How Many Sales to Amazon Bestseller?

Amazon Best SellerWant to be an Amazon bestseller? Of course you do–every author does. And we’re talking about the top five of all categories, not just some little niche like Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Animal Care & Pets > Dogs. (One of mine, so proud. Also currently Amazon #1 ranking for Sports > Extreme Sports.)

According to a recent study by Publishers Weekly, you need to sell approximately 300 print books on Amazon in a single day to crack the top 5 bestsellers (fun fact–Amazon guards their secret algorithm with the same staff that protects Google and the recipe for Coca Cola–jk).

How would this correspond to ebooks? Hmm, good question. Since Amazon sells roughly 20% more ebooks than print, my guess is you would need to sell about 360 Kindle books per day to crack the top 5 bestsellers. (Reminder, not talking about niche categories here, where the top 5 can be achieved with just a few to a few dozen sales per day.)

Of course, these are rough estimates based on cross-referencing other sites that use, er… rough estimates, but still a nice ballpark number to shoot for.

Next question–how on Earth does one sell 360 ebooks in a single day and maintain that? If I had the answer, this post would not have been written. Blogging, activity in social media and writing a book that readers recommend like crazy is a good place to start. How about that for an answer.

Here’s to your 15 minutes of fame, may it stretch waaaay beyond its expiration date.

Want to comment?


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9 Responses to “How Many Sales to Amazon Bestseller?”

  1. www.authorjanmarshall.com Says:

    Hi Brother JM,
    If you could simply buy 300 of my DANCIN, SCHMANCIN with the SCARS; Finding the Humor No Matter What! (the best satirical survival book ever on Amazon or anywhere, according to Anon,) ASAP then this could work out. Have Fun, Jan Marshall http://www.amazon.com/Dancin–Scars-Finding-Matter/dp/0988514605/

  2. winstonemerson Says:

    Back in March of last year–one year ago tomorrow, actually–I sold exactly 360 books in a 24 hour period. About 250 of those sales came from a single book, all in the U.S. It peeked at #293 on the bestseller list.

    It’s a little painful to think another 150 sales might have put me at the top of the list. I’ve heard the Top 20 bestseller page is like a bog. Once you’re in it, you have a chance of getting stuck there for a while.

  3. Andy Gavin (@asgavin) Says:

    It’s a lot more than 360. I’ve sold as many as 600-700 in one day before and only been as high as 175 on the Kindle list. I estimate you need to sell in the low thousands (maybe around 1000) to hit the top 100. Who knows about the top 5, but it could be several thousand e-books a day.

    I’m a computer programmer as well as an author, and it’s pretty clear that the Amazon ranking involves a bucketing scheme. Some percent of the ranking is based on “last hour” some on “last day” some on “last week” and “last month” There may be a lot of buckets going into it. Selling a ton in one day can propel you pretty high but it’s easier to stay high with consistent “slightly lower” sales. If I have a big day from a promotion I’ll notice big drops at exactly 1 week and 1 month.

    Andy Gavin http://andy-gavin-author.com


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