Anthologies on Amazon drive Author rankings
Most of you are probably aware that Amazon has a new About the Author feature that allows all members of Author Central to post a profile and list all their books. Customers and browsers can click on your name and see all your books and read your profile. They also added author rankings. This worried me because being mostly a nonfiction author whose books are no longer new, I don’t have many sales. I figured I’d be ranked down in the millions. My overall ranking wasn’t quite that bad (129,000!), but still pretty sad. Thank goodness most sales are not based on author rankings!
Then I noticed that they separate out the ranking by categories. These categories reflect the search categories Amazon employs. But I wondered how I ended up with a ranking in Religion and Spirituality? Then I remembered that I had a short story in Eat My Martian Dust, an anthology for Christian kids. I had “claimed” that as one of my books even though I don’t get any royalties from it because I reprinted that story on Kindle (the book is OP, but used copies are available on Amazon)—and I hoped the connection would boost sales. I discovered that this book, and the other anthologies I have stories in and have also “claimed,” Girls to the Rescue and Into the New Millennium, are all driving my author rankings! So instead of being at 129,000, I’m at 24,000 in Teens and 11,000 in Religion! Still nothing compared to the best-selling stars out there, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.
So if you have short stories in anthologies, claim them as yours to help boost your rankings. Amazon has a form you fill out to do this when you claim the book and then check that you are “a different contributor” than the author or illustrator. They then verify that your name appears on the contents page and add it to your About the Author list and include it in the calculations for your rankings in the categories for that book.
Also, they have you create an Amazon author page. I was surprised that no one had claimed “dyson” yet, so I took it. The default is your full name, but be sure to try just your last name to see if it is available. This will hopefully drive more traffic to your Amazon page when people search on your last name even if they are searching for someone else, like Freeman Dyson! My Amazon page is http://www.amazon.com/about/dyson. If you have a blog or book trailer, you can attach it to this page, but I don’t have either. I did attach my Twitter feed to show I’m alive and active!
I don’t know if having an Amazon page and somewhat better ranking will increase my sales, but I figure it can’t hurt!
Golden Kite & AIP Science Writing Award winner;
Former NASA Flight Controller;
Marianne, you can also check your sales at your page (provided by BookScan). It’s updated every Friday. It’s supposedly 75% accurate, but I’m not so sure that’s true.