What does my Amazon Sales Rank Number mean?

The following is an unauthorized analysis of Amazon Best Sellers rank based on 5 years of conducting Amazon campaigns. This blog will be updated based on new information based on case studies and updates from Amazon.

What does my Amazon Sales Rank Number mean?
I get this question often. A book can ‘trend’ or  become a bestseller in several categories on Amazon.com. These categories include:

  • Best Sellers in Books Category: Most popular books based on sales. Updated hourly. This is the overall bestseller list on Amazon.
  • Hot New Releases: Bestselling new and featured releases. Updated hourly.
  • Best Sellers of 2012 (so far) or Best Sellers of [YEAR] – Most popular books of the year. Updated daily.
  • Amazon Gift Ideas. Most popular books ordered as gifts. Updated daily.
  • Amazon Movers & Shakers. Amazon’s biggest gainers in sales rank over the past 24 hours. Updated hourly.
  • Amazon Most Wished For. Books most added to Wish Lists and Registries. Updated Daily.
If you wanted to get creative, and dominate each of these categories, you can create special campaigns to drive book sales specific to the category. For example, general Amazon campaigns, in which you create a focused amount of sales in a 24 hour period, usually help you trend in the Amazon Movers & Shaker Category and in individual Amazon Sub-Category lists.
Here’s a book that became a bestseller in Amazon’s Movers & Shaker Category

Here are some books that became a bestseller in their specific categories:

How many books must you sell to become a top 20 bestseller on Amazon?
I do know from previous campaigns, that you have to sell more than 500 books in a 24 hour period to crack top 100 overall on Amazon. I also know you have to sell at least 1500 books in a 24 hour period to crack the top 20 overall on Amazon. (This is based on my clients’ books who become top sellers. The Amazon algorithm determines bestseller status.)
Not only is Amazon.com a search engine, but Amazon Best Seller sales rank is also an hour-by-hour measurement of your book marketing efforts. TV appearances, guest blogs, radio, campaigns, etc. can all be tracked about the Amazon Best Seller lists – it’s a great way to test your marketing efforts. Please note, that individual campaigns, events and efforts usually have a temporary effect on Amazon Best Seller ranks, so your book marketing should include consistent, drip marketing as well as “flash mob” efforts.
Dog Ear Publishing has the most thorough overview of Amazon Sales Rank and what it translates to in weekly sales. I got the following matrix from Dog Ear Publishing’s blog.
Amazon Sales Rank (Overall – not Sub-cateogry)

  • 1,000 = 90 copies sold per week
  • 10,000 = 60 copies sold per week
  • 100,000 = 16 copies per week
  • 300,000 = 12 copies sold per week
  • 500,000 = 1 copy per week
  • 1,000,000 = 1 copy per month
My client who became a top 10 Bestseller on Amazon.
Final numbers for October 7, 2009


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