Saturday, April 21, 2012

Why, Yes, SECTOR C Did Hit The Amazon Top 100

Did you miss it? Then you must have blinked. But from early Thursday evening -- about 5:00 CT -- until the wee hours of Friday morning, SECTOR C was indeed hanging out in the Top 100. Best rank? #84. And for most of the day yesterday it hung around the #135-140 rank. I couldn't be a prouder mom.

But you didn't come here to bask in the wonderfulness of my book -- or likely to even buy it ;o). As a passing curiosity, you want to know how many sales it takes to get there. Mainly, though, you want to shoot YOUR book up the bestseller lists and drive my baby down into obscurity. And you want me to tell you how to do it.

We'll get to that. But first you're going to have to scroll through the pictures of my beautiful baby as it made its Top 100 debut.

SECTOR C hit #10 in Thrillers and #19 in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

SECTOR C was at #7 in all Science Fiction

So, what happened? How did it go from a ranking in the teen-thousands to #84? Simply put, it was a perfect storm. It went on a free run on April 9 and did modestly well. Well enough that it still had fairly high visibility and discoverability in the Amazon store. Then I dropped the price from $3.99 to 99c on Wednesday. It began to pick up a little steam as folk who had it on price watch came to pick up their 99c copy.

A few price-watching sites mentioned it in automated passing. A couple of sites that I'd notified of the sale kindly featured it. As it started moving up the ranks, other sites noticed and also featured it without my prompting. No one wants to be the only one who didn't point out a bargain price on a popular book, do they now? Well, no one except POI, it seems (I still love you, Sharon, even though it's an unrequited passion).

The engine pushed hard throughout the day on Thursday. By Friday, it had found a new darling to chug along.

This was simply a pulse like the one a book gets from a free day. Only this time I got to watch the left side of the bestseller lists where the paid books are. It's unlikely that I'll be able to pulse the book this high again. Some favors you can only cash in once. I'm hoping people shopping this weekend will catch it on the bestseller lists today. I'm hoping it moves up the popularity lists and the Lending Library lists later this evening. But I'm in uncharted territory for me and I'm not sure just how much of a continued push from Amazon I can reasonably expect.

The ultimate goal is stickiness, where the book doesn't have to be pulsed up the charts. It has yet to achieve that. Can someone please pass the Super-Glue?

So what do the numbers look like?

After its free run 10 days before, SECTOR C sold about 100 copies at $3.99 and was borrowed 18 times. In all, it was at 130 copies sold and 35 borrowed for the month.

I changed the price on Wednesday and it sold about 40 copies before price-change sites caught up and bargain-price sites started mentioning it on Thursday.

To hit #84 -- and rank is based on a bunch of factors but is focused on sales velocity and numbers within the past 24 hours (actual hours, not day) -- took about 594 sales. Over the next 24 hours, SECTOR C had 361 sales and its rank dropped to #140.

So, despite 1042 sales and 10 borrows between Wednesday morning and Saturday noon, its rank is now #215 -- and falling. Velocity of sales and consistency of sales matter a lot at those high altitudes.

The secret then to making the Top 100 on a slow sales day is to sell 600 copies of your book. That'll do it. Guaranteed.

Of course, I didn't experiment first with MY book. With Jennifer Blake's permission, I used The Rent-A-Groom as a guinea pig. Her book had also gone free on April 9, where it hit #12 in the free store with over 10,000 downloads. In the 6 days following, it sold 243 copies at $2.99, and its rank was in the #2000s. We dropped the price to 99c late last Sunday and began the push on Monday. By 1:00 am Tuesday it was #187 in the store with 402 copies sold. We re-priced it to $2.99 Tuesday afternoon.

It hit #3 on the Movers & Shakers list.

Breakers in the #3 spot here is authored by an online bud of mine, Edward C Robertson.
I was thrilled to see he made the list at the same time Jennifer did.
Books are only eligible to be a Mover and Shaker if they are in the Top 400.


Karen said...


Jason Brant said...

Fantastic post. Congrats on the success - that's a huge milestone. What discount sites did you notify about your price drop?

Anonymous said...

Well done, Phoenix. This must be absolutely thrilling.

Chelsea Pitcher said...

Yayyyy congrats!!!

Kay Elam said...

I'm waaay behind on my blog reading, but a belated congratulations. I'm delighted for you!!!