Do Amazon book ranks tell us anything? Sure, they convey something about the popularity of a given book, but looking a the current rank of a book on Amazon is just a snapshot of a fairly volatile number. It would be much more useful if we could see how the ranks of books have changed over time. Fortunately, that is fairly easy to do.
The site www.metricjunkie.com allows anyone to track Amazon sales ranks of up to ten books. I track my books on Metric Junkie and I see how the ranks change when my publisher does a promotion, when an ad comes out in a magazine, when I’m interviewed by a radio host, when I speak at a conference, and so on. Since I also track some other books in similar categories, I can even see that their are seasonal and weekly cycles that affect all business books.
This site made me wonder if this could tell us even more. Can the ranks of books about a topic like buying homes or how to interview for a job tell use something about bigger trends than the sales of a single book? I think it is possible and that is part of the topic of my next book.
Doug, I’d like to do something similar (albeit on a much smaller scale) using the stats from my site IndexMasher.com. I’m already surprised by some of the numbers. For example, we’ve only indexed five books by Seth Godin thus far, but we’re getting more downloads indexes to his older book, The Dip, than his newest ones. So a possible conclusion is that even though his newer books have bigger sales, The Dip is the type of book that people refer back to and actively use more often than his newer ones, being they want an index for it.
I’m running over to metricjunkie now to check it out.
Thanks for the help that you have given in How to Measure Anything. I’m anxious to read The Pulse next.
As a fellow measurement junkie with a KPI book on Amazon, Metric Junkie will definitely become a weekly point of call for me. Thanks!