I am so grateful to friends and supporters who downloaded or bought the paperback of my storm-chasing novel Funnel Vision during its launch Tuesday. While it didn’t stir up a tornado on Amazon’s charts, it did create a bit of a dust devil.The novel briefly bumped up above 6,000 (rankings, NOT sales) on the paid Kindle chart. That’s from selling 40ish Kindle editions within a couple of days, so it doesn’t take that much to jump from 25,000 to 6,000. I hope my numbers will grow, but it’s going to take a while to see a day like the launch day. This morning it was in the 8000s, so it’s kind of cool that it hasn’t yet fallen from its lofty (ahem) heights. And it means that 8,000 books sold more copies than mine did, in whatever time period they’re measuring.
For more insight into rankings, check out Richard Mabry’s guest post on Rachelle Gardener’s blog. He cites Rampant TechPress’ guesstimation that books ranked 1-10,000 are calculated every hour; 10,000-110,000 every day; the rest, once a month.
For a little perspective, Amazon offers more than a million books and periodicals on Kindle, a spokeswoman told me today. More than 800,000 books cost less than $10, plus there are millions of free out-of-copyright works, she said.
The Kindle charts are divided into paid and free, and a lot of authors are taking advantage of “free” to boost their sales, their visibility, or their supposed readership. I say “supposed” because I know I’m not the only one who’s downloaded free books to my iPhone’s Kindle app or the iBooks app and never read them. Still, it’s hard to ignore the potential of ebooks, now that 29 percent of American adults own a computer tablet or e-reader, according to a Pew study. In December, Amazon says, customers bought more than a million Kindle devices a week. These figures answer with an emphatic “NO” the question some have posed about whether e-book sales have reached their peak.
Russ Grandinetti, VP of Kindle Content at Amazon, said today that Kindle book sales have outstripped print books, according to an item in eBookNewser. That’s from an online retailer, though; print books still account for 80 percent of the market, according to a USA Today story.
I found that my own paperback did better than I expected, and its “real book” ranking this morning was in the 17,000+ range. I think some people want to feel the book in their hands and get it signed, too.
Since there are so many charts on Amazon, and none cumulative (at least that I’ve seen) that combine your print and ebook sales, one could argue that rankings are kind of meaningless (but incredibly awesome if you make the top 100). Plus I’m selling on Nook (Barnes & Noble’s figures seem to be lagging reality) and eventually iBooks, if Smashwords delivers it. But if you look around at where you are as an author – pretty much wherever you are on a given day – you’re probably in pretty good company. And as someone who has just published a novel, I’m just thrilled to find readers. Get more information on Funnel Vision here.