it registers, whenever that may be. Micromanaging what happens on a report that is delayed to begin with will only drive one crazy.