Hi. Thanks for all your work on your blog. I love it. My question is how much validity do we give rankings on Amazon and the Deseret Book list? My book only sold one copy last month and yet it's still riding on the DB list, albeit very low on the list. It doesn't make sense. Do you know how those work?
The rankings on both these two lists are valid and give you an idea of how your book sales compare to other books in the same genre or category.
Rankings are based on sales volume as compared to the other titles on the list. I'm not sure how frequently the ratings are updated, if it's automatic as items are ordered, or if it's done at the end of the day but I think the rankings are updated daily. Either way, if your book is listed on the website, it's going to show up somewhere in the rankings.
In your example, your book would be listed in the rankings above the books that sold zero copies that month, but below those that sold two copies that month.
I'm not sure how the rankings handle books that sell at the same rate. For example, if there are four books that sold one copy that month, they may be sorted alphabetically (which would not be very helpful) or by the most recent order placed (which is only marginally more helpful).