Bob Seger has a song about feeling like a number (kids, ask your parents or older parole officers).
He also has a song about turning pages, and another, perhaps most appropriately, about beautiful losers. This all ties in (sure) to how I felt about Amazon’s latest release, the Amazon Author Rank.
As the name suggests, Amazon ranks an author based on books sold and perhaps some other SEO/The Force/metrics/Klout/voodoo/you do/black magic nonsense. By being thrown in with Every Author on Amazon Ever, I am ranked somewhere around 700 thousand or so. The rankings are updated hourly, which means by the time you read this, I could be ranked at Not Appearing on This List.
But, if I get down into specific categories, I rank a bit better. And the more specific, the better my rank, usually, which is good because my ego needs all the stroking it can get.¹
As of this writing, I am ranked at just under 27,000th place for Science Fiction & Fantasy. That’s a hell of a lot better than 700 thousand…right?
If I go one tier further down, I am around 16,000 for Fantasy and 13,000 for Science Fiction—which is funny, because my lone book on Amazon, The Magic of Eyri, isn’t even science fiction (it is fantasy). Alternate version of that sentence: which is funny, because I only write cookbooks.
But, if go to Science Fiction & Fantasy > Talking Animals (Birds and Fish), I’m ranked at 989,075th. Hm. Must be all those Children’s Books hurting my ranking. Fantasy > Author Wish Fulfillment/Mary Sue puts me at 3,013,042. Dang.
However, Fantasy >Titles No Knows How to Pronounce Correctly gives me a rank of 39th (right behind Iiixillili’s Pfantasiumonson, Part II: The Cave of Xxryx, Jr.).
Lastly, Books > Michigan Authors with a Bachelors Degree in Pinball Machine Repair nets me a healthy rank of 6th. Not bad.
And if I go further down, well by golly, I am ranked Number One in Books by Daniel J. Hogan. Although, it would not surprise me in the least if there was some way I would not be ranked #1 in this category.
Will I worry about my Amazon Author Rank? No.
If I had a new book out every six-months and I was ranked in the 700 thousands, then maybe I would be biting my nails. But for a guy who self-published a single book five years ago, just being ranked is a hoot. It gives me something else to write about in this year’s Christmas letter, besides my cat and being called for jury duty.
If you want a serious post on this subject, John Scalzi has a great write up about Amazon Author Rankings, and who benefits. Give it a read.
¹ Good night everybody!