What Do Amazon Best Seller Ratings Mean?

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Understanding your Amazon Best Seller rank will help you understand how well your book is doing in terms of sales Books with poor sales figures will have high BSR’s and those with lots of sales will have low BSR’s. So the most popular book and the one that most people have bought will hold position number one. 

In books, you will usually see several different BSR figures. This is because when you submitted your book to Amazon, you chose several genres or categories for it to appear in. So you will have an overall ranking in ‘books’ as well as several other rankings depending on which categories you chose. 

Amazons BSR’s fluctuate on an hourly basis. This is something worth noting too. So, for example, if you know someone has bought your book, you might not see your rating fluctuate in real time, but if it doesn’t after an hour, it might be that that person wasn’t telling the truth!

Your Amazon Best Seller rank is a very valuable metric. It is determined using several different factors including:

Sales, both current and previous

Price fluctuations, such as sales and promotions

Similar products that could be in direct competition with yours

What’s a Good Amazon Best Seller Rank?

In terms of book sales, a good Amazon BSR is hard to determine. A book might have a very low BSR in a niche category (remember that low means good in this case!), but because very few people shop in that category this might not mean that sales are pouring in. Being within the top 10,000 in any broader category such as Crime, thrillers and mystery or Romance is a good indication that your book is doing quite well – selling around 20 books a day.

Of course, 20 books a day won’t make you a millionaire any time soon, and to really see the royalties start rolling in you need to rank a lot lower. As a general rule of thumb the BSR and sales correlate approximately as follows:

#1 – 5 = Over 5,000 books sold per day

#10 – 20 = 3,000 – 4,000

#100 = 1,000

#1,000 = 120

#5,000 = 40

#10,000 = 20

#50,000 = 5

#100,000 = 1

#150,000 = Less than 1 book sold per day

Paying attention to your Best Seller rank on Amazon is well worth doing as an author. The higher your number, the more effort you need to put in to try and compete against other similar books within your genre, and boost your sales to see you creep back up into those lower numbered positions once more. 

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