On Amazon’s Small Ponds

As I pen this post, The Wizard’s Daughters is currently #50 on both Amazon’s Historical Fantasy and Medieval Romance ebooks bestseller lists, and #58 on its Medieval Romance books list. This past weekend it was as high as #47. As impressive as that may seem, I am compelled to point out that so far I’ve sold no more than a couple of hundred copies in the month or so since it was released. So I hesitate to think of sales like that as constituting a “bestseller.”

The interesting thing has been watching how it’s been moving up and down, and in particular how those rankings correlate with its overall sales rank, which has peaked at around 7,200 so far. Yet, in browsing around, I’ve seen books with far higher sales rankings show up with no bestseller list rank. That suggests to me that Medieval Romance and Historical Fantasy are rather small genres, certainly much smaller than Urban Fantasy and Swords & Sorcery. (This observation is supported by the number of “long tail” books like The Mists of Avalon and the Outlander series on the two lists.)

I don’t mean to discount the value of getting listed, of course. I’ve noticed a definite sales bump since it happened. The book was flirting with the list for the past two weeks, but never got past about #70 or so before quickly falling off. Since getting into the higher tiers this past weekend, it seems to be “floating” in place, perhaps as the list generates sales.

The lesson here is probably one I’ve touched on in the past. Don’t do what everyone else is doing. It’s easier to stand out if you make an effort to be different. Here, reaching for the less popular genre lists seems to have paid off.

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