Amazon’s New Author Rank

I have a friend whose teenage daughter is a coxswain on a rowing team for her high school. Her team had been doing very well and was able to go to a large regional meet where they were expected to place. My friend’s daughter made a bad judgment call during the race, and her team ended up coming in last place.

In the span of a few minutes, my friend’s daughter went from being a very popular girl at her school to being extremely unpopular. She became the brunt of team’s frustration and disappointment and this soon spread around the whole school.

Popularity is defined as “appealing to the general public, widely favored or admired.”

Amazon.com has decided to capitalize on this idea to attempt to gain more book sales. To this end, Amazon has launched Amazon Author Rank where the company ranks authors based on sales of the author’s entire body of works (similar to Amazon’s book ranking). The Amazon Author Rank page is updated hourly.

Amazon wants this new popular authors feature to help readers discover books by authors that are topping best-seller lists—to help the company increase book sales of course. The company also wants this new feature to provide both a benchmark for performance and a blueprint for success for authors. In other words, Amazon Author Rank can help authors determine how they are doing against other authors and learn what kinds of authors are successful right now. Here to, Amazon is hoping to motivate authors to try to sell more books.

Here is the truth. The vast majority of authors will never get listed on Amazon’s Author-Ranking Page (the page lists the top 100 authors on Amazon). Just as with popularity, where a few are popular and most people are just average; most authors are not “best-selling” authors.

Does this mean that average authors are not successful? Absolutely not. Don’t let a popularity list define your success. Popularity is fleeting. Remember that success in God’s kingdom is dependent on overcoming and doing the will of God.

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