It’s pretty clear what the new Amazon Author Rank system is supposed to do. (For those who haven’t heard of it: they now show sales rank numbers for authors as well as their books.) It’s supposed to be a way for authors to promote themselves.
The author becomes a “top ten” author on Amazon (for an hour) and starts using that in their publicity, as though it’s some sort of bestseller list. Not only does this get Amazon’s name out in front of people but it will inevitably push some authors to work like crazy to bump their sales. Writers, while pursuing that supposedly-valuable label, put money in Amazon’s bank accounts.
Me, I don’t much care. I stopped following Amazon’s sales rankings for my books right around the time Random House started giving me accurate sales figures, updated weekly. Do I want to look at “rankings” which only compare me to other authors without giving me actual sales data, and which are calculated in secret, or do I want to look at the number of books sold? No contest for me at all.
In other news, tomorrow I take a long, long weekend away from home. My son and I are catching a train for northern California so he can compete in the Pokemon regionals. I have no idea what sort of internet connectivity I’ll have (certainly none on the train) so don’t expect to see me around much. I’ll do my best to visit at least one Starbucks a day to check email, but I’m not sure I can promise even that much.
Finally, Black Gate has begun to feature fiction on their website, and their latest offering in the first short story I ever sold. To be honest, it’s been available for free since it was published, but they’re featuring it again. Check it out. Special thanks to author Martha Wells for pointing it out. Good thing I read her LiveJournal, eh?
All right. There are errands and packing to do. Signing off for a while.