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Tech Support > Is Amazon getting a little weird lately?

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message 1: by Ken (last edited Apr 29, 2015 10:37AM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) For a long time Amazon had a problem updating its "Look Inside" feature. Now I'm having trouble getting sales to register in the US. I sent them an email telling them that one of my books is not updating either the sales ranking or the author ranking when sales occur. They offered this reply:
"Hello Ken,

I hope this email finds you well.

Please, be advised that category rankings will only appear in the Product Details section for a book if it's among the Top 100 selling books in that specific category. Rankings cannot be manually updated or added for any book.

Thanks for using Amazon KDP.

Regards,

Jose V"

To which I replied:

"Not true. My other books show product rankings and always have. Here is an example for another of my books, not in the Top 100: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #828,444 Paid in Kindle Store."

I think the guy was confused by the question, and substituted category ranking for sales ranking. Not sure what the reply will be.


message 2: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Every so often the ranking stop all together. I think this happens when they decide to tweak their algorithms. Back at the beginning of the year I saw this happening and people were getting the same odd replies about how rankings were calculated. I'd wait a while and see what happens.


message 3: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) This is the same book I had trouble with getting the "Look Inside" feature updated. It finally did after the 3rd upload, but at the same time the ranking disappeared. It has no ranking at all, even from past sales. And the answer seemed to concern the category ranking, not the overall ranking that I was asking about. Wondering why the ranking updates in the foreign countries, but disappeared in the US listing.


message 4: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Well, that is weird! I've never seen a ranking come off completely unless a book was unpublished and republished as an entirely new book. Given the original release date and the reviews are still there, this clearly isnt what happened. Try sending a screen shot.


message 5: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) I got another answer, this time from somebody different:

"Hello,

I'm very sorry for any frustration this issue has caused.

We'll need a little time to look into the sales rank issues. I've reached out to our technical team to investigate this issue.

We'll contact you with more information by the end of the day on May 5, 2015.

Thanks for your patience.

Regards,

Jayanthi Jayaraj
Kindle Direct Publishing"


message 6: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Now they've gone from weird to goofy. They sent me this:

"Hello ,

I'm sorry for trouble caused regarding your book 'Ship Of Storms'.

Amazon Author Rank is calculated using all historically available sales data. It is based on sales of all your books relative to the sales of other authors. Amazon Author Rank shows how well an author's book sells relative to other authors. Like the Billboard charts, lower numbers are better. An author with the Amazon Author Rank of "1" in Mystery & Thrillers is the bestselling author in Mystery & Thrillers on Amazon. However, Amazon Author Rank doesn't include free books or any sales from any international marketplaces. Amazon Author Rank is updated hourly.

Currently, Author Central provides Nielsen BookScan sales data to Author Central members for U.S. sales only. Several authors have asked for international sales information, and we've forwarded your comments to the Author Central team for consideration. We're always looking for ways to make Author Central more useful to authors.

If you still have questions or would like to contact us about any other matter, you can reach us by phone or email through this link:"

I replied to my last contact and said I had no idea what this means. This issue still isn't fixed.


message 7: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 625 comments That is strange. I've never seen that except on new books. It takes a while for the rank to appear then. When did you upload the last version?

Once, when we uploaded a new version of our first book, Amazon changed the publication date. We just corrected a few typos, and we'd uploaded new versions before (to correct typos and in one case, fix a URL). None were a new edition. Amazon could not explain why the publication date was reset. It was some glitch in the system.

I wonder if, given the problems you had, this book looks "new" to the system so it's recomputing your sales rank, which requires some time.

And clearly they are not reading your emails. That does happen. Once I had to ask specifically to kick the email upstairs. That worked.

I'm not sure there's an option to send a screenshot, unless you attach it to a reply. You might ask them if you can. That would probably help.


message 8: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) I found this in my in-box this morning:
"Hello,

My colleague has been checking regularly with the Technical Team on their progress with resolving the issue about the sales rank. It appears the issue is more complex than expected and they're still working hard to resolve this for you.

I'm very sorry for how long this is taking. We'll be in touch again with an update as soon as possible.

Thanks again for your patience.

Regards,

Pracheth B
Kindle Direct Publishing"

This is exactly the same answer they gave me when I was having problems with the "Look Inside" feature. Maybe uploading the file again (for the 4th time) would fix it.


message 9: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 625 comments Ken wrote: "This is exactly the same answer they gave me when I was having problems with the "Look Inside" feature. Maybe uploading the file again (for the 4th time) would fix it. ..."

I would not recommend that. If this is a system glitch, uploading a new file might make it worse. Also -- unlike the "look inside" feature, not having a sales rank displayed is unrelated to your book. I doubt potential readers are considering that strongly in their decision to buy.

Give Amazon more time on this. If they are trying to diagnose it, making changes on your end will complicate things.


message 10: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) At least I'm notified of sales at Amazon Kindle Direct. They don't change my author ranking on that particular book, but I am being credited for them.


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