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SPQ 035: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: Does the “#30,000 Rule” Apply to Categories?

Written by Steve Scott on January 28, 2015. Listen to SPQ: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS Feed
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amazon categories

The Question…

Nigel asks, “When determining if a niche is profitable, does the 20,000/30,000 rule apply to the “Amazon Best Selling” rank in its entirety, or does it apply to any of the subcategories?”

Biggest Takeway…

Steve’s Answer…

In his question, Nigel referred to the “30,000 Rule.” Any book that has an Amazon ranking of 30,000 or below has at least five sales per day, which equates to 150 sales per month (or $300). In Steve’s early books, he recommended looking for a ranking of 20,000 or below, but Amazon is more competitive, so now he recommends a ranking of 30,000 as a benchmark.

Checking a book’s Amazon ranking helps you determine if there is a demand for information on that topic. This is an essential part of your niche research. Steve doesn’t use this rule much anymore, but it’s a good way to vet a niche if you’re just starting out.

So how do you find a book’s ranking? Go to Amazon and make sure you are filtering your search results to include Kindle books only. When you click on a Kindle book listing, scroll down to the product information. Look for an entry called “Amazon Best Sellers Rank.”

Steve’s most recent book, “Level Up Your Day” has an overall ranking of 728, which translates to about 150 sales and 40 Kindle Unlimited downloads per day. The book has the following category rankings:

This is what Nigel was asking about. Each Kindle book has different rankings for different categories.

Steve doesn’t think you should worry about your individual category rankings. Worrying too much about this isn’t a good use of your time. Worry more about the overall Amazon Best Sellers Rank.

When Steve first started publishing on Amazon, he used the 30,000 Rule every time he was ready to write a new book. It worked well for him, but he feels you should spend more time focused on building an author platform and connecting with your audience. You can learn more about building your platform in episode 3.

Resources and Links

Level Up Your Day: Practical tips and advice for maximizing your daily routine

Episode 3: Steve offers advice on building an author platform

  • Great Article!

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