Ebook Sales Rank (UK) The Long Tail

In the last post I looked at the relationship between ebook sales rank and actual sales for popular ebooks in the UK.  This post is about those ebooks that sell less well and how the sales rank relates to actual sales for them.

Over 400 million ebooks were shifted by Amazon USA in in 2016/17 whereas the UK managed just short of 85 million. So the ratio of ebook sales between the two behemoths is of the order of 5:1. Unsurprisingly the sales rank for the same ebook differs greatly between the two.

So, are the USA sales ranks totally independent of the UK store? I think so. Inevitably there will be books that sell well in the USA and badly in the UK and vice sa versa. So to have the same ranking for both would be self defeating.


Obviously for very popular books (international best sellers) then often the rankings will appear similar. But if you look at ebooks selling smaller numbers, especially into niche national markets, the divergence can be huge.

Which brings us to the point of this post which where I will attempt to explore the long tail on UK ebook sales and how it relates to UK ebook sales rank overall.

In my last post (Here) I presented a graph of what I think the overall UK sales rank will show. Sales rapidly tailed off for Sales ranks of 10,000 or more. The tail off was so rapid that in that graph the data was was illegible for any sales rank higher than 10,000. So here below is closer detail on sales rankings 10,000 and above in the UK

If you use a linear x-axis its shows just how appallingly brutal the fall off of sales gets for increasing page rank.

Graph The long tail for sales rank above 10,000

To make it a little easier to see the decline I have used a logarithmic scale for Sales rank in the graph below using the same data.

Graph The logarithmic long tail for sales rank above 10000

From an earlier post the USA benchmark of one sale per day gives you a Sales Rank of about 125,000. In the UK for the same sales rank you would be selling just over one per week. In the UK it looks like one sale a day will give you a sales rank of about 35,000 – 50,000.

Ebook Sales Rank: The even Longer Tail

So what about the really low numbers? It gets difficult to graph out figures for anything below 100,000 so here it is as a table.

Table Sales rank above 100,000

Bear in mind that when you get down to this very low level of sales every individual book sale will in all likely-hood significantly change your sales rank for a short period of time. So it would be best to think of these figures as a long term average.

Well anyway, that is my opinion. I think it holds together. Please feel free to agree/disagree in the comments section (moderation is on to avoid spam – but your contribution will appear shortly)

I would particularly be grateful for anyone to give me their figures so we can test this beyond my own input.

The next and last post in this short series is eBook Sales: USA vs UK

Kind Regards


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