Kim Bowman: "Understanding your ACP"
_Kim Bowman calls herself a “writer in progress,” or WIP, but she’s also a valuable editor and critique partner, and an amazingly good friend. As well, she understands some of that technical stuff that threatens to trip up writers who are new to epublishing. Here’s her take on Amazon.com’s Author Central Pages, or ACPs.
Cheryl asked me to put together a breakdown of understanding your Author Central Page and Amazon Ranking on Amazon.com. I’m going to attempt to muddle through it for her. I make no promises.
First, the ever-important Author Central Page. This is a great feature that Amazon makes available for us. It’s a great idea to go there and take advantage of it. You can access ACP here.
_You can create an account here or sign in using your Amazon.com ID and password. Once you do that, it takes you to this page.
_As you can see, there are several features you can sign up for. The first thing you want to do is go to the tab marked HOME and start adding your information: Bio, books, blog, etc.
Once you add your books, it does take a couple of days for them to show up on your ACP. Take advantage of that time to peruse the site and learn the ins and outs of how to use ACP, including how to go under the REVIEW tab and add reviews. Fill in as much information on your ACP as possible. PLEASE. Take the time to go to the HELP tab and read the information there. I guarantee it will answer most of your questions.
That leads us to a very important aspect of selling your book on amazon.com, and that’s understanding the Amazon Rankings. First and foremost, all the information I’m about to provide you can be found on ACP’s Help section here. Keep in mind that depending on who published your book, you may not see a sales ranking. For instance, if you use the Createspace feature, your sales probably won’t be recorded on amazon.com since this is considered a Print on Demand. This is information that’s provided to your publisher (or you, if you self-published) via Createspace. If you sell enough copies via Createspace, then you might have a ranking number, but there’s no guarantee.
Next, while the Amazon Ranking is helpful, it’s still just a guestimate. Your Kindle books are ranked among free or paid books in the Kindle store. This ranking provides a comparison of your book with all other books listed, so individual sales of your book might not result in a change in ranking. This ranking takes into account sales of your book, other books, addition of books, removal of books, etc.
For example, let’s say your book was purchased recently, but your rank remained the same or dropped. It could mean that other books in the catalog have recently been purchased more than yours.
Sometimes your book’s rank will change even though its sales may not. This can happen if sales of other books slow down. It might increase your ranking, even though your sales have stayed the same. Same thing happens as new books are added to the catalog. When a new book is added, it also causes your rank to go up or down, even if the sales don’t change. This does give you an idea of where you stand, but it’s not the only way to measure sales for your book. For a more accurate idea of how your book is selling, try NovelRank.
I hope this helps clear up some misconceptions about the Amazon Ranking system. You can check out all the factors that go into the number system on the Help page listed above. If you have any questions, we’ll try to help you out!
_Thanks, Kim, and we hope this sorts out Amazon’s ranking system for everyone. Readers, you can check out Kim on her blog and her Amazon ACP. Wayward Soul, her first published novella, is a smooth story of love and vengeance. “In the spirit world, one doesn’t mess with what’s written.” When someone does, look out.