#1 New Release banner—is this new to Amazon?

New Release 2


Amazon has had bestseller rankings and new release rankings for ages.

But orange #1 bestseller banners in subcategories have appeared in recent months, showing both on product pages and in search results.

And now I see an orange #1 new release banner in subcategories showing on product pages.

In the hot fiction genres, it’s really hard to earn these tags in most subcategories.

I’ve actually seen the #1 bestseller banner on a handful of my nonfiction books in various subcategories, sometimes with a sales rank around 5,000, but occasionally with a sale rank closer to 100,000.

This is the first I’ve seen the #1 new release banner, and it really seemed odd finding it on a book that had only sold a couple of copies so far. Evidently, there aren’t many new releases in the same subcategory.

I like these orange banners. Though I wouldn’t mind if the extended them beyond just #1. As soon as you fall off to #2, you don’t have any banner at all. As if to say, who would want to read #2 in the subcategory?

Personally, I think Amazon should focus more on subcategory rank than overall rank. Customers see a book ranked 500,000 overall and immediately conclude it’s not selling (among print books, it could actually be selling 10 or more copies per month). Sometimes, a higher sales rank deters sales, which loses Amazon sales in niche markets where books might sell a few copies per month consistently.

If a book is ranked well overall, Amazon should show the overall rank. But if a book isn’t ranked well overall, Amazon should hide that rank and instead only show the subcategory ranks. Hey, in this subcategory, this book is #12. Sometimes Amazon shows both. However, Amazon always shows the overall rank, and doesn’t show the subcategory rank unless it’s very good.

That seems backwards to me.

Amazon’s own ranking algorithm may cost Amazon sales. Take the books that spend most of the time ranked 500,000 and up. Among millions of books, these sales add up considerably; it’s a significant amount for Amazon. But it could be higher. Several times, customers see books ranked 500,000 and up and pass on the sale. Maybe customers buy a better-ranked book instead; but other times, the customer may have bought both, or the customer may buy nothing at all.

Still, I think these new orange banners are a step in the right direction.

It’s pretty cool when you happen to find one on your book.

Take a screenshot as a souvenir.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

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19 comments on “#1 New Release banner—is this new to Amazon?

  1. You may have mentioned this and I just didn’t notice, but today, I saw my review numbers had changed to percents. Instead of 28 five star reviews, it says 70% five star reviews. I kinda liked seeing my review numbers with each star, but 70% sounds so much better.

  2. Chris,

    I just noticed today (I’m slow) that the book pages do NOT list the publisher for a book; you have to Look Inside, and scroll down to see if there is a publisher.

    I was doing some basic market research, and wanted to see if there was a pattern to prices. I think readers ARE aware in some subliminal way of prices and think ‘$X’ is a real bargain for that’ or ‘at that price it must be indie.’

    But prices were all over the map, and many publishers had prices under the magic $9.99.

    Did I miss something, or did the lack of publisher name happen quietly? I swear they used to be on the book pages.

    The prices MUST affect that #1 ranking – but nobody knows how exactly, and Amazon isn’t telling.

    • I thought I saw publishers listed quite recently. Amazon has been testing many things on product pages, and this may be one of them. I’ll look out for it now.

      It depends in part on the imprint and the author. There are some trends among both indie and trad books, but with exceptions, too. Another common practice is for popular books to suddenly change price, which complicates things. There is a lot of research on pricing, such as Coker’s analysis at Smashwords (worth a look).

      • Thanks, Chris. I thought I was missing things – it makes sense for Amazon do do market research on their own data – they owe customers nothing in particular about a book but whatever helps the customer make an informed decision.

        Since MOST readers don’t give a flying hoot for publishers, providing the name of the publisher was advertising, not customer service.

  3. Very cool, and congratulations! Amazon is super marketer, and the book people keep coming up with new wrinkles. We should follow their lead. I noticed that Amazon is imaging all three books in my historical series together on each product page (though I have an ebook bundle that is cheaper than buying them separately). Having a number of products truly helps the sale of all.

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