Marketing, Publishing

What Ranking Numbers Mean on Amazon

What Does a Ranking Number Mean on Amazon?

If you’ve published a book and it’s available on Amazon, you’ll notice there’s a Sales Rank number on your book page. This number is important to help you check how your book is selling. The lower the ranking number the better your book is doing in sales. This number is usually updated by Amazon every hour, so try not to fixate on this too much, but here’s how it works so you can keep track of your sales.

Amazon ranking numbers for book sales


If your rank is 80,000, then there are 79,999 books selling better than yours. If your rank is 20, then there are just 19 books selling better than yours. So, the lower your book number is, the better it’s doing in sales on Amazon.


How Do You Improve Your Ranking Number?

Amazon resets this ranking every so often to keep books visible. Because of this, it’s important to maintain a minimum number of sales. A ranking of 10,000 usually means 1-5 copies have sold that week, so try to keep your sales at a good pace. How?

First of all, be sure to fill out all the information about your books, such as a summary and categories. (Amazon asks you all the information you need to share about your book when you upload it to their site).

Your categories are very important to enable readers to find you so be specific. Use the drop-down lists to narrow down the search for your readers. You can also use Google or other search engines’ drop-downs to see what readers are looking for before you decide which category your book belongs in.

Remember that you can always edit your Amazon listings if you find more relevant terms to include in your copy or you realize that your book might do a lot better in another category. If you’re going to switch your categories, make sure that your book still fits where you’re placing it, you’ll only hurt your sales if you place your book in categories it doesn’t belong in.

Here’s an actual ranking for our new nonfiction book. Notice the categories used to narrow it down and which ones are working best (highlighted by Amazon):

(Yeah, we need to do more marketing!)


Here’s a ranking for a fiction book:


You’ll notice that ranking is easier for nonfiction and for lesser-known categories. This doesn’t mean the nonfiction book is outselling the fiction book because they’re from different categories and only ranked according to their own categories not overall.

Once you see what readers are searching for you can use these keywords to your benefit in your social media and as hashtags for Pinterest and other platforms.

Now on to our Pinterest boards to do some marketing!


Lynne Collier


*The above post contains Amazon Affiliate links, due to this, we main make a small commision if you purchase from the links above, with no extra cost to you.