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71
What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on October 30, 2023, 11:14:20 PM »
The other thought I had, was you may have missed the rank spike itself. Between 2 times you looked, the initial sales spike may have happened, and then been replaced by the the lower sales level a few hours later. Just guessing though.
I'm too compulsive for that.  Grin

If I were to take a conservative estimate, based on other past promos, the total rank should be somewhere between 20-40k in the US store at the moment. It certainly is not "161,263" with all those sales (the current ranking). Actually, more concerning, 161,263 matches closer to 6 sales today. In fact, ranking started moving again just this morning after a 3 day freeze. Did Amazon literally not rank my book at all last week during the main sale?  :HB

Looking at my other titles in series, they're all hovering around 400k right now. This is also too high and I've seen it immobile over the past few days. Internationally, again, ranking was fine in Australia and UK; Canada is still immobile.

It was slow three months ago as well with my BookBub. There ranking was eventually seen and the book ranked at the top 1000; but it would have been in the top 100. Think twice about running a promo right now. Whatever's going on, your book might not be counted in ranking.

Another thought: How important is ranking? I'll guess maybe 10-20% extra sales from the top 3 charts, now lost??--not a lot, but still significant. But it also helps with future algos for your book search.
One word of caution in interpreting today's rankings based on previous experience: we don't know how many books are involved or what other authors are doing. The slowness to update is clearly a real issue. Where the book ends up may not be. I'm just speculating, because as usual, we have no ****ing data, but it's reasonable to assume that more and more books are being published. Depending on how many of those authors have money to spend on AMS ads and other promotional strategies, the competition for those top ranking spots may be fierce.

Amazon has been using that "over one million" language for years. Certainly, there are far more books in KDP by now. We don't know how many authors are making major sales pushes at any given time nor how effective they are. But those numbers could easily be far greater than they have been in the past.

Of course, people also drop out all the time, but the segment of authors heavily investing in advertising is the one that would make a difference for our purposes.

Also worth considering is what's going with the factory method of production--several authors under one penname. There used to be a lot of conversation about that, but I haven't heard much recently. Because such author collectives can release more rapidly than most of us, what's left of algorithmic boosts would be sucked up potentially by those collectives.
72
What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by TimothyEllis on October 30, 2023, 12:16:51 PM »
Another thought: How important is ranking?

The actual rank? Not very.

But that rank helps get you on the top 100 charts for categories, and for me now, that's my only visibility.

As soon as I drop off the major category charts, my income drops like a rock, and as soon as it drops off the last one, my income tanks completely. Then it bottom line's it until the next release.

With the book I didn't pre-order, that all happened way faster because it didn't get the initial rank boost.

But, yeah. The rank is very important now, especially if you don't do any advertising, and only have a small to medium list.
73
What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by alhawke on October 30, 2023, 12:08:54 PM »
The other thought I had, was you may have missed the rank spike itself. Between 2 times you looked, the initial sales spike may have happened, and then been replaced by the the lower sales level a few hours later. Just guessing though.
I'm too compulsive for that.  Grin

If I were to take a conservative estimate, based on other past promos, the total rank should be somewhere between 20-40k in the US store at the moment. It certainly is not "161,263" with all those sales (the current ranking). Actually, more concerning, 161,263 matches closer to 6 sales today. In fact, ranking started moving again just this morning after a 3 day freeze. Did Amazon literally not rank my book at all last week during the main sale?  :HB

Looking at my other titles in series, they're all hovering around 400k right now. This is also too high and I've seen it immobile over the past few days. Internationally, again, ranking was fine in Australia and UK; Canada is still immobile.

It was slow three months ago as well with my BookBub. There ranking was eventually seen and the book ranked at the top 1000; but it would have been in the top 100. Think twice about running a promo right now. Whatever's going on, your book might not be counted in ranking.

Another thought: How important is ranking? I'll guess maybe 10-20% extra sales from the top 3 charts, now lost??--not a lot, but still significant. But it also helps with future algos for your book search.
74
What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by TimothyEllis on October 30, 2023, 11:40:43 AM »
Timothy, if your preorder showed within a 8hrs--that's awesome that it's registering for you--but that means that large sale promos, free from Pauline^^, 99c from me, are being rank-blocked at the moment.

The current pre-order took most of a day to appear. A lot longer than normal.

The release saw ranks change in about the same time scale, as in somewhere around 24 hours after going live.

I hadn't put those 2 things together though.

So slow than it used to be, but faster than it has been.  For both.

And yes, it's looking very much like any sort of non-AMS promo is being targeted to eliminate rank spikes.

The other thought I had, was you may have missed the rank spike itself. Between 2 times you looked, the initial sales spike may have happened, and then been replaced by the the lower sales level a few hours later. Just guessing though.
75
What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by alhawke on October 30, 2023, 06:23:37 AM »
I ran into a dead end from emailing. They're not meant to deal with ranking, I figure.

I'm not giving up on Amazon either, but I might be focusing on other arenas. If marketing there doesn't work anymore, why keep focusing on promoting with Amazon? The trouble is, at the moment, all promo companies focus on Amazon readers.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether these changes are temporary or permanent.
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What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on October 30, 2023, 03:43:32 AM »
The longer problems go on, the less likely they are to be a glitch, but to really know what was going on, we'd have to have more data than we are ever likely to see.

It used to be that if you kept responding to customer service emails that your issue wasn't resolved, you eventually got to someone who actually knew something. Is that no longer the case? I haven't tried in a while. But a person (or a bot) who says everything looks normal clearly doesn't know anything.

On the specific issue of how long something can be broken before Amazon fixes it, it took years to create a sensible system for series pages. Remember the days when Amazon had to manually create a whole new page to add a new title? That went on for a long time and cost Amazon (and us) a lot of sales before someone woke up and fixed it.

Although Amazon has improved AMS reporting in a number of ways, it still doesn't seem to have figured out a way to have those update in a timely fashion, either.

I could probably think of other things that Amazon has let sit for a long time before doing anything. Consequently, I'm not going to give up on them quite yet.

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What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by alhawke on October 30, 2023, 03:32:35 AM »
Here's Hawthorne Witch US sales by KDP reports. It currently is at 202,664 in the US market  :hehe
Right. Well, I got nowhere talking to customer service, just the usual Amazon category procedures. Should be expected, I suppose. I know ranking is never considered something for KDP contact customer service.

Maybe the 200k ranking represents the 2 sales so far today? I mean, if it's delayed and I rank later today, that's better than not showing at all and I'll take it better than nothing. I hope I at least get ranking from all the sales later today. But it's been 4 days which will cost it some. (btw, ranking in the US is also effecting every book in my series).

Timothy, if your preorder showed within a 8hrs--that's awesome that it's registering for you--but that means that large sale promos, free from Pauline^^, 99c from me, are being rank-blocked at the moment. :shrug
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What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by alhawke on October 30, 2023, 01:52:19 AM »
So... why is the US and Canada punishing book sale promotions (this was not BookBub btw)? Book promotions have been around for decades even before ebooks. I'm not clear the agenda. I am corresponding with Amazon. They claimed that they see nothing wrong. That response actually upset me more because there clearly is something wrong when you compare international markets.

The problem is Amazon is costing me brand recognition and further sales. I simply can't focus on advertising in their market in the future if it leads to a dead end. I truly mean this. If Amazon wants to punish promotions they will succeed with, at least, this author in stopping future sale promotions in their market. I will focus elsewhere. I'm forced to. How is that helping them with sales with their bottom line?

A glitch? I kinda doubt it cause it's been going on now for months.

But the troublesome--very troublesome thing--here guys is that the majority of sales from promotions occur in the Amazon US market. This puts our marketing at a bit of an impasse, you might say. This is why this is very significant for us. If you pull the rug out from under the main marketing force for publishing, where do we go next for visibility as authors?
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What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by TimothyEllis on October 30, 2023, 01:25:14 AM »
And yet, my pre-order release just had a within 24 hours update of the rank, and that was almost back to normal.
But was that update in the US or Canada? Australia sales are showing up like normal for my books.

US.

I don't monitor Canada ranks. There's no point.

I check US, UK, and AUS. AUS comes out first, then UK, then US, but the US was definitely inside a day this time.
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What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: WTF is up with US ranks?
« Last post by alhawke on October 30, 2023, 01:19:20 AM »
And yet, my pre-order release just had a within 24 hours update of the rank, and that was almost back to normal.
But was that update in the US or Canada? Australia sales are showing up like normal for my books.
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