Allan Mayer’s Weblog

The YouWriteOn Amazon Bestsellers

Posted on: March 29, 2009


 Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsTasting the WindProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

If you click Here you can see the  current top ten bestsellers from authors published by YouWriteon.

At the time of writing (Sunday 29th March 2009, 18.50pm) The list reads as follows:

A Dangerous Windfall by Thomas Dean

Safe by Kate Hanney

The Frog and the Scorpion by Steevan Glover

Great Short Stories by YouWriteOn.Com Writers by Writers

Tasting the Wind by Allan Mayer

The Stone by Claire Nolan

Ordinary Monsters by Paul Ekert  

Chasing Dreams by Aaron Jennings

 The Chronicles of Joya by Liane Carter
Tuppenny Hat Detective by Brian Sellars
At present YouWriteOn have 375 books on Amazon. A Dangerous Windfall has held first place for some time now. Having been at number one, The Frog and the Scorpion stays firmly at number three.
So what have these authors done to get into the top ten?
Earlier this week I noticed that Aaron Jennings’ Chasing Dreams was rising quickly, and maintaining high rankings, so googled it, to see if the web held any clues. According to the tenets of neurolinguistics it is better not to look up  to successful people, but to look into them. So what has Aaron Jennings been up to?
The Google results demonstrated two things: the first of these was internet presence. Aaron has planted his book on so many sites, the trawl producing a long list of varied references to Chasing Dreams.
The second- and perhaps the most successful strategy, is that he has identified a niche audience. I haven’t read his book, but apparently there is a surfing theme, and it is clear from some of the sites where his book appears that he has directed his marketing at the surfing community.
Kate Hanney has featured on the YWO website- she has had copies stocked at Waterstone’s because the manager was impressed with the price of her book. This highlights the fact that the Amazon rankings only indicate online sales, and may be a hint that if we combine Kate’s success at Waterstone’s with her position on Amazon she is probably YWO’s top selling author. (That is if we discount one author who has bought 1000 copies of their book direct from the publisher.)
Liane Carter was one of the first (perhaps the first?) people to feature on the YWO website at a Waterstone’s book signing. She has also invested in her marketing, and is the only YWO author to have a ‘Meet the Author’ video, which appears on her Amazon page.
Thomas Dean, the current number one, also appears on various websites, and has been featured in the Northumberland Gazette.
I can also vouch for the usefulness of the press release. I had fallen to ninth place, and my Amazon ranking was 160,000th. Then my press release appeared in the local newspaper, my ranking shot up to about 11,000th and I went back up to number 5.
So how many have been sold?  No idea- the stratistics give no clue. Although I know it not to be the case, the YWO table would look the same if  Thomas Dean had sold only ten copies, Kate Hanney  nine and so on. 
I would be interested to hear from any other POD published/ self-published authors about which marketing strategies they have found most successful.
Meanwhile, I am expecting to be making a big announcement on this blog sometime soon… watch this space.

7 Responses to "The YouWriteOn Amazon Bestsellers"

Hi Allan,
Interesting article, what is the difference, on Amazon, of sorting by Relevance or Bestselling? Relevance is the default setting and i’m not sure how they rank it. If you opt for the latter then the order chnages quite dramatically.


Hmmm… I probably should have changed the title of this post to ‘YWO Amazon Relevance chart’ as that is the default.

As you say, the ‘Bestseller’ option does give a different result (and with ‘Chasing Dreams’ currently at number one confirms my thoughts about Aaron Jennings’ marketing skills.)

Perhaps there is someone out there who can explain the relationship in laymans terms (I would recommend How Publishing Really Works or Absolute Write for this sort of thing.)

What I have observed is that:
1) Whenever I have done a specific piece of marketing- last week it was a press release- my Amazon rankings have soared for a short time, followed by a change of position in the the ‘relevance’ chart.
2) The top ten on Book Depository is identical to Amazon, so there must be some link. And the title of the BD default list is not bestsellers or relevance, but ‘most popular.’

I don’t suppose that we will really know how we are doing until we get the first cheque.

Amazon is very confusing – as its ‘relevance’ does include number sold overall (so i am told) and also page hits, reviews etc. It’s best selling score is based on daily / weekly numbers to avoid having the same books at the top all the time.

Froggie is in at 41 at the moment.

Don’t even get started on the Amazon Sales rank, which is a loose guide to sales volume…. but very very loose.


Thanks for the mention of Chasing Dreams in your blog, I’d like to hope that it’s also down to the fact that my book is enjoyable as well as marketed that it appears to be doing okay on Amazon.

I should point out that although some surfing sites have picked up on the novel, so has USA Today (website) and other non-surfing sites and the story is not just about surfing.


I’ve no doubt it is enjoyable. What I am interested in is how you have got it out there so that people can enjoy it. USA Today- that’s impressive- how do you attract that sort of attention?

Years of good karma I guess 🙂

Hi Allan;

Amazon aside, your novel is the #1 “bestseller” among the YWOs published books, on The Book Depository.



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