How Can You Try To Maintain Your Ebook Sales Rank On Amazon?

Maintain Ebook Sales Rank

A good Kindle ebook sales rank helps you sell more ebooks.

Maintaining a good ebook sales ranking for your ebook on Kindle, in particular, is one of the key elements in making ongoing ebook sales.

There are several ways to achieve this.

Of course, paid promotion, advertising, and gaining reviews all help, but they can be time-consuming and expensive.

Free ebooks

The easiest way to maintain a good ebook sales ranking is to use the oldest promotional tool, free ebooks.

Many self-published authors frown upon giving away their ebooks, believing that they are losing possible sales revenue.

In fact, this is not (quite) true.

Free ebook hunters abound and, in all probability, read only a small percentage of the ebooks that they download.

However, by the simple act of them downloading a copy yet never reading it, your ebook’s ranking increases, making the ebook more visible to ebook buyers.

However, there is also the possibility that if they do read it, they may become future buyers if it is a book in a series or perhaps, become Kindle Unlimited readers.

While using free ebooks as a promotional tool works on most retail platforms, with varying degrees of success, it is on Kindle that it works by far the best.

Simply because there are more users of Kindle Stores than any other ebook retailer.

From my own experience, all I can vouch for is that if I do no other promotion other than using all 5 KDP free ebook days for each of my ebooks during each 90-day enrollment period, I get regular sales and KENP page reads.

During the few occasions when I have been lazy or otherwise occupied and failed to use my free ebook days, my ranking and sales both fell off quite noticeably.

Naturally, to get access to Kindle free ebook days, you need to enroll in KDP Select and give exclusivity to Amazon.

This is a hot topic among self-published authors, with many authors reluctant to grant Amazon exclusive rights to their ebooks.


Perma-free ebooks

The alternative to using KDP Select is to create ‘perma-free’ ebooks, as is explained in this Smashwords blog post.

This is a little cumbersome, as it necessitates making an ebook free on another retailer and then waiting for Amazon to ‘Price Match’ the ebook to free. This can take some time to occur.

Then there is the problem of getting the ebook back to a paid status later.

It can take a long time, weeks or even months in some cases, for Amazon to remove its ‘Price Match.’ However, signing away your ebook exclusivity is not necessary.


Therefore, there are three decisions to make.

One. Are you, as an author, willing to give away your ebooks to boost your sales ranking?

Two. If so, will you choose to use KDP Select to offer Kindle ebooks for free? Or, if not, will you offer free ebooks on other retailers?

Three. Will you grant Amazon exclusivity to get access to the five free Kindle ebook days per three months?

Whichever way you choose, there are pros and cons.

But there is no doubt in my mind that giving away free ebooks is by far the quickest, easiest and cheapest totally free promotional tool that an author has to help maintain ebook sales ranking.

However, it is only one, albeit quite powerful, book promotion tool that authors can use to maintain a good ebook sales rank.

Free ebooks should be used in combination with other book promotion ideas that generate ebook sales, as the only true measure of an ebook sales rank is real ebook sales.


Related reading: Is Kindle Unlimited Worthwhile For Self-Publishing Authors And Their Ebooks?

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent writing and blogging, as well as testing and taming new technology.

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2 thoughts on “How Can You Try To Maintain Your Ebook Sales Rank On Amazon?

  • Avatar for Steve Kittner
    July 19, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    Quick question….Let’s say I have 100,000 KU pages read on a single book on Amazon. At what point during the month does that books RANKING get credited for those pages read? Daily? At the end of the month? I have looked all over the internet for this and cant get an answer. Thanks Steve

    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      July 19, 2020 at 2:23 pm

      I have looked for this info before, and had problems finding a definitive answer. But Amazon’s book ranking is usually updated daily. So I would guess that it is the same for KU. But as with a lot of things Amazon, it isn’t always very clear.

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