Increase your profits using Amazon Bestsellers Rank

By Sharon Fussell, September 23, 2011

I was really pleased with one particular sale this week, a hardcover copy of ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls. I paid 30p for this copy and sold it within a few days of listing for £39.99. As soon as I noticed it on the shelf I grabbed it because I knew the paperback version has a ranking in the top ten:

One Day

David Nicholls

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2

Price: £3.69

The hardback sells at a premium:

One Day [Hardcover]

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,247

3 used from £28.15

David Nicholls is a much sought after author, and another of his popular titles is ‘Starter for Ten’. You may have seen the film on TV recently (this always helps to stimulate interest in the book):

Starter for Ten (Paperback)

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128


It pays to pay attention to the Amazon Bestsellers Rank…

There are several well-known titles with high sales rankings which continue to attract premium prices and which I also keep an eye out for, here is a sample:

The Help [Paperback]

Kathryn Stockett

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4 in Books

Price: £4.36

Sister [Paperback]

Rosamund Lupton

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12 in Books

Price: £2.99

Room [Paperback]

Emma Donoghue

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83 in Books

Price: £4.30

The Kite Runner [Paperback]

Khaled Hosseini

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 445 in Books

Price: £4.55

Water for Elephants: a Novel [Paperback]

Sara Gruen Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80 in Books Price: £3.93

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society [Paperback]

Mary Ann Shaffer

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 323 in Books

Price: £4.49

The Secret Life of Bees [Paperback]

Sue Monk Kidd

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 821 in Books

Price: £4.87

The Book Thief [Paperback]

Markus Zusak

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 261 in Books

Price: £4.98

Killing Floor: (Jack Reacher 1) [Paperback]

Lee Child

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 276 in Books

Price: £4.55

There are also some titles which don’t attract a premium but nevertheless sell very quickly and are well worth listing at £2.80 on FBA:

The Shadow of the Wind [Paperback]

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,075 in Books


Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything [Paperback]

Elizabeth Gilbert

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 549 in Books


A Thousand Splendid Suns [Paperback]

Khaled Hosseini

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 504 in Books


The Island [Paperback]

Victoria Hislop

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 925 in Books


Remember Me? [Paperback]

Sophie Kinsella

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,301 in Books


The Kite Runner [Paperback] (older version)

Khaled Hosseini

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 328 in Books


I have included all of these titles are here because I actually sell them – this is not just a trawl of the best sellers list!

Bear in mind that condition is king with these low-price quick-sellers; I often leave copies of these books on the shelf if the condition is not (at the very least) at the top end of good. The ideal is to get hold of a ‘Very Good’ if you can. Be strict with your selection, it is tempting to say ‘it will be alright’ with titles you know will sell, but if you have a doubt it is best to put it back.

Also, remember that this is only a snapshot: two months from now some of these titles will drop off the list and others will come in to the equation.

As I mentioned earlier, the screening of a film or a new TV drama will stimulate interest in a book… so don’t feel guilty while watching the telly, it’s research!

Keep a weather eye on the rankings as you list to make sure you’re up to speed. Remember the smaller the sales ranking number the higher the demand.

Happy hunting!


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