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Understanding How Amazon Algorithms Operate

Amazon is the world’s leading search engine and recommendation system for books. So, it's essential to take advantage of the platform by publishing your book on KDP and optimizing your book page. While there are many ways to send readers to your book page, you need to reach the point where Amazon does the marketing for you. To get to this point, you need to understand how the Amazon algorithms operate before you can manipulate them for your benefit. This article points out three rules regulating the Amazon algorithms.

1. Amazon Best Sellers Rank
Amazon’s algorithms may appear like hieroglyphics, but they obey some basic rules. Rule #1: a book already selling well is prone to get more buyers, so prioritize it. To know how much a book is selling daily, check its Amazon Best Sellers Rank, listed in its product details. Then, input the ABSR into a rank-to-sales calculator ( You will discover that a daily sales of 5000+ copies get your book to the #1 ABSR rating. But this outcome is not guaranteed, especially if you launch the same day as a prominent writer in your genre. And if you don't maintain that level of sales for a few days, your rank will immediately drop. Amazon’s algorithms suspect books that quickly surge in sales and then fall off into nothing. For your book to get favored by the algorithms, it needs to maintain a high level of sales for a few days. 

2. Amazon Hot New Releases List
The second command the algorithms obey: Give extra exposure to new releases - books in the first 30 days of their launch. Authors on the platform refer to this as “the Amazon 30-day cliff," where their sales fall a month after their book’s release. The extra exposure new books receive is due to the “Hot New Releases” list. You can't easily find this list while browsing through Amazon. But it’s often displayed on the main Kindle Store homepage and is also a primary driver of email recommendations. 

3. Amazon "Also Bought"
Finally, the third rule Amazon algorithms obey: recommend one user's behavior to another user. This rule means if users buy product X before or after product Y, whenever a user checks out product X, they get a recommendation for product Y. This factor is crucial in taking advantage of Amazon algorithms and boosting your sales. Amazon often displays these “Also Bought” suggestions directly below a book’s description on its Amazon Kindle page. "Also Bought" can make or mar your success on Amazon. Let's say you used to publish cookbooks on Amazon, and one day, you decide to release a mystery novel. Amazon will recommend your mystery novel to your catering-loving fans. Now, these people get this suggestion on their emails and the book page of every cookbook but fail to check it out or respond to it. The algorithms then cease to suggest your mystery book permanently, and your sales decline until you clear up your "Also Bought." 

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Frank Stephen