I’m sure my Amazon page will become a source of intense scrutiny once my book goes on sale. For now, I’m just keeping my eye on it in a housekeeping sort of way: Making sure my cover is there, and my book description. That sort of thing.

The info that most writers focus on is their Amazon ranking. This is found under “Product Details” and is usually an enormous number. This number reflects your rank among all the other books on Amazon, based on recent sales. If a lot of people buy your book at once, your rank will shoot up to a lower number (meaning, nearer number 1). But it will just as quickly drop down again. It can be exciting to see a surge, and depressing to see a drop. But what you’ve sold “today” is less important than many, many other things.

I have a fluctuating ranking already, based on pre-orders. If you want to know what your rank means in terms of recent sales, I found this chart (though I can’t vouch for its accuracy):

Your star ranking, from reader reviews, is an obvious thing to obsess over, but I don’t have any of those yet (my book is not yet on sale). As with GoodReads, I’ve been advised by those who have been through this before me to avoid dwelling on reader reviews. They are not for authors; they are targeted at other readers. Let the readers talk among themselves, candidly. If you do read them, and find a review you feel is unjust, WALK AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER. Do not respond, not on Amazon as a comment, and not on your blog. Every reader has the right to their opinion.

I’m also going to keep my eye on “Discussions” and “Lists” that mention me, but not intensely.

I’ve made an Amazon author page. It’s basically just another page where readers can find aggregate information about me. I put up my pic and a short bio and a link back to my website. BookTour.com automatically added all my tour info.

Because of Amazon’s recent monopolistic actions, some writers are offering alternatives to Amazon in their buy links. IndieBound, Powell’s and Barnes and Noble are popular options. I link to them all.

Readers: How much do Amazon reviews sway your purchases?
Writers: What’s the most frequently you ever checked your Amazon rank?