Have you ever wondered why your books aren't selling organically on Amazon?  The truth is that for the random browser of books, you're probably invisible, and it has a lot to do with the way Amazon sorts their products and how many products you are allowed to see.  For the purposes of this article, I went to Hambuger menu-> KIndle E-Readers & Books -> KIndle Books. Then, I looked at what was displayed.

 

  • First Screen: Top Picks for You and Based on Your Reading
  • Second Screen: For You in Writing Skills and For You in Reference
  • Third Screen: Recommended for You and Today Only .99 Cents

 

Am I Anywhere Near the Actual List of Books?

Nope. Not even close.  In order to get to the actual list of Kindle books, I still have to scroll past For You in Crime, Featured Amazon Original Books, New Releases for You, New Releases in Humor, KIndle Exclusive Deals, Books from Around the World, Featured in Literature & Fiction, First Reads: Pick Your Free Book This Month and Kindle Exclusive New Releases. After all of that scrolling, I am finally at the list of Kindle ebooks, which are automatically sorted by featured. Are you a featured Amazon book?  No? Don't feel bad. Neither am I.

Amazon Sorting for Books

The Amazon sorting for books is extremely limited.  It includes:

  • Featured
  • Price: Low to High
  • Price High to Low
  • Average Customer Review
  • Publication Date

That's all the choices you get, and if you want to search those in reverse order, you are out of luck. I originally started this task because I wanted to highlight the least sold, most unpopular books on Amazon.  Amazon makes that virtually impossible, but while I was searching and filtering the lists in an effort to get to the very end of the lists, I thought: Wow, this is difficult.  If you aren't on a bestseller list on Amazon or featured in some manner, you are SOL for attracting organic readers that didn't see an Amazon ad or any social media posts you may have put out about your book.

To Make It Even Worse

Let's say that you have someone looking for a new book, and they're just going to flip through the Amazon pages as they are.  This means they scrolled past all the eye-candy at the top of the page and somehow didn't get distracted by all the mainstream books and bestseller lists and recommendations and cheap-ass books available for the first 10 scrolls.  They actually made it to the true list of Kindle ebooks, and they are going to flip pages.

The page flipper only allows browsers to skip from page 1 to 3

 

So, let's say your potential reader skips to page three. Once they click the 3, they are taken to the top of page three.  Scrolling down reveals that they can click on page 4, not page 6.  That's right.  Your potential readers, looking for a brand new book, can skip exactly 1 page.  Then, they have to scroll through each page, 1 page at a time.  If you're on page 25 of 50 or that horrible page 400, no one is going to see your book.

 

Is Page 400 Really the End of the List?

Not by a long shot.  This list says that there are more than 50,000 books available for Kindle.  I know for a fact that there are more than 2.5 million books on Amazon.  Don't ask me how I kow that.  The answer is sad.  Poor Avia Series. However, the takeaway is that Amazon is only showing you the top 50,000 KIndle ebooks, not the top 2.5 or 3 million, and even if they did list them all, unless they change the coding for their pagination to allow for specific pages to be entered, no one is going to get that far into the list.  It's just going to take too much time.  My estimate for trying to get to page 400 is an hour or more, just to click through 397 pages of books.

Then, you might want to know how many books are displayed in those 400 pages. Are there really 50,000 books displayed in 400 pages. Each page contains 15 books. Give or take a few, because on page 3, it says I am at books 33 to 48. The math for multiples of 15 doesn't mesh with that result.  However, if we assume that every page has 15 books, there are 6,000 books displayed, not 50,000. The other issue is that you cannot adjust that.  There's no box that I can see that allows you to display more than 15.

Is It Really This Impossible to Get Seen on Amazon?

If you take out a paid ad on Amazon, you have a better shot at getting seen, providing someone keys in one of your search terms (that you put into your ad) in the Amazon search bar. Other ways to get seen are to optimize your social media feeds and place your books in your feeds within a link.  Ideally, your followers will click on that link.  However, they may also type your title or your author name directly into amazon in an effort to find you.  Those offer better results than the organic book lists that Amazon creates based on their various metrics.

Will I Ever Write that Worst Selling Books on Amazon Article?

I don't know.  After reviewing all of this, it would be nearly impossible for me to find the books ranked 3 million or higher, much less find the extreme end of the list.  I'd like to write that article, but the way Amazon is set up, I'm not sure, even if I did all that scrolling through pages, that I would ever really truly see the end of the book list, according to sales.