Amazon has launched a new “Author Rank” feature on its site. The new ranking is based on cumulative sales of all books by each author and like its ranking of bestselling books will be updated hourly. Thus, prolific writers who have multiple titles selling well on Amazon should fare better than those with a single blockbuster. Amazon is breaking down author rankings by bestselling authors overall and within major genres and the top 100 authors in those areas will appear on Amazon.com. Amazon said it hopes the new ranking will help readers discover bestselling authors.
Overall, industry buzz yesterday centered on the potential for greater exposure. It is widely recognized that when a book’s ranking on Amazon cracks the coveted “Top 100,” the added exposure can create a kind of tipping point that propels some books to unexpected heights. If a high author ranking exhibits a similar pattern, there is reason to believe that the new Amazon “Author Rank” could prove a boon, at least for writers whose cumulative sales are robust, and perhaps a lucky upstart or two. According to Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords.com, Author Rank “…It’s a smart feature. It recognizes that the author — not the publisher — is the brand that readers care about.”