As an author, it’s helpful to monitor sales trends for your books, especially if you have active marketing and publicity campaigns. If an article comes out about you in an industry magazine or you’re a featured guest on a podcast, your book’s sales rank can show a resulting spike in sales. Sales ranking is recalculated throughout the day, so the rank you see for your book at 9:00 a.m. will be different from its ranking at 5:00 p.m.

Every book on Amazon has a sales rank number located near the publisher information. This rating indicates how well the book is selling at that moment in time compared to other book on Amazon. It may seem counterintuitive, but the lower the sales rank, the more copies of the book have sold that day. While Amazon doesn’t publish information about how it tabulates book sales ranking numbers, many authors have speculated about how the ranking system correlates to the number of copies sold based on our own experiences.

Here you can see sales ranks for the Kindle edition and the paperback edition:

amazon sales rank example

Next, you can see how we can estimate book sales based on the rank for each edition of a book. Following are estimated average book sales based on the ranking for PRINT BOOKS (paperback, hardcover):

how amazon calculates sale ranking for books

Sales numbers vary for Kindle ebooks, especially when the ranking reaches the lower numbers. Here are estimated book sales based on rankings for KINDLE BOOKS:

how amazon calculates sale ranking for KINDLE books


Keep in mind that since each edition of your book (paperback, hardcover, Kindle, etc.) will have different rankings, if you track your sales during a launch or following a publicity campaign, you will want to track numbers for each edition.

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