As a tyro, I’m obsessed with all the trappings of authorship, even Amazon rankings.

And so I was depressed that AOJ had sunk to a million and a halfth last week.

One thought was to step up my marketing efforts, hence, the pop-up, site-specific book tour.

Another was to buy some copies on Amazon myself, to see what effect that might have.

Call it “market research.”

First, I ascertained that “used” copies do not count, only new copies bought directly from Amazon.

Crsports94, out of Charleston, SC, offers a new copy for $4.27. I asked the proprietor, Mike Rivera, if his copy was truly “new” and, if so, how he could afford to sell it for so little, even including a publisher’s discount (which doesn’t exists for AOJ).

He replied: “Yes it is a new book. In the very competitive Book Selling Market, the hows and wheres of how we purchase our inventory is Closely Guarded Propriertary Information. I have been in Business for over 25 years and have numerous sources nationwide that provide me New and Used Books, Dvds and the Several Thousand other Items I sell.” (His website links to the Vineyard Community Church in Charleston.)

Saturday morning, 10:25, I bought one: ranking—86,595.

I bought another at 1:21 and another at 5:39: ranking—22,424!!!!!

Sunday, I asked a friend to buy five copies throughout the day: ranking bounced around, as high as 50,059 at noon, but by 6 it was 21,296.

Even as we speak, 10:30, Monday morning, it’s 36,874.

Conclusion: there’s a vast miasma of books that don’t sell but continue to get ranked.

And then there’s a live, rather large universe of books that sell a few every day, right around 20,000.

Thus endeth my market research.

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