Rule of 30,000 And Amazon Best Seller Rank
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How To Use The Rule Of 30,000 To Make A Profit On Amazon


Perhaps you’re one of the thousands of people bitten by the writing bug who would love to make a living from writing books all day.

Can it be done? Absolutely!

The world of publishing has changed dramatically in the last ten years. Self-publishing your book doesn’t have the negative reputation it once did. In fact, thousands of authors have self-published because it gives them more control over their work and a greater share of the profits.

Some self-published authors have received movie deals and created seven figure royalties, not to mention millions of readers who now recognize the author’s name and enjoy their work.

Amazon has given self-published authors the necessary tools and resources to edit, format and distribute their books to readers around the world.

Not only can authors track sales with up-to-date rankings and analytics, but they can also research and choose a profitable niche by understanding the 30,000 Rule in Amazon’s Best Seller rankings.

Wait … You had no idea you could predetermine profitable book niches?

Read on to discover how to use the Amazon Best Seller rank – 30,000 rule:

One of the ways Amazon keeps authors informed on the status of their books is through rankings. Amazon determines the best seller rankings based on the number of sales a book has.

There are separate rankings for Kindle books and paperbacks, as well as for free books. However, they are all ranked according to how many times someone buys a copy.

Amazon’s rankings often seem complicated and problematic because the system doesn’t necessarily count sales the moment they happen. So you need to be patient as Amazon doesn’t update their rankings every minute. It’s usually hourly.





When determining the ranking of a book, Amazon either compares it to all the other books sitewide — Amazon’s “Bestsellers Rank” — or to other books within the same category. The Bestsellers Rank doesn’t take category into account; only category rankings compare books in the same categories, which means all these numbers could vary widely throughout the day.

Read Related: How to Outline Your Next Book

Trying to navigate all the different rankings and figure out exactly what they mean can be confusing. Each version of a book, whether a print book or e-book, will have its own ranking in each of the various categories (Ex. travel, self-help, money).

Steve and Barrie don’t worry about their individual category rankings but instead they pay attention to the overall Amazon Best Sellers Rank for each of their books.

Knowing how to interpret the Amazon Best Seller rankings can be the difference between writing the next “Top 100” book and the next flop.

Using the Rule of 30,000 To Determine Demand

Checking a book’s Amazon ranking helps you determine if there is a demand for information on a specific topic. This is an essential part of doing niche research for a new book.

The 30,000 ranking benchmark equates to about 150 sales per month — or a profit of approximately $300 (70% of $2.99 per book). While it may not seem like much, consider if you had a catalog of 10-15 books with that rank. Now you can see a nice side-hustle of steady monthly royalties!

Let’s put the Kindle Store 30,000 Rule to work and find out if your next book idea will be profitable.

Check for competition. Now head over to Amazon. Choose “books” and type in your topic. Begin by typing in “Evernote” just to see what comes up. From the books that come up, choose the one that best matches your idea. Let’s look in more detail at the Amazon search results.

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The Master Note System: A New Way to Use Evernote to Organize Your Life has an Amazon Best Sellers Rank of 19,892 (approximately 7-8 sales per day)

Evernote: From Note Taking to Life Mastery: 100 Eye-Opening Techniques and Sneaky Uses of Evernote that Experts Don’t Want You to Know has an Amazon Best Sellers Rank of 30,024 (approximately 4-5 sales per day)

Master Evernote: The Unofficial Guide to Organizing Your Life with Evernote (by our own Steve Scott) has an Amazon Best Sellers Rank of 28,967 (approximately 5-6 sales per day)

Now select Master Evernote and scroll down to the Product Details section for this book. At the very bottom of the ‘details’ list, you’ll see Amazon Best Sellers Rank of 28,967 (as of 11-9-17). The more books you can find around this topic with a ranking of 30,000 or less, the more profitable your idea is — because people are buying these books!

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Don’t Become a Slave to the Ranking

Amazon’s rankings are an asset when it comes to choosing your next profitable book. They’re also helpful once your book is published, but don’t give them too much weight.

A high ranking doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a failure, and a low ranking doesn’t mean you’re going to get a movie deal or be able to retire on royalties (it helps, but there are no guarantees in life or the publishing world). Rankings are just numbers. As mentioned earlier, they change hourly as Amazon runs their analytics, plus there can be a lag in the time your book sold and when your ranking reflects that sale.




As an author who desires to write books people will buy (and read), knowing how to interpret the Amazon rankings will be helpful, but remember: the numbers change often, so don’t become a slave to them.

You now know how to use the Amazon rankings to your advantage. How will you use that information? Have you already published through Amazon? Do your rankings match up with the Rule of 30,000 theory?

If you’d like to learn more about discovering profitable book niches then read this post: 13 Proven Ways To Find Bestselling Book Ideas.

Leave a comment with your questions, thoughts, and experiences. And, if you’re comfortable doing so, share your niche with us!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
  • Simon

    Good post. How did u determine the # of sales a day per book based on the bsr? Is there a tool for that?

    Reply
  • Josiane Fortin

    Hi! Is there a way to browse for ideas in the 30k less club? In your example, you are testing an idea you already have.
    Thenks!

    Reply
  • Sheralyn

    In my experience, self-publishing on Amazon for several years, 30,000 sales rank works out to far fewer sales than what you’re saying here. For example, one of my books for which the sales rank has been holding steady between 20k and 30k for the past month, has only sold 36 copies during that time, and had 4011 KENP (100 page book, so this is equivalent to approximately 40 additional sales). This is FAR less than the 150 copies a month your article suggests such a book would be selling.

    Steve Scott has published many, many books – I challenge him to share not only the book title and current sales rank, but the sales rank for the past 30 days (author central screenshot), the actual number of Kindle books sold over the past 30 days (KDP dashboard or BookReport screenshot), and the actual royalties earned over the past 30 days (KDP dashboard or BookReport screenshot).

    re: “Master Evernote: The Unofficial Guide to Organizing Your Life with Evernote (by our own Steve Scott) has an Amazon Best Sellers Rank of 28,967 (approximately 5-6 sales per day)”

    It looks like you’re estimating his sales, rather than sharing Steve’s actual sales. I suspect you’ll be surprised to see that this book sold far LESS than an average of 5-6 copies a day if Steve provided you with a screenshot from his KDP dashboard (or BookReport) and took a screenshot of the sales from the past 30 days. His true sales numbers will be at MOST 2-3 sales a day (possibly even less) for the month (taking into account KENP), or about half what you’ve estimated in your article. Ask Steve Scott to share that info with you – if what you’re saying is true, he’ll have no problem sharing it. And if what you’re saying is NOT true, since he’s an owner of this blog, I imagine he’d want accurate information shared on here, rather than gross overestimates of his sales (whether unintentional, or not).

    Reply
  • shabnam

    Tom Corson-Knowles, the author who founded Bestseller Ranking Pro, spent six long years trying to get a traditional publishing deal (and failed miserably). He finally decided to self-publish his first book on Kindle in February, 2012.

    That one decision changed his life (and the lives of the more than 30,000 authors he’s since taught how to write, publish and market their books professionally).

    Just twelve months after self-publishing his first book, Tom had his first $12,000+ month from Kindle ebook royalties alone.

    Reply
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