Sony Reader Store is Weirding Me Out, Man

I’ve had my ebooks out there, waiting to be purchased (sometimes for free) for a couple of years now.  From time to time, I look in at the various outlets that carry them, seeing if I can find any information on how well they’re doing.  Some outlets give me more information than others.  Apple just ranks them in the order that the header of their page proclaims to be ‘Top Books’.  I guess they’re in order of sales… maybe recent sales…or…I don’t know.  But they’re in order of something or other.  B&N gives a sitewide sales rank.

Sony Reader Store presents you with lists of titles with really tiny thumbnails that defy almost any cover art to be discerned, which you can sort by ‘relevancy’ or ‘bestselling’ or by price or date published.  Fairly user friendly as these things go.

Here’s the weird bit: sometimes I go to the Sony Reader Store and find a title somewhere vaguely near the top of a list, and it’s not one of my free ones.  Oh, boy, I must have made a sale of PAID COPY!  Woo-hoo!

SonyStore23JAN2014There’s one I saw a few minutes ago.  #178, probably just sold one fairly recently.  It’ll go back down soon, sigh.  Sony lists seem to have a lot of ‘churn’, titles moving up and down in rank quickly.  That’s a good thing and a bad thing.  It makes it a little easier to get noticed, but harder to stay up once you’re up.  Mixed bag.  That’s fine, it has to work some way or other.

Well, you say, maybe you didn’t sell one and it’s just way down on the bottom of the list arbitrarily ranked with other things that haven’t sold.

But it wasn’t there yesterday.

And it’s not way down on the bottom.


There are over 5500 titles on that list.  You don’t make it to number 178 out of 5500 by selling nothing, right?

But in two years, I’ve never gotten a cent from Sony for paid copy.  Sony reports that every title of mine they’ve sold has been a free ebook.

It’s been that way for two years now.  It’s weirding me out, man.  I don’t want to say that Sony’s not reporting paid sales of Smashwords ebooks, but…

…how do my non-free stories keep making it up near the top of their listings if nobody’s buying them?

Anyone have any insight into this?


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